I drew the following with a clutch pencil. Some artists claim they don’t use anything other than clutch pencils to draw in graphite. They value the stability of these instruments–unlike wooden pencils, they don’t change in length nor much in weight as you use them.
A basket of pears, above.
A jianzi I picked up in Houston’s Chinatown.
My clutch pencil has a built-in sharpener. The graphite shavings from this sharpener can be used to add tone and to vary value, as in the above drawings of my eye, thumb, and foot. Without a clutch pencil, one would have to resort to a graphite block or regular pencil and rubbing with a tortillon, blending stump, or piece of chamois. This risks damage to the paper, which some artists consider unacceptable. (Other artists don’t care as much.)
Highlights can be lifted out with a rubber eraser (I prefer the Pink Pearl by Paper Mate) or with a kneaded eraser.