Pencil Lines Can Turn a Piece of Paper Into a Simple Sensor

The graphite that slips from the point of your pencil onto a page may be of more use than simply writing and drawing. A team of researchers has shown that simple pencil lines can be used as an accurate sensor to measure the deformation of objects. » 3/19/15 8:15am 3/19/15 8:15am

The Multi-Tool Mechanical Pencil of Your Dorkiest Dreams

Despite the fact that they are increasingly archaic—or maybe because of it?—we're always on the lookout for great pencils here at Giz. So we were excited to discover that a far less expensive facsimile of one of our all-time-favorites is enjoying a quiet popularity on Amazon. » 12/29/14 5:09pm 12/29/14 5:09pm

Shock Absorbers and Shields Stop the Lead in This Pencil From Breaking

It might seem like a case of over-engineering, but there's no denying the thin pieces of lead used in mechanical pencils are prone to easily breaking. So instead of rolling our eyes at Zebra Co.'s new DelGuard pencils, which actually feature shock absorbers and retractable shields to prevent lead from breaking, we… » 10/08/14 9:00am 10/08/14 9:00am

Turn Your Favorite Pen Into a Stylus With This Stretchy Rubber Wrap

Your finger works just fine as your body's built-in stylus, but sometimes—like when checking Twitter while eating wings—you'd rather not touch your screen with your filthy digits. It's those times when carrying a stylus is perfectly justified, and with the clever rubber StretchWrite, you can just use your favorite pen… » 8/13/14 10:13am 8/13/14 10:13am

A Beautifully Convincing Reason To Use a Pencil Again

Remember back in grade school when you were finally able to upgrade from a pencil to a pen? No longer being able to easily fix your mistakes was a rite of passage towards adulthood, and there was no looking back. At least until today, because this lovely chunky mechanical pencil from Wöther might actually have you… » 7/31/14 4:59pm 7/31/14 4:59pm

Wooden Vases Show Pencils Have Other Artistic Uses Than Just Drawings

Grade school is an opportunity for budding artists to finally shed their cumbersome crayons and try their hand at making a masterpiece using the subtle shades of a box of colored pencils. But artist Tuomas Markun Poika must've missed that class, since he instead uses pencils to create wooden vases with unique patterns… » 6/23/14 3:40pm 6/23/14 3:40pm

These Plantable Pencils Grow Fresh Herbs From Your Failed Lit Ambitions

There are times—dark, frustrating times—when you put pencil to paper and nothing's there. No inspiration. No life. So you scribble and scratch and sharpen until all that's left is a bitty wooden nub reminding you of the barren wasteland that is your brain. You could toss that useless end bit in the trash. Or! If… » 5/28/14 5:00pm 5/28/14 5:00pm

In Defense of Insanely Expensive Pencils

Writing instruments contain a weird, almost alchemical power. To anyone who hasn't experienced it, this will sound like a crazy idea—but for some of us, pencils are almost like magic wands, containing powers that can either help or hinder your process. » 5/05/14 6:06pm 5/05/14 6:06pm

These color pencils are actually a color drawing

This is not a photo of a box of color pencils. It's a digital drawing made from scratch in Photoshop. I wish the artist actually used color pencils to make it—because I love when things come full circle—but I'm equally impressed with his digital brush skills. Here are some screenshots of the process. » 4/09/14 6:59pm 4/09/14 6:59pm

A Pencil Sharpening Jar That Tracks Your Work Ethic In Wood Shavings

Take out your No. 2 pencils, people. This isn't a test, necessarily, but this jar will allow you to track exactly how much lead you're using on a regular basis. Don't worry: You will not be graded on your progress. » 3/19/14 5:30pm 3/19/14 5:30pm

Graphite Razor Blades Turn Utility Knives Into Carpenter's Pencils

When you're working with wood, they say you should always measure twice and cut once. But there's no mention of ensuring the pencil line you draw to make that single cut is as straight as possible. A company called Prazi believes you can actually create a straighter, truer line with a utility knife instead of a… » 1/28/14 5:00pm 1/28/14 5:00pm

These Pencils Eventually Sharpen Into Spinning Tops

What do you normally do when you've sharpened a pencil down to a nub—just throw it away? That's the most likely outcome, but if you opt for these wonderful Spincils, you're instead left with a spinning top to add to your collection of desktop distractions. » 11/14/13 6:30pm 11/14/13 6:30pm

Pencils Are Even More Deadly When They're Actually Steel Nails

The thing I appreciate about The Slingshot Channel is that it always brings projects two or three iterations past what I would ever think to pursue. The pencil shooter Joerg made last week was more of a curiosity. Not the most deadly thing we've seen by a long shot. See what I did there? » 10/13/13 12:49pm 10/13/13 12:49pm

An Extracurricular And Deadly Use For Pencils

I wouldn't say using pencils as zombie-killing projectiles would be my first thought, but if you do enough slingshot-ing I guess it makes sense that you would eventually run up against office supplies as a source of inspiration. Joerg updates his pencil shooter to be crank operated and more efficient. It can shoot… » 10/06/13 8:30pm 10/06/13 8:30pm

A Mechanical Wooden Pencil That Will Never Go Dull

As low-tech as it may be, the pencil has managed to still keep itself relevant—despite the endless graphite-free ways we can communicate these days. That being said, it doesn't mean it couldn't use an upgrade, and we love how Tous Les Jours has managed to combine the convenience of a mechanical pencil with the feel… » 7/19/13 11:44am 7/19/13 11:44am

This Adorable Pencil Broom Lets You Sweep Mistakes Under the Rug

Perfect for those of us lacking the confidence to write in pen the first time, this pencil features a miniature broom head eraser on the end so you can just sweep away incorrect crossword puzzle answers, and poorly solved Sudoku puzzles. At almost $9 for a single pencil you're going to only want to sharpen this thing… » 6/24/13 12:52pm 6/24/13 12:52pm

A Bottle Cap Pencil Sharpener Is Pure Genius

If you prefer the feel of writing or sketching with a freshly sharpened pencil and are fastidious about keeping hydrated, this clever piece of synergy is going to blow your mind. Designed for use on standard plastic water bottles, this pencil sharpening bottle cap is a brilliantly obvious way to deal with pencil… » 2/22/13 1:40pm 2/22/13 1:40pm

A Pencil Puzzle That's Harder Than Any Test You'd Use It For

What if the pencil you were using to take an intelligence test was actually more challenging than any of the mind-bending questions? That's seemingly what inspired the Varacil mechanical pencil that arrives completely disassembled in 22 obscurely-shaped parts. It's not just some assembly required, it's all up to you. » 1/02/13 9:40am 1/02/13 9:40am

No One Will Touch Your Colored Pencils Stored in a Gutted Fish

Worried about your schoolyard chums pinching your colored pencils (you know, those pre-touchscreen graphite writing implements) from your desk? By stashing them in a dead gutted mackerel you're all but guaranteed no one's going to lay a finger on them. And probably guaranteed a trip to the principal's office too. » 10/24/12 4:20pm 10/24/12 4:20pm

These Multifunctional Pencils Are Too Attractive to Ever Be Used

Pencils are decidedly simple instruments, used for the sole purpose of writing and drawing, but applications in which we use them in our daily lives are becoming increasingly niche. What if they had an added function? » 5/21/12 4:00pm 5/21/12 4:00pm