Pencils and Accessories

Office Allsorts pencils and accessories section offers a great choice of standard wood case pencils as well as mechanical pencils, refill leads and pencil sharpeners. You’d be amazed of the options available for the humble pencil so if you need any help then please call Office Allsorts team on 0115 9455833.

Buyers Guide

In around 1500 A.D. an enormous deposit of pure solid graphite was discovered in Cumbria and this remains the only large scale deposit of solid graphite ever found. At the time it was thought that the graphite was in fact a form of lead and it was originally named Plumbago, Latin for Lead Ore. To this day, the graphite in pencil cores is still referred to as pencil lead.

The old adage of not sucking the end of your pencil as it may lead to lead poisoning is in fact myth as graphite is harmless if consumed.

Pencils are graded from their ‘Hardness’(H) to their ‘Blackness’ (B) the harder the pencil the lighter the mark made with soft pencils producing the deeper blacks. The scale used in the UK for grading pencils is the numeric scale which is shown below;

9H, 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B

On this scale a 9B would the softest pencil and a 9H the hardest.

The reason for such a wide range of pencils and consequently a full range of tones is primarily for artists. Probably the most famous for his pencils being Vincent van Gogh who apparently, only used Faber pencils. Most pencils used in the office are HB.

The variety of pencils available is vast, however for most people only a few types and styles are mainly used. These are outlined below;

Wood Case Pencils - The archetypal pencil, used for general office work and by artists. The most common pencils within the section are by far HB and as you will see from the scale above this sits squarely in the middle in terms of hardness and softness. We also supply a number of other classes of pencil, all are closer to the middle of the numeric scale as those at the outer edges are far more specialist and rarely used in day to day life

Mechanical Pencils - Sometimes call propelling pencils. These are non-disposable pencils which house a ‘lead’ in the barrel which is propelled through a hole. As the lead wears down, more ‘lead’ can be propelled to the writing end. Mechanical pencils are available in both disposable and refillable versions. Disposable will come in packs of ten and twelve and often have fun multicoloured barrels. Many mechanical pencils also have similar features to ballpoint or rollerball pens and the user will benefit from comfort grips and barrels.

Pencil Sharpeners - Our range starts with the basic, and low cost, plastic or metal sharpeners. Perhaps the most recognised is the metal wedge shaped sharpener where the pencil is inserted in the wider end and turned so the pencil filings come out of the top. To avoid the need of having to sharpen your pencils over a waste bin, plastic barrel sharpeners are available that collect the filings and they can then be disposed of when the barrel/canister is full.

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