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Which pencils are the best for sketching & shading?

While looking for the best pencils for sketching and shading, you should get the idea about pencil lead. Soft pencils, the “B” leads, will blend out nicely if rubbed, giving you soft shadows. Hard pencils, the “H” leads, blend less easily. You can building up layers of graphite to make an area darker; it’s neater and you can create a sharp-edged area.

For sketching and shading , I would strongly suggest you to go with the one you are comfortable with. There are many options available in the market , considering a generalized category:

  1. wooden. (normal pencils)
  2. mechanical.

these pencils have a range of graphite types used, which is, 9H -9B,

Wooden Pencils

  • you will need ,obviously a sharpener or a cutter always handy to get those leads straight or blunt as you wish.
  • you will have to have all the above mentioned graphite shades if not into blending while shading, a bit complex text to change them while sketching and then remembering which one will match. (frustrating)
  • you will surely need to have those pencil extenders.

Below are the best wooden pencils you can go for:

 Staedtler Pencils

Faber Castell Pencil

Mechanical Pencils

  • I find them a bit comfortable, because you don’t need to sharpen them, but keep on clicking them.
  • It gives a bit less lead area, as they are sharp enough and so you need go through working a bit more.
  • You will need to keep on changing types of graphite leads as per usage if not into blending . But you will have leads in boxes labeled!
  • You don’t need any extenders.

Below are the best Mechanical Pencils you can go for:

Sakura Cushioning Point Mechanical Pencil

Staedtler Mechanical Pencil Set


  • I personally prefer mechanical pencils as I don’t need to change those leads, less frustrating task.
  • no, extenders!
  • long lasting.
  • labeled leads.
  • I am into blending so, i use 5B,6B,5H,6H,4B only.

And do use what ever you are comfortable with.

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