FAQs > Pens and Pencils Guide

Pens and Pencils

Even in the age of computers all of us still like to pick up a pen or pencil and jot some notes down or even just doodle!
We stock a massive range of stationery including writing implements and we know that the vast array we offer can sometimes be a little bewildering. So below you will find our quick reference guide to all things writing (and doodling!).


The humble pencil has been around since the time of the Pharaohs and whilst the standard design hasn’t changed much over the last few hundred years the range certainly has. Normal non coloured pencils are normally classified by their “hardness”, the harder the pencil the lighter the mark it will make.

Pencil Hardness Guide

9H 8H 7H 6H 5H 4H 3H 2H H F HB B 2B 3B 4B 5B 6B 7B 8B 9B
Hardest Medium Softest
Mechanical PencilsMechanical Pencils

Mechanical pencils or propelling pencils as they are sometimes known have there lead store inside the pencil but not bound to the casing as in a traditional pencil. As such the can be refilled and provide a drawing tip of constant thickness ideally suited to technical drawing.

Ballpoint PensBallpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are one of the most widely used pens in the world today, selling in their millions. Ballpoint pens are a marvel of modern engineering able to be produced for very little cost but to a high specification they are a must for every office stationery cupboard.

Rollerball PensRollerball Pens

Rollerball pens were invented to give the ease of use and low production costs of a biro combines with the free flowing smooth writing style of a fountain pen. Instead of oil base inks used in biro’s Rollerball pens usually use water based or gel inks.

Fineliner PensFineliner Pens

Fineliner pens are used for detailed drawing as they have much smaller writing tips. They are often preferred by artists or engineers where detailed but bold drawing is required.

Fountain PenFountain Pens

Fountain pens are for those who require a smooth and precise writing action. Whilst at first fountain pens can seem cumbersome they can offer the best writing experience due to the fact they require no pressure to write.

Italic PensItalic Pens

Italic pens sometimes referred to as calligraphy pens are designed to produce a distinct style of writing. They allow the width of the writing to be varied considerably depending on how the pen is held.

HighlightersHighlighter pens

Highlighters are common office favourite have a shaped tip that can produce lines of varying thickness. They are normally filled with highly colourful water based ink.

MarkersMarker Pens

Markers generally have a thick tip and produce chunkier writing that is good for labels or writing on boards so that your writing is easily visible. Markers come in a variety of styles depending on their use e.g. Permanent Markers or Dry Markers.

Our Full Range of Writing Supplies


My Basket

Your basket is empty