Pen vs Pencil.

It’s another post about writing tools! I’m strangely drawn to them…

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Pencils are a great writing tool (amoung other uses.) They can quickly be used to jot down nearly any idea, as well as to sketch out designs, should that be your cuppa. If there’s something you don’t like that you put on the paper using a pencil, then it’s easily able to be removed, or reworked, with a few rubs of an eraser. The only requirements to making a properly made pencil work is exposing its tip, and moving the tip across a peice of paper, or other surface you’re allowed to use.

Pens, on the other hand, are also good for many, if not all of the same reasons. The key differences are that pens usually use a liquid or gel-based material to make their marks, and usually, their marks are more permanent, or at least very difficult to easily remove, especially on paper.

Photo Credit: landline000 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: landline000 via Compfight cc

Now, each has it’s pros and cons, but those are usually determined with specific writing situations in mind. If the final product is to be something that can and should be edited on the same document, a pencil is a great tool for it. Another example is using it as a basis for something more permanent, such as a sketch, to be gone over with a paintbrush, or entered in a computer. Note-taking is good to do in pencil if space is limited on paper, or if something needs to be neatly replaced.

Ink on paper, however is the preferrer, or even required method for many things, such as things that need more permanence, such as submitted reports, or authorizing legal and financial documents. Memorabilia is also more awesome with signatures written in ink.

I recently considered a particular type of pen, the fountain pen, since it’s a favorite type for me, but I do also have a preferred type of pencil; the mechanical pencil. Wood and graphite shavings lose every time, for me, to the click-click.

The bottom line is that the choice is largely a personal (or professional) matter. For me, I actually, somewhat regrettably, haven’t had much use of either over recent years, and, even then, it’s mostly form-filing out or signing receipts. Even check-writing is a rare act for me. “Paperless” no longer feels novel, and hasn’t for quite some time.

What’s your implement of choice? Pen, or pencil?


Found this prompt over on