You know how when you're an adult, suddenly socks and underwear are the perfect gift? Sometimes all you need is just the very basics - pared down, ready to use, no frills, get the job done kind of gifts.
Brass Bullet Sharpener - There's a reason this is our best-selling sharpener - this little guy is the greatest, last-you-your-whole-life, perfectly ergonomic basic sharpener. Made out of solid brass with an easily replaceable blade (do remember to replace the blade once in a while!).
Mnemosyne 194 Notebook - This is definitely my favorite notebook. The cover is sturdy plastic, while the inside pages have spaces for keeping dates and titles. And the paper is sooo smooth! This is just a step above your basic drugstore notebook, but it's a step you'll want to take again and again. It also comes in a fantastic little memo pad.
Calepino Leather Notebook Cover - The best thing about this set isn't that it's gorgeously crafted out of raw leather that earn a beautiful patina over time, it's that it's perfectly sized for any pocket notebook. It comes with three fantastic ruled notebooks from France, but once you work through those, it will nestle any of your favorite pocket notebooks.
Caran d'Ache Sharpening Machine - This sharpening machine is amongst the best of desk-mounted sharpeners in existence. The sturdy metal body is built to last and last, while the butterfly clamp can handle (almost) every size and shape of pencil your heart desires - even jumbo and triangular. There's also a dial on the back that allows you to adjust the point of your pencil.
Cedar Pointe #1 - I'm a long-winded advocate of the Cedar Pointe pencil, but General's really upped the game when they brought back the #1. This pencil is my ideal pencil - a perfect combination of no-frills classic design and excellent graphite. It's smooth and slightly dark, as a #1 should be, but has great point retention. I also really dig the feel of the raw wood barrel - it's just so soft in the hand.
Musgrave Bugle - In a similar vein, the Bugle pencil by Musgrave is a fantastic combination of economy and no-frills design. This pencil is round, which is perfect for those who find hexagonal pencils a bit too sharp for continuous use, and for a $.25 pencil, it does have really nice graphite. The white bugle painted on the side is a nice touch, too.
Natura 2H, HB, and 3B - If you're shopping for an artist, or someone in need of a little variety in their pencil jar, this little trio is just perfectly basic (I mean that in a good way). The 2H is excellently hard and light (great for light sketches), while the 3B is just so silky and dark. And of course, the HB is an excellent balance between the three. Basically, the only three pencils you'd ever need (in theory, anyway).
Peanpole Pencil Extender in Walnut - The Peanpole is one of those tools you never knew you needed, but once you use it, it's hard to imagine how you lived without it for so long. Your pencils get so much extra life with this thing! It's perfect for serial notetakers, writers or anyone who finds a pencil nub just a little too off-balance to write with properly. It even stretches to fit pencils with ferrules.