For thousands of years, people have used graphite to create and capture ideas. And now graphite is the main element of the pencil. Although for the sake of accuracy, the lead should not be called graphite. Because a mixture of graphite and clay is used to make the pencil core. The class of the stylus depends on the ratio of the components of this mixture. The higher the graphite content compared to clay, the darker and softer the lead will be.
It is important to pay attention to the value of the class when choosing a pencil for both drawing and writing. The strength of the lead, the smoothness of the trace, and the ability to make shading or darkening depend on the hardness of the stylus. If it is important for an artist to use custom pencils of all types of hardness, then only a few grades are suitable for writing.
Lead hardness classification
There are two systems for classifying the hardness of leads – European and American. In the European system, a combination of letters and numbers is used for designations. The letter B (short for English blackness – darkness) means that the rod is soft, with a high content of graphite. The higher the number that accompanies B, the softer the lead and the darker and richer the mark it leaves.
The letter H (abbreviated from English hardness – hardness), indicated in the marking of the pencil, has the exact opposite meaning and informs about the high content of clay in the lead. Class H rods leave a light trail.
In the American system, only numbers are used to mark pencils. In the middle of such a scale is #2½, which is equivalent to the European F (short for English fine point – perfect, excellent). American Grade #2 leads usually match European HBs (short for hardness-blackness).
Class H Leads
Class H rods show extreme resistance to smearing. They leave clear light lines. What makes these pencils indispensable when you need to create contours, drawings, sketches, and sketches for watercolor? They are suitable for left-handers because the trace of such leads is not smeared. The disadvantage of class H pencils is excessive hardness, due to which the tip scratches the paper. And the higher the number that accompanies the letter H, the greater the likelihood of scratches and grooves.
Grades F and HB
Class F rods (middle between hard-soft and hard) occupy a central place in the European classification. The HB class (hard-soft) is one step lower. Pencils of both grades are ideal for writing. They are dark enough to make it easy to read what is written, in addition, they are almost not smeared.
Grade B Leads
Grade B pencils give smooth lines when writing and drawing. They are easily smudged, but at the same time, the eraser removes them without a trace. They are ideal for creativity, as artists need to create shading and shading. Higher B-value leads are especially suitable for this purpose. Animators love to use 10 B-grade pencils when creating cartoons because they glide over the paper like wax crayons, allowing you to quickly create nice, deep, rich drawings.