Smoke Signals

Wooden vs. Mechanical Pencils


Katlyn Hall and Thomas Cantrell

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Katlyn Hall

Multimedia Staff


“Hey man, you got any lead?”

“Yo, can I borrow your eraser? Mine’s gone.”

Don’t you just love hearing this? It’s music to your ears when someone sings that sweet medley of questions…NOT!

Only one solution exists to this mechanical problem-use regular wooden pencils!

Lead pencils are simple and don’t require a lot of commodities unlike mechanical pencils.

With mechanicals, you tend to run out of lead quick, meaning you’d have to go buy some more. With your paycheck only giving you about $100 a month, you don’t have money to waste.

The eraser life on mechanical pencils are not so hot either. They get really short and then when you have to change the lead, it’s hard to get that eraser out. Let’s take a moment and remember the many paper clips we’ve destroyed to get the eraser out of the pencil. #rip.

You also have to worry about the size lead you get. Some mechanical pencils require .9 sized lead and some use .7 or .5. There is no worse feeling than when you ask your best bud for some lead, and it’s not the right size, and then you just have to ask for a whole new pencil.

Do you remember that one episode of Spongebob Squarepants where he and his pal Patrick find the “magic pencil”?

In that episode, they draw up a friend named Doodlebob. They drew up their imaginary friend with a regular lead pencil. Not saying that wooden pencils can make your imagination come to life (or can they?), but c’mon, if Spongebob uses wooden pencils, then so should everyone else.

Do yourself a favor and use lead pencils. Mechanical pencils are a trend that must end. There is no point in going through the #struggle of the daily life of a mechanical pencil user.




Thomas Cantrell

Opinions Editor


Writing is one of the greatest skills that humans posses. Writing is essential to how we spread ideas, record information, and tell stories.

That’s why I use the most superior utensil for writing, the mechanical pencil. Mechanical pencils are a tragically overlooked miracle to humanity.

I don’t believe there has ever been a greater innovation than the innovation of the mechanical pencil.

Pencils of the past ages are wooden and limited in durability, and unlike primitive wooden pencils, mechanical pencils are made of plastic. This makes them more flexible and much less likely to break under pressure.

Wooden pencils also come with limited usage. Once you run out of graphite then the pencil is useless. You can’t even write with it anymore. Their mechanical successors took advantage of the technological breakthrough that is interchangeable parts. If any part of the mechanical pencil is no longer useable, you can replace it with another identical piece.

Another problem with wooden pencils is that they are unreliable. If the tip of the pencil breaks, then the whole pencil is rendered useless until it can be brought to a pencil sharpener. Pencil sharpeners are not very commonplace and so there is no telling how long it could take to make a wooden pencil useable again.

Mechanical pencils, on the other hand, can be used immediately after they break. They do not require a secondary item to be enabled. Wooden pencils had their moment, but now need to move over for the next generation of pencils.

About the Writers
Katlyn Hall, Photo Editor
Katlyn Hall is a Senior and second-year Smoke Signals member. She loves elephants, her favorite movie is The Legend of Billie Jean, and she is the secretary of Clark County FFA.
Thomas Cantrell, Opinions Editor
Thomas Cantrell is a Senior and second-year Smoke Signals member. He likes watching Parks & Rec over any other TV show and chooses purple as his favorite color.
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Wooden vs. Mechanical Pencils