Anyone who has ever used a wooden pencil will know that over time as you use the pencil it becomes smaller and smaller. You then have to decide what to do with this small stubby pencil?
For many years I have been a fan of standard No. 2 (or HB in the UK) pencil as they always felt comfortable to hold and when you need a few moments of contemplation, spend some time with a sharpener. I have love of quality pencils like Faber-Castell and Rhodia but I am equally at home with the office version from Staples.
They also appeal to my trying to be more eco-friendly because apart from the lead or more correctly the graphite center, this is one writing instrument that is fully recyclable. There is, however, one problem. However hard you try, you will always end up with a small stubby piece of pencil that is too uncomfortable to use but still has many pages of use left in it. I then have the dilemma to either carry on using the pencil until it hurt my hand or recycle what would otherwise be a perfectly useable pencil.
As I was mulling over what to do with this small stubby pencil I suddenly remembered that many years ago when doing a summer job, there was a guy who used to put his stubs into narrow metal tubes in order that he could continue using the pencil. A search online then revealed the answer to the dilemma – the pencil extender!
These handy tools were originally used by artists who wanted to get the maximum use from their expensive pastel or watercolor pencils but are now widely available for all pencil aficionados. Simply insert your pencil into one of these handy tools and it’s then it is possible to continue using the pencil down to the last 2-3 cms. The open end of each extender has a metal ring that ensures that the pencil is held securely.
Generally retailing at around £2, not only are they functional, they can be quite elegant too. I purchase two, one with a marble effect and the other with a smooth wood effect. Now I do not have any qualms when I recycle the stub as I know that the pencil is beyond use.
3 thoughts on “What to do With Small Pencils”
Thanks for the comment. Good idea about inverting the pencil into the barrel to protect the point. i must say the Derwent extenders look very sleek and professional and the grip looks more comforatble. I confess that part of the attraction of the two I purchased (apart from the price) was the external look, I wanted something that stood out.
I have used the extenders with Rhodia triangular barrels and they work perfectly.
Do these work on pencils with a triangular cross-section, like the Dixon Tri-Conderoga or the smaller Rhodia?
Actually there are a couple of other designs of pencil extenders that I find a bit more comfortable and functional since they can also double as pencil point protector by inverting the pencil into its extender barrel. One of them was recently released by Derwent. http://robotninjamonsters.blogspot.com/2010/05/derwent-pencil-extenders-review.html