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Top 7 Pencil Brands You Should Know

Top 7 Pencil Brands You Should Know

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Picture of Luna Jones
Luna Jones

I'm Luna. My work experience in multiple stationery companies has enabled me to continuously grow.
Here, I merge professional insights with a zeal for showing how quality stationery can elevate everyday life and work.

Table of Contents

Bulk buyers of pencils, rejoice! Enjoy our customized solutions and great prices designed for your success and quality assurance.


In a world increasingly dominated by digital devices, the humble pencil remains a stalwart of creativity and practicality. As stationery enthusiasts, we’ve explored the market to guide you to the top pencil brands. These aren’t just tools but gateways to creativity, precision, and tradition.

Pencil Brands Test

Top 7 pencil brands

This table should give you a quick overview of the differences and similarities between the following seven pencil brands. Each brand brings its unique heritage, focus, and product offerings to the table, catering to different needs and preferences in the writing, drawing, and artistic communities.

Feature/BrandFaber-CastellStaedtlerDixon TiconderogaBlackwingTombowGeneral Pencil CompanyLYRA
Founded1761183517952010 (Relaunch)191318891806
SpecialtyArtist & writingTechnical drawingSchool & officeArtistic & luxuryProfessional & artArt & drawingArt supplies
Eco-FriendlyYes (varies by line)Yes (varies by line)YesYesYesYesYes
Range of GradesWideWideMostly standard (#2)WideWideWideWide
Price RangeMid to highMid to highLow to midHighMid to highMidMid to high
DesignClassic & functionalIconic & functionalClassic & recognizableStylish & uniqueSleek & professionalTraditionalErgonomic & artistic

The humble pencil is an indispensable tool in writing and drawing, bridging thoughts to paper with simplicity and elegance. Over the years, several pencil brands have carved their niches, offering diverse ranges of pencils that cater to artists, students, professionals, and everyday users alike. Let’s take a look at the following seven brands together.



Faber Castell Logo
Pencil Brands-Faber Castell Store

Brand Introduction:

Founded in 1761, Faber-Castell is one of the oldest industrial companies in the world, known for setting the gold standard in pencils. Committed to quality and sustainability, their pencils are crafted from wood sourced from managed forests. The brand’s flagship product, the Castell 9000, is revered by artists and professionals for its superior lead and unparalleled durability.

Production Recommendation: Castell 9000 series

One of the best-selling pencils from Faber-Castell is undoubtedly the Castell 9000 series. Since its launch in 1905, it has become a preferred tool among artists, designers, engineers, and pencil enthusiasts. Its popularity stems not just from its exceptional quality and longevity but also from its extensive range of hardness grades, from 6B to 4H, catering to a wide array of drawing and writing needs.


  • Wide Range of Hardness Grades: From 6B to 4H, suits many writing and drawing needs.
  • High-Quality Materials: Eco-friendly wood and professional lead ensure smooth use and durability.
  • High Break Resistance: Lead is processed for superior break resistance under pressure.
  • Eco-Friendly Production: Uses managed forest wood to reduce environmental impact.
  • Classic Design: Green varnish and gold lettering for a distinctive, classic look.


  • Higher Price Point: This may cost more than standard pencils, affecting budget-conscious buyers.
  • Availability: It might be less available in some regions or with certain retailers.
  • Professional Targeting: Best for professional use, possibly underutilized by average consumers.
  • Single Appearance: Classic design might not appeal to those seeking unique aesthetics.


Staedtler Logo
Staedtler Headquarters

Brand Introduction:

Staedtler’s roots go back to 1835, but the company’s pencil-making heritage stretches even further to the 17th century. Known for its iconic Noris line, Staedtler pencils are celebrated for their consistent quality and innovation. The brand combines traditional craftsmanship with modern technology to produce pencils that offer an exceptional writing and drawing experience.

Production Recommendation: Staedtler Noris 122

One of Staedtler’s most popular pencils is the Staedtler Noris 122. This pencil is a staple in classrooms, offices, and design studios worldwide, celebrated for its versatility and reliability. The Noris 122 is recognized by its distinctive yellow and black stripes, a design synonymous with Staedtler’s commitment to quality and tradition.


  • Iconic Design: Yellow and black stripes highlight Staedtler quality and ensure a comfortable grip.
  • Eco-Friendly Manufacturing: Made from WOPEX and wood from sustainably managed forests.
  • High-Quality Lead: Balanced for smooth writing, durability, and less breakage.
  • Versatility: Suits various needs with different lead grades, appealing to many users.
  • Durability: Lead securely bonded to wood, resisting breakage for longevity.


  • Limited Availability in Some Regions: The Noris 122 may not be available everywhere, affecting access for some.
  • Price Point: The Noris 122 is priced higher than some pencils, impacting budget-minded consumers.
  • Specific Feel and Weight: WOPEX material alters the Noris 122’s feel and weight, needing adjustment.
  • Sharpening Differences: Sharpening the Noris 122 differs, possibly requiring a sharper tool or technique.

Dixon Ticonderoga

Dixon Ticonderoga Logo
Dixon Ticonderoga Factory

Brand Introduction:

The name Ticonderoga has been synonymous with pencils since the early 20th century. Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, with their distinctive yellow design and green metal ferrule, are a favorite among students and teachers. Known for their reliability and classic American quality, these pencils have a soft lead that provides a smooth writing experience.

Production Recommendation: Dixon Ticonderoga #2

The Dixon Ticonderoga #2 is perhaps the most iconic and best-selling pencil from Dixon Ticonderoga. They have become a staple in schools, offices, and homes across the globe. It’s a classic tool that combines tradition with modern environmental awareness, making it a top pick for anyone needing a dependable pencil for writing, sketching, or testing.


  • Premium Cedar Wood: Crafted from quality cedar, it smells good and sharpens well.
  • Exclusive #2 HB Lead: Specially made, durable graphite ensures smooth writing without frequent sharpening.
  • Durability: Its wood casing and graphite core are built to last, even with heavy use.
  • Sustainability: Dixon Ticonderoga uses wood from sustainable forests, reducing environmental impact.
  • Latex-Free Eraser: The top’s pink eraser is latex-free, safe for all, and doesn’t smudge.


  • Price Point: Dixon Ticonderoga pencils may cost more, but their quality often justifies the price.
  • Sharpening Cedar Wood: Cedar sharpens easily but may dull sharpeners quicker due to its hardness.


Blackwing Logo
Blackwing Factory

Brand Introduction:

A relative newcomer to the scene, Blackwing Pencils has quickly gained a cult following among artists, musicians, and writers. Their pencils are celebrated for their soft, dark lead and unique, replaceable eraser. The brand has resurrected the Blackwing name, originally made famous by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company. It continues to produce pencils that are as much a statement of personal style as they are tools for creativity.

Production Recommendation: Palomino Blackwing 602

The Palomino Blackwing 602 is among the most celebrated and best-selling pencils within the Palomino Blackwing line. Revered by artists, musicians, and writers for its exceptional quality and iconic design, the Blackwing 602 boasts a unique blend of history, performance, and aesthetics that sets it apart in the world of premium pencils.


  • Iconic Design: Sleek, matte black with a square ferrule and replaceable eraser.
  • Firm and Smooth Lead: The 602’s lead is firm, smooth, and versatile for writing and drawing.
  • Replaceable Eraser: Its unique eraser is extendable, replaceable, and enhances longevity.
  • Durability: Made with premium materials, the Blackwing 602 is built to last.


  • Premium Price: The Blackwing 602’s quality means it costs more than standard pencils.
  • Availability: As a specialty item, it may need to be bought from select retailers or online.
  • Overqualified for Basic Tasks: Its features may exceed the needs of simple note-taking or sketching.


Pencil Brands Tombow Logo
Tombow Factory

Brand Introduction:

Tombow, a Japanese brand known for its innovation and elegance, offers a range of pencils catering to artists and writers. Their pencils, particularly, are praised for their precision, balance, and superior lead quality. Tombow pencils are designed to enhance the user experience, combining functionality with aesthetic appeal.

Production Recommendation: Tombow Mono 100

The Tombow Mono 100 is one of Tombow’s flagship pencils, a brand renowned for its high-quality writing instruments. The Mono 100 is highly celebrated among artists, designers, and professionals for its exceptional precision, durability, and smoothness. It embodies the blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology, making it a top choice for those who demand the best from their drawing and writing tools.


  • High Precision Lead: Ultra-refined graphite ensures sharp lines with minimal smudging.
  • Superior Durability: Its lead offers excellent break resistance for uninterrupted writing.
  • Elegant Design: Sleek, black finish with gold lettering appeals to professionals.
  • Wide Range of Grades: From 4H to 6B, it suits various preferences and tasks.
  • Environmental Commitment: Tombow uses responsibly sourced wood and eco-friendly processes.


  • Premium Pricing: The Mono 100’s quality means it’s priced above many pencils.
  • Availability: It may require seeking out specialty retailers or online sources.
  • Possibly Over-Engineered: Its precision may surpass the needs of casual use.

General Pencil Company

General Pencil Company Logo
General Pencil Company

Brand Introduction:

With over a century of expertise in handcrafting pencils, the General Pencil Company is a testament to American craftsmanship. Specializing in art and drawing pencils, this family-owned business emphasizes quality and tradition. Their range includes a variety of graphite, charcoal, and colored pencils, each tailored to the needs of artists and hobbyists alike.

Production Recommendation: General's Semi-Hex #2

The General’s Semi-Hex #2 is one of the most popular and beloved pencils produced by the General Pencil Company. It is a family-owned and operated business renowned for its commitment to quality and tradition in pencil manufacturing since 1889. The Semi-Hex #2 is celebrated for its classic design, reliability, and versatility, making it a staple for writers, artists, and students.


  • Classic Design: Hexagonal shape for comfort and stability; natural wood and gold stamping for timelessness.
  • High-Quality Graphite: #2 (HB) Graphite ensures smooth, consistent lines for writing and drawing.
  • Versatility: Balanced Graphite suits various tasks, from note-taking to sketching.
  • Durability: Cedarwood and centered graphite core make it sturdy and break-resistant.
  • Affordability: High quality yet reasonably priced, accessible to many.


  • Aesthetic Simplicity: Traditional design may not appeal to those seeking modern styles.
  • Limited Availability: Finding pencils from more prominent commercial brands might be more challenging.


LYRA Company

Brand Introduction:

Hailing from Germany, LYRA has been a beacon of innovation and quality in the pencil industry since the early 19th century. Renowned for their art products, LYRA pencils offer exceptional pigmentation and durability, catering to the demands of professional artists and students. The brand’s commitment to producing premium stationery items is evident in its wide range of pencils, each designed to unlock creative potential.

Production Recommendation: LYRA Rembrandt Art Design pencils

The LYRA Rembrandt Art Design pencils stand out as one of LYRA’s best-selling and most esteemed offerings, especially among artists and designers. LYRA has designed the Rembrandt Art Design pencils to cater to professionals seeking precision, durability, and a wide range of grading options for their sketching and drawing projects.


  • Wide Range of Grades: From 6H to 6B, enabling a spectrum of tones and textures.
  • High-Quality Graphite: Finely ground for smooth, consistent, blendable, and erasable use.
  • Durable Construction: Designed with break-resistant leads for longevity.
  • Ergonomic Design: Hexagonal shape for comfort and to prevent rolling.
  • Enhanced Durability: Strong lead minimizes frequent sharpening needs.


  • Price Point: Higher price reflects premium, professional-grade quality.
  • Specific Use Case: Ideal for artists, possibly excessive for casual use.
  • Availability: Depending on location, this may require specialty stores or online purchases.

From the rich heritage of Faber-Castell to the innovative designs of Blackwing, each of these pencil brands brings something unique to the table. The right pencil can be a source of inspiration, a tool for learning, and a means to create beauty. As we celebrate these top pencil brands, we invite you to rediscover the joy of putting pencil to paper. Explore, experiment, and find the perfect pencil that suits your style and needs. After all, in the right hands, a pencil is not just a tool but a bridge between imagination and reality.

Customized Pencil Solutions-Honeyoung

production base of Honeyoung

At Honeyoung stationary supplier, we understand that a pencil can transform ideas into reality. With over three decades of expertise in the stationery industry, we are dedicated to providing high-quality, customized pencil solutions that cater to the diverse needs of creatives and professionals worldwide.

Why Choose Honeyoung Custom Pencils?

Why Choose Honeyoung Custom Pencils
  • Wide Range of Customization Options: From precision lead grades for artists and designers to durable, easy-grip options for students and professionals, our customization capabilities are as varied as your needs. Add your logo, choose your colors, and select the lead grade to create a pencil that’s uniquely yours.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: We believe in sustainability. Our pencils can made with environmentally responsible materials, ensuring your creative tools are both high-quality and earth-friendly.
  • State-of-the-Art Manufacturing: Leveraging cutting-edge technology and traditional craftsmanship, we ensure every pencil from Honeyoung stands up to rigorous use while providing a smooth, delightful writing or drawing experience.
  • Competitive Pricing: Get the best of both worlds – premium quality at competitive prices. Our efficient production processes and direct sales model allow us to offer exceptional value to our customers.

Custom Pencil Process

Custom Pencil Process
  • Consultation: Our team works closely with you to understand your specific needs, preferences, and goals for your customized pencils.
  • Design: Based on your input, we’ll provide a design picture, allowing you to visualize the final product and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Production: Once the design is finalized, our skilled artisans will bring your custom pencils to life, adhering to the highest standards of quality and precision.
  • Delivery: Your custom pencils will be delivered to your doorstep, anywhere in the world, ready to inspire creativity and productivity.

If you want to know how pencils are made, please click here: How Are Pencils Made? The Ultimate Guide.

The Use of Customized Pencil

The Use Of Customized Pencil
  • Corporate Branding: Elevate your brand with pencils that reflect your corporate identity, perfect for promotional events, client gifts, or office supplies.
  • Educational Institutions: Supply students and faculty with customized pencils that promote school spirit and academic excellence.
  • Creative Professionals: Artists, architects, and designers can enjoy pencils tailored to their artistic or technical requirements.

At Honeyoung stationary supplier, we’re more than just a pencil manufacturer; we’re partners in your creative journey, providing the tools you need to bring your visions to life. Contact us today to start crafting your personalized pencil solution and make every mark a statement of quality and individuality.


What are some of the top American pencil brands?

Some leading American pencil brands include Dixon Ticonderoga, Palomino Blackwing, General Pencil Company, and Musgrave Pencil Company.

You can use an artist’s pencil for everyday writing, but the experience and results might differ from using a standard writing pencil. Artist pencils, especially those with soft leads (higher B grades), may smudge more efficiently and require more frequent sharpening.

It’s often best to have a range of pencils of different grades for sketching. Start with mid-range H and B pencils for general outlines and shading. Use harder pencils (H, 2H, etc.) for fine details and softer pencils (B, 2B, etc.) for dark shading and bold lines.

Popular brands include Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, Derwent, Caran d’Ache, and Lyra.

The price of pencils can vary based on materials (quality of wood and graphite), manufacturing processes, brand reputation, and special features like ergonomic designs or replaceable erasers. Premium or artist-grade pencils tend to be more expensive due to their higher quality materials and performance.

The Dixon Ticonderoga #2 is popular in schools because it offers a reliable writing experience, with consistent quality, a durable build, and a balance of hardness that is ideal for writing and standardized tests.

Yes, Staedtler pencils, especially the Mars Lumograph series, are highly regarded by professional artists for their wide range of grades, high-quality graphite, and durability, making them suitable for detailed drawing and shading work.

The environmental impact of pencil manufacturing can include deforestation and waste production. Many leading brands address these issues by using sustainably sourced wood, implementing eco-friendly manufacturing processes, and using recyclable materials to minimize their environmental footprint.

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