The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Mechanical Pencils are overall better than regular pencils.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/15/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,899 times Debate No: 24725
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I stand in affirmation of the resolution that I have presented to my future opponent of this debate.

This is my first debate in over a year on this site, with schooling and trying to learn the craft of PF Debate I have been quite busy.

This debate is three rounds and each round will be a phase in this debate.

Round 1- acceptance/definitions/changes
Round 2- each side presents their argument
Round 3- each side rebuts the other sides argument and summarizes their own and conclusion

Pencil- a standard writing utensil made of a wood case surrounding a stick of graphite
Mechanical Pencil- a pencil made of plastic with an inner chamber containing sticks of graphite of many sizes pushed out by a type of feed system

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate in advance and look forward to debating this topic with them.


Thanks for starting this debate!

I will take the CON side, stating that mechanical pencils are overall not better than regular pencils.

I agree with the proposed definitions and look forward to a fun, creative debate. :D
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting and I look forward to a good debate. I would also like to remind the readers that I stand in affirmation of this resolution, meaning I believe and argue that mechanical pencils are overall better than regular pencils, the burden of proof is also my responsibility.

My argument consists of three main contentions that I will present in order and each will be explained to the best of my ability.

Contention 1 : Mechanical pencils are more customizable to the user - There are many types of mechanical pencils that offer a variety of options to suite the user. Different sizes of lead or graphite offer the user what type of strength and thickness of the writing that they desire. These sizes range from 0.2mm to 5.6mm and the three most common for students are 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm. The other sizes are generally used in drafting work or are rare and are used in older pencils.

There are also different types of grips and eraser types that are re-fill able once they are used up, not to mention the variety of colors and designs that make them prime examples for company advertisement because most are re-usable and will last for a long time.

Contention 2 : Over time the mechanical pencil is more economically sound - Considering the fact that the mechanical pencil comes with three decent sized sticks of lead at purchase. Then when the pencil you are using runs out you simply put more led into the chamber. A mechanical pencil can last for years and save the user money by simply buying lead re-fills that contain multiple sticks of lead. You also save money in some types by replacing the eraser, thus having one pencil that can last for years. Saving the user time and money with one re-usable pencil.

Contention 3 : The mechanical pencil writes consistently and needs no sharpening - The mechanical pencil writes a consistent line of lead that is dark and easy for people to read. The user simply has to advance more lead out of the tip of the pencil, that prevents them from needing to take time from their work to go sharpen their pencil that has become dull due to their continuous writing. This gives the writer a consistent legible form of writing, while also saving time and energy when they don't have to sharpen their pencil.

I look forward to reading my opponents argument and how he chooses to argue his side.

I ask that you vote PRO for mechanical pencils for the above reasons.


Thanks for the quick response.


The Proposition has three assertions, all of which I will refute one-by-one.

1. Mechanical pencils are more customizable

I beg to differ. My opponent believes mechanical pencils are more customizable because there are "many types of mechanical pencils". I'd say it's the other way around, that there are more regular pencils than mechanical pencils.

For evidence that there are more mechanical pencils, the Pro mentions the different sizes of graphite that can be put into the pencil. He does note, however, that "the three most common for students are 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm." So you have essentially three different types of lead that can be put into mechanical pencils. THREE choices.

What kinds of regular pencils exist? Let me list a few. [1]
  1. Graphite pencil
  2. Solid graphite pencil
  3. Colored pencils
  4. Watercolor pencils
  5. Steno pencils
  6. Erasable colored pencils
  7. Copying pencils
  8. Carpenter pencils
  9. Golf pencils (the short, tiny ones they offer to you at, say, a golf course)

And there's plenty more. I do believe that there are more types of regular pencils than mechanical pencils.

In the first contention, the Pro also mentions different types of grips, re-fillable eraser types, and various colors and designs. It's not like regular pencils don't have colors and designs. They have patterns that appeal to kids, too. Just look at these Halloween-themed pencils. [2]

Furthermore, to actually get those special grips, you have to either pay a lot for a special mechanical pencil, or buy a grip. Buying a new grip for a mechanical pencil is the same as buying a grip for your normal pencil. Neither pencil has an advantage over the other.
As for refillable erasers, you also have to buy the new eraser. On Amazon, buying a mechanical pencil whose eraser can be refilled costs $2.39. [3]
Or you could just buy a 12-pack of normal pencils from Staples for $2.79. [4]
There is no advantage to being able to purchase special accessories for mechanical pencils.

2. The mechanical pencil is more economically sound

Lead is pretty cheap, unless you are looking for high quality pieces that can cost around $4-$5.
When a mechanical pencil's lead runs out, you have to open it up, put in some pieces of lead, close it, click it a couple of times, and then it will work. Or you could just reach into your bag and grab a regular pencil.
Regular pencils, when sharpened, will last a decent while, and they come with their own large piece of graphite/lead. With mechanical pencils, you must purchase lead, spending time at the store, and spending time putting the lead in. Regular pencils require a quick sharpen, and that is it.
Mechanical pencils can last a long time if treated properly, but that's a big "if." Regular pencils can be tossed around, chucked, bitten on, or whatever else you want to do with it. o.O
Mechanical pencils aren't as sturdy. When they break, you have to buy a new one. When you buy a new one, you spend money. When you have to constantly spend money, the thing you are buying is not economically sound.

3. The mechanical pencil is more consistent

Ever written a sentence and your lead snaps halfway through a word? That's happened to me with a mechanical pencil.
For me, personally, I like to press my pencils onto paper hard. I feel it makes the words clearer and darker. But with mechanical pencils, I can't do that, for the lead snaps if I press too hard. I believe that regular pencils give me more darkness, and they won't snap halfway through my words.

Outside of a personal note, I don't think the mechanical pencil is more consistent. Say you're writing a timed essay in school with a mechanical pencil. You're running out of time, but you have a brilliant idea. You quickly scribble onto the paper, but because you're in such a rush, the lead snaps. You click the pencil for a long time, but then you realize there's no more lead. So you open your bag, take out the lead case, spew chunks of lead onto the table, grab one piece and cram it into your mechanical pencil. A few seconds later, you're ready to write. But you forgot your brilliant idea! You fail the essay, flunk out of school, and get a job as a janitor. :D

Here's what would happen if you had a regular pencil. You have a brilliant idea, and you hurriedly write. But your pencil becomes blunt! Whatever will you do? ...You reach to your side and grab the other sharpened regular pencil you have. You write your world-class paper and dominate the world. :)

In all seriousness, I do believe a student wouldn't bring just one regular pencil to class.
I believe mechanical pencils and regular pencils have their own advantages, and that no one trumps the other.

Thank you.


Debate Round No. 2


I would like to remind my opponent about the rules he agreed to in the first round.

Round 1- acceptance/definitions/changes
Round 2- each side presents their argument
Round 3- each side rebuts the other sides argument and summarizes their own and conclusion

My opponent named the various types of regular pencils that are around, a regular pencil can be used for all the things these pencils are used for (1,2,5,7,8,9) the only difference is the size of these pencils and their type of graphite in which the mechanical pencil has. There are also mechanical erasable colored pencils.

The mechanical pencil has just as many festive designs as the regular pencils do. My opponent also states that the mechanical pencils cost more, the higher the cost means better quality. Also be re using a mechanical pencil you are reducing the number of wooden pencils discarded because they are too short, cracked lead or casing, or because the eraser is no longer usable. Most of the parts of the mechanical pencils are able to be recycled. When you get your first mechanical pencil as I stated before it comes with three long pieces of lead, and some also come with big erasers that take a long time to wear down. When you buy lead there is a lot of it and erasers are usually 2 big replacements.

Then we have the writing issue of running out of lead or jamming, during an essay a student can simply bring two mechanical pencils in case the other one runs out.

Depending on what breaks on the pencil one could simply use the broken one as spear parts such as the tube, casing, tip and mechanism that propels the lead. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle that's what I say.

In conclusion I have proved that the mechanical pencil is an overall better fit because it is more customizable with its different lead sizes, in which the regular pencil doesn't have. This can appeal to different types of jobs and writing styles.

They can save the user money even before anything needs re-filled. Saving the user time when the lead breaks by simply pressing for more lead, while the chamber also has the capacity to hold multiple sticks of lead. I also proved that being re-usable mechanical pencils can reduce the amount of waste in land fills.

I also proved that during a test one could simply take multiple mechanical pencils in with then, even my opponent admitted to that.

I have references that are in order that I have presented them in my argument.



Thanks for the response.
As per your request, I will refute your arguments and then summarize why the Opposition has won.
I'd like to remind the readers that I do not necessarily have to prove that regular pencils are better than mechanical pencils. All I have to do is disprove that mechanical pencils are better; I could do this by proving regular pencils are better or by proving they are equal.


1. Customability

The Pro believes mechanical pencils are more customizable because of the various types. I refuted this in the 2nd round, stating that there are more types of regular pencils. The Pro states in the 3rd Round, "The mechanical pencil has just as many festive designs as the regular pencils do." If it has just as many, then they are equal. No pencil has an advantage over the other.

2. Economical

The Pro admits that mechanical pencils cost more money. "The higher the cost means better quality." So they effectively cancel each other out. You can get something cheap that has a lower quality or something expensive with a higher quality. There's no advantage. It just depends on how much money you have and your preference.

3. Environmental

The Pro goes against his own rules and seemingly adds a new point in the 3rd Round.

"Most of the parts of the mechanical pencils are able to be recycled."

It really depends. Low-cost mechanical pencils are made of polystyrene. [1]
Polystyrene takes a bit of petroleum to make, firstly. About 5 grams of polystyrene is produced from 11 grams of petroleum.
Secondly, it's hard to dispose of.
Though a mechanical pencil may be reusable, it will ultimately end up in a landfill. No one will have the same mechanical pencil for life. Considering only young students are required to use pencils, you can't count on a young kid to keep using the same mechanical pencil without losing it or damaging it. Regular pencils are cheap and expendable.

With regular, wooden pencils, the environment is not really a problem.
Since regular pencils are made of wood, less energy is used to make the pencil.
The regular pencil will ultimately decompose into shavings, proving to be better for the environment than mechanical pencils.


My opponent dropped his third contention that mechanical pencils are more consistent.
My opponent essentially dropped his first contention by stating that there are just as many types of mechanical pencils as regular pencils. Therefore, they are equal in customability.
My opponent admits that mechanical pencils cost more. His fallback is that they are reusable. But when little kids are the only ones using pencils, you can't trust a small child to use a single mechanical pencil for a whole year. With the addition of purchasing lead, mechanical pencils cost even more.
I refuted his new contention in the 3rd Round about the environmental costs of the pencils.
On the issue of having multiple pencils, regardless of whether or not you have multiple mechanical pencils, it's up to how much lead you have. Lead takes time to put in and that was the point I was trying to get across in my humorous paragraph. It's much more common to have multiple regular pencils than multiple, expensive mechanical pencils. In bulk, the regular pencil is cheaper to purchase.

I have disproved the Proposition case and shown that regular pencils are just as good as or perhaps even better than the mechanical pencil.
Please vote for the Opposition!
Thank you.

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
I know that's why you put the O.o
Posted by XStrikeX 5 years ago
And that's why I put o.O, too. :D
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
"Regular pencils can be tossed around, chucked, bitten on, or whatever else you want to do with it. o.O"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: CON shows all of pros contentions false and that normal pencils outgun mechanical pencils economically, customizibility, and in consistency. Best line in the debate: "Regular pencils can be tossed around, chucked, bitten on, or whatever else you want to do with it. o.O" (EWWW Lolz)