Saturday, August 17, 2013

Walmart Pencils vs. Ticonderoga Pencils

I think it is difficult to assess the quality of some supplies after just a short time.  That is how I feel about comparing Walmart pencils against Ticonderoga pencils.  The Ticonderoga come out of the box already sharpened, which I see as a big plus for the beginning of the year.  I have so much to do before kids show up in my room and that fact that they have removed one step in the preparation process is a help.

I tried marking on paper with both types of pencils and they both seem to make marks the same way.  In that way, the pencils appear to be very similar.  If that is all the information I had on these pencils, my review would stop there.

However, I have been teaching for 29 years and have strong opinions about the brands of pencils I want my students to use.  Over the years, many brands of pencils have come through my art room.  I am made insane by the very cheap ones whose leads break easily
or who have leads that are not even in the wood.  Sharpening these are frustrating as there is always a sliver of wood that goes all the way to the tip of the lead.

So, more from experience over time rather than from this one observation, I would choose two brands of pencils, if allowed the choice.  Dixon Ticonderoga makes a high quality pencil as does Eberhart Faber. 

Full disclosure here.  Dixon, who manufactures the Ticonderoga pencil, sent me the samples and asked for my honest appraisal of this product.


Jenny said...

I've never understood why colored pencils come sharpened and regular pencils don't. Pre-sharpened pencils make me very happy but they cost significantly more. It's odd.

Snippety Gibbet said...

I was curious about what other teachers thought about the pencils so I checked out Nic Hahn's blog ( and she defintively likes the Ticonderoga better.

Another blog I read, Miss Blue Bird's Classroom ( posted last spring about the declining quality of Ticonderoga pencils. If her assessment is true, I hope Dixon takes stock of this and goes back to the way they used to make pencils.

sallgood said...

I buy Ticonderoga pencils in bulk at Costco. Over the year, stray pencils wind up in my pencil box. As soon as I see them, I pluck them out like weeds! :D

Unlimited said...

Our team now specifies "Ticonderoga" on our supply list... but I, too, have noticed a decline in the quality. I will still take a Ticonderoga over any other brand though...

Holly said...

This is awesome!