Graphite Pencil vs Mechanical Pencil: which is the best?
One of the most frequently asked questions, whether it’s the youngest at school, design professionals, or drawing and illustration enthusiasts, is precisely which of the two types of material to use. We will try to explain in this post the advantages and disadvantages of each one, both for writing and drawing, in the hope of helping you make the most appropriate decision.
The graphite pencil
When we speak of graphite pencil, we have to pay attention to two aspects: the intensity of the color and the hardness of the graphite. Its classification goes from category B (blackness), H (hardness), HB (intermediate between color and hardness), or F (fine, which informs if the tip of the pencil it’s thin).
To facilitate analysis, this is the scale of the classification of pencils:
9H – 8H – 7H – 6H – 5H – 4H – 3H – 2H – H – F – HB – B – 2B – 3B – 4B – 5B – 6B – 7B – 8B – 9B
The greater the number, the more pronounced the characteristic will be. That is, the more B the pencil is, the blacker and softer the graphite. For example, 9B is softer and black than B.
In turn, the more H the pencil is, the harder and greyish the graphite. For example, 9H is harder and greyish than H.
HB and 2B are the most commonly used in school, and are available in any stationery, as they have an intermediate color and hardness. HB pencils are also commonly referred to as “number 2 pencils”, derived from the European classification system. Regardless of the preferences of each, the pencil will be the most suitable for writing. But will it be like this for the drawing?
Now, for those who like to draw, especially more artistic designs, it is convenient to try the various types of graphite, so as to obtain the best benefit, whether for textures, shading, light and effects.
The mechanical pencil
With regard to the mechanical pencil, it is classified according to the thickness of the graphite, which can vary between the thinnest, diameter 0.2mm, or the thickest, 0.9mm. Among the options usually available in the market, we can find the following:
0,2mm – 0,3mm – 0,5mm – 0,7mm – 0,9mm – 1,3mm – 2,0mm
In relation to the graphite pencil, the mechanical pencil is advantageous because it is more practical (it does not reduce the size depending on the use, and the tip always has the same thickness, without the use of sharpening), and has a finer and cleaner stroke. They are more suitable for technical drawing, namely when we talk about reproduction of hair, hairs, etc.
In addition to mechanical pencils, there are also so-called “mines” on the market, which use thicker graphite, which comes close to graphite pencils, as well as colored graphite.
It is entirely up to you.
Using a graphite pencil or mechanical pencil depends on the type of work performed, whether writing for school or producing masterpieces (as we have seen, the graphite pencil will be more suitable for artistic drawing, and the mechanical pencil will be more suitable for technical drawing), and also varies according to the taste and preference of each.
The best advice we can give you is: try it, test it, and find out what is right for you.