Both a pen and a pencil are writing instruments. This is not easy to decide which tool is better and worth our attention. Their use depends on effects, purposes, and our personal preferences. However, there are activities when we prefer pencils to pens and vice versa. WoWPencils is going to consider these situations.
Pros and Cons of Pencils
Pencils are versatile. They include a graphite or charcoal core and can be used for multiple purposes. They have a great advantage over modern permanent handwriting (because computer typing is the permanent standard nowadays) – pencils allow easy correction.
Here are some advantages and drawbacks of this writing implement. Using mechanical pencils, we get even more bonuses like no sharpening, refillable lead, etc.
- Can be erased, and mistakes can be removed
- Great opportunities for drawing and shading
- Wide selection of hardness grade
- Used to mark any surface (paper, glass, steel, etc.)
- Can be painted over or inked
- Works at any temperature (either hot or cold)
- The graphite writing is resistant to natural aging, ultraviolet radiation, most chemicals, and moisture
- Can be broken down into 2-3 pieces and shared with other people
- Unlike pens, it can be used in space
- Has a long-term lifespan than that of a pen
- Cheaper than pens
- The manufacturing of wood-based pencils leads to deforestation
- Can make scratchy sounds when it moves across the paper
- Makes people prone to making mistakes because they are easy to remove
- Has to be sharpened regularly
- The light writing can be difficult to read
- Hard or impossible to photocopy
- Becomes shorter after sharpening and requires a pencil extender
The pencil is a very popular writing instrument. Unfortunately, our love of wood-cased pencils gradually ruins nature. Imagine that a tall pine tree is cut down to produce 2,500 pencils with the worldwide production of more than 14 billion tools a year.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Pens
Longevity and durability are the basic characteristics of pens.
They are always ready to work without frequent sharpening and require less maintenance than a regular #2 pencil.
Most people prefer them to pencils because of the clear and bright writing.
- Makes permanent, dark, and uniform lines
- Gives greater contrast against the background paper color
- Has different ink colors
- Requires no sharpening
- Has replaceable refills
- The writing is clear and easier to read
- Always has the same size and length
- Easy to photocopy
- Unlike pencils, pens are more functional (signing official documents, etc.)
- Ink may go dry from age
- The writing tends to fade over time
- Ink can freeze in cold weather and boil in the hot sun
- Takes up to several seconds to start writing while ink gets to the ballpoint
- Can be washed out of official documents with a solvent in order to alter the document
- May leak in one’s purse or pocket
- Cannot be erased
- Writing made with gel pens can be smudged by left-handers
- More expensive than pencils
Using in Different Situations
Pencils and pens cannot be compared. Sometimes, they share the same purposes or can perform different functions. Neither of them is superior. However, in various situations, one tool can appear more useful than the other.
The choice of the instrument for writing depends on a person and his activities. In math and science classes, students use pencils more often. They draw a lot of diagrams and formulas and need to erase things frequently. This is not aesthetically pleasing to have a notebook that looks messy, otherwise you need to use a pen whiteout all the time. In humanities classes, pens are more commonly used because students write words rather than draw diagrams.
Pens are always used to write on exams. For signing receipts, legal documents, or writing letters, also use a pen. They are easy to fake if the writing is done with a pencil. This is a case when non-erasibility is a plus. There are erasable pens, but they tend to leave visible marks.
Ink is more durable than graphite, but this is not true for humid environments. Pens are necessary when someone is studying or, for example, when you are trying to master Japanese calligraphy. If you don’t want to make permanent mistakes, you will train to see it in your mind and feel it in the muscles of your arms before writing.
To make occasional notes, people use whatever they have available. However, some individuals prefer using a particular writing instrument.
Pencils are used when you don’t like the look of crossed-out words. If your notes are of greater importance, use a pen because it doesn’t rub off later.
Pens provide a smoother and faster writing, and the page looks more neatly. Most users find pencils smudgy and clunky in comparison with ergonomic and precise pens.
Pencils are widely used in art-related activities like drawing or sketching. An opportunity to remove marks gives a feeling of comfort and confidence that unnecessary lines can be erased.
Pencils are indispensable in drawings, which include lots of intricate lines and closely spaced objects. If an artist makes a portrait, the rough sketch or foundation that has been made at the start should not be visible when coloring is finished.
So, a pencil is used. However, professional artists can draw with a pen because they are not afraid of making mistakes.
Pencils are manufactured with different levels of softness and hardness. You can draw with a dull or sharp point, or even with a pencil side. They are great for shading and able to create a sense of depth and volume.
Pencils are primary tools for drafting and sketching. Using pencils allows an artist to enjoy freedom of lines, which is impossible to make with a pen. Most prominent artworks have been started as a rough sketch with a regular drafting pencil.
Using permanent drawing instruments forces you to think carefully about each mark before putting it to the paper. First, you have to decide beforehand what your tool and hands will do. The necessity of being precise and attentive and to think before you act drives you away from your creative ideas.
With pencils, you can produce a variety of tones using different shading and black-and-white techniques.
Pen vs pencil? What is better? In fact, this is not a crucial question to argue about – just draw or write with what you are comfortable with. If you feel better one way or another – go for it. The tool is not as important as your imagination, wish, and character that force you to write poems, create stories, draw pictures, etc. Choose your writing tool wisely and enjoy it, whatever it is.