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The Best Pencils for Writing and Schoolwork

Updated Dec 12, 2022
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Whether you're filling in multiple-choice bubbles on a standardized test or solving the Sunday crossword puzzle, you should have a great pencil in your hand. After seven hours of research and 18 hours of testing, we are confident that the Palomino Golden Bear (Blue) is the best pencil for writing and schoolwork thanks to its high-quality wooden barrel, a dark core that writes clearly and fluidly, and an eraser that removes marks cleanly with minimal tearing.

Palomino Golden Bear (Blue), a high-quality pencil you can buy in bulk

Palomino Golden Bear (Blue)

A high-quality pencil you can buy in bulk
This pencil is made of premium incense-cedar wood, despite being one of the least expensive pencils we tested. It is comfortable to hold and has a neatly painted exterior, and its eraser removes marks cleanly.
We recommend
Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow), good performance for the price

Dixon Ticonderoga (Yellow)

Good performance for the price
Quality control for this iconic pencil seems to have gone downhill over the years, but it’s still the best cheap pencil you can buy. It has a decent eraser, it writes and sharpens smoothly, and it’s comfortable to grasp and write with for long periods of time.
Budget friendly
Blackwing 602, the cadillac of pencils

Blackwing 602

The Cadillac of pencils
This pencil has a buttery-soft exterior, a replaceable eraser, an incense-cedar barrel, and a smooth, dark core. But it costs more than twice as much as most writing pencils, and you can’t use it on standardized tests.
A better upgrade
Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser, an extra-grippy triangular pencil

Faber-Castell Grip Graphite EcoPencils with Eraser

An extra-grippy triangular pencil
This is the only triangular pencil we recommend. It writes, sharpens, and erases about as well as our other picks, and its uniquely textured grip area was beloved by many of our testers.
Another good choice

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