What's Better?: Pens or Pencils for Work

In the world of office supplies, two titans have raged a battle for workplace dominance for years: the pen and the pencil. Both have their advantages, and some will argue it’s a personal preference as to which to use. But in this battle of graphite and ink, which is the champion?

First, there is the question of functionality. Both are capable of writing, obviously, but the two work in entirely different ways. Pencils, whether it is the standard wood or the more advanced mechanical variety, use a small rod of graphite that rubs off on to paper in order to make its mark. It’s easily erased, which makes it good if you’re going to be making a lot of changes to what you’re writing or drawing, but it also is more likely to fade over time. Pens use ink, which is much more permanent as it is typically partially absorbed into what you’re writing on. In addition to lasting longer, the ink itself also leaves a bolder, more vibrant mark than the graphite used by pencils. Factor in the fact that pens are also generally more durable and reliable than pencils, it becomes clear that the pen is the best choice in functionality.

While the pen wins in terms of functionality, it also beats the pencil in terms of style. There is very little you can do to make a pencil cool. Sure, pencils can come in various colors, but they still are cheap pieces of wood or plastic. Pens, however, can be custom-ordered to fit whatever style you want. You can get pens made of gold or titanium, and even ones outfitted with diamonds. In addition to being a writing tool, it can double as a fashion accessory if you’re willing to spend the money. So not only can you get work done, you can look cool doing it.

Whatever work you’re in, pens are nearly always a better choice. They are more versatile, more professional, and are much trendier than pencils. So whatever your business, the pen is most certainly mightier than the pencil. Word is still out on that whole “mightier than the sword” thing, though.

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