What is the Length of a Pencil? (in Inches & Centimeters)

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

what is the length of a pencil

The humble pencil, an essential tool for writers, artists, and students alike, is familiar in classrooms, offices, and studios worldwide. Despite its widespread use, one seemingly simple question often goes unnoticed: “What is the length of a pencil?”

The typical length of a wooden pencil is approximately 7.5 inches (19 centimeters) or 190 millimeters. This standard length allows for comfortable use and handling during writing and drawing tasks.

But there is more to know. In this article, we will delve into the dimensions and variations of this everyday instrument, exploring the factors contributing to its size. Read on!

How Long is a Pencil?

In mm In cm In inches In feet
Typical Pencil Measurements 190 19 7.5 0.625

Typical Length of a Wooden Pencil


The majority of normal pencils available in the market adhere to the standard pencil length of around 7.5 inches.

This measurement has become widely accepted and is commonly used in educational settings, offices, and art studios.

Factors That Affect Pencil Length & Variations

While the standard length of a wooden pencil is 7.5 inches, there are variations and factors that may affect the length dimensions of a pencil. For example:

1. Metal Ferrule


Some pencils feature a metal ferrule at the end opposite the writing tip. The ferrule holds the eraser in place and provides additional support to the pencil structure.

Depending on the design and size of the ferrule, it can add a small but measurable length to the overall pencil size.

2. Eraser


Pencils designed for writing and drawing often have an attached eraser at the end. The length of the eraser varies between pencil brands and models.

As such, pencils with erasers will be the standard 7.5 inches. However, those without the end cap or eraser will only measure 6.9 inches.

3. Pre-sharpened or Not


Pencils are commonly available in both pre-sharpened and unsharpened forms. Pre-sharpened pencils are ready for immediate use, while unsharpened ones require sharpening before use.

Pre-sharpened pencils will have a slightly shorter length due to the tip being already sharpened, while unsharpened pencils will have the full standard length. The length of unsharpened pencils loses about 0.5 cm when they are sharpened for the first time.

4. Other Potential Factors


  • Branding: Pencil manufacturers might create unique variations in pencil length to distinguish their products from competitors or to cater to specific target markets.
  • Customization and Special Editions: In some cases, manufacturers produce custom or limited-edition pencils with unique lengths to commemorate events, promote special causes, or appeal to collectors.

Examples of long pencils, unsharpened:

  • Amazon Basics’ Pencil = 17.7 cm
  • Colleen’s No. 710 Pencil = 18.9 cm
  • Eberhard Faber’s Mongol 482 Pencil: 19.1 cm
  • Palomino’s Blackwing Eras Pencil: 20.0 cm

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there no straightforward answer to “What is the length of a pencil?”

Pencils are not made according to a universal or even a national standard. While some expectations exist about how long and wide a pencil should be, no standards bodies, such as ANSI or ISO, dictate that.

Are mechanical pencils longer or shorter than normal pencils?

Mechanical pencils are generally shorter than regular wooden pencils. The standard length of a mechanical pencil is usually around 6 inches (15 centimeters).


Recapping this post on “What is the length of a pencil,” the dimensions of a typical wooden pencil are approximately 7.5 inches.

This standard pencil size ensures ease of use and has become a widely accepted norm in various settings. However, it is important to note that variations exist due to factors like whether a metal ferrule and eraser are included, etc.

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