A pencil, but better. What do we like about pencils? They create easily erasable marks… that is pretty much it…. yet we put up with a litany of cons (breakable, constantly need to be resharpened, marks-up or tears holes in pockets) to enjoy the one upside of mark mutability. The mechanical pencil retains this primary function of the pencil while solving a majority of its downfalls. It won’t shorten over time until it becomes a comical stump. You don’t need to carry a sharpener around with you, nor do you need to amass a pile of wood and graphite shavings to be dispensed of later. You can retract the graphite tip while the mechanical pencil is in transit to prevent breaking. All that being said, maybe mechanical pencils aren’t as satisfying to chew; but then again should you be doing that? The previous review goes as far as to list the cheapness and ubiquity of mechanical pencils as pros of the implement. I would say that the cheapness is a design decision whereas the ubiquity and availability of mechanical pencils is a consequence of the design.

Previous Review:
“I first started using Mechanical pencils in the 4th grade when I borrowed my friends pencil and liked it so much that I never gave it back to him. Mechanical pencils offer an alternative to the never sharp manual pencils that I used to use since they almost always maintain that perfect sharpness. They’ll never dull, which makes for very consistent writing and sketching. They’re also fairly cheap and readily available everywhere, but what’s more important is that they’ll never need to be awkwardly sharpened in the middle of a test.”