Capped mechanical pencil: Capped Pencils. (how many are there) : mechanicalpencils


Tuesday Toolset, Top 5 Mechanical Pencils Edition — The Pen Addict

Change because things have changed, or change for changes sake? That’s what I’m thinking about while working on these Top 5 list updates. The lists I’ve updated so far were the easiest in my mind because there was enough change to talk about. With subsequent lists, things get a bit more difficult.

And, even if there are no real technical changes to the products in the list, my tastes change. My thoughts and ideas about how I use products change. The products I want to recommend change. So the deck can be reshuffled, if you will. Here are my current thoughts on the state of Mechanical Pencils.

Top 5 Mechanical Pencils

  1. Rotring 600 – What, you thought that lead-in meant the number one spot changed? Not so fast my friend! I think the Rotring 600 is the best mechanical pencil on the market. It’s also the most expensive mechanical pencil on this list. That doesn’t always translate into best, but in this case it does. The brass barrel is weighted perfectly, the grip knurling is properly edgy, and it can take a beating. (Buy)
  2. Pentel Sharp – This pencil is more of the reason for the above commentary. Like the Rotring, the Sharp has been around for decades, but at a much different price point. In fact, this was a primary office supply pencil as recently as the 1990’s. Something about this traditional design and overall feel scream mechanical pencil to me, and make me want to pick it up and use it. (Buy)
  3. Pentel Kerry – If you think mechanical pencils are boring, then you haven’t seen the Pentel Kerry. I’ve been on the bandwagon for years, but I need to be louder and more vocal about how great this capped mechanical pencil is. That’s right: Capped! (Buy)
  4. Uni-ball Kuru Toga – There it is! You can argue this should be number one on the list, and you will get no argument from me. In fact, I’m sure I’ve had it there myself over the years. The mechanics work flawlessly, and if the lead rotation mechanism is something you need, then go for it. I just rarely pick it up compared to the rest of these. Bonus point for tons of design variety. (Buy)
  5. Uni Shift-Pipe Lock – When it comes to mechanical pencils, pipe protection is important. This pencil does it effectively, and beautifully. Give me more color options and I might rank it ahead of the Kuru Toga. (Buy)

(Notes: If I’m feeling frisky one year I may knock the Kuru Toga off completely and replace it with the Tombow Mono Graph Shaker. It’s one of the best bang-for-your-buck mechanical pencils on the market.)

My personal use ranking:

  1. Rotring 600
  2. Uni Shift-Pipe Lock
  3. Pentel Sharp
  4. Tombow Mono Graph Shaker
  5. Pentel Kerry

15 Best EDC Mechanical Pencils of 2021

Usually, when we talk about everyday carry writing utensils, we’re talking about pens. But we realize that the permanence of ink isn’t for everyone — especially creatives, those prone to mistakes, or some combination of the two. In that case, we tend to lean more toward pencils.

Unfortunately, standard wood pencils are not exactly efficient. Not only is their usefulness tied directly to how much of them you’ve used, but they require you to carry around a sharpener of some sort in order to keep them in working order. Mechanical pencils, by contrast, are refillable, can be more compact, last far longer, and come in a wider range of styles. That’s why, if you’re going to incorporate a pencil into your everyday carry, we suggest one of the following 15 best mechanical pencils for EDC.

Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil

The pencil version of one of the best EDC pens of all time, Zebra’s M-701 mechanical pencil is practically unbeatable. Not only is it incredibly budget-friendly, but it’s also durable — constructed from stainless steel — comfortable to hold and use (thanks to a knurled grip), easy to carry in your pocket due to its integrated clip, and it is useable with standard-sized 0.7mm lead.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $6

Pentel P205A Sharp Mechanical Pencil

Pentel has been in the pencil game for a long time and their P205A Sharp mechanical pencil is their all-time best-seller — that should tell you something about its overall quality. The example above is compatible with 0.5mm lead, but there is also a trio of alternative size options for thicker or thinner lines. It also has a 4mm tip that’s ideal for drafting purposes (like using it with a ruler) and it comes with a pocket clip.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: No

Purchase: $7

Staedtler Lead Holder Mechanical Pencil

Most mechanical pencils rely on ultra-thin lead refills that are prone to breaking — especially if you’re a bit heavy-handed or you write/draw at an angle. The Staedtler Lead Holder, however, houses a thicker 2mm lead that acts more like those found in standard wooden pencils. This allows for better sketching, shading, and more resistance to pressure than its thinner counterparts — making it perfect for anyone who likes to draw. It also has an integrated sharpener to keep the tip pointed.

Lead Size: 2mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: No

Purchase: $10

Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil

Designed specifically with professionals in mind, Alvin’s Draft-Matic mechanical pencil is remarkably durable and long-lasting to the point that you might never need to buy another mechanical pencil again once you have this one. It’s also available in a quartet of different lead sizes for all your needs, comes with a pocket clip for easy hauling, and has a hideaway eraser under the tail cap.

Lead Size: 0.2mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $10+

Uni-Ball KuruToga Mechanical Pencil

You probably recognize the name Uni-Ball for the brand’s legendary lineup of pens, but it turns out they also make mechanical pencils — with the KuruToga being perhaps their best. This unique translucent offering is a state-of-the-art writing utensil available in either 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead sizes, it comes with a hideaway eraser, and it has a rotating lead mechanism to keep the tip sharp and help prevent breakage.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Plastic
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $11

Rite In The Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil

It’s fairly unlikely that you’ll need the ability to use your pencil in a downpour. However, if you pick up the Rite in the Rain All-Weather mechanical pencil, you can. That’s because, like their pens, this utensil has a special lead designed not to suffer any ill effect at the hands of the weather. It’s also ultra-durable, has a patented tip to help prevent breakage, and it comes in multiple colorways for your styling pleasure.

Lead Size: 1.1mm
Barrel Material: Resin
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $13

Autopoint Jumbo All-American Mechanical Pencil

One of the things missing from a lot of mechanical pencils is the ergonomic feeling you get from the faceted barrels of traditional wood pencils. Luckily, Autopoint specifically made their Jumbo All-American mechanical pencil with that same geometric styling. That makes it comfortable to hold and keeps it from rolling off your desk once you set it down. Mate that to a pocket clip and jumbo eraser and this is a solid option for any everyday carry loadout.

Lead Size: 0.9mm, 1.1mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $14

Parker Jotter Mechanical Pencil

If you want your mechanical pencil to be a bit sleeker and modern than the competition — something you can be proud to bring into an office meeting or keep on your desk — then you might want to have a look-see at the Parker Jotter. From the legendary company that makes everyone’s favorite ink cartridges, this less-permanent utensil is crafted entirely from stainless steel, houses 0.5mm lead, and still has a pocket clip.

Lead Size: 0.5mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Eraser: No

Purchase: $15

FastCap Fatboy Extreme Mechanical Pencil

For those looking for the ultimate shading capabilities out of a mechanical pencil, the FastCap Fatboy Extreme simply cannot be beaten. That’s because, while all the competition is messing around with lead that’s fractions of a millimeter in thickness, this one comes with a whopping 5.5mm piece of lead — which is even thicker than most traditional pencils. For artists and sketchers alike, this might just be the best mechanical pencil out there.

Lead Size: 5.5mm
Barrel Material: Aluminum
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $15

rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil

Sleek, stylish, and built to last, the Rapid PRO mechanical pencil is one of the best ones on the market for those who are frequently on-the-go. That’s because it has an added bit of safety and security in the form of a retractable tip — meaning you don’t have to worry about bending or breaking it while you’re in transit. It’s also available in matte black or chrome silver, has a knurled grip and pocket clip, and comes with a 2-year warranty against defects.

Lead Size: 0. 5mm, 0.7mm, 2.0mm
Barrel Material: Metal
Eraser: No

Purchase: $35

Everyman Grafton Mechanical Pencil

Everyman’s Grafton Pen is one of our favorite permanent writing utensils of all time and, as it turns out, they also make it in a mechanical pencil version. And yes, just about everything that made the pen great remains in the mechanical pencil, save for the ink. That means it’s still got the same styling, an integrated pocket clip, an aluminum construction, and a well-balanced body. It also works with both 0.5mm and 0.7mm lead — two of the most popular sizes available. Our favorite difference, however, is probably the tail-mounted eraser on the clicker mechanism.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Aluminum
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $35

Lamy 2000 Mechanical Pencil

There is something to be said for the styling of pens. Namely, they’re typically sleeker and more refined than their lead-loaded counterparts. Lamy seems to be keen on this fact, which is probably why they made their 2000 mechanical pencil with pen-like styling. Truly, unless you write with it, you’d probably not even guess that this is a pencil at all — which is a good thing in this case. It’s also made from resin and stainless steel for plenty of durability, works with 0.7mm lead, and has an eraser on its tail end.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Makrolon Resin
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $66

Ystudio Mechanical Pencil

If you like the look of traditional yellow wood pencils, but you want a lead-filled utensil that will last a good deal longer, the Ystudio Mechanical Pencil is the pick for you. This absolutely beautiful everyday carry tool is made primarily from solid brass, has copper accents, and has phosphor bronze hardware. Because of the materials, this pencil will also age with use — giving it a unique patina reflexive of its usage. It’s a pricey investment, but it has the potential to last for generations with proper care.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Brass
Eraser: No

Purchase: $100

Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil

At first glance, you might be wondering what, exactly, makes the Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil worth nearly $200. But have a closer look and the reasoning begins to reveal itself. For starters, the pen is crafted from your choice of stainless steel, phosphor bronze, tellurium copper, or titanium. It also comes with an interchangeable mechanism to allow it to house 0.5mm, 0.7mm, or 0.9mm lead. And finally, it has both an eraser on the tail end and a retractable tip. Essentially, this handy utensil was built to last a lifetime or two.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel, Copper, Bronze, or Titanium
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $180+

Porsche Design Tec Flex Mechanical Pencil

While the greater brand is best known for their impeccable sports cars, they also have a sub-brand called Porsche Design that makes everything from hi-fi home speakers to everyday carry gear. In that latter category, they’ve crafted this absolutely breathtaking mechanical pencil from seemingly-woven stainless steel. Yes, this is by far the most expensive offering on our list, but it’s also the most exclusive and possibly the most beautifully crafted mechanical pencil of all time. It’s made for the elite — and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want to count ourselves amongst them.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $230+

The 15 Best EDC Pocket Notebooks

An EDC mechanical pencil isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have something on which to write, sketch, draft, or draw. Fix that problem by adding one of the best pocket notebooks to your everyday carry loadout.

The Best Mechanical Pencils of 2021

We spent weeks testing 16 of the top mechanical pencils and found that the Pentel – Quicker Clicker is the overall best mechanical pencil. This attractive higher-end mechanical pencil, which costs just a few dollars, is easy to refill and a pleasure to use. We especially liked its side-click lead advance feature. The Uni-ball – Kuru Toga was an extremely close runner-up that features a unique rotating mechanism to keep lead consistently sharp.

Table of contents

How we selected finalists to test

To find the best mechanical pencil, we scoured forums like r/mechanicalpencil and blogs like The Pen Addict (Brad and his friends also love pencils) and Bleistift to get an idea of the pencils the obsessives like best. We also consulted Wirecutter’s and Wired’s reviews of mechanical pencils. Then, we took to Amazon to find the most popular and highly-rated pencils loved by consumers.

We mostly chose pencils sized 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm, but we also tested some larger sizes for those who like range. We know that different people are looking for different levels of quality (and “keepability”) in a mechanical pencil, so we also tested a range of price points, from around 15 cents to 25 dollars per pencil. We tested brands known for their mechanical pencils (like Pentel) and the big two technical drawing brands, as well as some traditionally cheaper brands like Paper Mate.

Compare the best mechanical pencils

Product + Size Cost Available Sizes (mm) Features
1. Pentel – Quicker Clicker (0.5mm) $ 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 Side-click lead advance
2. Uni-ball – Kuru Toga (0.5mm) $ 0.5 Rotating lead mechanism
3. Paper Mate – 34666PP Clearpoint (0.5mm) $ 0.5 Side-click lead advance
4. Zebra – M701 (0.7mm) $$ 0.7 Professional grade stainless steel
5. Pentel – Sharp Kerry (0.5mm) $$ 0.5, 0.7 Pen-like cap
6. rOtring – 600 (0.7mm) $$$ 0.5, 0.7 Hexagon-shape prevents rolling
7. Uni – Kuru Toga Roulette (0.5mm) $$$ 0.5 Rotating lead mechanism
8. Pentel – GraphGear 1000 (0.5mm) $$ 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 Chiseled metallic grip
9. Staetdler – Silver Series (0.5mm) $$$ 03, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9, 1.3, 2.0 Push button lead advance

Why use them?

A good mechanical pencil can create smooth, consistent lines (without the need for sharpening). It’s convenient for travel, and is guaranteed not to stain your pocket with ink. There are plenty of studies that show that handwriting engages your brain better than typing, and some would argue that the more tactile experience of graphite on paper connects you even more to your writing.

A mechanical pencil is refillable and looks more professional than a traditional pencil. Best (and most obvious) of all, its lead is erasable. So you can leave the correction fluid in the drawer. Tradition dictates that pencils should be used for rough sketches, arithmetic, and any other time that you might need to erase or change the marks you’ve made.

A high-quality mechanical pencil will almost always cost you less than a high-quality pen. And lest style be a concern, rest assured that there are plenty of attractive (and even pen-like) mechanical pencils on the market these days.

Important features to consider

Lead size and grade: Most people will like a 0.5mm or 0.7mm width pencil (the width refers to the size of the lead and the line it creates), but there are smaller and larger widths available if you prefer. Lead can also vary in hardness, which changes the shade and the strength of the tip. If you’re a heavy-handed writer or don’t want smudging, you may want to go with a lighter and harder lead; mechanical pencils often use different grades than regular pencils so they can make the leads stronger so interpreting the grades is tricky.

Cost: Mechanical pencil costs can vary dramatically. But just like we learned testing pens, the most expensive isn’t always the best. You should be able to find a mechanical pencil you love for just a few dollars or less.

Grip: A pencil grip won’t necessarily make your pencil more comfortable to use, and some people actually find them cumbersome. But if you want a pencil with a big, squishy grip, we know the perfect one for you. Surprisingly, our testers found the grips on some of the higher-end mechanical pencils more uncomfortable — perhaps because they’re designed to keep your grasp firmly in place, but not cushion your hand.

Lead advancement: The classic mechanical pencil model requires you to click the top to advance the lead. Some newer models have a side-click mechanism instead. Others still have a twist advance. What’s best for you comes down to preference, though the idea behind a side advance pencil is that it’s quicker and disrupts your writing flow less.

Retractable vs. capped: Standard mechanical pencils are retractable, but if you want to look more polished in the boardroom, Pentel makes a capped version.

Lead cushioning: Some mechanical pencils use a lead cushion or guard that reinforces the lead against rougher writing styles. If you’re aggressive with your writing utensils, you may want to consider it.

Materials and aesthetics: Just like other writing utensils, there are an array of colors and styles of mechanical pencils available. You can get ones that resemble a pen or a conventional woodcase pencil, or you can get something bright and colorful. As a general rule, don’t assume that the quality of the pencil’s “look” is equal to how well it writes.

How we tested

We recruited the same group of illustrators, hand lettering artists, bullet journalers and designers that we used for our best pen testing to test mechanical pencils. We gave them several weeks to use the pencils throughout their everyday lives, jotting down work notes, writing grocery lists and sketching designs. For quick notes and sketches like this, our testers found that almost all of the mechanical pencils were acceptable. The one exception? The Pilot – Eno pencils, which came with lead that broke immediately upon use.

Then, we conducted a focus group in which our testers used each pencil to write assigned sentences (that used every letter of the alphabet) and doodle their own whimsical creations. After that, each tester gave detailed feedback on the experience of using each pencil. From there, we did a qualitative analysis to determine which mechanical pencil was the best.

Unsurprisingly, our testers had much stronger opinions about each pencil after being forced to write for minutes on end with each one. Also unsurprising, most feedback had to do with comfort rather than how the pencil actually wrote.

The best overall: Pentel – Quicker Clicker

By a narrow margin, the Pentel – Quicker Clicker (0.5mm) took first place in our tests for best mechanical pencil for writing. We liked its slick design and its smooth feel, and at just a few dollars, it’s high quality for a low price. Refilling it was easy, and so was advancing the lead.

Pentel is a Japanese-held company that has been innovating in the stationery industry since the mid-forties. They’ve come up with a lot of “firsts,” including the Quicker Clicker mechanism — Pentel says it’s the “original side-advance mechanical pencil.” It comes standard with Pentel lead and eraser, a strong metal clip and a transparent barrel so you can see the status of your lead. You can purchase it in a myriad of colors, and we especially like the classy look of the sky blue.

There are many a loyal Quicker Clicker devotee out there. Unfortunately, many who have been using it for years don’t like the new and “improved” model with the rubber grip. Our testers weren’t bothered by the grip, but some didn’t like the side advance as much as a “traditional” mechanical pencil that requires you to click the top.

Top Pick: Pentel – Quicker Clicker

For a high-quality mechanical pencil at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with the sleek and smooth Pentel – Quicker Clicker. With smooth lead and a slick aesthetic, the Pentel – Quicker Clicker is both a joy to write with and attractive enough to leave out on your desk.

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Though the Quicker Clicker has fine lead, it didn’t break when we were writing — even when used by a heavy-handed writer. It also required very little pressure to write with, which will save you from hand cramps if you’ll be writing for a while. The Quicker Clicker, which our testers described as “smooth and reliable,” comes in three line widths: 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm. You can get its lead in the traditional graphite (No. 2 grade), or in shades of violet and blue.

The eraser on the Quicker Clicker is high quality, as far as attached mechanical pencil erasers go. In our testing and regular use, we didn’t notice a lot of residue or “smearing” left from erasing mistakes. One thing to be aware of: Some Amazon users complain that the eraser refills for the Quicker Clicker are hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores. That being said, they’re readily available online.

The runner-up: Uni-ball – Kuru Toga

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Uni-ball Kuru Toga (0. 5mm) was a standout in our tests. Uni-ball is one of the most highly regarded brands in the stationery world, and the Kuru Toga is one of the most frequently discussed (and recommended) mechanical pencils by the aficionados. We can see why. The lead is high-quality and doesn’t break when you write with it. It’s got a hardy plastic body and clear grip, and feels balanced in your hand.

Runner-up: Uni-ball – Kuru Toga

The Uni-ball – Kuru Toga is a popular mechanical pencil for a reason. Only narrowly missing the first place mark due to its hard-to-refill lead, the Uni-ball Kuru Toga impressed us with its high quality and virtually break-proof lead.

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Uni-ball was founded in Tokyo, so it’s no wonder that its name is Japanese. The Kuru Toga was named with a Japanese portmanteau of “rotating” and “to become sharp.” This aptly describes the pencil’s rotating lead mechanism which keeps lead, you guessed it, consistently sharp. For this reason, we think it’s one of the best mechanical pencils for writing longform.

Like with a traditional mechanical pencil, you click the top of the Kuru Toga to advance the lead, and from there it flows nice and smoothly. So why isn’t the Kuru Toga our first-choice pick? Changing the lead is a little more difficult than usual, due to the very small opening the pencil provides to insert the lead.

Even so, the Kuru Toga beats every other pick in terms of quality and smoothness of writing. And in those respects, it’s also right on par with the Quicker Clicker.

The budget pick: Paper Mate – Clearpoint

If you’re looking for something that feels good to write with, but doesn’t cause a panic if you lose it, we recommend the Paper Mate – 34666PP Clearpoint. At less than $1.50 per pencil, it delivers quality and value all wrapped up in an erasable package.

Budget Pick: Paper Mate – Clearpoint

The Clearpoint is proof that low cost doesn’t mean low quality. For less than two bucks, you get something that feels good to write with.

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Our testers found this pencil comfortable and easy to use. One tester even went so far as to say that it was his favorite to write with — even more so than the expensive pencils. The only concern with the Paper Mate? The eraser doesn’t erase very well. But with the ubiquitous and cheap auxiliary erasers available on Amazon, we don’t consider this too big a problem. In fact, you could purchase one of these mechanical pencils and a separate eraser for less than the cost of some of the other pencils on our list.

Like our top pick, the Paper Mate requires you to click the side of the pencil to advance it. It’s got a clear barrel so you can see the status of your lead, and it has a textured grip that some users will like. It’s worth noting that this one also comes in a colored pencil version with an array of rainbow leads available.

Others finalists we tested

Pencils we recommend

Zebra – M701: Zebra is a big name in writing utensils, and we’re generally impressed with their products. The M701 is not an exception. It’s got the weighted, smooth feel of a high-quality pencil and it encourages neat handwriting. Plus, while the grip isn’t smooth, it also doesn’t dig into your hand. The Zebra lost points because it felt especially heavy, which can tire your hand out over time. Still, some writers may prefer a weightier pencil. At over five dollars, it’s more expensive than most of our pencil picks, but we also think it’s one of the best quality mechanical pencils out there.

Pentel – Sharp Kerry: There’s no doubt that the Quicker Clicker is the best Pentel mechanical pencil, but the Sharp Kerry is probably the classiest. It looks exactly like a capped pen until you remove the cap and see its point. Some testers found it a bit slippery and hard to hold on to. Nonetheless, it can’t be beat for its sophisticated look, and when all is said and done, it writes well.

rOtring – 600 Series: This is a classic design that has an avid following among designers; we’ll call the rOtring a luxury mechanical pencil. At more than 25 dollars, it’s certainly an investment. As we would hope, it performed well on almost all accounts: smooth, break-free lead and controlled writing included. If you want a pencil that doesn’t get in the way when you’re using a stencil or ruler, this is a great pick. The only thing we didn’t like was the tiny hole you’re forced to fit the lead through when you refill it. It’s a minor complaint, but for a pencil this expensive, we expect near perfection. The rOtring comes pretty close.

Uni – Kuru Toga Roulette: Similar to our runner up, but with an upgraded metal body and knurled grip. Our testers found the Uni – Kuru Toga Roulette to be “light and efficient” and an overall joy to use. There’s not much to pick on with this pencil — we love its performance. This is a good thing, since one will cost you about ten dollars. If we had to pick something to dislike, we’d say the eraser on this pencil is a little small.

Pentel – GraphGear 1000 Automatic Drafting: Our testers found the GraphGear 1000 to be delightfully “futuristic,” and they also liked that the top clicks into place like a pen when you advance the lead. It’s nicely weighted (not too heavy or too light) and writes well and smoothly. The only downsides? Some testers found the lead filling process a little cumbersome and the lead itself a little weak.

Staedtler – Silver Series: A pencil with the name “Silver Series” (and a price point of over ten dollars) invites some big expectations, and for the most part the Staetdler didn’t disappoint. It’s available with an extra-sharp 0.3mm size and writes precisely and smoothly. Like the rOtring, this is a technical pencil well-known among architects, planners, and designers. Our testers’ biggest complaint with this pencil was the grip; most found it somewhat uncomfortable. If you’re not writing longform content though, this pencil might still be for you.

Paper Mate – 1.3mm Mechanical Pencils Paper Mate markets these as an alternative to the traditional woodcase pencils, and they do look like a fat and colorful version of the original. The 1.3mm are targeted toward young children who are just learning to write — the larger width of these utensils makes them easier for little hands to control. However, there were plenty of user comments from full-grown adults who love these pencils and the thick lines they create. Are they right for you? It comes down to taste. Most of our testers found them very comfortable to write with.

Pencils we don’t recommend

BIC – Xtra Sparkle: With a name like “Xtra Sparkle,” we didn’t expect this BIC to deliver high-octane pencil performance. Still, with nearly 2,000 Amazon reviews, we had to give it a go. Unsurprisingly, it was sub-par in almost every way. When asked to describe it in two words, one tester said “meh” and “whatever.” For quality, we give this one a 50 percent. For jazzing up your kid’s pencil box? A solid 100.

Pilot – Color Eno: The Color Eno are the only “colored pencils” we tested, again due to their high number of reviews. Their primary tester, a designer, actually loved their hues. However, he found that the lead broke easily and that the pencils were overall “not super reliable.”

Pentel – Sharp Automatic: The Sharp Automatic is another pencil that probably lands somewhere in the “meh” and “whatever” zone. It doesn’t stand out for much except its uncomfortable grip and the distinctive way it makes you feel not-in-control of your own writing.

Pentel – Twist Erase: The Twist Erase has a cool name, but the lead is too light, thick and dull. Our testers found that you have to press harder than is comfortable to use it. Another complaint: It doesn’t allow for very good control of your writing.

Pentel – GraphGear 500: We loved the GraphGear 1000, but its little brother didn’t make the same impression. We found the 500 to be dull and fragile, with lead that breaks too easily and a lead changing process that’s too time-consuming. This one isn’t worth paying over five dollars for.

Alvin – Draft-Matic: The Alvin, another “luxury” pencil at over ten dollars for one, disappointed us. It’s sleek and cool looking, but it’s uncomfortable to hold, it’s too hard to change the lead and it made our writing uneven and scratchy.

The bottom line

We tend to treat mechanical pencils like they’re disposable, but really, a good one should last you a long time. For one you’ll want to keep around, we recommend the all-around impressive Pentel – Quicker Clicker. If for some reason you can’t get your hands on that one, the Uni-ball – Kuru Toga is also a good bet. And if you do want one you can treat like a disposable, then choose the Paper Mate – 34666PP Clearpoint. It’s great quality for a very low price.

Top Pick: Pentel – Quicker Clicker

You can’t go wrong with the Pentel Quicker-Clicker. It’s smooth and reliable with fine lead that isn’t prone to breaking.

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Nicole is a Senior Content Specialist whose writing passion ranges from national recycling initiatives to how to find the perfect Christmas tree. She loves her dog more than most people, and she subsists almost entirely on iced coffee. When she’s not copy editing and researching for Your Best Digs, she’s usually curled up in bed with a good book or outside exploring nature.

Antique 10k Gold Capped Mechanical Pencil

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T2) All items are being sold As-Is with no warranty. Auctioneer shall not be responsible for the correct description, authenticity, genuineness of, or defect in any lot, and makes no warranty in connection therewith. On-site inspection of items being sold is recommended. Auctioneer makes every effort to provide accurate information about the items being sold. However, neither Auctioneer nor its Client will assume responsibility for Buyer’s bidding errors. It is Buyers’ full responsibility to confirm the accuracy of items offered for sale. Buyers are recommended to inspect all items. Descriptions and photos are offered as a guide only. Do not rely solely on photos to make buying decisions, be sure to read descriptions, and ask questions if you are unclear. Auctioneer shall not be held responsible for such errors as posting the wrong photo for an item. When in doubt about the condition of an item, please bid accordingly. You may preview all of the items for auction on the first and third Saturday starting at 11am. In case of an online-only auction, items may be previewed the Friday (10am-4pm) before the auction is set to close or as perscribed by the auctioneer.

T2a). Bidder understands and agrees that this agreement and all rights of the parties there-under, shall be governed by the laws of the County of Anderson, State of Tennessee and any action brought by either party shall be brought in the Courts of the State of Tennessee. In the event, that for any reason, the forum is deemed to be sufficiently inconvenient or the agreement on the forum selection is unenforceable it is still the intention of the parties that the Laws of the State of Tennessee govern the parties agreement and their rights attended thereto. Buyer agrees that any legal filed action will take place within the county of Anderson, City of Clinton, State of Tennessee.

T3) ALL SALES ARE FINAL. A successful bid at auction, whether live or online, constitutes a legally binding contract of sale. All sales are final. There will be no refunds, returns or exchanges.

T4) Absence of Warranties. The condition of the items being offered varies. The Buyer understands and agrees: (1) that any description or sample of the items given or furnished by Auctioneer is solely for identification, and does not create any warranty expressed or implied, that the item actually conforms to such description or sample, (2) that Buyer or agent on Buyer’s behalf has inspected or has had the opportunity to inspect, all of the items upon which Buyer will be bidding and/or does purchase, (3) that all items are purchased and accepted by Buyer “AS IS”, “WHERE IS” and “WITH ALL FAULTS”. AUCTIONEER MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES WHATSOEVER WHETHER WRITTEN, ORAL OR IMPLIED AS TO QUALITY, AUTHENTICITY, QUANTITY, CONDITION, USEABILITY, SALEABILITY, WEIGHT, MEASUREMENT, YEAR, MODEL, MECHANICAL CONDITION, PERFORMANCE, OR OTHER SPECIFICATIONS, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR WARRANTY AGAINST PATENT, TRADEMARK, COPYRIGHT OR TRADE SECRET INFRINGEMENT, (4) in the event there are manufacturer warranties in effect for the item purchased, Buyer must make all claims thereunder directly with the provider of the warranty. No statement or statements of any other paragraph herein shall be construed to in any way contradict the provisions of this paragraph.

T5) Bidder’s Number. The bidder’s number is nontransferable. All bids, online or in-house, made using the bid number will be the responsibility of the Buyer.

T6) Failure to Remove Purchases. In the event items are not removed within three (3) business days after the auction(s) end OR freight/large items shipping inforamtion has not been received within five (5) business days after the full payment of the item(s), the items purchased shall be deemed abandoned and Buyer will lose any right, title, or interest Buyer may have acquired and the items shall revert and repossess to Auctioneer without further notice to Buyer. Auctioneer shall also be entitled to any costs associated with the removal, storage and reselling of Buyer’s items, and any other charges, fees, and expenses incurred as a result of Buyer’s failure, including all attorney fees and costs incurred by Auctioneer to enforce Buyer’s obligations hereunder.

T7) Buyer’s Premium
Online buyer’s premium is 15%, there is a 3% credit card surcharge.


P1) By agreeing to our terms and conditions you agree to allow us to charge the credit card on file if you are the winner upon close of the auction.

P2) Local bidders, you may pay with a personal or cashier’s check. You must contact the office prior to the close of the auction and indicate that you will pay with cash or check. You may also pick up your items or have them shipped. If you are a TN resident, please contact the office if you would like your item(s) shipped.

P3) We accept all major credit cards.

Any declined credit card payment will have two (2) business days to contact the office (865-264-4641) and pay with a valid credit card. If payment has not be successfully received with two (2) business days, you will no longer be authorized to bid at JD’s Auctions and negative feedback left.

P5) Verbal/written “cancellations”
JD’s does not recognize or accept cancellations for any item for any reason won at auction. If the winning bidder decides to “cancel” an item it will be treated as a nonpayment (see P8). If a winning bidder decides to “cancel” an item after it has been paid for, there will be no refunds, no exceptions.
P10) Personal Information
It is vital that your personal information (name, address, phone number, and email) are correct. We ship and contact using that information and if it not correct, delays will occur. JD’s Auctions is not responsible for correcting your information and is not responsible for any delays or incorrect delivery of items due to incorrect personal information. Please contact the office if you would like to verify your information: 865-264-4641.


S1) Buyer to pay all shipping charges. Shipping will be added to the total cost of the item(s) (hammer price + buyer’s premium + sales tax (if applicable). Our third-party shippers do not invoice but contact you directly via phone or email for payment processing. Please contact them directly with any shipping questions, claims, or quotes. We use The Mail Center ETC for most of the in-house auctions. Online only estate auctions are handled by UPS Pack and Ship. If you are unsure where your item may have been sent for shipping, please contact the office @ 865-264-4641.

The Mail Center ETC
Teresa or Ashley

UPS Pack and Ship
Nathan or Damen
865-584-0081, option 8

S2) Large, extremely fragile, freight shipping
Buyer has five (5) business days to contact the office (865-264-4641) with shipping arrangements (name of shipper, contact information, and pickup timeline). All exceptionally large or irregularly shaped items will be packaged through UPS Packing and shipped via UPS. Furniture, large signs, or extra large pieces may require freight (anything over 110lbs packaged). We have shipped using two companies: Rancho Buck out of Atlanta, GA, and If freight or third party shipping is needed, it is the responsibility of the buyer to coordinate and pay for all shipping. Please contact us prior to bidding with any shipping questions. Any buyer who fails to provide this information will fall under: Failure to Remove Items (para T6)

Rancho Buck

S3) In-house shipping
We no longer provide in-house shipping.

S4) Non-Payment of Shipping
If the buyer refuses or does not wish to pay for shipping or will not pick up the winning items, JD’s Auctions will not refund the purchase for any reason. The buyer can then become a consignor and consign the item(s) with JD’s Auctions. A contract will be sent via email for the buyer to review and sign. The contract must be scanned and emailed back to us or mailed. The buyer has five (5) days to return the signed contract. When the contract is received, JD’s Auctions will lot the item in an auction. If the contract is NOT received within five (5) days, the items will be deemed abandoned and become the sole property of JD’s Auctions (para T6).

You are responsible for any and all customs fees in addition to USPS International First Class or USPS International Priority Mail. Depending on the item, UPS/FedEx International may be used to ship your winning item(s)

All firearms purchased at auction by a non-Tennessee resident must have that firearm(s) shipped to an FFL holder. It is the buyer’s responsibility to pay for all shipping, background check, and transfer fees. Please contact the office (865-264-4641) and provide the contact information for your preferred FFL. All handguns will be shipped UPS. Long guns may be shipped USPS or UPS, depending on lowest cost or buyer’s preference.

S7) Shipping process and time
We first process payments and then flag items for shipping. Our shippers pick up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Only paid for items will get picked up during those days. Our shippers will contact you directly for shipping payment. Shipping processing can take anywhere from four-10 business days due to the high volume of internet bidders so please plan accordingly and your patience is greatly appreciated. If you need your package faster, please let us know via phone call and we will expedite your item(s).

State Taxes:

All Tennessee residents must pay sales tax unless a Tennessee Sales and Use Exemption is on file with JD’s Auctions prior to paying for your items. If you are from out of state and have a state sales tax exemption form and travel to our Gallery to pick up, please bring a copy of your exemption form. If you do not provide an exemption form on file and you pick up in Tennessee, you will have to pay Tennessee State sales tax. Please contact our office with any questions, 865-264-4641, M-F 10am-5pm EST.

To submit your signed Tax Exemption form, email us at [email protected], subject line: Tax Exemption.

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The Best Mechanical Pencils to EDC in 2021 – Carryology

Shading gradients, very fine lines, consistent and reliable operation, and knowing a mistake is one eraser rescue away… the mechanical pencil was invented in the late 1800s but the modern version really took shape and was popularized in 1915 in Japan. Since then, they’ve been on draftsmen’s tables and mechanical engineers’ pockets and in the pencil case of every student that prefers writing with a piece of graphite instead of a nib filled with ink.

The lowly lead holder pencil has advanced significantly since WWI but the concept is mostly unchanged. Sub-millimeter lead is held in a tube and advanced using a clutch, through a lead pipe, when the user presses the knocker. However, that is not to say that improvements haven’t been made. Companies have produced pencils with mechanical solutions to breaking and uneven wearing lead. Others have sought to create mechanical pencils meant to be passed down to the next generation.

Choosing The Right Pencil For You

Like any tool, a mechanical pencil is an extension of you; your hands and your thoughts. It allows you to put thoughts to paper so it’s a very personal decision because what might work for someone else might not work for you. Consider the size, material, and any special features you may want.

Size | It’s All About Comfort

The obvious measurements that matter in a mechanical pencil are length and weight. Most pencils are around the 140mm mark or about 5.5 inches. This seems to be a sweet spot for most folks and I find that having a pen or pencil that is too short is much more of a detriment than one that is too long, unless it’s heavy and not balanced.

If you want a really compact pencil, something that can “post” (this means when you take the cap off of the writing end and store it on the back end), like the Sharp Kerry for example, would be ideal. It gives you the option of having a short instrument but you can also get that length by putting the cap on the eraser end.

Next, there’s weight. This can vary depending on the length, diameter, and material of the pencil. Most plastic mechanical pencils, even with metal components, weigh around 10 grams. But a full metal mechanical pencil like the Rotring 600 weighs over twice as much. Then, of course, there are metals like copper, which again weigh more. So if you love to maneuver your pencil with light, fast strokes, lighter is likely better for you.

Grip | Where You Hold It Matters

For all its five and a half inches, the main interface you have with a mechanical pencil is of course where you hold, or grip, it. Not surprisingly, this is the area that gets much of the focus, and where we see a lot of variation in pencil designs. There are endless variations in ways companies shape their grip section. Usually there is some sort of texturing or material difference (i.e. rubber) to aid in retention. All metal bodies often have knurling, or grooves cut into the metal. The path leading from the lead pipe up to the start of the grip can be stepped or tapered and variations in between.

Perhaps the most important dimension here, though, is where the grip section starts in relation to where the lead touches the paper. Every person holds mechanical pencils at a different height so if you tend to choke up on the pencil but your knuckles are not fully resting on the grip area, it’s going to make for an uncomfortable writing experience.

Materials | Steel is Real

If you are looking at stepping up your pencil game, there is no upgrade more obvious than trying mechanical pencils made out of metal. Metal doesn’t need to cost much either; the first recommendation on our list is just $3 USD and it actually weighs a little less than some of the more deluxe plastic pencils. As you step up, you will find makers like Number 9, Tactile Turn, and Modern Fuel that offer pencils in stainless, brass, copper, and even titanium.

For more “interesting” materials like brass and copper, there’s the added benefit of patina, developing with use. This is a thin layer that naturally forms on the surface over time and with use. This is accelerated with skin contact, which means it happens naturally with more use. One thing to note is a copper pencil could weigh almost five times as much as a polymer one. And at that point, the weight is noticeable!

A metal pencil is highly recommended because they are extremely durable and the nicer ones on our list will truly last a lifetime and can be passed on.

Special Features | No More Broken Lead!

Pencil manufacturers, particularly the Japanese, have come up with some really innovative and purely mechanical solutions to common lead pencil issues that have plagued students for years. The first is, of course, lead breakage. There are a few ways this has been addressed. The Orenz, for example, uses the lead pipe to completely cover the lead. It’s rounded on the edge so it doesn’t dig or get caught in the paper, despite being so thin. The DelGuard takes a two-pronged approach, through the clever use of springs and either extending the lead guard or allowing the lead to retreat when there is too much vertical or diagonal pressure.

The Kuru Toga has a system that allows the lead to constantly rotate as you write, making sure you have an even tip!

With all that said, if you’re ready to dive in, this is a curated list of the best mechanical pencils we recommend.

Zebra M-301 Stainless Steel

Starting off with the least expensive of the mechanical pencils on our list, it’s the Zebra M-301. It’s a stainless steel pencil that is really meant to be both accessible and ultra-durable. The non-slip grip means precise control while writing and it takes standard 0.5 mm lead. It measures 13.2 cm / 5.2 inches and weighs 9 grams. So it’s easy to carry around as part of your EDC or in your pocket.

Pentel Orenz 0.2mm

A mechanical pencil that features an astonishingly narrow 0.2 mm lead. This really seems specifically designed for students and engineers who need to write small notes, complex equations, or detailed graphs. Usually, thin leads mean breakage but the Orenz mechanism combats this. It features a guide pipe that completely envelopes the lead; you actually write with none of the lead extended. To advance the lead, you still click it on top, and the guide will extend with the lead inside. It’s made of plastic with a metal clip and measures 14.2 cm / 5.6 inches long and weighs just 10 grams. It also comes in over half a dozen color options, from standard black to sky blue and pink.

Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil

Many adults probably wish the Zebra DelGuard was around when they were students. A firm grip or brittle lead often results in breaks but Zebra has a two-pronged approach to protect against this. First, there is a spring in the barrel of the pencil that allows the lead to retract if there is too much vertical pressure. Second, a spring in the tip extends the lead guard to protect it against too much sideways (or angled) pressure. The DelGuard comes in two dozen options between the three lead sizes (0.3, 0.5, 0.7 mm) and different colorways. It measures 13.7 cm / 5.4 inches and weighs 10 grams; an impressive feat given the mechanisms included.

Pentel Graph Gear 1000

A bit of a specialty unit, the Graph Gear 1000 is a very popular drafting pencil. It’s a full aluminum body with a fully retractable tip that is incredibly balanced. The grip has very fine stippling and evenly spaced rubber textures to make it comfortable to hold and secure to grip. Lastly, it has a large metal spring clip that allows it to attach to thick objects like a notepad. It measures 14.9 cm / 5.9 inches and weighs 20 grams; so consider this extra weight and, especially, length when deciding if it fits in your workflow.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette

An ingenious solution to a problem that most people just accepted and took for granted, the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette has a rotation mechanism that continually rotates the pencil lead as you write. This ratcheting gear assures even wear of the lead. So there is no need to subconsciously spin the pencil body to prevent the dreaded wedge shape. This has the added benefit of producing uniform text, with no thin/thick or light/dark parts of the font. The Toga Roulette measures 14.6 cm / 5.7 inches and weighs 15 grams. This makes it slightly heavier than most plastic-bodied mechanical pencils but this is well worth it due to the roulette mechanism.

Pentel Sharp Kerry

A truly gorgeous mechanical pencil that harkens back to the American executive rollerball pens that you might find on the desk of a company president. The Sharp Kerry has a distinct capped design that snaps on the back of the pencil with a satisfying and barely audible click. There is a refillable eraser hidden at the top of the cap and the lead is extended by clicking the button when the cap is unposted or on the top of the cap when it is. The body is made of a combination of metal and resin. It measures 13.2 cm / 5.2 inches posted and just 4.1 inches uncapped; both are in usable writable shape. It weighs 21 grams which is twice some of the lighter mechanical pencils on the list. But the balance is wonderful and is not heavy at all.

Rotring 600

If there ever was an iconic mechanical pencil, the Rotring 600 would be it. To say it is a timeless design is an understatement. The 600’s strong industrial design means it fits right in its intended role as a drafting pencil. There is nothing organic here; the all-metal brass body, right angles, straight edges, and finely knurled grip is all business. It has a nice heft, thanks to the all-metal brass body but at 22 grams, you’d hardly call it heavy. The unique hexagonal body means no rolling off the drafting table; the metal clip aids in that as well.

The guide pipe gives a clear view of the lead. Speaking of lead, there’s even an indicator so you can quickly switch between your pencils with different graphite grades. The pencil has an 8mm grip which is a Goldilocks size and the body is slightly wider at 9mm. At the end of the 14.1 cm / 5.6-inch body you’ll find the iconic Rotring red ring. A recognizable design element any writer would spot from across the room.

Tactile Turn Pencil

Tactile Turn has been machining custom pens, in Texas, since 2012. Almost ten years later, everything about their operation and products has evolved and improved. First introduced in 2018 and discontinued in 2020, to say the return of the Pencil is one of the most anticipated of 2021 is an understatement. The new version comes with a slimmer body (0.365″) and clip design while maintaining the bolt lead advance on the side and a replaceable friction eraser at the top. The Pencil uses a Schmidt DSM2006 mechanism. The engagement with the bolt is fiddly at first but becomes second nature after a few tries.

It’s available in four material finishes (titanium, copper, bronze, and zirconium) and two lead sizes (0.5mm and 0.7mm). And like most of Tactile Turn’s products, you can upgrade to a Damascus bolt or clip. The new packaging also snugly holds the pencil, three erasers, and a full set of leads in some precision cut high-density foam. The unboxing experiencing is very satisfying. Will and the team have managed to maintain the Tactile Turn DNA in the Pencil, with their iconic cut grooves, uniformly spaced end to end, while the added detail of the exposed rubber eraser immediately conjures memories of pencils from school days.

Number 9 Pencil

Launched on Kickstarter in 2019, the Number 9 is Dr. Lindsay Wilson’s attempt at taking an ordinary and often considered a disposable item and making it a premium piece that will last a lifetime.

An engineer and inventor at heart, Lindsay holds a Ph.D. in luminescent solar concentrators and by day sells a temperature controller (PID) he designed on his website. Like many scientists, it’s clear the Number 9 was an outlet to produce something physical and mechanical.

The Number 9 is based on the Sharp P207 drafting pencil from Pentel. Looking at the final product, there’s no denying the heritage. The Sharp has been in regular production since the 1970s and has been a fan favorite ever since. Its design and practicality are timeless so this was a great foundation.

Everything about the production of the Number 9 Pencil is manually done, with meticulous attention to detail. Lindsay is most proud of his knurling, which produces the fine textured pattern in the grip area for a firm hold and fine control. Most knurling processes just stamp the pattern into the material using force, which can end up with distortions and damage the finish. Using a lathe, the grooves on the Number 9 are cut into the body of the pencil, ensuring a clean and consistent design.

There are six standard designs, separated into three pairs. Users can choose between a plain, grooved, or knurled grip with high and low taper or continuous or interrupted patterns for the latter. All bodies are 144mm long and measure 8mm across the hexagonal flats and 7.7mm across the grip. The pencil is offered in aluminum, brass, stainless steel, and titanium. And if all of the options described are still not sufficient, Lindsay has proven himself a capable machinist, producing custom versions with different sizes as well as patterns and designs (the bamboo is a popular choice).

Modern Fuel The Pencil 2.0

Originally launched on Kickstarter, The Pencil has gone through a few revisions and has now settled on v2. With a desire to create an heirloom piece, Andrew Sanderson’s take on the ubiquitous BIC Matic mechanical pencil is breathtaking. The pencil is carved out of a solid piece of metal and contains no plastic parts. Unlike some other custom mechanical pencils, the Modern Fuel version has an entirely custom, all-metal mechanism that powers it from within the machined body. The cone and body are machined separately but when mated together, leave no trace of a seam. It truly feels like a single piece of metal. The knock is solid metal and is internally threaded to hold the eraser plug. For maximum protection, the sleeve is retractable, protecting it from damage.

The Pencil is 145mm / 5.7 inches long and has a diameter of 9.5mm. It weighs 42g in the stainless option, with bronze and copper weighing a little more and the titanium offering a 35% reduction in weight. It comes standard with a 0.7mm mechanism. But 0.5 and 0.9mm options are available for purchase and video walkthroughs on the website guide the user through disassembly.

The pencil is a marvel to hold. Without the clip, it’s an uninterrupted line of brushed metal. The taper from the cone to the body is very subtle and levels off in a very soft way; not abrupt in the least. The finish doesn’t take a turn until you reach the eraser. But Modern Fuel has thought of everything – eraser plugs are available for that clean, all-metal look.

The History of the Mechanical Pencil

The Mechanical Pencil is an elegant writing implement known for its precision, reliability, artistry and beauty. Ideas move smoothly and accurately from the hand to the page with a crisp elegance. The magic of the mechanical pencil is its ability to continually remain sharp and ready to use, as well as creating precise lines on the page. Unlike a typical pencil which requires regular sharpening, the mechanical pencil only requires a quick press or twist of the handle to extend the pencil point so your words and ideas can continue to flow. (Link:


Rather than ink used in fountain or roller pens, the mechanical pencil uses  a solid core usually called “lead” but which is actually made of graphite. A mechanism extends the solid pigment core using a technology that helps to push the lead forward while in use. Known as a mechanical pencil in the United States it is sometimes called a “propelling pencil” in the UK and a “pen pencil” in India. Invented hundreds of years ago, this elegant, precise writing instrument has a fascinating history to explore.


While ink pens were in use in Ancient Egypt, the mechanical pencil has a somewhat more recent history. A mechanical pencil was invented in 1565 by Conrad Gesner, a renowned Swiss physician, philosopher, bibliographer, natural historian and illustrator.  He described a writing instrument in which graphite, which was then thought to be a type of lead, was set in a wooden holder.  His “leadholder” pencil had to be manually adjusted in order to be sharpened.  (Link:


Mechanical pencils were known to be in use in the 1700s. The earliest existing example of a mechanical pencil was found aboard the wreckage of the HMS Pandora, the ship that was best known for its role hunting down the Bounty mutineers, which sank in 1791. The wreck was found in 1977 and a mechanical pencil was among the treasures discovered onboard.


The first patent for a refillable pencil with a lead-propelling mechanism was issued to Sampson Mordan and John Isaac Hawkins in Britain in 1822. Mordan later entered into a business partnership with Gabriel Riddle from 1823 to 1837 to produce a beautiful, working mechanical pencil. The earliest Mordan pencils are marked “SMGR” to commemorate the company founders.


In 1837, Mordan began manufacturing mechanical pencils on his own through “S.Mordan & Co.” The company continued to make mechanical pencils until the factory was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War.


Improvements in mechanical pencil design continued throughout the 19th century with 160 patents registered between 1822 and 1877, capped off by the arrival of the spring-loaded mechanical pencil.

Two years later marked a leap forward when Joseph Hoffmann invented the pushbutton clutch in New York City, first used in the Eagle Automatic by the Eagle Pencil Company. This design marked the first true mechanical pencil. While a significant advancement, the clutch on the Eagle Automatic had too much give for it to be used for professional drafting.


In 1895, the first twist-feed mechanism arrived, advancing the lead by twisting a screw, which moved a slider down the barrel of the pencil. This style of pencil was the most common type of mechanical pencil at the beginning of the twentieth century.


In 1915, Tokuji Hayakawa in Japan improved the mechanical pencil, using a twist or screw-based design, naming it the “Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil.” Soon, companies from Tokyo to Osaka placed large orders for his pencil, leading him to launch his formal business, taking the name from the pencil, “Sharp.”


Meanwhile, at the same time in the U. S., Charles R. Keeran was creating a similar style pencil that would be the forerunner of most of today’s modern pencils. His design was ratchet-based and he patented his lead pencil in 1915 with production following soon after. His product was marketed as the “Eversharp” pencil by the Wahl Adding Machine Company. By the early 1920s, Wahl sold more than 12,000,000 Eversharps.  (Link:


Throughout the 20th century, manufacturers improved on quality and production processes to bring us the high-quality, precision instruments we have today. Current day mechanical pencils are made with outstanding quality and elegance and bring together the traditions of the original designs combined with precise manufacturing processes. They are sturdy, elegant, and can provide a lifetime of beautiful words, images and designs on the page. We are proud to offer the ZenZoi mechanical pencil which follows the rich traditions set down before it, while offering world-class craftsmanship and quality.



Best Mechanical Pencils (Updated 2020)

A mechanical pencil is a writing tool that has been engineered to hold a thin stick of graphite (usually referred to as lead, though it isn’t actual lead) for writing. Unlike wooden pencils, the best mechanical pencil never has to be sharpened. Mechanical pencils can offer the freedom to choose the size of the lead and, therefore, the thickness or fineness of the line drawn.

Mechanical pencils are not a new innovation, unlike other modern technology. In fact, the first patents for mechanical lead holders were filed hundreds of years ago, including one as far back as 1565 by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner. That was only five years after the invention of the wooden pencil!

Since that time, mechanical pencils have only improved, and are marketed by the makers of many brands of writing tools worldwide.

There are many different types of mechanical pencils, including those with different mechanisms for advancing the lead through the tube. Some use a screwing method, while others use a click-top—or ratchet-based mechanism.

Even more important than the lead-advancing mechanisms are the variety of styles found in mechanical pencils. Styles vary depending on use. There are slim, lightweight models used for school or office work and heavy-duty models that are water-resistant and write in bold, dark lines for outdoor use. There are also many models in between for use in drafting, sketching, and much more.

We’ve done the research and put together a list of the best mechanical pencil choices in many of the above categories. There are mechanical pencils for many uses, from drafting to outdoor construction, and much more. A quick browse through should help anyone find the best mechanical pencil to suit their needs—or to give as a gift!

One of the best mechanical pencil options that come in a complete set for a surprisingly reasonable price is the MozArt Mechanical Pencil set. This set is a must-have for artists or for drafting. They are also handy and durable writing tools for students, teachers, professionals, or for everyday office or home use.

This set of four mechanical pencils comes with four tip sizes, including 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm, so you have a wide range of options, making this ideal for the most creative artwork. Each size tip comes with a full set of HB lead refills. The set also includes four eraser refills.

While these mechanical pencils have lightweight plastic barrels, they are surprisingly durable and well-made. This is a great set in a surprisingly low price range.

The MozArt Mechanical Pencil Set offers precise and consistent line marking, making them ideal for sketching. The lead easily advances with a simple click tip mechanism on the eraser end. All lead sizes are high-quality for smooth flow and smudge resistance. The erasers are topped with attractive silver metal caps to keep them from becoming hardened from air exposure over time. Metal pocket clips are also added.

These mechanical pencils come with non-slip barrel grips to provide support and to prevent fingers from slipping. This can help with hand fatigue during long sessions of writing or drawing. They are ergonomically designed to be comfortable in any grip. This set comes in a convenient plastic pouch so you can keep all four mechanical pencils and their refills together.

The MozArt Mechanical Pencil set is one of the best mechanical pencil sets in a more affordable price range.

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Key Features

  • 4 mechanical pencils in four lead sizes
  • Includes 4 refill packs in each size
  • Includes 4 eraser refills
  • HB lead type


  • Lead Size: 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm
  • Material: Plastic with metal tip
  • Mechanism Type: Click top lead advancement
  • Replacement Lead Included?: Yes
  • Brand: MozArt Supplies


  • Integrated eraser with eraser refills included
  • Easy to refill lead and erasers
  • Non-slip barrel grip design
  • Includes 4 refill packs


  • Barrels are plastic
  • Erasing may cause the eraser tip to lodge in tightly, making it difficult to replace the lead

The best mechanical pencil to give as a gift or as a special treat for yourself is the luxurious Pilot MR Animal Collection Mechanical Pencil. This mechanical pencil is made of fine brass with stainless steel accents. The beautiful satin matte finish comes in unique color combinations with animal pattern accents such as plum with leopard, black with crocodile, gold with lizard, silver with python, and white with tiger print. This uniquely beautiful mechanical pencil comes in an elegant gift box with a protective foam insert. It makes a beautiful presentation as a gift for students, artists, office workers, craft lovers, or anyone who appreciates a beautiful writing implement. You can add matching refillable fountain pens, gel pens, and ball-points with the same beautiful animal print for a complete set of beautiful writing tools.

Look for the other elegant Pilot styles, including the Metropolitan Collection, and Retro Pop Collection.

The Pilot MR Animal Collection Mechanical Pencil has an extra-fine 0.5mm lead, for writing that is thin, consistent, and always elegant. A stainless steel pocket clip is included. The brass barrel with stainless steel accents feels sturdy and perfectly weighted in the hand so you can write or draw with balanced comfort. With a reliable internal advancing mechanism and smooth writing tip, this will be your favorite pencil, and you will want to show it off.

Pilot takes time and care to craft all the writing implements in the collection, including the mechanical pencil, with exceptional quality. While this pencil does not come with an eraser or lead refills, it’s worth buying those items separately so you can use and keep this beautiful mechanical pencil for years.

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Key Features

  • Luxurious brass barrel in matte colors with animal print design
  • Comes in beautiful gift box
  • 0.5mm extra fine lead
  • Perfectly weighted and balanced for exceptional comfort


  • Lead Size: 0. 5mm
  • Material: Stainless steel and brass
  • Mechanism Type: Internal spring mechanism
  • Replacement Lead Included?: No
  • Brand: Pilot


  • Available in five beautiful color and animal print combinations
  • Gift box included, making this a great gift
  • Extra fine lead for more elegant and distinctive writing
  • Exceptionally Comfortable


  • Refill lead sold separately
  • No eraser tip

One of the best mechanical pencil choices in a lower price range is the MyLifeUnit Mechanical Pencil Set. These are smooth, lightweight mechanical pencils constructed of durable plastic with knurled rubber grips for slip resistance. This set of two pencils, one blue and one black, are ideal for artists, carpenters, students, or for sketching, drafting, or crafting.

Each MyLifeUnit Mechanical Pencil has an ideal weight balance, so it feels comfortable in hand, even after hours of use. The non-slip rubber grip keeps the pencil firmly in place in any size hand and helps to minimize writing fatigue. It is ergonomically designed in a triangular shape to promote the most stable, relaxed grip.

The MyLifeUnit Mechanical Pencil Set comes with 2mm lead refill sets of 10, one in HB, and one in 2B. The pencils have rotating labels which you can turn and click to display which type of lead you’ve used in each pencil to eliminate the guesswork when you pick up a pencil. Push-button advance from the top moves the lead down in a precise, controlled way that minimizes the risk of breakage.

On each MyLifeUnit Mechanical Pencil, the top doubles as an integrated rotary-style sharpener so you can keep a sharpened point as needed, allowing these pencils to deliver a consistent, precise line that is your best ally in any project. Each pencil has a sliding sleeve and cushioned lead mechanism that buffers pressure to resist lead breakage at the tip, for longer-lasting lead.

The lead replacement mechanism is fast and easy, and the lead is clearly marked to avoid confusion.

This set may be the best mechanical pencil choice in this price range, and the lightweight plastic design enhanced with a metal tip, pocket clip, and detailing make these mechanical pencils look as good as they feel.

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Key Features

  • Heavy-duty plastic mechanical pencils, one black, one blue
  • Offers smooth, precise line drawing
  • Push-button advance and metal pocket clips
  • Includes two lead refill packs, 1 2B, 1 HB


  • Lead Size: 2. 0mm
  • Material: Plastic
  • Mechanism Type: Push-button lead advancement
  • Replacement Lead Included?: Yes
  • Brand: MyLifeHunt


  • Includes no-slip rubber grips
  • Includes integrated lead sharpener for points
  • Includes two lead refill packs

The Pentel Graph Gear 800 Mechanical Drafting Pencil may be the best mechanical pencil for a superior balanced grip. This mechanical pencil is ergonomically designed to provide a more comfortable grasp for long usage without pain or cramped fingers. The wide metal barrel has non-slip grip pads to provide even more comfort as well as a more secure and slip-proof grip. The pads are latex-free to be safe for all users.

Pentel designed this mechanical pencil to be perfectly balanced with the ideal barrel weight, so this pencil nearly guides itself. The metal side clip is highly durable to withstand repeated use, so this heavy-duty mechanical pencil will be your longest lasting pencil.

The Pentel Graph Gear 800 Mechanical pencil is designed for heavy use in any work setting, including for drafting, art, or for simple school or home use. It’s durable enough to withstand the abuse of any work, school, or home situation and still outperform a typical wooden pencil.

With the Pentel Graph Gear 800, your lines will always be clear, dark, and of a perfectly regulated size for more consistent results.

This mechanical pencil has a 0.7mm lead size. It’s also available in 0.3, 0.5, and 0.9mm sizes. All mechanical pencil sizes come with different color metal barrels, so you know each size at a glance. The tip length of the Pentel Graph Gear 800 is 4mm, so it can be easily used with templates, rulers, and other guides.

The Pentel Graph Gear 800 Mechanical Drafting Pencil comes with an efficient end eraser with a convenient metal cap to keep it clean and to prevent hardening from over-exposure to air. It comes pre-filled with a super hi-polymer graphite lead. Also included is a pack of lead refills, making this one of the best mechanical pencil choices for lasting convenience.

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Key Features

  • Metal grip with latex-free grip pads
  • Weighted barrel for ideal balance
  • Durable metal clip
  • 4mm tip length for easy use with rulers or templates


  • Lead Size: 0.7mm
  • Material: Metal with pad inserts
  • Mechanism Type: Screw-based
  • Replacement Lead Included?: Yes
  • Brand: Pentel


  • Includes eraser cap to keep eraser clean
  • Pre-loaded with high quality HB lead
  • Clear, dark lines


  • Extra wide-sized barrel may be difficult for some users to become accustomed to.

Bellofy may have introduced the best mechanical pencil set for artists or for those who do drafting, sketching, writing, or illustrating. The Bellofy Mechanical Pencil set includes 14 pieces, with three gold or brass-toned mechanical pencils with built-in sharpeners with 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 mm lead, and three graphite lead holder mechanical pencils. This is a total of six pencils with six different thickness levels. Also included are six lead refills for each pencil and two white vinyl erasers.

The combination of lead sizes allows users to experiment with different line thicknesses and styles for the ultimate pencil set for any kind of drawing or writing task, or for enhanced creativity.

This is the best mechanical pencil set for artists, teachers, students, or for office use.

Bellofy Mechanical Pencils are constructed of high-quality aluminum. The sharpening pencils come in attractive brass-toned metallic barrels, and the graphite-holder pencils are silver, gold, and black. All pencils are ergonomically designed for a comfortable, easy grip with non-slip grips to make even lengthy drawing or writing sessions more relaxed and to lessen grip fatigue.

The pencil lead sizes are labeled on each pencil, and each refill container is also labeled to make it easy to replace the lead as needed in each. While some users found the labeling on the brass-toned pencils difficult to read, they are marked, so use your glasses if you have them. Another possible drawback is the fact that this set doesn’t come with instructions. Some users have used Youtube videos in order to replace lead or to advance the lead. Despite these possible issues, the pencils are durable, long-lasting, and offer clear, bold, consistent line drawing.

These pencils come with built-in erasers as well as two additional large erasers. Advance the lead as needed by clicking from the top.

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Key Features

  • Set of six mechanical pencils with built-in sharpeners
  • Three different lead sizes including 0.5, 0.7, 0.9
  • Includes 12 refills in each size
  • 3 graphite lead holders with 6 refills in each size


  • Lead Size: 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 mm
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Mechanism Type: Click-top lead advancement
  • Replacement Lead Included?: Yes
  • Brand: Bellofy


  • Set includes two large erasers
  • Comfortable, ergonomically designed grip
  • Perfect for drawing, drafting, sketching, and writing
  • Three different lead sizes


  • Lead size labels on pencils are small and difficult to read
  • No directions on package label

The rOtring 600 0.5mm Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil may be the best mechanical pencil for innovative design. The full metal barrel has a unique hexagonal shape to aid in a slip-proof grip. This design also keeps the pencil from accidentally sliding off of tables, desks, and drawing tables to prevent loss or tip breakage. The design and pattern of the metal gripping zone enables a sure, slip-resistant grip with superior comfort for longer use without writing fatigue.

The fixed lead guidance sleeve on the rOtring 600 0.5mm Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil helps to prevent breakage and lead waste, while it also allows for a clear view of your paper and markings for a much more precise drawing when using rulers, templates, or stencils.

This professional-grade mechanical pencil has a brass mechanism for a guided lead advancement, which effectively reduces the instances of lead breakage when the lead descends to the tip. Your lines will be dark, clear, and reliably, even so, you never have to guess at what will appear on your paper. Instead, you can count on clear, consistent results every time.

The rOtring company believes in creating products that unite industry with artistry. This mechanical pencil is designed for both precision results and enhanced creative ability.

Mechanical pencils are also available from rOtring in 0.7mm and come in both black and silver. A lead hardness grade indicator is included on every rOtring 600 mechanical pencil so you can quickly identify your lead grades as you work.

This may very well be the best mechanical pencil for technical writing, offices, schools, artists, architects, and more.

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Key Features

  • Brass mechanism for a more precise lead advancement
  • Hexagonal barrel shape for no-slip grip
  • Fixed lead guiding technology prevents tip breakage


  • Lead Size: 0.5mm
  • Material: Metal
  • Mechanism Type: Brass
  • Replacement Lead Included?: No
  • Brand: rOtring


  • Perfectly balanced weight to prevent hand fatigue
  • Includes two year warranty
  • Lead guidance sleeve allows a clear view of page and more precise drawings with rulers and templates
  • No-slip grip


  • No retractable sleeve
  • Eraser cap needs upgrading: it’s slightly loose and may fall off

If your work takes you out of the office and into the field in any kind of weather, the Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil may be the best mechanical pencil for you. This is no ordinary mechanical pencil. It is engineered to be extra tough and durable, with a sturdy resin barrel that’s designed to survive the most extreme outdoor conditions, including sun, wind, and rain, as well as being shoved into pockets and toolboxes. The bold black or red pencil lead is smear-resistant and waterproof and writes even outdoors in wet, rainy weather conditions. It shows up vividly on all paper products, as well as wood and metal.

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil has a bold, vivid stroke with thick 1.1mm lead that not only provides a clear, thick, concise line. It also resists snapping and breaking. The flexing tip further protects the lead and prevents breakage. The specialized tip grip holds the lead snugly to prevent wobbling and unsteady markings as well as preventing lead fall-out, which is critical when working outdoors. An easy twist mechanism advances the lead forward as you work.

This bold mechanical pencil has an easy gripping, ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand and resists sliding. The barrel comes in black, yellow, or red options. The waterproof lead is available in bold black or red pencil, making this the best mechanical pencil to see on any material in any weather.

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil comes with seven replacement leads, which are stored conveniently right inside the pen barrel beneath the eraser. Two extra erasers are included, as well as a convenient pocket clip. Extra lead refills and eraser replacements can be purchased separately, so this pencil can last for years.

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Key Features

  • Thick, bold markings
  • Easy twist up lead advancement
  • All-weather, water-proof and smear-resistant writing
  • Expanding, lead-protecting tip


  • Lead Size: 1.1mm
  • Material: Resin
  • Mechanism Type: Twist style advancing mechanism
  • Replacement Lead Included?: Yes
  • Brand: Rite in the Rain


  • Comes in red, black, and yellow barrels
  • Choose black or red lead
  • Convenient pocket clip and 2 extra erasers included
  • Writes on all material, including wood and metal


  • Lead can’t be advanced one-handed
  • Extra lead is stored under eraser and sometimes spills out if you pull pencil by eraser end

The best mechanical pencil for those with arthritis or other joint or grip issues may be the Pilot Dr. Grip Limited Mechanical Pencil. This pencil is recommended by the American Arthritis Foundation for ease of use for those with painful or stiff joints.

Pilot Dr. Grip Limited Mechanical Pencil is a luxurious-looking, thick barreled mechanical pencil with a beautiful metallic finish that looks as great as it feels. This mechanical pencil is perfectly balanced and weighted, and writes smoothly and evenly, with a consistent stroke that never wavers or wobbles.

Pilot gives this mechanical pencil an ergonomically designed cushioned grip to alleviate fatigue even through long periods of writing or drawing. The grip is made with comfortably cushioned gel and is designed to prevent slipping, as well as to alleviate writing fatigue. With the retractable 0.5mm lead and extra-wide barrel, this mechanical pencil writes reliably and comfortably and is more grip-friendly for those with joint pain.

Users can quickly advance the lead through a fast and easy shaker method, or by pressing the eraser to click the lead forward.

The Pilot Dr. Grip Limited Mechanical pencil is perfect for those who have to write for long periods of time, or who frequently write throughout their day. It’s also ideal for artists who sketch or draw. Your lines will be smooth, bold, and consistent, and you can work for hours without experiencing hand fatigue. The ergonomic grip makes this the best mechanical pencil for working artists to allow for hours of creativity.

This mechanical pencil does not come with lead replacements, but they are available for sale. Some users have noted the small eraser size, which could be an issue for some. Erasers are also replaceable.

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Key Features

  • Ergonomically designed cushion grip for ease of use
  • Beautiful metallic barrel
  • Retractable and refillable
  • 0.5mm lead


  • Lead Size: 0.5mm
  • Material: Metal
  • Mechanism Type: Shaker type lead advancment
  • Replacement Lead Included?: No
  • Brand: Pilot


  • Recommended by Arthritis Foundation
  • Relieves grip fatigue
  • Refillable

One of the best mechanical pencil choices for bold, vivid markings is the Aviation Aluminum Mechanical Pencil. This mechanical pencil looks as great as it writes, with a sleek, slim design that’s constructed of aviation-grade aluminum. It comes in your choice of black, rose gold, silver, blue, or gold. The barrel has a soft-quality finish, and the tip is of high-quality elastic brass for a smooth, cushioned glide. You can mark any surface, including wood, metal, and glass. This is ideal for construction purposes, as well as for crafting.

The lightweight aluminum shell makes this mechanical pencil perfect for carrying in pockets. Lead advancement is easy, with a magnetic, chromium-plated ring that slides down to advance the lead. The lead is a hearty, 2.0mm thickness to make bold, sure lines on paper or other surfaces. The innovative design and sleek appearance also make this a pencil you will want to show off.

The Aviation Aluminum Mechanical Pencil is easy to refill. Just remove the pencil head and slide the magnetic ring back and refill the barrel. Then slide the ring forward to adjust the length, tighten the pencil head, and the mechanical pencil is ready to write. A mini-sharpener with magnifier is included, as well as a case of 12 refill leads in 2.0mm thickness and a pencil slipcase. The magnifier is not on the end cap but is a separate unit, which means it can easily be lost, which may be a drawback for some.

This is easily one of the best mechanical pencil choices to make bold, strong marks for use for any project at home, on the site, or in the office.

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Key Features

  • Sleek aviation-grade aluminum design
  • Magnetic ring advancing mechanism
  • Dark, bold 2mm lead works well on any surface
  • Comes with mini sharpener


  • Lead Size: 2.0mm
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Mechanism Type: Magnetic
  • Replacement Lead Included?: No
  • Brand: WSD


  • Sleek, unobtrusive design
  • Extra wide, bold lines are perfect for construction
  • Includes mini sharpener

The best mechanical pencil set for busy artists on the go may be the Leda Mechanical Pencil with 19 Colored Pencil Leads. This sturdy mechanical pencil comes pre-filled with black lead and includes two cases of additional colored leads in a rainbow array of options. This is the equivalent of a large pack of colored pencils, without the bulkiness and inconvenience—perfect for busy artists to bring along during travel, or to keep in a backpack or purse to use whenever inspiration strikes.

The Leda Mechanical Pencil Set not only has a generous supply of colors, but it also comes with a bonus sharpener. The design of the pencil itself is a heavy-duty six-sided polymer shell for easy gripping. The textured brass grip and tip prevent fingers from sliding during use. Replacement leads are also available, but the generous 2-pack supply of colorful 3.5-inch leads should last even the most prolific artists for some time.

This may be the best mechanical pencil set not only for proficient artists, but for anyone who enjoys coloring books, comic drawings, or just plain doodling at home, the office, or during travel. The pencil fits all grades of 2mm leads, so it’s versatile enough for any use at work, home, or studio. The wide array of color options makes it ideal not only for artists but for interior decorators and clothing designers.

The ergonomic, six-sided design and no-slip grip makes the Leda Mechanical pencil easier to use than typical colored pencils and reduces cramping and hand fatigue. The pencil and lead holders are easier to carry along for travel than a large pack of colored pencils.

The only thing lacking in this colored pencil set is a travel case, which seems like a critical oversight in what is otherwise a convenient travel set for an artist. Still, even with the possible added expense of purchasing a travel case, this is a great option for any artist to keep on hand—because you never know when inspiration will strike!

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Key Features

  • Easy-gripping lead holder mechanical pencil
  • Mixed color lead refills and one black lead
  • 19 total colors
  • Six-sided polymer with brass finishing and easy grip


  • Lead Size: 2mm
  • Material: Polymer
  • Mechanism Type: Click-top mechanism
  • Replacement Lead Included?: Yes
  • Brand: Leda Art Supply


  • Comes with bonus sharpener
  • Great for traveling
  • 19 available colors

As many artists know, the advantages of a mechanical pencil over the old-style wooden ones are many. A mechanical pencil doesn’t have to be sharpened—though many have tips that can be sharpened if you prefer a fine point. They offer a more precise and consistent line. In fact, you can choose the thickness of the line by choosing the lead size in your best mechanical pencil. You can go with bold, dark strokes, or fine, elegant ones—and anything in between. Lead sizes can be as small and fine as 0.2mm up to a broad, bold 5.6mm, with the most common sizes being 0.5 or 0.7mm.

For artwork or drafting, nothing beats a mechanical pencil. You can extend the lead out for shading. You can use broad, bold strokes or add the finest details.

Advantages Of A Mechanical Pencil

While wooden pencils all have the same basic size and weight, you can choose the best mechanical pencil for your needs by finding the size, shape, and weight that’s best for you. Mechanical pencils are often engineered to be more perfectly balanced and weighted for comfortable use, and to more easily glide across paper than wooden pencils. A great mechanical pencil may also have an ergonomically designed shape so it will fit comfortably in your hand. Often this means it is thicker than a wooden pencil for a less cramped grip. This gives a comfortable advantage to those who will be working with the pencil for long periods of time, such as long writing sessions, drawing, drafting, or sketching. Sometimes non-slip grips are added for a more secure grasp that resists sliding, slipping, or skidding for a more stable and consistent line. These features also make mechanical pencils easier to grasp and hold for those with arthritis or other joint problems compared to a wooden pencil.

Other Features To Look For In The Best Mechanical Pencil

There are many other exciting features offered by mechanical pencils, such as handy pocket clips like those you find on pens, and spring-loaded tips to deliver a more even and smooth line and to keep the lead from breaking under pressure.

Many mechanical pencils come with eraser tips—some even capped, which helps to keep the eraser soft and pliable, so it works more thoroughly. Many come with extra eraser tip refills, so you get more use out of your mechanical pencil. Some models include integrated sharpeners for those who want a sharp point on their mechanical pencil. Some have extended tips that allow easier use with rulers, edges, and stencils.

Artists will be thrilled to discover that some of the best mechanical pencils come with colored lead refills so they can bring an entire rainbow array of color options with them without having to have handfuls of colored pencils and sharpeners.

When choosing a mechanical pencil, you can find beautiful, elegant models in brass or stainless steel, with satin finishes and beautiful accents, or you can choose tough, durable ones for workshops and outdoor construction. There are also less expensive plastic mechanical pencils that can have some great benefits of their own!

No matter what your writing or drawing needs and preferences, today, you are sure to find the best mechanical pencil for you somewhere in the wide range of great choices now available.

We hope you like the items we recommend! Screen Rant has affiliate partnerships, so we receive a share of the revenue from your purchase. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us offer the best product recommendations.

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Mechanical pencil with cap

After graduation, the computer replaced my pen and paper. But I got carried away with the Chinese language and noticed that it was not all the same with what and on what for 2 hours a day to display hieroglyphs. I have tried different pens, notepads and pencils. Now I use a leather notebook, a fountain pen and a mechanical pencil with a cap.

My writing set

The hard cover is handy when writing in transport.Fingers don’t get tired of the fountain pen. The cap on the pencil protects the nib from breaking and the pockets from holes.

Pencil selection

I bought some pencils before ordering Pentel Sharp Kerry . And none of them satisfied with the convenience and reliability.

My pencils

The fixed tip is sharp and vulnerable. It bends, the lead breaks, or pierces a pocket. At one time I adapted the cap from the handle.

Plastic housing or complex structures like the Uni Shift are unreliable. Put it in your back pocket and sit down – deformed.

The plastic in the nib is also a problem. My Rotring 800 was breaking leads. There is a skew in the plastic sleeve of the stylus.

A year ago I came across Dave’s blog on mechanical pencils and saw what I was looking for – a pencil with a cap and an all-metal nib.


Pentel Sharp Kerry is available in several colors and two lead thicknesses. P1035 – 0.5 mm model, P1037 – 0.7 mm. I prefer thicker leads and have ordered the P1037 from American ebay sellers. This is 1.5 times more expensive than ordering P1035 from Japan.

Screenshot of page

The packaging has not survived, but it is a regular bubble bag with pencils in a plastic box. The track was tracked, but also not preserved. I took two pencils to have a second in reserve (if I lose).

Dimensions and weight

Sharp Kerry compact. Length: 125 mm closed, 105 mm without cap, 130 mm with cap. Case width: from 9 to 11 mm.


The cap, buttons, stylus and sleeve between the body halves are made of metal. The black halves of the case are made of plastic. The plastic is shiny, picks up scratches, but they are invisible. Disassembled for photography, but could not unscrew the tip.

Sharp Kerry is heavier than plastic pencils. Weighs 22 grams. (15.5 g without cap).



In the cap under the button there is an eraser. But I use a regular eraser.

You can write with the cap on and without the cap. The lead feed button works in both cases.

Scan of the notebook page. The upper half is in pen, the lower half is in pencil.Maruman is a high quality, smooth paper. The ink does not bleed and the pencil leaves a clear mark. Leads – standard Pentel Ain Stein HB 0.7.


Pentel Sharp Kerry I use year. No comments. It is convenient to write. Wear it too. Withstood several falls – no cracks, no dents.

Mary Kay Mechanical Lipliner with Sharpening Cap in Rose (Pink)

Like all cosmetics Mary Kay pencil has individual packaging.This is good because it protects him from external factors. The pencil itself is mechanical, and therefore made of plastic. There is a small pencil sharpener on the lid, in case you need to make it thinner. Unscrews easily and smoothly.

Mary Kay Mechanical Lip Liner with Sharpening Cap in Rose (Pink)

I love the texture of the pencil! It is soft, silky, a little greasy.It is perfectly applied to the lips and does not dry them at all. By the way, I have this pencil in two more shades – nude and berry, they are also beautiful.

Mary Kay Mechanical Lip Liner with Sharpening Cap in Rose (Pink)

My impressions of using : I have already written about the excellent texture of the pencil, perhaps some of you thought that since it is so soft, it probably is not persistent, but it is not! The pencil will firmly adhere to the surface of the lips, right up until you decide to eat something greasy, but it can easily withstand tea or coffee.
A few words about the shade. Rose is the color that can be used in a feast and in the world. It is moderately bright, but not flashy, such a slightly dusty rose. I like it incredibly.
Many people use a pencil to keep the lipstick from flowing, but it is the Mary Kay product that is suitable for solo use. I often apply it all over my lips and don’t use anything else. Yes, the pencil does not moisturize, but more importantly, it does not dry out. If your lips are in good shape, then you can easily use it instead of matte lipstick.
For makeup remover, I prefer to use a special tool that copes with a pencil with a bang. Rubbing it with a napkin will be much more useless.
Well, a few final swatches.

Mary Kay Mechanical Lip Liner with Sharpening Cap Rose (Pink)
Mary Kay Mechanical Lip Liner with Sharpening Cap Rose (Pink)

Summing up, I can say that this is my third pencil Mary Kay and rather
not the last, perhaps, I’ll think about some other shade.Already
I like it very much!

Mary Kay Mechanical Lip Liner with Sharpening Cap in Rose (Pink)

Courtesy of Review: Mary Kay Thank you!

Mechanical pencil PENAC Non-Stop

  • Colored plastic housing
  • Comfortable rubberized grip
  • The eraser is under the cap
  • Cushioned stylus protects the lead from breakage when writing
053-775 0.5 mm lead, blue body, with eraser pcs
285 – 387 0.5 mm lead, light green body, with eraser pcs
859-787 0.5 mm lead, orange body, with eraser pcs
053-776 0.5 mm lead, purple body, with eraser pcs

The description of the product has been compiled on the basis of the data provided by the manufacturer.The manufacturer reserves the right to make changes without prior notice.
in the design, packaging or manufacturing technology of the product,
not deteriorating its consumer properties, in order to improve its technical characteristics.

Mechanical marking pencil with a wide lead / Tools / iXBT Live

Those who like to make something or make repairs with their own hands know about special marking pencils with a wide lead, which are very convenient to use for marking and drawing.Pencils like these are especially popular in joinery and carpentry. Such a pencil is very similar to a regular wooden one, but its body is flatter (so that it does not roll off the table), and the lead is wider. It turns out that there is also a mechanical analogue of a similar thing with replaceable leads, and I will talk about it in this review.

Product packaging:

In addition to the mechanical pencil itself, the set includes 6 replaceable leads (+2 are in the pencil itself). It is important that the leads have a hardness of 2B, that is, very soft, this is essential for obtaining bright markings without strong pressure, which can form unnecessary grooves from the markings, for example, in soft wood:

By design, the review is similar to the familiar ordinary mechanical pencil but adapted for a flat lead.You can additionally add 2 rods to the mechanism cassette and when one ends, shaking slightly, we continue to work as follows (there is still a spring inside the case):

Hole from where the lead comes out:


Lead parameters: 60x1x1.8mm

Compared with an ordinary wooden marking pencil, the latter has a lead 2 times thicker, however, it is usually always sharpened to approximately 2mm width:

Button travel 5mm.When pressed once, the lead extends by about 1.5 mm:


Under the button cap, at the end, there is an eraser, pulling it out, we get the opportunity to lay new leads:

The replaceable leads themselves are even and smooth, without flaws:

Examples of marking.

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