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View Full Version : When is it time to give up on a pencil?



farrarwilliams
02-16-2014, 05:07 PM
A completely silly poll for your Sunday afternoon while I sit here sharpening pencils and giving Mushroom the stare down to make him finish his work.

ikslo
02-16-2014, 10:09 PM
I give up on those ones kids get for holidays before they even go in the pencil sharpener. You know they are going to break every five seconds and be down to the nub in seconds. We stick with plain old number 2's and use 'em til we lose 'em. :)

murphs_mom
02-16-2014, 11:05 PM
I need to add an "other" category. I pitch the pencils when they are too short for comfortable HUMAN use (usually about 4"), there is virtually no eraser left, AND/OR it looks like a billy goat has been feasting on it. We're slowly winning the battle on pencil consumption in this house. Slowly.

zcat
02-17-2014, 12:40 AM
Never really have this issue. We have a lot of pencils floating around the house. We don't use the same pencil enough to wear it down with sharpening. Very few have erasers left on them though. Sigh.
I have tossed pencils in a rage when the lead kept breaking or someone chewed on it (gross).

kristinabrooke
02-17-2014, 05:20 AM
when the eraser is gone, the pencil is too. I've tried those add-on erasers but they never work as well.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
02-17-2014, 08:35 AM
About four inches. I put these fantastic erasers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IFAV/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) on top and they last so long that I usually end up transferring them to a new pencil.

MrsLOLcat
02-17-2014, 09:53 AM
My kids either lose them instantly OR wear them down to the 2" point. That said, I haven't sharpened a pencil for them in months. They know where the electric sharpener is.

dbsam
02-17-2014, 11:02 AM
I give up on those ones kids get for holidays before they even go in the pencil sharpener. You know they are going to break every five seconds and be down to the nub in seconds.

We also toss the holiday/decorative pencils. We used to keep them but rarely used them. They do not write well and the paint they use on the outside clogs the pencil sharpener.

BakedAk
02-17-2014, 01:30 PM
Unless there is a need for a pencil, there are pencils everywhere in this house. If there is a need, they turn on their cloaking devices.

KittyP
02-17-2014, 02:17 PM
We use mechanical pencils for everything because I love a nice sharp point and normal pencils just don't stay sharp. That being said, pencils don't last long around here. Last quarter I lost a brand new package of mechanical that hadn't even been opened yet. So far I've managed to lose all but one pencil out of the Costco pack I bought this quarter.

neobunny
02-18-2014, 09:55 PM
Can't answer this poll as my little guy only wants to use markers, usually in brown, for any and all writing. He's young so I allow it.

Misha
02-18-2014, 11:12 PM
I'll be honest - I only use pens when I write anything. The girls use pencils, pens, and fine tip markers.

Pencils disappear very quickly around here, since my eldest DD is an artist and she's constantly absconding with freshly sharpened pencils to sketch with. None of us can find any of them, however, when she's done.

jsaffold
02-19-2014, 11:10 AM
About four inches. I put these fantastic erasers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IFAV/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) on top and they last so long that I usually end up transferring them to a new pencil.

I LOVE those eraser toppers!..I always rip off the original eraser and plop one of those on....I have a stock pile of them. I never trust the erasers that come on pencils, I always seem to end up with ones that smear.. or are made of sandpaper!
I don't like the newness of a long pencil..I like them shorter .....when I start a new pencil I grind off a good inch before I use it:p
I also use them till they are a nub..if its a good one... I do a lot of drawing and if I find a pencil that I got for cheap I get every bit out of that bad boy!!

jsaffold
02-19-2014, 11:13 AM
I LOVE those eraser toppers!..I always rip off the original eraser and plop one of those on....I have a stock pile of them. I never trust the erasers that come on pencils, I always seem to end up with ones that smear.. or are made of sandpaper!
I don't like the newness of a long pencil..I like them shorter .....when I start a new pencil I grind off a good inch before I use it:p
I also use them till they are a nub..if its a good one... I do a lot of drawing and if I find a pencil that I got for cheap I get every bit out of that bad boy!!

My kids on the otherhand could care less..they will use what ever they find ..they like mechanicals too

sunshinet
02-19-2014, 11:38 AM
When the dog chews it.

farrarwilliams
02-19-2014, 12:00 PM
This is making me feel better. I always want to ditch them when they get about 4.5" and I feel better that apparently others do too.

I can't make those pencil erasers work, AMM! Every time, the kids try to erase with them and the top thick eraser part breaks loose from the thin part that goes around the top of the pencil! I haven't even tried them again in awhile.

jsaffold
02-19-2014, 12:05 PM
This is making me feel better. I always want to ditch them when they get about 4.5" and I feel better that apparently others do too.

I can't make those pencil erasers work, AMM! Every time, the kids try to erase with them and the top thick eraser part breaks loose from the thin part that goes around the top of the pencil! I haven't even tried them again in awhile.

You can send them to me;)...and I'll send you all my new ones..and send them to me when they're to short... and I'll send ya some more new ones... and so on and so on:o

Jeni
02-19-2014, 12:13 PM
When the new puppy chews them up because my darn kids leave them all over the floor. ;) I picked when the eraser is gone. We have big erasers we try to use to extend the life of the pencil but when that pencil one is gone, that noise!! It's done. I also don't like short pencils. I tend to chuck them if they get below about 3 inches.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
02-19-2014, 12:29 PM
I can't make those pencil erasers work, AMM! Every time, the kids try to erase with them and the top thick eraser part breaks loose from the thin part that goes around the top of the pencil! I haven't even tried them again in awhile.

That happened with the cheap ones that I bought at Target, but we haven't broken a single Papermate one.

BakedAk
02-19-2014, 01:15 PM
I keep coming back to look at the responses on this thread because I am so amazed that people throw away pencils. I'm not being holier than thou about waste or anything - our pencils honestly just disappear, long before I'd even consider tossing them. Where the @*^#$&* do they go???

murphs_mom
02-19-2014, 01:40 PM
Where the @*^#$&* do they go???

If I lived in AK, I'd probably be burning them for heat. :D

BakedAk
02-19-2014, 01:50 PM
If our beautiful stone chimney were actually functional, that might be a possibility.

murphs_mom
02-19-2014, 02:02 PM
If our beautiful stone chimney were actually functional, that might be a possibility.

Chimney repair? That sounds like a art/craft project for the kids. :)

jsaffold
02-19-2014, 04:28 PM
I keep coming back to look at the responses on this thread because I am so amazed that people throw away pencils. I'm not being holier than thou about waste or anything - our pencils honestly just disappear, long before I'd even consider tossing them. Where the @*^#$&* do they go???

They must have found that vortex that all the socks go and your left with 9 of one sock..

I'm SOOO glad DD likes wearing miss matched socks!

farrarwilliams
02-19-2014, 05:10 PM
A lot of ours disappear too. I just have so many that we find them places and keep returning.

Christen99
02-20-2014, 05:25 AM
Where's the category that says "when they get frustrated and break them in half"? When my youngest was younger, he would get really mad and break his pencil in half, or rip the erasers off. If the pencil was still able to be held and written with I didn't toss it and he would use them until they weren't able to be used anymore. Now that he's mellowed with age, we use mechanical pencils because he prefers them. My oldest prefers wooden pencils, and will use them until they don't fit on his hand anymore.

ikslo
02-20-2014, 01:31 PM
The metal that holds the eraser on the pencil came off of one of ours last night. DS's solution was to sharpen both ends.

crunchynerd
02-24-2014, 06:49 AM
When the eraser is gone, that's what those little pointed eraser hats are for. I keep a stash of them in the secretary along with other office supplies. As for pencils, I find cheapie ones also break too often and easily, so I'm a pencil snob and bought a gross of vintage/leftover American-Made Papermate Mirado Classics, on Ebay...but then I loved them so much I got fetishy about it and now growlingly hide them in the back of the secretary, because they are my SPECIAL pencils (LOL) and the kids tend to sharpen pencils down, down, and down, on the sharpener (I try to intervene when I catch them at it)...so that led to a search for good-quality pencils that I can always buy more of, so I started buying the American-made The Write Dudes pencils that they have in the stores, which are also good enough quality, but can be replaced indefinitely for kid use.

Isn't that silly, getting fetishy about pencils?
But I'm rather ridiculously attached to my Mirados...so smooth, so strong...ah!
hehe

crunchynerd
02-24-2014, 06:54 AM
They must have found that vortex that all the socks go and your left with 9 of one sock..

I'm SOOO glad DD likes wearing miss matched socks!

We solved the sock problem by buying all black ones. That way, even if one of my kids is wearing one of Daddy's black socks, and one of the Kid socks, it's not that noticeable. Mismatched socks were a fad here for girls, for a while, after the Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer movie, but it has passed, not that my kids care either.

but I like black socks because they can be worn all over the house and never look greyish when they are supposed to be white, or grungy.
I guess the only hardship is that they are "weird" in summer, but my kids live in flipflops or those rubber clogs with holes in them, in the summer (even though Crocks are also a long-since passed-away fad, that nobody who cares about fads, would be caught in now) so socks aren't much of an issue then.

jenblackwell2
02-24-2014, 11:34 AM
About four inches. I put these fantastic erasers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IFAV/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) on top and they last so long that I usually end up transferring them to a new pencil.

I ordered these erasers and they are the answer to my prayers... not to be overly dramatic or anything. They are really great and we have gotten a lot more out of our pencils the past few days. Thanks for the recommending them!

dbmamaz
02-24-2014, 11:50 AM
i do think i've thrown away short pencils before, but i havent seen a short pencil in 5 years? We dont really write that much, though. and my teen had been using mechanicals - i used to use them, but these are the cheap disposable ones and they break every time i try to use one. And once he tried the ticonderogas, he was tempted to switch to those, too. (i was skimming and I thought the black sock bit was about black toconderoga pencils and was trying to figure out how that solves the shortness issue)

jsaffold
02-24-2014, 04:53 PM
When the eraser is gone, that's what those little pointed eraser hats are for. I keep a stash of them in the secretary along with other office supplies. As for pencils, I find cheapie ones also break too often and easily, so I'm a pencil snob and bought a gross of vintage/leftover American-Made Papermate Mirado Classics, on Ebay...but then I loved them so much I got fetishy about it and now growlingly hide them in the back of the secretary, because they are my SPECIAL pencils (LOL) and the kids tend to sharpen pencils down, down, and down, on the sharpener (I try to intervene when I catch them at it)...so that led to a search for good-quality pencils that I can always buy more of, so I started buying the American-made The Write Dudes pencils that they have in the stores, which are also good enough quality, but can be replaced indefinitely for kid use.

Isn't that silly, getting fetishy about pencils?
But I'm rather ridiculously attached to my Mirados...so smooth, so strong...ah!
hehe

I totally get it... I am a office supply junkie...pens, pencils, paper, highlighters, notebooks, journals...and when I find that just right pen, marker..( sharpie colored pens at the moment) I want to hoard.. Mine.all mine

sells_kate
02-25-2014, 04:21 PM
This made me laugh.

The only pencil we've thrown away so far is one the dog ate in half. =)
If you don't have an electric sharpener, its harder for them to sharpen them down to nubs! haha...
Although I do have one coming in the mail, so the pencils will be going down a lot faster over here.

Sweden
02-25-2014, 08:45 PM
I hate pencils. Eons ago I did AR/AP for a small company and had to manually keep a book for the semi-retired head bookkeeper. She only stopped coming to work because she never fully recovered from a broken leg and couldn't make it up the stairs every day. She was a nice lady, but just couldn't figure out computers. So, we moved on to computers, but I still had to mail her a handwritten duplicate of what could easily be found on the computer. That's when I discovered mechanical pencils, but they still didn't make up for the fact that I was doing useless crap.

crunchynerd
02-28-2014, 05:52 PM
This made me laugh.

The only pencil we've thrown away so far is one the dog ate in half. =)
If you don't have an electric sharpener, its harder for them to sharpen them down to nubs! haha...
Although I do have one coming in the mail, so the pencils will be going down a lot faster over here.

You know what's funny? We don't have an electric sharpener, but they sharpen, and keep sharpening! They don't know when to quit! Part of the problem is that our wall-mounted sharpener is a new X-Acto K-S, and compared to the ones we all used in school, these are flimsy wobbly pieces of junk, and worse yet, unlike the old battleaxe ones we all knew and loved, for some weird reason, these don't "spin freely" once you've sharpened. Remember that feeling? You knew when your pencil was sharp because suddenly there was less friction. There's no difference in friction with the one we have, so it's easy to stand there sharpening and sharpening. The other problem is, when you check your pencil, if you leaned on it while sharpening, the pencil guide is thin crappy metal, flimsy and wobbly enough that any pressure at all on the pencil sort of warps it out of place enough that the pencil is off-center, and you come up with a strip of wood on one side, all the way to the point, and have to start over. I should seriously start scouring Ebay for an old battleaxe Boston wallmount one to match my old desk-suction one, but when you can find those in nice condition, they are Pricey!

Here's another funny: I was gifted a mid-20th century, solid steel, vacuum-mount old Boston pencil sharpener, with the pearlized gray enamel on the base, that a lever suctions to a desk surface, in very good condition, and I am so in love with it, I practically keep it hidden! Sadly my toddler got hold of it, and threw the shiny chromium barrel hard enough to jar loose a metal seam, so that now it's damaged. Still works, but my PRECIOUS, MY PRECIOUS, is no longer in perfect condition!!!

I have to laugh at such lunacy, of coveting a pencil sharpener. I now know that I am no different from guys who get religious about their mint-in-box scifi franchise paraphernalia; all it took was the right item.

crunchynerd
02-28-2014, 05:56 PM
I hate pencils. Eons ago I did AR/AP for a small company and had to manually keep a book for the semi-retired head bookkeeper. She only stopped coming to work because she never fully recovered from a broken leg and couldn't make it up the stairs every day. She was a nice lady, but just couldn't figure out computers. So, we moved on to computers, but I still had to mail her a handwritten duplicate of what could easily be found on the computer. That's when I discovered mechanical pencils, but they still didn't make up for the fact that I was doing useless crap.

Could you recommend to me a GOOD brand of mechanical pencil and leads? I bought some nice steel mechanical pencils, but I swear I don't recall the leads being so break-prone when I was a teen. I have quit using them because the leads, supposedly good ones, seem to break every few words, and it got totally annoying, but I know that wasn't how they used to be! I love mechanical pencils too. What's your brand, particularly for good strong leads?

BakedAk
03-01-2014, 06:43 PM
Crunchynerd - I love my Boston wall-mounted sharpener. We had one while I was growing up (probably still in my parents' kitchen) and all the crappy suction/electric/handheld ones I've tried could NOT hold a candle to that one. I asked my parents for one as a Christmas or birthday present several years ago. LOVE it.