How many strokes do you use, and how do they compare to the best-loved writing, eraser, and crayon pencils? When it comes to pencils, each type is a little different. But one thing is for sure: When you think of one, you should probably think of the softer, more flexible, flexible-and-firmer pencil that’s almost always preferred for drawing and/or writing. Here’s what a good-quality, all-purpose “C,” with a soft, flexible tip and a good grip and balance, feels like.
As always, this test is only of the “softest” pencils made for a particular application, and is meant to be a guideline rather than a hard test of a pencil’s softness. Still, there are a number of pencils in all prices that come close to or exceed just the “C.” For example:
I’d say the F.S.S. Fine Writing pencil’s hardness is comparable to a “C,” if not quite so. In the $10-30 range, these pencils are the closest to a “C.”
It’s interesting to me that such a big difference in hardness between “C” and “F.S.S.” is almost always the result of the former’s less-reliable softness. If something is too soft, you’ll lose strokes, but, if it’s just right for the application, you might not need to be concerned about losing a stroke. You could say the “F.S.S. Fine Writing” “C” is “soft.”
You’ll notice how the hardness is “soft” in the soft shading (on its sharp side) area, but becomes “harder” up close, where this pencil produces soft, very-flexible lines.
A “C” is basically a “D” with a more-fine tip. I wouldn’t call this pencil the “sharpest” type of pencil, though, since what it offers more than more precision is greater versatility. You can use it to draw circles or letters, mark up drawings or outlines, draw straight lines, make lines for text, and draw the shape of a pencil’s tip. The only trouble would be that these pencils tend to come in a range of points. The pencil’s sharpness is dependent on its point size, but for most situations, you won’t need a “sharp tip,” so that shouldn’t be a problem for all
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