You couldn"t finish a crossword puzzle, map out a masterpiece, or compose the very first draft of a novel there is no a pencil! It might seem choose these writing tools simply flourish on trees, yet they actually require professional craftsmanship to walk from wood to words on paper.

Class is in session! It"s time to discover all about the pencil manufacturing process.

You are watching: How many pencils are made each year


Despite the onrush that computers and also the decline of handwritten letters, American pencil making is tho a pretty sharp business.

Edith Stanley, writer for Los Angeles Times

What is a Pencil Made the end Of?

A pencil is mostly made out of wood and graphite. The graphite is floor down and mixed v powdered clay and also water to do a thick paste. This dough is climate fired in a kiln. The an outcome is a solid lead main point that"s complicated to break and also extremely smooth for writing on paper.

Rubber and aluminum are also part of a pencil"s anatomy. The rubber is used to do the erasers, when the aluminum creates the ferrules that host the erasers in place. Girlfriend wouldn"t have the ability to fix your composing mistakes if it weren"t because that these 2 pieces!

A bulk of pencils space yellow since the best graphite was claimed to it is in in China where yellow is associated with royalty and respect.

Making Pencils: The step by action Process

many pencil-making carriers are in Tennessee, harking back to the old days when they set up shop in this area to have actually easier access to the valuable red cedar oak. The best trees are approximately 14-years-old because they"re mature enough to it is in cut. By the time the tree is chopped down and also ready to go, every manufacturer follows a comparable format in creating the pencils.

• action One: The timber is softened and also cut right into slats dubbed "pencil stock" or "pencil squares." • action Two: A wax and stain are applied and the slats space passed under a cutting wheel. • step Three: The grooves in the slat room filled through a one-of-a-kind elastic glue for the lead. • action Four: lead is develop by mixing graphite and also clay and also baking that in stove at about 1500°F. • step Five: ~ the command is added, another slat of hardwood is loaded on optimal like a sandwich. • action Six: A mechanically based plunger squeezes the "sandwich" together and the adhesive dries. • action Seven: The "sandwiches" are sliced right into pencils. • action Eight: The pencils go through a lacquering head, acquiring their color and also sheen. • step Nine: A rubber eraser is added to the top via an assembly machine.

action 1:

The first step is making certain the wood is soft enough to sharpen, yet not therefore soft the it will certainly bend when you usage it come write. The timber is pre-cut right into slats dubbed "pencil stock" or "pencil squares" in ~ sawmills. Every slat is inserted in a dried kiln before being shipped to the manufacturer. This provides them a uniform moisture contents that makes their assembly much more streamlined.

Source: step 2:

The manufacturers use a wax and stain ~ they obtain the slats native the sawmills. The very first step is for the slats to happen under a gigantic cutting wheel that carves grooves follow me the edges. This grooves will at some point hold the lead or graphite in place.

Source: action 3:

The grooves space filled with a special elastic glue the acts as a cushion because that the graphite. There is no the glue, the graphite has the potential come break before the pencil"s design is complete.

Source: action 4:

currently it"s time to add the lead. Lead is developed by mix graphite and clay and also baking it in stove at about 1500 levels Fahrenheit. Graphite is one organic kind of crystalline carbon that is found in metamorphic and also indigenous rocks. The is turned into lead, i beg your pardon is the common terminology provided to describe the inside of a pencil.

Source: action 5:

after ~ the pencil is loaded v lead, it"s time for an additional slat of wood to be loaded on top. This is done on a conveyor belt v an automated arm that flips the side through glue over and also stacks the on top of the other slat containing the lead. Think of it as a command sandwich.

Source: action 6:

A mechanized plunger squeezes the "sandwich" together with over 2,000 pounds of pressure. The lumber slats are compressed together the glue has time come dry.

Source: step 7:

After about an hour, the "sandwiches" are sliced right into pencils. A fast-spinning cutter is supplied to form the pencils right into a hexagonal design. From there, the pencils separate out the the sandwich right into individual pieces. Any pencils through defects space discarded.

Source: action 8:

One at a time the pencils go with a lacquering head, giving them your color and sheen. The surface ar is coated v 4-10 coats of repaint or lacquer, depending upon the desired quality and also color.

Source: step 9:

The last step is adding the rubber eraser in ~ the really top with an assembly machine. First, the maker squeezes the top of the pencil and also slides on the aluminum component (known as a ferrule). Next, the inserts the rubber eraser and squeezes come hold whatever together.

Source: step 10:

part pencils space wrapped in decorative film with elaborate designs, while others are display screen printed or foil stamped through a logo or advertising message. If they"re not supplied as agency giveaways, the pencils are simply imprinted with the brand name of the pencil manufacturer.

See more: How Many Calories In A Mcdonald’S Parfait (Without Granola), Mcdonald'S Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait


The result is a beautiful pencil all set for sharpening! with a logo added, they also make great giveaways at college fundraisers, profession shows, and a range of other events.