For many years I have been a fan of the standard No. 2 (or HB in the UK) pencil as they always felt comfortable to hold and when you need a few moments contemplation, spend some time with a sharpener. I have love quality pencils like Faber-Castell and Rhodia but I am equally at home with the office version from Staples.
They also appeal to my trying to be more eco-friendly because apart from the lead or more correctly the graphite centre, this is one writing instrument that is fully recyclable. There is however, one problem. However hard you try, you will always end up with a stubby piece of pencil that is too uncomfortable to use but still has many pages of use left in it. I then have the dilemma to either carry on using the pencil until its hurt my hand or recycle what would otherwise be a perfectly useable pencil
I then remembered that many years ago when doing a summer job, there was a guy who used to put his stubs into narrow metal tubes in order that he could continue using the pencil. A search online then revealed the answer to the dilemma – the pencil extender!
These handy tools were originally used by artists who wanted to get the maximum use from their expensive pastel or watercolour pencils but are now widely available for all pencil aficionados. Simply insert your pencil into one of these handy tools and its then it is possible to continue using the pencil down to the last 2-3 cms. The open end of each extender has a metal ring that ensures that the pencil is held securely.
Generally retailing at around £2, not only are they functional, they can be quite elegant too. I purchase two, one with a marble effect and the other with a smooth wood effect. Now I do not have any qualms when I recycle the stub as I know that the pencil is beyond use.