Propelling Pencils

Propelling pencil

Are propelling pencils the same as mechanical pencils?

There has long been the debate as to whether a mechanical pencil is indeed the same as a propelling pencil.

Here in the UK I would say that many years ago I would always refer to one of these as a “propelling pencil” whilst at school, and it wasn’t until more recently I unwittingly made the switch to calling them “mechanical pencils”. Now, I don’t quite know how I made this switch and can’t remember exactly when I made the switch either, but I can guess that it was in my teens when the internet evolved into what it is today.

I have an idea that “mechanical pencil” is more an American term and ” propelling pencil” more a British term and with the rise of the internet came an overlap of common terms that soon became interchangeable between these two countries and wider Europe.

On our website we refer to them as mechanical pencils even though we know them to be the same pencil type as a propelling pencil, but there seems to be even further confusion out there. One website at the top of google when you search seems to be getting propelling pencils confused with a very basic type of pencil that I remember as a child where several sharp leads in a plastic tip are used and dulled down, then taken out and pushed into the rear of the barrel which in turn pushes the next sharp tip to the front. I’m not so sure I ever knew what these were called, they well have been called that, but I think the answer nowadays is that they are fairly interchangeable a term now. Perhaps there doesn’t need to be an absolute answer and if people want to call their mechanical pencils propelling pencils we have no problem at all with that.

Propelling pencil

Whatever you tend to call it, we don’t mind at all. If you would like to explore our entire range of propelling pencils or mechanical pencils on our shop page. We do by the way also have 3 types of clutch pencil available too. We have a 5.6 Reclaimed Ebony Clutch Pencil or two types of 2mm clutch pencils available in walnut or in the reclaimed ebony.

Nicholas Hemingway’s handmade mechanical pencils are available in a wide variety of materials and we endeavour to provide great service and reliability. When thinking about a gift to give someone creative you care for then we hope that you consider one of our beautiful pencils to gift that special someone. We do have models that can be engraved or etched with that special someone’s initials.


personalized mechanical pencils

We can personalise our stainless steel, titanium, walnut and ebony mechanical pencils should you like us to.

All the pencils available on the site are handmade by Nicholas Hemingway himself and his promise is to be as sustainable as he can and steer away from mass production and the disposable culture. Many companies say the same thing, but their products are still mass manufactured and rarely hand-built like our products.

Nicholas Hemingway is passionate about what he does and loves the feedback his customers give. Please take a look at our genuine reviews.

All the best



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