Are you looking for a new mechanical pencil? If so, this is the guide for you – whether you will be using it for technical drawings, every day writing or sketching.

Why use a mechanical pencil over a regular wooden one ? People choose these types of pencils because they offer more precision – you will get a consistent line every time which is harder to achieve with a wooden one. The ergonomics of mechanical pencils are also better, they have been tailored to feel comfortable in your hand which makes them better for using over longer periods.

Refillable leads, mechanical pencils use a click system which advances the lead down in increments. Once you have used it all, you simply load a new lead and you are good to go.

We have been testing out numerous mechanical pencils here at the Parameter HQ over the past few weeks to being you this guide. We have poured over specs from th4e manufacturers, read the online reviews from customers and carried out hands-on testing.

Take a look below as we start with our top picks, then review the top 10 with indepth reviews and pros and cons and finally we finish up with our buyer’s guide and FAQ section.

If you have used any of the items on this list, please leave your review at the bottom.

Best Mechanical Pencils

Now, let’s get started!

Top Picks


Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil

The Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil is the first model that makes it onto our list and it packed full of elite features. It is designed with a metallic coating and features an advanced metallic grip that nestles it comfortably in your hands while you are working. This reduces the chances of it slipping from your hands.

With a weight of 0.8-ounces, it is fairly lightweight and can be carried around with ease. The retractable tip means it won’t damage your shirts and should keep them clean when it is not being used. It has been specifically designed for drafting and can be used by architects and draftsmen that have a high demand for quality and performance.

Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil

Since it makes use of a 0.5mm lead piece, this can easily be refilled once it runs out, giving you the opportunity to use the pencil for many years before it needs to be replaced. Many people don’t even need to replace it and much like the Parker pen, it is considered an Evergreen product that you can use forever.

While the pencil can also be found in various colors and you can choose the different lead sizes depending on your working needs, the drawback seems to be the eraser. The small eraser seems to be a little inadequate for many people and if you are an architect or someone in the drawing industry, you might need to buy a better eraser additionally.

The price is really affordable and if you are serious about using a pencil for all your working needs, the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil will give you a clean working opportunity. It is highly reliable and also used by many professional draftsmen. We would definitely recommend it for the value and the different quality features.

Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent grip
  • Stylish design with a retractable tip
  • Available in various colors and sizes
  • Really affordable
Cons:
  • Not the best eraser design
View Details

Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil

The Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil features a slightly different design that will actually help it stand out from the rest of the pencils with a silver metal base. Using lead rotating technology, the pencil is ideal if you constantly need a sharp tip and this will ensure that you have the best possible accuracy when you are working.

Since it has been constructed from metal for the base, you have some durability, but it features a plastic coating that makes it look much better and also adds to the overall grip that the pencil can give you. The ergonomic design comfortably fits into the hands of most draftsmen and should be a really comfortable writing tool.

Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil

Many architects constantly complain about how often they break the lead off the pencil, but this one features diamond-infused lead that makes it almost impossible to break it off as you are writing or simply drawing. It means the lead insert will last you a little longer and ensure that you don’t have to constantly replace it.

While the lead will retract to keep your shirt clean if you do keep it inside your pocket, it might be a little frustrating that the tip does not retract. This could lead to some marks on your pocket which might look bad. However, we have seen the lead actually washes out quite easily and your clothing should remain clean.

When looking for a good mechanical pencil, we don’t always want to spend a fortune and this pencil makes it possible to find one at a reasonable price. The Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil is one of the best in its class and since it is extremely durable, you can use it for almost anything. We recommend it as an architects dream.

Pros:
  • Stylish design with excellent grip
  • Comfortable
  • Diamond-infused lead
  • Reasonably priced
Cons:
  • The tip does not fully retract
View Details

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil

The Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil is much similar to the previous model and it is also highly rated for the features and the functionality it offers. However, you will now have a complete set instead of only the pencil to help you with all the refills and fixes that might be needed over time.

With a rotational lead design, you simply need to twist it and it will keep your lead sharp. The lead has also been diamond infused, which means it is much better and more durable than some of the other simple pencils that we generally use. Having a sharper tip also means that you have more accuracy when you are working.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette

Made from gun metallic, it is a little heavier than most, but still rather comfortable to use. The pencil itself seems to be really durable and it can take a beating from users that have a hard hand when writing. As for the comfort, it has a plastic coating that makes the pen much more comfortable to hold in your hands.

The biggest downside is once again the tip and while the lead can be retracted to avoid spoiling your shirt or coloring it in lead, the tip itself is not retractable and this might frustrate many people. We have seen that if you are not careful, you might poke a few holes in your shirt and we would recommend finding a different pocket to actually store it.

It is priced fairly, but a little more expensive than you would pay if you only choose to have the pencil. The complete set does offer you a little more value for your money and this is one of the main reasons why we would recommend it. Beginners might benefit from having all the backup lead and we recommend it as a great starting pencil.

Pros:
  • Durable design with excellent grip
  • Diamond-infused lead
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Reasonably priced
  • Includes a complete set
Cons:
  • The tip does not retract
View Details

Zebra Mechanical Pencil Delguard Type

Designed by the Japanese Brand Zebra, we have Zebra Mechanical Pencil Delguard Type and this is more of an underrated pencil that never really receives all the credit that it should. It is designed with a solid metal base and features a coating that not only promotes the overall style of the pencil but also gives it a better grip.

Much like the other top pencils, this one features an ergonomic design that comfortably fits in your hands and makes writing easier. It comes with a 0.5mm lead insert and the lead is also break-resistant, meaning you don’t constantly have to replace it. It is also worth noting that you can find it in three different body colors.

Zebra Mechanical Pencil Delguard Type

As for the eraser, it might be small, but using it, you find that it is actually quite efficient at getting the job done. The pencil does not come with an eraser refill, but you can definitely buy this separately if you feel the need to have it replaced and when it has been used up. The refills are actually quite affordable for this model.

The only downside is once again the tip. It does not have a retractable tip and this might also poke some holes in your shirt. However, the lead can actually be retracted and should make life easier for your clothing. You no longer need to deal with lead marking and strips that run across your shirt and make it harder to wash.

The pencil itself is a little more expensive than some of the others we have seen. However, it is actually underrated and this means you can give it a try if you can get past the slight increase in the price. While we love the grip, some people have claimed that it wears down quickly and makes the pencil a little slippery to use.

Pros:
  • Stylish design
  • Ergonomic feel
  • Break-resistant lead
  • Available in 3 body colors
Cons:
  • Grip wears down fast
  • The tip is not retractable
View Details

NIB – NISH 7520001615664 Push-Action Mechanical Pencil

The NIB – NISH 7520001615664 Push-Action Mechanical Pencil is one of the top pencils that was commonly designed for military purposes. It is made to last some grueling action and can be taken through a lot before it actually gives it. This classic pencil design has a reputation for being extremely reliable.

It comes with a 0.9mm lead and has been touted and praised for the clarity of the line that it makes. The design is fairly simple and does not have too many added features, but the features that are included are sure to allow you to do all the basics to the best of your ability. It also comes with a replaceable eraser that is really cheap.

Nib Nish

What we love about this pencil is the simplicity, you no longer need to worry about twisting and turning. It simply needs a little push at the back and it will be ready to do the job. The pencil also features a thicker lead insert, which reduces the chances of it actually breaking when it is being used vigorously in military situations.

The one downside we did find is the durability of the clip. Unfortunately, this has been constructed from plastic and the plastic does not really hold up that well when compared to the metal counterparts. You might need to carry it in your bag or you should be careful when the pencil is placed in your shirt pocket. Also, the tip does not retract.

As for the price, it is one of the most expensive options that we have on this list, but this is all backed up by the history of the pencil and the fact that it comes from a military background. Since it is extremely reliable in all situation, we would recommend it. We still believe it to be one of the top options for those serving in the military.

Pros:
  • Military approved
  • Basic design
  • Break-resistant lead
  • Decent durability rating
Cons:
  • Fairly expensive
View Details

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil

If you are looking for a pencil that can be used almost anywhere, the Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil should be one of the top options to consider. It comes with a 1.1mm lead diameter and while it might be a little thick, it is really durable and won’t break under normal writing and drafting circumstances.

As we have mentioned, the thickness of the lead won’t cause it to break, but they have taken some extra precautions with the design of the tip. This tip allows you to drop the pen and handle it without care, while still keeping the lead on the inside protected. If it does break, you do receive 7 additional lead pieces and 2 eraser refills.

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil

The metal used for the construction is the main selling point of this pencil and since it has such immense durability, it can be used in virtually any condition. The pencil can be used when it has taken water damage and the lead won’t smear as much as your normal pencil will when the wood or the lead does get wet.

The downsides are that the pencil is only available in one size, which might not actually work well for everyone. If you run out of lead inserts, we have seen that it can be really hard to actually find replacements. However, the pen should keep you going for a couple of months before you need to look for replacements.

It is a little more expensive than your standard pencil, but this is all thanks to the overall durability and functionality of it. We would highly recommend it for the quality and the value of the design. If you find yourself living a rugged lifestyle outdoors, this could be one of the best pencils that you can buy. It is also recommended for military use.

Pros:
  • Extremely durable design
  • Break-resistant lead
  • All-weather use
  • Includes 7 lead and 2 eraser refills
  • Reasonably priced
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Hard to find lead insert replacements
View Details

Kentaur 5 In 1 Mechanical Pencil

In anything that we buy, having some sort of versatility is always great. The Kentaur 5 In 1 Mechanical Pencil provides you will all the versatility that you might need for a quality pencil and it features a thick reliable design. This metal coating definitely enhances the overall durability of the pen and makes it more durable.

However, the main selling point is not the pen itself, but the fact that you have 5 different colors that can be used for specific purposes. These colors include ink and the 0,7mm lead insert that is used for the pencil, which has also been tested to be break resistant and has a decent lifespan when used by serious draftsmen.

Kentaur 5 In 1 Mechanical Pencil

The pens are also fine point and this means that you can actually work with accuracy when you are writing, while the lead for the pencil is ideal for architects doing those small and intricate room designs that need some detail. Finding the right color is really easy and the pen does have some indicators at the top.

Versatility might be key with this pen, but to have all of these colors, it is rather bulky and quite heavy. You might need to get used to carrying around the added weight if you generally use those smaller and more intricate pens. However, once you do get used to it, you will find it to be really versatile for all your specific writing needs.

Another downside is the price and this pen is a little more expensive than many people are willing to pay for a mechanical pen. However, the versatility will be like buying 5 pens for the price of 2 normal mechanical pens. It is definitely recommended for people who need a wide variety of colors like teachers and architects.

Pros:
  • 5-in-1 design
  • Reasonably durable
  • Break-resistant lead
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Bulky design
View Details

Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil

The Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil is another state of the art mechanic pencil that is constructed by Pentel. It has been handcrafted with the same tools that are commonly used for creating top quality watches. This gives it a professional feel and a stylish look that it has been crafted with complete precision in mind.

As you can see, the pencil is one of the most stylish we have on this list and it features a lead diameter of 0.7mm. It is also one of the only pencils that include a cap over the tip. Yes, this means the tip is not retractable, but it will still be fully protected from damage when carried. It also keeps the pencil from making marks on your shirt.

Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil

Break-resistant lead has been inserted, giving you the complete freedom of writing vigorously and the pencil should hold up well in all circumstances. It has been carefully balanced and includes an ergonomic fit, with a grip that makes it perfect for control. You won’t need to worry about the pencil accidentally slipping out of your hands.

It does have a comfortable length, but the pencil is also a little bulky and many people with smaller hands feel it is a little uncomfortable to use. However, you might need to adjust a little to ensure it is comfortable, but once this has been achieved, the pencil does offer you a lot of precision when you are working.

We would highly recommend it for professional use by draftsmen and architects in need of something reliable. Yes, it might be a little more expensive than some of the other top options, but we believe you won’t find such great features at this price point. It is definitely recommended for artists and anyone who needs a portable and comfortable pencil.

Pros:
  • Extremely durable
  • Includes a cap for tip protection
  • Handcrafted
  • Stylish design
  • Reasonably priced
Cons:
  • It feels a little bulky
View Details

LAMY Multi System Twin Ballpoint Pen and Mechanical Pencil

Once again, we find ourselves with something versatile that can be used for a wide array of different tasks. The LAMY Multi System Twin Ballpoint Pen and Mechanical Pencil is not only your standard walk in the park pencil, but includes a reliable ballpoint pen with black ink that will definitely help you in the corporate world.

It has a cylindrical design that could be a little bulky for many people, but will still offer you a lot of comfort when you are writing. It features a metal design that has been covered with a matte black finish and this helps it look more professional and you will stand out from the rest of the crowd when someone asks you to borrow a pen or a pencil.

LAMY Multi System Twin Ballpoint Pen and Mechanical Pencil

Most people think of a mechanical pencil as something that is commonly used by writers and even draftsmen. However, this combination can make it ideal for the most recognized businessman to still look on top of his game. Both the points can also be retracted to ensure you don’t get any marks on your clothing.

One of the downsides is the fact that it does use a specific type of ink that is not always readily available. You might need to start searching for your ink a little sooner to ensure that you are ready if it does run out of it. The ink is also fairly expensive, which means many people choose to use a simple normal pen if they can find it at the right price.

The pen combo itself is also quite expensive and it might not be something that you would buy for yourself. However, pens do make great gifts nowadays, especially since we don’t really know what to buy other people anymore. We would highly recommend it as a great option for those of you looking to buy a new gift.

Pros:
  • Multifunctional design
  • Stylish and elegant
  • Durable lead insert
  • Makes a great gift
  • Comfortable to carry
Cons:
  • Really expensive
View Details

Rotring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil

Last but certainly not least, we find ourselves staring at one of the most popular options on the market today. The Rotring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil is a tool that has specifically designed for you to use for the rest of your life and it can also be found in 2 different colors that will meet your specific style needs.

The pencil comes with a full metal body and while this could add some weight, it has been perfectly balanced for your comfort and leisure. The pencil is has a hexagonal barrel and this has actually been tested to help reduce some of the fatigue when you are writing. The additional grip makes sure the pencil won’t slip out of your hands either.

rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil

A fixed lead sleeve and brass mechanical design ensure that your lead is always protected. You won’t need to worry about the lead damaging when the pencil is accidentally dropped. Writing hard is also possible with the break-resistant lea type that is added. Now you can show off your pen and you won’t need to worry about the lead being damaged.

While you might not notice this unless you are someone who actually used pencils a lot, but the lead on the inside does feel a little loose when you are sketching. However, it might not make too much of a difference, unless you are actually using it for extreme precision work. Aside from this, we did not find any issues.

The rice is affordable and with these features, you would expect it to be expensive, especially since the brand is one of the more reliable. You might need to look at how it is stored as well since the tip does have a tendency to be sharp and this could poke a few holes in your shirt pockets if you are not careful when storing it.

Pros:
  • Stylish design
  • Retractable lead
  • Durable construction
  • Really affordable
Cons:
  • The tip is not retractable
  • The lead feels a little loose
View Details

Buyer's Guide

Now that you have seen the top 10 mechanical pencils currently available on the market today, you might be wondering how we went about selecting them from the vast variety that is available. We had to use a selection of features and now you can also see which features we used. If you want to buy a mechanical pencil, these features should be your main buyer’s guide:

  • Build Quality: The construction of the pen is one of the first points that you will look at a buyer. The pen should have some sort of metal construction that adds to the durability. It might be heavier than simply choosing a plastic pen, but the metal will also keep the lead protected that is on the inside and help reduce the number of times you need to buy new graphite inserts.
  • On the outside of the metal casing, we generally find that plastic is added. The plastic does add another layer of durability and it makes the pen ideal for use when different conditions. The plastic casing can add some additional grip and it removes that feeling of cold metal early in the mornings when you need to start sketching.
  • Lead Quality And Size: Nowadays, most pens can be found in a variety of different sizes and this makes it perfect for every artist or engineer to find the ideal pen for their work. However, the lead quality does make a difference and compared to some of the standard pens, a good type of lead will be less prone to breaking when used.
  • The lead does not only run the risk of breaking when it is on the inside of the pen but can also break when it is being used. Fortunately, break-resistant lead has been developed. It might be a little more expensive to buy, but the durability level is a little higher and you don’t have to stock up on all the different lead refills.
  • Comfort: These mechanical pencils vary greatly in size and shape and some of them might be a little bulkier than others. If you have smaller hands, you might want to consider finding something that is a slimmer and more comfortable to use. Most pens have an ergonomic design, making it perfect and comfortable for anyone to write with.
  • Another area that you need to look for when it comes to comfort is the grip. Nothing can be more frustrating than having the pen slip out of your hands when writing or drawing. We touched on plastic offering great grip, but nothing will beat the grip that can be offered from rubber. However, this can be more expensive.
  • Brand: These pens might be a little marvel in the world of technology, but we have seen them being reproduced quite often by brands looking to take chances. Yes, it might be a little cheaper, but you will find that you need to replace it more often. A good mechanical pen is evergreen and you can potentially use it forever.
  • Availability Of Refills: Unfortunately, the pen needs to be refilled and the eraser or the lead will eventually run out. However, you should be able to readily find them almost anywhere. However, some mechanical pens are brand specific. This is one thing you also need to keep in mind before you actually buy the pen that you like so much.
Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still a little unsure about these pens and you don’t know which one to buy, here are a couple of questions that we found while doing the research. You might find something interesting that could help you with your pen selection. Let’s look at the common questions that most people have about the mechanical pencil:

  • Why Choose A Mechanical Pencil? The mechanical pencil is a little more rounded than the normal pencil and you don’t need to constantly have a sharpener on hand to help you keep the tip sharp. These pencils are designed to automatically keep the tip sharp and remove any need for your old sharpener that could even break the point of a normal pencil.
  • How Do You Refill A Mechanical Pencil? While the standard method is to open up the pencil and look at the size of the graphite shaft that it uses, you might find that different brands have different methods of refilling the pencil. You will generally have a leaflet or instruction manual included and this will indicate the method that is used for that specific pencil.
  • Are Mechanical Pencils Expensive? The consensus is that mechanical pencils can be a little expensive, but they are not too expensive to break the back. Compared to the normal pencil, their evergreen status will ensure that you are definitely saving some money in the long run.
  • Which Profession Are The Best For? The mechanical pencil generally works best in any industry, but they are ideal for individuals who like drawing or need to sketch. The pencils have been used by businessmen, especially those versatile options that also include a pen to help you with work. However, we generally recommend them for draftsmen and architects to aid with their drawing.

Conclusion

To be honest, all the pencils we have selected are the best for their specific task and they all work well for drawing. However, Pentel is one of the best brands and they focus on designing a stylish pencil that can be used for many years. We would recommend Pentel for their efficient designs and the good warranties that they always offer.

We would like to thank you for reading this article and encourage you to share some of your thoughts. Let us know in the comment section which of these pencils you have used and if we might have missed any of your favorites. We definitely look forward to reading some of your comments and finding some suggestions we could have missed.

No ratings yet.

Posted by Oliver Dale

Editor-in-Chief of Parameter and founder of Kooc Media, A UK-Based Online Media Company. Believer in Open-Source Software, Blockchain Technology & a Free and Fair Internet for all.


oliver@parameter.io
http://twitter.com/olidale
http://www.linkedin.com/in/oliverdale

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *