Pencils are not the most practical writing instruments. You need to sharpen them, and most likely on the go if you bring them anywhere. This is probably a running theme with the kind of writing instruments I like. If I’m not using a pencil it is most likely a fountain pen.
What I like about pencils is how many different options there are. Most of what I use are the top end or “premium” market. They are very different in every single way from the stuff I learned to hate in school.
They look different, feel different., perform different and sharpen cleaner than the stuff I used.
My preference is smooth and dark lines. But I also like pencils I don’t have to sharpen that much. What kind I usually end up picking depends a little on what I’m doing. Usually softer for taking notes. While harder if I’m writing long form.
No matter what you are looking for there are many different aspects you can use to pick pencils. Price, colors / looks, how the “core” feels etc.
I don’t like scratchy pencils (or pens for that matter) so that excludes a lot of the market from the kind of stuff I’m going to check out. That doesn’t mean they are bad, and there are probably a lot of cool stuff there if you are into that kind of stuff.