Mechanical pencils are the preferred tools of the trade for architects, engineers, artists and calligraphic writers. However, there are numerous different types of mechanical pencils which are more suited to the normal day-to-day writing and drawing tasks of the average student.
Why Choose a Mechanical Pencil?
Most people prefer mechanical pencils because they are self-sharpening. Most of them are also refillable or come with extra lead points, meaning they have a longer life than normal wood case pencils. For professionals, mechanical pencils provide sharper, more legible writing and crisp drawing lines. Their ease of use is what makes them a favorite among people.
Mechanical Pencil Buying Guide
When looking for a mechanical pencil, you should consider the following:
Price – Mechanical pencils can be expensive, especially when you focus on the high-end models.
Function – If you intend to use your pencil simply for writing, a 0.5mm lead is sufficient. However, if your hand uses a lot of pressure to write, you may want to go for the thicker 0.7mm or even 0.9mm models. Detailed drawing might require a much finer lead point, such as the 0.3mm lead
Lead advancement mechanism – There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to mechanisms. From top advancement to the more intricate Kuru Toga mechanisms, the lead advancement mechanism matters a lot
Eraser – Although size matters, most mechanical pencils come with small erasers. As such, for maximum value, you should look for pencils that come with eraser refills
- 15. BIC Pencil Medium Point Xtra Life 0.7mm 24-Count Mechanical Pencils
- 14. Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity Charcoal Gray 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil
- 13. Rotring 800 0.5mm Retractable Mechanical Pencil (Black barrel)
- 12. Paper Mate ClearPoint 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil Set
- 11. Paper Mater 1.3mm Assorted 8-Count Mechanical Pencils
- 10. Pentel Sharp 0.5mm Automatic Pencil (Pack of 2)
- 9. Pentel Super Hi-Polymer 0.7mm Lead Refills (90 Pieces of Lead)
- 8. Pentel Sharp Kerry 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil
- 7. Paper Mate SharpWriter 0.7mm Mechanical Pencils 32-Count Value Pack
- 6. Pentel GraphGear 500 PG525A Automatic Drafting Pencil
- 5. Uni Mechanical Pencil M510171p.26 0.5mm Kuru Toga Roulette Model
- 4. Uni-Ball Kuru Toga Roulette 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil
- 3. BIC Pencil Xtra Strong Thick Point 0.9mm Mechanical Pencils (24-count)
- 2. Pentel Graph Gear 1000 0.3mm Automatic Drafting Pencil
- 1. BIC Xtra Sparkle 24-Count 0.7mm Mechanical Pencils
15. BIC Pencil Medium Point Xtra Life 0.7mm 24-Count Mechanical Pencils
For the environmentally conscious with a knack for saving money, the BIC Xtra Life Medium Point 24-count Value Pack is a great option. They are great money-savers given that each mechanical pencil is equal to approximately two and a half wood case pencils (each pencil comes with three extra strength #2 leads).
- Durably built despite being made from 76 % recycled material.
- Available in different designs that are suitable for use at home, school or at work.
- Quick and easy-to-use lead advance mechanism makes them fairly easy to use even for younger writers.
- Suitable for young writers.
- Made out of recycled material.
- Features an easy-to-use lead advance mechanism.
- 24-count pack offers a variety of pencil designs.
- Pocket-friendly price tag.
- Eraser runs out very fast.
14. Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity Charcoal Gray 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil
Pilot mechanical pencils provide amazing user comfort levels by being perfectly balanced all through. The mechanical pencils are even suitable. Its design makes it more than eligible for use by arthritis patients.
- The mechanical pencils are designed with equal weight distribution in mind to provide extra balance and writing comfort.
- Double-layer comfort grip drastically reduces writing stress.
- Features a charcoal gray barrel.
- Refillable design allows for continued use after the first lead point runs out.
- Balanced and comfortable to use.
- Easy to refill using the entry point behind the eraser.
- Easy to grip for arthritic hands.
- Eraser is small and hard to access.
- Has no “shake-to-extend” lead advance mechanism.
13. Rotring 800 0.5mm Retractable Mechanical Pencil (Black barrel)
The Rotring 800 mechanical pencil is made for convenience and writing comfort. Among its top features is its retractable design that completely hides the lead point to make the pencil easier to pocket. It also features a durable and perfectly balanced full metallic barrel.
- Hexagonal barrel for enhanced gripping and prevention from falling off smooth surfaces.
- The black barrel is made entirely out of metal for perfect weight distribution when writing.
- Ergonomically made metallic grip zone for comfortable writing.
- Comes with a lead guidance sleeve for easier ruler-based drawing and also protection from breakage.
- Uses the rotating lead advancement mechanism.
- The lead point is fully retractable for safe storage and damage prevention.
- Comes with a clear lead guidance sleeve that makes ruler-based drawing more precise.
12. Paper Mate ClearPoint 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil Set
The complete Paper Mate ClearPoint Mechanical Pencil Starters set includes two ClearPoint Mechanical Pencils, 12 lead refills, and two eraser refills. These mechanical pencils are suitable for light to moderately professional work.
- Translucent barrel with non-slip comfort grip for enhanced writing comfort and control.
- Retractable non-residue jumbo eraser that becomes accessible using a twist-up mechanism.
- Features a simple click-to-advance lead advance mechanism.
- Clear barrel makes lead levels visible, enabling you to refill the mechanical pencil before it runs out.
- Comfortably designed barrel and grip enhance user comfort.
- The starter set comes with refills for both the lead and the erasers.
- Non-residue eraser guarantees cleaner corrections.
- Plastic body might feel a bit flimsy and unbalanced.
- Not the most durable build quality.
11. Paper Mater 1.3mm Assorted 8-Count Mechanical Pencils
The color-coded design of the barrels in this 8-count mechanical pencil set makes them easier to distinguish. Clearly made for students, the mechanical pencil set offers great value for money since they are refillable and do not require sharpening.
- Uses a standard #2 lead which is ideal for day-to-day usage.
- Triangular barrel design makes it easier to hold and less prone to slipping and falling.
- 1.3mm lead is thicker than others, which translates to fewer breakages.
- Easy to refill design.
- Thick #2 lead points are very resilient and hard to break.
- Colorful design is attractive for young students.
- Hexagonal barrel design makes them easier to grip for small fingers.
- Easy to refill.
- Lead points are short.
- Plastic barrel makes them suitable only for non-professional use.
10. Pentel Sharp 0.5mm Automatic Pencil (Pack of 2)
Available in 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm #2 lead points, the Pentel Sharp automatic pencil is suitable for standardized functions and more. They are notably more useful when it comes to ruler-based drawing thanks to their thin 4mm fixed tips, which also enhance stability and reduce lead breakage.
- Metallic mesh grip which is better for precision control and writing comfort.
- Fixed 4mm sleeve for precise ruler-based drawing.
- Superior build quality.
- 4mm sleeve makes it easier to work with rulers and make precise drawings.
- Mesh grip provides superior control for enhanced drawing accuracy.
- Lead point makes crisp, dark inscriptions and does not ‘scratch’ the writing surface.
- High-quality build makes it ideal for professionals.
- Erasers can be hard to use.
- Covers are easy to misplace.
9. Pentel Super Hi-Polymer 0.7mm Lead Refills (90 Pieces of Lead)
The Pentel Super Hi-Polymer lead refills are built primarily for strength and resilience. It comes with 0.7mm lead refills that are tough enough to withstand up to 123 grams of pressure. With 90 pieces of lead per pack, the 0.7mm Pentel Super Hi-Polymer lead refills are a great choice for professionals.
- Thicker, stronger and more resilient 0.7mm lead points.
- 90 pieces of replacement lead points ensure long lasting use.
- Similar to the lead in #2 wood case pencils.
- Tough, resilient and not prone to breaking.
- Pack of 90 pieces is great value for money.
- Writing and drawing quality are average at best.
8. Pentel Sharp Kerry 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil
Elegant, perfectly balanced and featuring a sleek exterior, the Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencil is a premium drawing and writing tool for professionals. It uses a #2 lead point which makes it eligible to scan on standardized tests.
- Pencil cap provides excellent writing balance and pocket protection when not in use.
- Polished metallic barrel is elegant-looking and perfectly weighted to provide excellent writing balance.
- Each mechanical pencil is assembled by hand.
- The pencil is refillable with the Pentel Super Hi-Polymer Lead refills and the Z3-1 eraser refills.
- Comes with a pencil cap that protects the user from pokes and stabs
- Packaged in an attractive gift box.
- Perfectly balanced glossy metallic barrel is excellent for professional writing and drawing.
- Comes gift packaged in an attractive box.
- Prone to jamming.
7. Paper Mate SharpWriter 0.7mm Mechanical Pencils 32-Count Value Pack
Other than the fact that the SharpWriter mechanical pencils come in 32-count value packs, they are also suitable for professionals thanks to their highly resilient, break-resistant lead points. SharpWriter mechanical points are known for their ability to make crisp, clear inscriptions on various writing surfaces. The 32-count value pack comes with pencils of different colors.
- Uses the twist-to-advance lead advance mechanism to extend the lead point.
- A cushion point on the tip prevents lead breakage by reducing the writing pressure.
- Each mechanical pencil has an inbuilt pocket clip that makes it easier to carry.
- Suitable replacement pencils for high-end, refillable pencils.
- Pencils create crisp inscriptions that are easy to read.
- Lightweight pencils but sturdy enough.
- Build quality is poor.
6. Pentel GraphGear 500 PG525A Automatic Drafting Pencil
The Pentel GraphGear 500 is a professional-grade automatic drafting pencil that is packed with features that are suitable for the professional. Some of its impressive features include a top-click advancement mechanism and an eraser.
- The mechanical pencil is refillable with the professional grade Pentel Super Hi-Polymer Lead refills and the Z21 eraser refills.
- It features a metallic mesh grip for more precise handling and more comfortable writing.
- A 4mm sleeve makes it suitable for ruler-based drawing and drafting.
- Utilizes a 0.5mm lead point.
- Beveled barrel is well balanced and more comfortable to handle.
- Premium build is suitable for professional drawing and drafting tasks.
- Precise control is ideal for making sharp, accurate inscriptions.
- Durably assembled metallic barrel.
- Knurled grip enhances writing comfort.
- The barrel is too light.
5. Uni Mechanical Pencil M510171p.26 0.5mm Kuru Toga Roulette Model
Featuring a very sleek, professional-looking polished metallic barrel, the Kuru Toga Roulette Model of the Uni Mechanical
Pencil is definitely one of the nicer looking models in this list. It features a very practical design that utilizes a 0.5mm lead point for making crisp, fine lines.
- Rotating lead advance mechanism is easy to use.
- Comes with an eraser atop the metallic body.
- An in-built pocket clip makes it easier to carry.
The perfectly balnced metallic barrel features a premium design.
- Very perfectly balanced metallic barrel.
- Durable and made for professional use.
- Textured grip makes it very comfortable to use.
- The eraser is too small.
4. Uni-Ball Kuru Toga Roulette 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil
The self-sharpening Kuru Toga roulette mechanical pencil is a high-quality mechanical pencil that might be a bit too technical for casual writing or drawing. It is however very simple to operate and for the professional, can deliver more than satisfactory results.
- Lead advance mechanism is an exclusive rotating mechanism that also keeps the 0.7mm lead point sharp.
- Uses diamond-infused lead which is virtually unbreakable and more resilient compared to other lead points.
- Cone-shaped point is not prone to breaking often.
- The gel pen is expertly made for precision writing and crisp, ruler-based or freehand drawing.
- Features a virtually unbreakable #2 lead point filler.
- Easy-to-operate rotating lead advance mechanism.
- Has a clean, stain-free eraser.
- Comes with replacement lead refills and extra erasers.
- The eraser is very small.
3. BIC Pencil Xtra Strong Thick Point 0.9mm Mechanical Pencils (24-count)
This is another 24-count BIC value pack that contains 24 shatter-resistant mechanical pencils. The non-refillable mechanical pencils use three full sized #2 lead points which are equivalent to two and a half wood case pencils. 0.9mm lead points make these pencils suitable for bold writing and drawing.
- Comes with a simple top lead advance mechanism.
- Has enough lead to out-write two and a half wood case pencils.
- Uses 0.9mm lead points.
- Non-refillable barrel is shatter-proof and splinter-resistant.
- Comes in various colors.
- Simple to use
- Great value for money
- 0.9mm lead points are thicker and more resilient.
- Available in a variety of colors.
- Poorly balanced plastic body.
- Less durable than refillable models.
2. Pentel Graph Gear 1000 0.3mm Automatic Drafting Pencil
For crisp, fine lines and intricate drawings, the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil is up to the task. It uses the extra-fine-point 0.3mm lead filler and features one of the most professional-looking metallic barrels in this list.
- Expertly crafted ergonomic metallic barrel with a soft, comfortable latex-free grip.
- Fixed 4mm sleeve that makes it suitable for ruler-based drawing.
- 0.3mm lead points for extra fine drawing, drafting, and writing.
- Metallic body is expertly weighted for optimum balance.
- Well balanced, durable metallic barrel with a comfortable grip.
- Easy-to-manipulate top lead advance mechanism.
- Comes with pocket clip.
- Self-sharpening Super Hi-Polymer Lead with refillable and a Z2-1 eraser.
- Getting the fine 0.3mm lead point is a little tricky; it either becomes too sharp or too blunt.
1. BIC Xtra Sparkle 24-Count 0.7mm Mechanical Pencils
The colorful barrels of the Xtra Sparkle mechanical pencils makes them suitable for children and students. It uses medium-sized 0.7mm lead points with and features a surprisingly tough, shatter-proof barrel.
- Splinter-proof plastic barrels available in wide range of colors.
- Three full-length #2 leads are provided for every pencil.
- Bright and vibrant design is suitable for younger writers and artists.
- Easy-to-use top advance mechanism.
- No-residue erasers for clean corrections.
- Sparkly, colorful barrels.
- Barrels are made of light plastics.
In general, mechanical pencils are more versatile, more durable and more useful for writers, architects, and artists. Suitable for both enthusiasts and professionals, there is a mechanical pencil to suit every purpose.