Pencils come in a verity of grades and hardness degrees. Pencil grades range from soft and easily smeared graphite(the grey matter inside the pencil) to hard and obviously hard to smear ones. If you ever wondered what the HB or 2H labels on your pencil mean. These are the indicators of the pencil grade.

  • The H stands for “Hard” and B stands for “Black
  • The F in the middle stands for “Fine” or “Firm”, and it can be sharpened easily to make a finer tip, It is between the H and HB. this kind of pencils is good for writing.
Pencil Grades vary from soft and easy to smear lead to soft and more black ones

What Kind Of Pencil grades To Pick?

1- Use harder pencils if you find yourself press the pencil hard on the paper, though I advise you to ease up your lines so you could control your lines better. The best practice is to have more than one pencil, having at least one B, one H, and an HB pencil can help you achieve a wide variety of fray values, preferably with no more grade than 4. You can achieve the more blackness by pressing your pencil more, which mean you can get away by using one pencil at times.

2 You can use anything you want if you are just starting out for sketching, and then try out other pencil grades yourself.

3- Feel free to only use what I am saying here a starting point, and do your own experiments with pencils to find out what you think works the best for you 🙂

Types of Pencils Chart

B Pencils

These pencils contain darker lines compared to ‘H’ and ‘F’ however; they are easily erasable without any effort being put in. While some people may use them for note-taking purposes, they are excellent for doodling and sketching, as well. The darkness of ‘B’ pencils comes from the fact that they are softer, hence, they leave more graphite on paper.

1- 8B

This type of pencil is extremely dark and comes out as the darkest of greys on paper. It is best used for drawing and sketching purposes since it makes very dark and prominent marks that end up sticking out on a page.

2- 7B

Almost similar to 8B, this type of pencil is also great for art-related purposes. It gives off a very dark grey shade that sticks to the paper and makes drawings look great on paper.

3- 6B

This pencil is best for those who like to draw, and it is particularly meant for adding dark values to your drawing pieces. This is also a great option for creating portraits where you would want to achieve realistic textures like skin, fur or fabric.

4- 5B

This pencil produces a darker mark than the ones after it and is quite softer than a 2B pencil for example. This is because of the higher number of B that a pencil is, the softer the pencil will be.

5- 4B

The 4B pencil is slightly lighter than the ones before it and is also an excellent choice for sketching and drawing purposes. Anyone with an aptitude for art and drawing will definitely enjoy using this pencil.

6- 3B

This pencil is more like a mix of dark and light but is more towards a lighter grey. It is an ideal option for those who like their drawings to contain light values with slight shades of dark grey.

7- 2B

The 2B pencil is best for medium to dark shading and provides a good range of tone or value from light to a dark shade. It is commonly used for art purposes, especially drawing, shading and sketching.

8- HB

This pencil falls in the exact middle of the pencil lead scale. HB is a significantly hard pencil, making it a reasonably hard pencil even for drawing purposes. The ‘H’ refers to the hardness of the pencil, and the letter ‘B’ is used to denote the blackness of the particular pencil’s mark

9- F

‘F’ stands for a fine point. This pencil, compared to the others is slightly harder. While it is certainly easier than a few to keep sharp, it is way too dark for general and everyday drawing.

H Pencils

In this case, ‘H’ refers to the hardness of the pencil. This is to say that the higher the value of H a pencil has, the harder its lead will be. And the harder the lead is, the lightest the pencil will be.

The ‘H’ pencils are generally very hard, and they are able to hold a tip in place, ensuring extreme precision. They also make light lines that can be erased with great ease and convenience so one can easily use these pencils to design products or write things on paper.

10- 2H

This pencil type is great for any technical work that involves making lines that are easily erasable. This is particularly because 2H contains a very light amount of lead. It is also a great option for those who just begun to draw and wish to add very light shades to their drawing.

11- 3H

3H is an extremely light shade of grey that leaves a very light imprint on paper. It can be a great choice for sketches where you need to add light shades or slightly fill in the empty spaces with a pencil.

12- 4H

This is an excellent choice of pencil for light, fine and even shading. It is more towards the grey side and less shiny because of the amount of clay it contains. It is also easier to keep sharp so can be easily used for shading and sketching.

13- 5H

This type of pencil helps create the darkest and the thinnest of lines, given its hardness levels. This happens because it falls towards the end of the “H” or hardness scale, hence, giving a hard touch. It is a great option particularly for those who are into drawing and sketching and wish to draw dark and think lines.

14- 6H

This is a top-quality graphite pencil that is primarily designed for the purpose of sketching, writing, and drawing. It is an ideal pencil for artistic and technical applications. Keeping in mind the hardness rule, it gives maximum hardness with the darkest and thinnest look on paper.

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