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Many pencils across the world, and almost all in Europe, are graded on the European system using a continuum from "H" (for hardness) to "B" (for blackness), as well as "F" (for fine point). The standard writing pencil is graded HB. According to Petroski, this system might have been developed in the early 20th century by Brookman, an English pencil maker. It used "B" for black and "H" for hard; a pencil's grade was described by a sequence or successive Hs or Bs such as BB and BBB for successively softer leads, and HH and HHH for successively harder ones.9H8H7H6H5H4H3H2HHFHBB2B3B4B5B6B7B8B9BHardest→Medium→Softest

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Q: What is each grade on a pencil used for?
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