Mechanical pencils: which “wood” you prefer?

In the Middle

When it comes to writing utensils, some people prefer No. 2 pencils. Others like to go with the mechanical option. For eighth-grader Emily Knowles, it’s a mechanical pencil. On the other hand, science teacher Judy Bailey and eighth-grader Macey Kotowitz like to go old school. 

“I am old school and because I am so old, I’m only used to the No. 2 pencil, so that’s what I would go with first,” Mrs. Bailey said. Macey agreed. “Probably a normal pencil because I just find it easier and more smooth to write with a normal pencil,” she said. “Mechanical pencils are kind of choppy sometimes.”

Some people find the plastic grip comfortable while others do not. “No, you can’t hold onto plastic; it’s too slippery,” Mrs. Bailey said. Emily disagreed and said that she uses plastic grips.  “At least a #2 pencil can be sharpened down to a nub,” Mrs. Bailey also said when speaking on the positive impact #2 pencils have on the environment compared with the mechanical alternative, which she doubts are recyclable though they are made of plastic.

Macey also offers a different perspective on the issue of whether mechanical pencils are harmful to the environment. “I don’t think so because you can have one for a long time if you really take care of it, so I think it’s better for the environment,” she said. 

Even with these ranging opinions on mechanical pencils, Mrs. Bailey, Macey and Emily all agree that they serve their purpose. “Yeah, they serve their purpose; it’s a great pencil,” Macey said. Emily agreed. “I think that they are helpful and I use them all the time,” she added. “I rarely use normal pencils.”