As a relatively old tool for writing, pencil developed in time and different types of pencils were invented for different uses.
- standard everyday pencils with a core of clay and graphite of clay and graphite and a casing of wood. They have many levels of darkness, which are
achieved with different ratios of graphite and clay, and variety of uses.
Solid graphite pencils
- (or woodless pencils) similar to standard graphite pencils but without wood casing. They are used for drawing, allow for covering of large areas and
also have many levels of darkness.
- pencils shaped like sticks and made of charcoal and used in art. They are black (and darker that graphite pencils) but there are also sepia toned and
- pencils made of a mixture of clay and lamp black (a black pigment). Their darkness changes with mixing with charcoal or graphite. They are still
darker than pencils but smoother than charcoal pencils.
Colored pencils, or pencil crayons
- pencils with wax-based cores that have pigments mixed in them with additives, and binding agents. Core is wooden as with standard graphite pencils.
They are used in fine art but also by children because they are easy to use and don’t leave mess.
- pencil made of wax core and, most often, with paper casing. Some rarer grease pencils have wooden casing. They can write on almost every surface and
it rarely scratches the surface it is used on.
- a subtype of colored pencils. They are made of a material whose mark can be dissolved in water. They are used with standard watercolors to leave
sharp lines between colors and to make gradients when dissolved with water.
- pencils made of strong graphite and in an oval body. They are designed to be durable, not to break easily and not to roll off the desk.
, or indelible pencils - pencils whose core has dye that can write as a normal pencil. But, when water is added to the mark that is
left on the paper it dissolves and can be copied to the other paper by pressing. They were popular in 19th century.
Erasable color pencils
- like their name says: color pencils that can be erased (unlike wax-based colored pencils). They are used for sketching and in animation.
, or “non-photo blue pencils” - pencil that cannot be copied by photocopying machines. Today it is used for drawing the sketches that
will later be scanned and when turned to grayscale - blue from the pencil will disappear.
- very reliable pencil with lead that is break proof.
- short standard pencil that is used for marking the score in golf.
- pencils which use mechanism to push lead through a hole at the end. They use special leads that have precise diameter for the pencil they use, and
can be of different darkness like standard graphite pencils can. They are used for writing and technical drawing.
Pop a Point Pencils
- pencils that have many short pencil tips housed in a cartridge-style plastic holder. They are not sharpened but when one piece is dull it is removed
from the front and pushed in the rear of the pencil, pushing all the pieces and the new, sharp one appears at the front.
- invented by Harold Grossman in late 1960s. They are made by co-extrusion of plasticized graphite mix and wood-composite core made of ABS plastic,
wood flour, and aluminum stearate. They are flexible and can be bended without breaking.