We live in a world where, with so many alternatives present for so many different things, it is almost inevitable to fall into a deep debate about which alternative is better. For example, the age old debate of ‘Are wooden pencils better than mechanical pencils?’ has still not be settled and because of the reasons I will elaborately list in the coming few words, my answer adamantly remains, “No!”
Remember, as a kid when you would use those Hello Kitty or Spiderman pencils which filled you heart with inspiration to be the best person that you can be as a grown up? The kind where you would have to pull out the lead that was blunt and then insert it through the back of the pencil to reveal a fresher, sharper lead? Do you remember when those pencils completely fascinated you and you refused to write with those old-timey wooden pencils? Well, your Hello Kitty pencils are old-timey now so why are you going back to the wooden ones? They are even old-timey-er! In fact, the wooden pencil has been in existence since the 15th century and the mechanical pencil only came to be around the 19th century. You don’t still believe that the brick of a mobile phone that Chandler carried in the second season of Friends is a better phone than your iPhone X, do you? No? Then get on with the times and get a mechanical pencil!
The debate over which pencil is better is one that has existed for a long, long time – since I was in middle school. Spoiler alert, mechanical pencils always won. The reasons are very simple. Wooden pencils are very high maintenance. If you want them to give you fine lines, or you want to show off some calligraphy skills, you can’t do that before sharpening the pencil to a point. And the sharpening part isn’t even the worst- try going to the trash can in the front of the class while the professor is teaching, it’s not pretty. Also, why do I need to lug around another accessory for my cheap wooden pencil. Why am I investing in a pencil that requires me to buy a plastic sharpener that I will inadvertently loose within a week? Doesn’t it cancel out the whole environmental friendliness of the wooden pencils?
So, here’s the answer to all your prayers – mechanical pencils. While most people would agree with me when I say mechanical pencils are better, some might want to disagree for the sake of nostalgia. But riddle me this – have you ever sharpened your wooden pencil, stowed away your stationery in a pencil case and then reached for something in there after a while? If you have then you are definitely aware of a concept that I like to call ‘the blackening of the hands’. It is what happens when the graphite that was stuck between the blades of the sharpener mingles with everything else in the pencil case, and you, an unsuspecting user are left off guard with black fingers. You can tell me, “But I use one of the sharpeners that come with a sophisticated plastic lid,” and to you I say, A, more waste and B, if you are saying that the lid has never come undone during transit in the pencil case, you are lying.
Use mechanical pencils! You literally only need one that you can use for years. Unlike wooden pencils that become really small in a week and you have to throw them out, a mechanical pencil does not need sharpening. You can just buy more leads and use them with an old mechanical pencil. In the long run, it is a more economical option. Mechanical pencils come in a variety of sizes to suit all your needs. The diameter of the leads can range from 0.2 mm to 5.6 mm which you can choose according to how you use the pencil. Personally, I prefer the 0.7 mm diameter pencil because the leads are stronger and don’t break under the stress of my hand. Regardless of whether you write with a light hand, or you want to create new art masterpieces, there is a pencil out there for you. The best part remains – no sharpening!
Another reason to love mechanical pencils is that they have really cool features. Apart from having an actual eraser at the back, and not some red clump that disintegrates when it touches the paper like in a wooden pencil, mechanical pencils can also have auto advance leads that slowly escape the pencil, so you don’t have to even click or twist the pencil to reveal more lead. Mechanical pencils come in so many different colours and amp up your collection of stationery as well!
I am talking to you, the girl who is attempting the crossword on the last page with a wooden pencil. Do yourself a favour, use a mechanical pencil.