You probably remember the #2 pencil from your days taking standardized tests, but it’s also the unsung workhorse of offices, homes, and studios. Whether you’re seeking a classic yellow pencil or an instrument with a less conventional look, we’ve got you covered. Get back to basics with the high-quality pencils on our list below.
1. ARTEZA #2 HB Wood Cased Graphite Pencils
What’s more basic than a bright yellow pencil? This pack of 180 pre-sharpened #2 pencils will serve your writing and drawing needs for months, or maybe years, to come. Arteza’s graphite pencils lay down a smooth line, and they have break-resistant cores, so you don’t have to worry about inadvertently sullying your works in progress. And with satin-painted hexagonal shafts, they are easy to hold for hours at a time.
2. Three Leaf Recycled Paper Pencils
Help heal the planet when you buy these eco-friendly pencils. With their graphite cores encased in layers of recycled paper, they contain no harmful chemicals, making them great for pencil-chewing children and adults. They have the sturdiness and durability of woodcased implements, and like standard #2 pencils, they have rubber erasers on the end. This pack holds 10 pencils perfect for sketching and writing. And, since they’re biodegradable, these pencils won’t go to waste, even when you’ve used them up.
3. Ticonderoga Pencils
You probably remember these bright yellow pencils, with their distinctive yellow-and-green metal ferrules, from your school days. This pack features 18 pre-sharpened graphite pencils made with premium wood and latex-free erasers. Whether you’re a teacher, student, or professional artist, you need tools you can rely on, and these tried-and-true nontoxic pencils are the real thing, good for a quick sketch or a full-blown masterpiece on paper. Those who insist on American-made products, though, should note that the Dixon-Ticonderoga Company, established in New Jersey in the 19th century, is now owned by an Italian firm and that its pencils are largely produced in Mexico and China.
4. Staedtler Rally Graphite #2 Pencil
Crafted by Staedtler, a German company with expertise in art supplies, these bold blue pencils come pre-sharpened for your convenience and have a latex-free eraser. Available in a pack of 12, they have break-resistant leads, ensuring reliable sharpening . Get smooth lines and dramatic shading with these economical and practical graphite pencils.
5. Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior
You’ll be ready for anything with 48 of these woodcased pencils. Their edgy black finish distinguishes them from your average yellow pencil and adds a bit of flair to the writing or drawing process. Billed as “the world’s smoothest write,” the Black Warrior may become your favorite scribbling or sketching tool. With one in hand, you’ll take on your most ambitious projects with confidence.