Pencils Buying Guide
Posted April 18, 2017

How To Choose Custom Printed Pencils

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Why Buy Imprinted Pencils?

If you are looking for a cost-effective yet useful item to give away at your next corporate party, school gathering, or company team-building event, look first at the wide selection of imprinted pencils available in the InkHead catalog.

As mentioned, customized pencils are incredibly cost-effective; most are available for only a few pennies each. What’s more, promotional items such as discount pencils are useful to customers and employees, meaning that the item will generate many impressions for your brand, organization, or company. Since not everyone likes using pens, think about placing an order for promotional mechanical pencils as well to ensure that your customers or employees will be fully satisfied with your gift.

InkHead carries several types of personalized pencils, so let’s take a look at each type we have to offer.

Types of Customized Pencils

Custom Carpenter Pencils

The flat shape of the custom carpenter pencil will keep it from rolling off the table even if it’s somewhat slanted, and the sturdy lead can easily write on wood and other non-paper surfaces. Furthermore, depending on whom you ask, carpenter pencils offer a grip more pleasing to the hand than standard hexagonal or round pencils. That said, carpenter pencils are best used for specialized promotional events; the flat shape of the pencils makes sharpening them with a standard sharpener impossible, which is not desirable for general audiences. Finally, be sure to consult the description of the item you’re looking at, as red lead may be available for some of our carpenter pencils.

Good For: Businesses catering to builders, carpenters, and other skilled workers.
Bottom Line: The carpenter pencil’s unique shape, while difficult to sharpen, will ensure that people remember your company.

Personalized Full Color Pencils

As the name implies, promotional pencils found under the Full-Color Pencils product filter support full color imprints, so if you’re looking to make a splash with your clients, be sure to look at these pencils first. The full-color imprint method is generally more expensive than a single color imprint, so you will want to bear this in mind if your budget is tight. Also, be aware that all the full-color pencils currently in the InkHead catalog come in a round wood casing.

Good For: Companies that want to connect with new customers at trade shows, conferences, and other events.
Bottom Line: The high quality and perceived value of full-color pencils make them a great choice for any business promotion.

Imprinted Golf Pencils

Golf pencils are shorter and sometimes a little narrower than standard pencils, and most come without erasers. Because of their slighter stature and fewer component parts, golf pencils are generally among the cheapest promotional items you can purchase. The small size makes them ideal for company golfing events, church pews, or for corporate events like trivia tournaments or bingo nights where erasers are unnecessary. That said, we do offer a few golf pencils that include erasers if you think your audience would like to expunge any mistakes they make while writing with the pencil.

Good For: Country clubs, pub games, or companies needing single-use writing instruments.
Bottom Line: The small size of custom golf pencils make them cost-effective options for short-term use.

Promotional Hex Wood-Cased Pencils

When you mentally picture a pencil, chances are that you will imagine a yellow hex wood-cased pencil. Hex is shortened from “hexagonal,” which refers to the shape of the pencil. The six-sided shape provides a somewhat more comfortable grip than round pencils. A standard, hexagonal, “#2 pencil” (more on what #2 means in just a bit) is cut to a hexagonal height of 1/4-inch (6 mm), but the outer diameter is slightly larger [about 9/32-inch (7 mm)], and a standard, #2 hexagonal pencil is 19 cm (7.5 in) long. InkHead offers a handful of hex wood-cased pencils, so you may want to explore what round wood-cased pencils we have available first.

Good For: Schools, non-profits, and companies looking to connect with new customers.
Bottom Line: Hex wood-cased pencils are always a classic choice when it comes to imprinted pencils.

Customized Mechanical Pencils

Mechanical pencils are those that use a mechanical apparatus of some sort to control lead dispensation. InkHead carries a wide assortment of mechanical pencils, ranging from basic models to luxury Cross pencils that would be ideal as executive gifts. There are generally two types of mechanical pencil: the click-type and the twist-type. InkHead carries both types, so be sure to check the description of the item you’re looking at to see how the pencil is used. Remember also that if you are looking for combination pen-pencil writing instruments, you can locate them among InkHead’s selection of custom mechanical pencils.

Good For: Companies looking for a promotional product other than the standard personalized pen.
Bottom Line: Mechanical pencils make a memorable alternative to wood pencils or promotional pens.

Discount Round Wood-Cased Pencils

Round wood-cased pencils comprise the majority of InkHead’s selection of customized pencils, and we carry standard-sized as well as jumbo-sized round wood-cased pencils, so if you work for a school or student organization and are looking for a good giveaway for the student body, look no further than InkHead’s assortment of custom round wood-cased pencils.

Good For: Any company or organization looking to hand out promotional pencils.
Bottom Line: A round wood-cased pencil will guarantee new impressions for your brand.

Personalized Stock-Shaped Pencils

Stock shaped pencils are those that have been sculpted into a shape, such as a pretzel, an apple, or a butterfly. Stock-shaped pencils are generally more expensive than round or hex wood-cased pencils, so if you have a tight budget for your promotional materials, you may want to look elsewhere. Also, the shape of such pencils may make it difficult to sharpen or use the eraser, so if you want to get a pencil that your recipient can use easily, you may want to go with another type.

Good For: Companies looking to give away pencils as fund-raising items or small prizes.
Bottom Line: The irregular shape of stock-shaped pencils makes them a little less useful, yet more memorable than traditional pencils.


How to Buy Personalized Pencils

Use and Type

Generally speaking, the intended use of the pencil will dictate which type of pencil you should select for your promotion. For instance, schools should think about going with standard hex or round wood cased pencils since these are the most versatile and can be used for note- and test-taking. If you’re looking for corporate gifts, consider going with one of our very fine mechanical pencils. Hands-on businesses in industries such as carpentry, home-building, and painting should go with carpenter’s pencils since employees in these industries will appreciate and use the gift. Finally, if you’re a church or a company planning a game night for your employees, think about purchasing imprinted golf pencils. They’re relatively inexpensive and will still get your brand or message out there.

Lead Degree and Color

Lead degree refers to the hardness and the darkness of the graphite lead inside the pencil. The majority of the pencils carried by InkHead are available in the standard #2 degree only, but we do offer a small number of pencils that are available in other degrees. Be sure to check the description of the item you’re interested in to see whether other lead degrees are available. Likewise, the majority of the pencils offered in the InkHead catalog come in a standard gray color, but we do carry some pencils that are available in other lead colors. The item description should state whether other lead degrees or colors are available, so pay close attention to it should you require pencils with a different color or different degree lead.


By and large, most of the promotional pencils in the InkHead catalog are wood, but the mechanical pencils we offer are available in other materials, such as Brass, Metal and Plastic.


Most pencils take a one-color imprint via silk screen or heat-stamping, but we do offer a handful of full-color pencils as well.


InkHead also has a number of Eco-Friendly Pencils available, including some that are made out of recycled newspaper! If you’re planning an Earth Day promotion or just want to lessen your company’s carbon footprint, then think about picking up some of these pencils.

Item Colors

InkHead offers imprinted pencils in just about any color you could imagine, such as Green, Red, and Yellow. If you’re seeking pencils that match your school’s colors or corporate palette, chances are that InkHead carries several options.

Made In

If you’re planning a promotion and want to use only domestic business partners, be sure to review InkHead’s selection of imprinted pencils made in the USA. You can also use the Made In filter to view only those pencils that were made in the USA.

Production Time

While there are several variables to consider when estimating production time, most personalized pencils can be produced and delivered to your door within about 3 weeks of your order. Use the Production Time filter if you want to show only those products that can be produced within a certain timeframe.

The key to ensuring a quick turnaround for your order is having your artwork in vector format and a valid credit card. Remember, we do not begin send your order to manufacturing until we have your final art approval, so be sure to approve your virtual proof once you’ve received it.

If your promotion requires turnaround in less time, not to worry. InkHead also carries a selection of free 24 hour rush production pencils. Alternatively, you can also use the Free Rush Production filter to show only those pencils that can be produced within 24 hours.


The minimum quantity required for an order varies widely by the type of pencil; many of our mechanical pencils only necessitate an order of 50 or so (and some of the luxury pencils require even less than this), whereas the bulk of our standard wooden pencils require minimum quantities of 1000 or more. Be sure to consult the item description to see how many items are required for your order.

Ready to order some personalized pencils? Have a question about these products? Please contact us. We can take your order over the phone or answer any questions you may have.

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InkHead Promotional Products
We make quality custom promotional products designed by you.
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