Best Pencil Brands/Sources

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I been real happy with this Lee Valley offering:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pE504&cat=1,42936,43509&ap=1 A little on the pricey side. Sharpener is in the little blue cap. Difficult to break the leads, too.
Dave in Houston
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I'll second that. It's all they say and then some. I've had one for two years and am still on the first lead. I only use it in my home shop, though.
At work, laying out timbers for post and beam joinery, and anything else I'm called on to do, these will go for hours without re-sharpening, in the hardest lead version:
https://www.dixonusa.com/index.cfm/fuseaction=shop.product/prdIndex 5?
Scott
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Thank you all. I am not looking for a "drafting" pencil as much as a utilitarian marker for cut lines and an occasional sketch or layout drawing to help me with a "design" or fitting a peice in place.
What I've come away with (in addition to those BIC Mechanical Pencils I will have to look into) is the following list of suggested wooden pencils Coincidently, I;m complaining about something emblazoned with the name "DIXON No. 2 / HB" How's that for ironic?
Conte Derwent Dixon Ticonderoga No 2 Pencil Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils Faber Castell Lumograph. Mars Papermate Mirado Classic Staedtler Staedtler Ticonderoga X-Acto 1744 Heavy-Duty Electric Pencil Sharpener
Thank you all
If I find a preferred pencil among those suggested, I'll post again.
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"Hoosierpopi" wrote:

STAEDTLER Mars Lumograph is a specific pencil..
BTW, if you are breaking leads when trying to write, try 2H or even 3H pencil.
Will definitely stop the problem.
May engrave the paper, but you won't break the lead.
Lew
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My uncle (a HS shop/drafting teacher) gave me 2 of the Staedtler Mars Technico lead holders once Christmas a long time ago. I only more recently picked up woodworking as a hobby, and uncovered those lead holders during a move at about the same time.
I'll spend 10 minutes looking for one of those 2 lead holders before I consider using a regular pencil. The Staedtlers I have have a lead sharpener built into the cap, the leads last forever, and they're pretty easy to find in pretty much any hardness. In my opinion they really are an excellent "utilitarian" marking tool, as they never get shorter when you sharpen the lead, you don't have to go anywhere to sharpen a dull point, and they don't break very easily.
Though they're not very good for chewing. :-)
http://www.leadholder.com/lh-draft-stdtlr-780_series.html
-Nathan
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wrote:

I have two Boston crank-style sharpeners, one is over 45 years old. The only "complaint" is I have is to empty the thing often. When the Boston sharpeners are not closeby, I use my pocket knife.
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I prefer a mechanical pencil with a 0.5mm lead. For wooden pencils, Office Depot's house brand is satisfactory.

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On Mon, 07 Sep 2009 02:49:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

We've used a lot of pencils over the years and cheap pencils are so cheap they can't hardly be sharpened not to mention that the electric sharpeners are so cheap now that in about a year on the job they are too dull to sharpen just about anything.
I hate to admit it but I've been using a disposable (I know) mechanical pencil from Bic. I've used the .5mm and the .7mm but kinda like the .7mm better. They are not expensive, they don't break in your apron as you climb up a ladder, no re-filling as extra lead is self contained in each pencil and of course you don't need to sharpen them. The only problem is that they aren't strong enough to mark on oxboard or textured walls. All of the office places seem to carry them now and a dozen run a little under $4.00.
Mike O.
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"Mike O." wrote:

Sounds like an application specific winner to me.

Try a fine Sanford Sharpie.
It will get dull before you run out of ink on those surfaces.
Lew
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On Mon, 07 Sep 2009 04:01:20 GMT, "Lew Hodgett"

I find that the tip shreds breaking the capillary action. There may be a gallon of ink in there but it's not very useful. Yes, I suppose they do get dull before they run out of ink. They draw about a 3" line on even plywood before the ink starts going blotchy.
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wrote:

I have not seen a Shapie "Fine" tip go bad, or dull. Could you be thinking about the "Ultra Fine" tip?
There is nothing fine about the fine tip Sharpie, the tip is about 1/8" indiameter. The Ultra Fine is about 1/32"
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wrote:

I just looked at them. You're right it's the "Ultra Fine" that is the problem. The "Fine" tips are about as coarse as crayons, though.

You're right. The "Fine" tip certainly isn't. It's no comparison to a .5mm or .7mm pencil. It's also permanent, even on poly. :-(
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krw wrote:

It's "fine" compared to other markers, you know, like those thick chisel-tipped "Marks-A-Lots."
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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wrote:

At least with the chisel tips the corners are, well, chiseled. A "Fine" "Sharpie" is almost good enough to mark a fire break.
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I want to say that 'fine' is .9mm.
I use fine, .7 and .5 and drafting mechanical, Ticonderoga 1388-2 I actually have a larger than fine - thin - used in dress pencils and coil winder pencils.
Martin
krw wrote:

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Derwent (UK, black with a red mark at the top) I'm obsessional about these as my favourite sketching pencils.
Faber Castell or Conte are pretty good too, even Staedtler (cheap as chips locally) - but those bargain-brand cheapies are just plain nasty to use.
A good automatic electric sharpener (Daler) is handy, but my favourite is some old '50s ray-gun shaped hand-cranked sharpener. It has two helical mills inside, not just one, and fortunately they're still sharp. Buying antiques is OK, but it's getting hard to find one where the milling cutters aren't worn out.
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If you really want to know the ins/outs of pencil manufacturing since oh, about the early Romans, this is the book:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)52345940&sr=1-1
In the back, the author discusses the latest trends in pencils. Since it was published, it's a bit dated, but nonetheless, very informative.
MJ
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For general use I go with Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils. Real wood, quality 'lead' that doesn't break easily.
I also have a schoolhouse type sharpener in the garage to sharpen them, love that sound :-).
You can get the Dixon Ticonderoga pencils at Staples or Office Depot or on the web http://tinyurl.com/mewha8
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