Take a look at the range of values again. As you move downwards from B to 2B, you'll find that the graphite core will be softer at each point. Keeping this in mind, the lead of a 6B lead will be much softer than a 2B and hence, will produce a blacker impression.
The higher the number in front of the B the softer the lead is. So a 6B will be softer (darker) than a 2B. The same goes for lead designated by an H except H leads are hard (light) leads.
The hardness of charcoal pencils usually ranges from HB to 6B (from hardest to softest).
So a B6 is softer and darker than a B2. An 6H is harder and lighter than a 2H and much harder and lighter than a HB or a B pencil. Sometimes you can find an F pencil which is a slightly harder version of HB, meaning you can sharpen it to an even finer point.
As you move downwards from B to 2B, you'll find that the graphite core will be softer at each point. Keeping this in mind, the lead of a 6B lead will be much softer than a 2B and hence, will produce a blacker impression.
The numbers indicate the hardness or softness of the pencil within their particular range. The H pencil range: The 9H pencil is the hardest and H pencil is the softest. The B pencil range: The 9B pencil is the softest, and the B pencil is the hardest.
Good Pencils for Darker Shading
It's soft enough to give a good layer of graphite quickly without going blunt too fast. The 6B pencil is good for very dark areas, but it's very soft and blunts quickly, so it's difficult to use for detail and tends to look grainy, skimming over the surface of the paper.
The difference gets more noticeable down the line, however, exposing a core limitation of graphite pencils: they only go so dark. The graphite-only 8B really isn't much darker than the 6B, which isn't much darker than the 4B.
Most modern pencils using the HB scale feature a letter designation accompanied by a number (such as 2B, 6B or 5H) to indicate the degree of hardness or blackness. At this point in time, the F pencil is the only grade that isn't accompanied by a number (because there's only the one variant).
The usage of 2B pencil and HB pencil is also quite different. 2B pencil is darker in color and lower in hardness. It is suitable for drawing and painting all kinds of cards. But HB pencil is not.
Numbers are then used to indicate the degree of softness - the higher the number the softer the lead and the blacker the mark. For example, a 2B lead is softer than a B lead and will produce a blacker mark.
Softer lead gets a B grading, with a number to say how soft the lead is. B on its own is just a little softer than HB. 2B, 3B and 4B are increasingly soft. Further up the range, 9B is the very softest lead available, but so soft and crumbly that it's rarely used.
The degree of hardness of a pencil is printed on the pencil.
B stands for "black". These pencils are soft. H stands for "hard".
Today, however, most pencils using the HB system are designated by a number such as 2B, 4B or 2H to indicate the degree of hardness. For example, a 4B would be softer than a 2B and a 3H harder than an H.
B pencils are softer and leave more graphite on the paper, meaning they are darker. F means Fine Point.
HB pencils are most commonly used for writing, and are a staple in schools for exams and penmanship. Some people prefer writing with a 2B pencil as it has a darker lead for writing and calligraphy. If you're using a mechanical pencil, go for 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead.
For graphite drawing pencils on the market, the lightest is 6H, while the darkest available is 8B. The higher the number in each grade, the lighter or darker it is. So a 6H will be lighter and harder than a 2H, and a 8B will be much darker and softer than a 2B. F and HB are middle-grade pencils.
While the softer B pencils (6B and up) are generally considered the best for shading, there's no reason to discount the harder H pencils, since everyone applies pressure to their pencils differently.
(sɒft ˈpɛnsəl ) noun. a type of pencil that contains a thicker, oilier and darker form of graphite. Use a soft pencil rather than an HB.
An "HB" pencil is found directly in the center of the scale. "H" pencils feature harder graphite. (The "H" stands for "hard".) "B" pencils feature softer graphite.
Generally, an HB grade about the middle of the scale is considered to be equivalent to a #2 pencil using the U.S. numbering system.
Pencils ranging from 2B to 9B are softer still and are used for sketching; 2H to 9H are harder than average. A common American #2 pencil is equivalent to HB. In order, the leads are (from hardest to softest) 9H | 8H | 7H | 6H | 5H | 4H | 3H | 2H | H | F | HB | B | 2B | 3B | 4B | 5B | 6B | 7B | 8B | 9B.
What is “Pencil Hardness”? Hardness, in the coated film industry, is the capacity of a given coated surface to resist scratching, marring or gouging. When expressing the measurement of pencil hardness, we do so with a value scale that ranges from 6B, softest, to 9H, hardest (See image 1-1 for the full scale).