Traditional school pencils aren’t ideal for woodworking. The pencils and their lead snap too easily in use. And the eraser is a joke (we have a recommendation below).
After testing many different combinations of lead (called the “core”) and diameters, this pencil became our shop favorite. It is robust because of its diameter and the fact that it is round. It leaves a good dark mark and sharpens easily. Our pencils are made in the USA to our specifications.
Diameter .375” (versus .295” for a typical pencil)
Lead: .125” in diameter (versus .090” in a typical pencil)
Core: medium soft
Wood: Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)
Oh, and about the missing eraser on the end of the pencil: Get a vinyl artist’s eraser and you will be much happier with the results. There are lots of good ones out there. We like the Sanford Magic Rub 1954.