Best Mechanical Pencils in 2020 [Designer, Writer, Architect Choice]

Pencils are used for a variety of purposes, including writing, designing, and sketching. They are very useful, but conventional pencils have many disadvantages. You have to sharpen them constantly and have to toss them out when they get too small to use. This is why mechanical pencils are such a great option.

Mechanical pencils are much more convenient since they are consistent, and users do not need to sharpen them. The size remains the same, and the pencil does not shrink with time. Additionally, mechanical pencils are long-lasting, and users can refill them over and over.

That being said, there are many different types of mechanical pencils on the market. They come in different shapes, designs, and materials and have a variety of different features. Customers should take care to do research before investing in a mechanical pencil to make sure they are making the right purchase. This article lists and describes the top 10 mechanical pencils on the market.

Best Mechanical Pencils List

There are so many mechanical pencils to choose from, which can make deciding on one challenging. This list describes the 10 best mechanical pencils on the market for your convenience.

Metal Mechanical Pencil
Best Mechanical Pencil For Artists

1. Rotring Rapid PRO

  • Cushion lead mechanism
  • Controlled 2.0 mm lead transportation
  • Metallic barrel
  • Lead sharpener
  • on-slip knurled metal grip

The Rapid Pro has a metal body, and a metal knurled non-slip grip. In addition to being durable, the metal provides a nice, weighty feel, making the mechanical pencil feel more substantial and balanced. The pencil weighs 0.882 oz, and its dimensions are 7.48” x 1.96” x 0.79”.

Its lead advancement mechanism is a push mechanism which gives the user plenty of control over the lead discharged length. Additionally, the retractable closure ensures that the lead does not come into contact with bags or other surfaces, effectively preventing damage. Featuring a cushion lead mechanism, the pencil ensures that extra pressure is absorbed, and lead breakage is prevented.

Another design element that makes this pencil unique is a sliding sleeve, which has rounded edges to prevent it from catching on paper. This mechanism also makes the lead last longer, which results in the lead advancement mechanism being used less frequently. Because of this, writing and drawing are made more comfortable, and do not have to be interrupted as frequently.

The built-in eraser can be accessed by removing the cap from the top of the pencil and is especially convenient when a standalone eraser is not available. Furthermore, the pencil comes with a 2-year limited warranty from the date of purchase and covers defective materials and craftsmanship.

Mechanical Pencil for Technical Writing
Affortable Mechanical Pencil

2. Pentel Graph Gear 1000™

  • Chiseled metallic grip
  • Superior drafting pencil
  • Refillable with Pentel Super Hi-Polymer
  • latex-free pads provide writing comfort

The Pencil Graph Gear 1000 is designed for professionals and amateurs alike, and is ideal for draftsmen, artists, and architects. It features a 4mm tip that makes it suitable to use with templates and rulers and includes a built-in lead hardness indicator.

The pen is made from metal and has a well-balanced weight of 0.723 oz. Its dimensions are 0.63” x 6” x 0.63”. When brand new, the pencil comes equipped with Super Hi-Polymer HB lead, which is a high-quality lead known for its dark and clear lines. It can be refilled with 0.5 mm leads, and the in-built eraser can also be refilled with Z2-1 eraser refills. Users have found this feature extremely useful since it negates the need to carry around a separate eraser.

Comfort has been taken into account in the construction of this pencil since it is designed for long-term use. Its metal grip is textured and features soft pads, making it extremely comfortable as well as preventing slipping.

Another unique feature is a dual-action retractor. This retracts and puts forward the pencil tip, which prevents it from breakage. The spring mechanism guards against too much pressure and can feel soft when doing so. A retractable tip makes it excellent for storage since the tip is both protected from damage and cannot damage surrounding items.

Best Pencil for Drawing
Rotring Mechanical Pencil

3. Rotring 600 Mechanical Pencil

  • Full metal body
  • Brass mechanism
  • Available in .5mm and .7mm in black or silver finishes
  • Iconic technical writing instrument designed for a lifetime of use

The Rotring 600 has a full metal body, and weighs only 0.8 oz. It is measured at 6.69” x 1.1” x 6.1” and boasts a unique shape. The special hexagonal barrel makes the pencil comfortable to use when drawing and writing and prevents fatigue and strain. This barrel shape also makes the pencil anti-slip, and the knurled metal grip further reinforces this. Additionally, this unique shape prevents the pencil from rolling away when it is laid down on surfaces between uses.

For added convenience, the pencil features a lead hardness grade indicator, which allows users to identify the lead being used without interrupting their work. The brass mechanism used for lead advancement is very precise, and the lead sleeve features a fixed design to ensure that the view of the page is not obstructed when using a ruler. The fixed lead sleeve also prevents breakage and makes lead last longer.

Although the lead is retractable, it should be noted that the tip is fixed and susceptible to damage unless packed carefully. This pencil is preferred above others by users who claim that its design makes it feel as comfortable as a regular wooden pencil.

Users can access the convenient in-built eraser by removing the top cap and can purchase eraser refills to make sure that they always have backups. In case of damage, the pencil comes with 2-year warranty which covers defects in workmanship or materials.

Affordable Choice
Affordable Pencil For Writing

4. LAMY 2000 Mechanical Pencil

  • Pocket-safe conical tip
  • Long, replaceable erase
  • 0.7mm leads, and Lamy Z10 eraser
  • Brushed Makrolon resin barrel

The LAMY 2000 has been a trailblazing design since 1966, and is known for its construction from high-quality materials such as stainless steel, fiberglass, and polycarbonate makrolon resin. Its sleek matt brushed finish makes it aesthetically pleasing and an excellent option for those who like to display their pens. Because of its sturdy construction, it has a great weight balance, and weighs 1 lb.

In addition to its luxurious appearance, it provides users with durability and quality. Featuring a conical tip and a stainless-steel pocket clip, the pencil makes for excellent storage, and can be stored in pockets or pencil cases without leaving holes. This design also protects the tip from damage, making it even more long-lasting.

The lead advancement mechanism is a push button at the top of the pencil, which can be removed to reveal a built-in eraser. Lamy Z10 eraser refills are available so that users can replace their erasers and always be prepared when they are on the go. 0.7 mm lead refills can also be easily purchased, and the pencil even features a lead size indicator on top of the push button so users’ convenience. Additionally, the pen comes with a clean-out rod for easy dislodging in case of any lead jams.

Mechanical pencil for Architects
Pencil For Writers

5. Uni Kuru TogaPencil

  • Kurutoga Series
  • Lead rotation mechanism
  • Core diameter is 0.5mm
  • The core is difficult to break for pipe slide system

This mechanical pencil is not as durable as some others on this list because it has a plastic body, but is extremely lightweight at only 0.64 oz. For users with little strength, such as older users or those with shaky hands, this is a major advantage and can be a selling point. The dimensions of the pencil are .6” x 0.6” x 2” and it uses 0.5 mm leads.

Being sleek and boasting a glossy black finish, the Uni Kuru Toga is aesthetically pleasing in additional to comfortable. The comfortable grip includes ridges to prevent slipping and is perfect for writing for long periods of time without fatigue. Students are especially fond on this pen and find it ideal for notetaking. Additionally, users can replace the in-built eraser with refills to ensure that they always have an eraser on hand, which is easily accessible by removing the cap on the top of the pencil.

One of the most prominent features of this pencil is the Kuru Toga lead rotation mechanism, which allows the lead to rotate as the user writes. The lead gets sharpened in the process, which ensures that writing is consistent because of the constantly pointed lead. An additional advantage of this feature is less breakage which allows the lead to last longer.

Another unique feature that the pencil boasts is the Pipe Slide, which makes this rotation even more intense. Standard Kuru Toga pencils rotate the lead every 40 strokes while the Pipe Slide Kuru Toga pencil rotates it every 20 strokes.

This mechanical pencil also has a sliding lead sleeve that is completely retractable. Because it has rounded edges, it does not get caught on paper, and makes for a comfortable writing experience. The sleeve slides up easily during writing and results in the user having to use the advancement mechanism less often, preventing unnecessary interruption. A retractable tip makes the pencil easy and safe to store and prevents damage to both the tip and areas it may otherwise encounter.

Best for Designers
Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil

6. Paper Mate Clearpoint

  • Create clear, precise Lines every time
  • Side lead advance lets you load lead without losing Your grasp
  • Soft grip design adds comfort and ease
  • Jumbo twist-up eraser makes erasing Easy
  • Ideal for designers, drafters and artists

This mechanical pencil may be made from plastic but definitely does not feel cheap. Weighing 1.92 oz, it measures at 0.65” x 3.2” x 7.6” providing users with a comfortable diameter for grip. The grip itself is textured, prevents slipping, and is comfortable to use for long periods of time.

Unlike most pencils, the Paper Mate Clearpoint features a side-click lead advancement mechanism. This lets the user access more lead without losing their current grip on the pencil and is especially useful for those who struggle with gripping, such as users with arthritis. Side-click mechanisms are also faster than standard push mechanisms and are ideal for use during tests. On that note, the Clearpoint also comes equipped with standard #2 0.7 mm leads, which are ideal for students taking standardized tests. The twist closure is also time efficient.

Compared to other mechanical pencils, the built-in eraser is quite large and can be replaced when finished. This eraser can be accessed from the top of the pencil with a simple twist mechanism. Yet another convenient feature is the transparent barrel which allows users to easily see how much lead they have left, and when they need to refill it. Thus, this pencil is ideal for use among students, writers, drafters, and artists. Sold in a pack of 4, it is also more economical than other options on this list.

Best Pencil for Writing
Blue Mechanical Pencil

7. Pentel Sharp Kerry

  • Removable cap
  • For 0. 5mm lead, Blue Body
  • Finest writing instrument
  • Dimension: 0.59 x 4.92 x 0.47

The Sharp Kerry is a mid-range mechanical pencil that boasts a durable metal body. Weighing 0.7 oz and measuring at 0.59” x 4.92” x 0.47”, it is compact and can be stored easily. Its removable cap helps with this and protects the nib as well as other items that could have otherwise come into contact with the nib.

Additionally, the removable cap also contributes to proper balance during writing. While the pencil only measures 4.9” long without the cap, the inclusion of the cap brings it to 5.2”, making it more comfortable for writing. Users can use this mechanical pencil for long periods of time without fatigue which is further helped by its textured metal anti-slip grip.

This lead advancement mechanism depends on pushing, and the back of the pencil can be removed and refilled with 0.5 mm Hi-Polymer leads. A unique feature is the button on the pencil cap that allows users to advance the lead whether the cap is off or on. The built-in eraser can be found under this button and is refillable with Z2-1N refill erasers for users’ convenience.

Sharp Mechanical Pencil
Sharp Mechanical Pencil

8. Uni Kuru Toga Roulette

  • Lead rotating technology Mechanical pen
  • Roulette M510171P.43
  • For 0.5mm lead
  • Gun Metallic body

The Roulette M510171P.43 mechanical pencil is measured at 5.7” x 0.4” x 0.5” and weighs 0.48 oz. The stylish and sleek pencil comes in an aesthetically pleasing gun metallic color, and has a plastic body, and a metal grip, clip, and tip.

A standard push lead advancement mechanism is made up for by an advanced lead rotation mechanism. The spring-loaded clutch twists work by rotating the lead as the user writes, thereby sharpening it. This constant sharpening leads to consistent writing and thickness, and is great for durability since it prevents lead breakage.

Featuring a strong metal knurled grip, the pencil makes sure that slipping is prevented. Low center of gravity also makes it easy to control, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time without fatigue or strain.

The in-built eraser can be found at the top of the mechanical pencil over the compartment that houses the 0.5 mm leads. This can also be pushed to activate the lead advancement mechanism, making the piece straightforward and easy to use.

0.9mm Pencil
American Classic Mechanical Pencil

9. AbilityOne American Classic

  • Mechanical Pencil-0.9mm Bold Point Lead
  • Push Action
  • Bold Point 0.9 mm
  • Color: Black
  • Push Action

AbilityOne’s American Classic uses 0.9 mm leads, the second thickest on this list. This is ideal for users who prefer bold writing, and users who use a lot of pressure and force, since the lead does not break easily. Measuring at 6” x 2.3” x 0.7”, this mechanical pencil weighs only 4 oz. The 0.9 mm lead boasts HB-level hardness, and the pencil comes equipped with 4 leads.

Users can easily use the lead advancement mechanism by pushing the top of the pencil. An in-built eraser is also found here and can be fully utilized by purchasing eraser refills. The American Classic also features a sliding metal sleeve to reduce the movement of the lead. This makes sure that there is no breakage, that leads last for a longer period of time, and also protects the user’s pocket.

Writing experience is great using this pencil because of the ultra-comfortable rubber grip. This is especially great for students and office users who need to use mechanical pencils for long stretches of time and are prone to strain. Additionally, users can be rest assured that they will not finish the rubber too quickly since the eraser is oversized at 1.25”.

Best Pencil for Bold Marking
All-Weather Mechanical Pencil

10. AbilityOne American Classic

  • Comes with 7 leads and 2 extra erasers
  • Durable resin barrel
  • 1.1mm thick lead
  • Refill Available

The RD99 is the most durable item on this list because of its thick lead size. Its 1.1 mm lead makes writing smooth and bold, prevents lead breakage, and is perfect for users who exert a lot of force and pressure when writing. Durability is further ensured by the pencil’s expanding tip, which flexes in order to prevent breakage, twisting, wobbling, and falling out.

Measuring at 5.75” x 0.38” x 0.5 and weighing 0.8 oz, this pencil is comfortable to use. The barrel is made from polymeric resin and is extremely durable, while the tip is metal, and the pencil even comes with 7 lead refills and 2 eraser refills. A twisting lead advancement mechanism is faster to use and is ideal for users who work outside, including architects, engineers, construction workers, etc. Being able to withstand tough weather, the RD99 is suitable for working in the rain and comes in a bright red color to help it stand out.


Buying Guide for Mechanical Pencils

Some people tend to think that all mechanical pencils are roughly the same. This is far from the truth because mechanical pencils come with many different features and in various styles. The following should be considered when looking to purchase a mechanical pencil:

Purpose

Buying the right type of mechanical pencil depends on what you intend to use it for. This is different for students, artists, architects, etc. Artists will want more precision while students might value comfort over all else. Likewise, writers will look for thicker lead, while designers will prefer thinner leads for more precision. These factors are important to keep in mind when shopping for a new mechanical pencil.

Grip

The grip is arguably the most important aspect to focus on when choosing a mechanical pencil. The grip has to be comfortable for the user to be able to use the pencil properly. This is especially important if you intend to use a pencil for long periods of time. Users should pay attention to more material and diameter (thickness) when looking at the grip. Those with smaller hands will prefer thinner grips, while those with larger hands or need more support will prefer thicker grips.

Lead Advancement Mechanism

Mechanical pencils come with many different types of lead advancement mechanisms. These include pushing a button, shaking the pencil, pressing the pencil, and twisting the pencil. Some mechanical pencils even advance lead automatically.

The most common mechanism is pushing a button at the end or side of the pencil. Another common mechanism is shaking the pencil. This is useful when the user does not want to change their grip. It is also much quicker than using a pushing mechanism. Twisting the pencil allows users to control the length of the lead. Bending mechanisms involve pressing a certain point of the grip to allow more lead to come out. Lastly, automatic mechanisms use pressure to determine when to advance more lead. However, these can be annoying because they only advance a little bit of lead at a time.

Buyers should consider their needs and preferences before opting for any of these mechanisms.

Lead Size

Lead comes in different sizes ranging from 0.2 mm to 1.3 mm. Different people prefer different sizes. Thinner lead is more prone to breakage but is great for precision and detail. Thicker lead is more durable but will be bolder.

  • 0.2 mm – 0.4 mm is ideal for intricate drawings and calligraphy
  • 0.5 mm is great for students and writers
  • 0.7 mm is suitable for regular drawing
  • 0.9 mm is bolder and works well for those who use a lot of force

Material & Design

Buyers should look out for materials like steel to ensure that the pencil is strong. This will make sure that it is durable and will last for a long time. Plastic, silicone, and rubber are other popular materials used in mechanical pencils. Buyers should note that metal pencils will be heavier, while plastic pencils will be less durable. Silicone and rubber are popular for those looking for comfort.

Design details range from caps and lead protection to erasers. Retractable lead or a cap prevents bending and keeps other materials safe from the exposed lead. Other pencils use rotation to ensure that the lead is always sharp. This results in more consistent writing. Mechanical pencils also come with erasers, which are usually attached to the back of the pencil. However, these are usually small and used up very quickly. Many users prefer separate erasers because of this. Others opt for pens that have replaceable erasers.

Price

Price is a major factor for some people when purchasing a mechanical pencil. Some people are on a budget, while others think that a higher price will equal higher quality. Users should note that plenty of high-quality options are available for affordable prices.


FAQ’s

We have provided answers to frequently asked questions for your convenience. Check out the answers to these common questions below.

Which mechanical pencil is best?

Different mechanical pencils are best for different tasks and purposes. The best mechanical pencil for an architect or designer would be flexible and have thinner leads for precision, such as 0.2 mm. The best mechanical pencil for students can be completely different. Students prefer 0.5-0.7 mm, which covers a variety of tasks. They will also need a very comfortable grip if they work for long periods of time.

Which is the best pencil for writing?

This depends on your method of writing. Those are light-handed opt for 0.5-0.7 mm leads. Users with a heavier hand who tend to use a lot of pressure should consider leads that are 0.9 mm or higher. Silicone or rubber grips can be useful since they are comfortable. The Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil is an excellent option for writing.

How does a mechanical pencil work?

Mechanical pencils work by housing lead inside a plastic or metal body. When the lead advancement mechanism is used, the lead is released slowly. This can be through pushing a button, shaking the pencil, etc. The user can control the amount of lead advanced since it is released little by little.

How do you refill a mechanical pencil?

The first step to refilling a mechanical pencil is using the right kind of lead. Users should know the thickness they have been using. Most mechanical pencils have a removable cap on top under the eraser. Users simply have to drop in the leads into the space. Insert 3-5 leads instead of completely filling the space. This can cause jams. The user can then put the cap and eraser back into place.

However, you have to refill some twist pencils from the tip. The user should insert the lead into the tip of the pencil. Users can do this while twisting the release mechanism and fully retracting the lead into the pencil.

What mechanical pencil is best for drawing?

There are special mechanical pencils for precise drawings called “drafting pencils.”  Users often use thinner leads (0.2 mm) for precise drawing and 0.7 mm lead for regular drawing. The Pentel Graph Gear 1000™ Mechanical Drafting Pencil is a good option for drawing.

What is the best lead for a mechanical pencil?

This depends on personal preference and purpose. You can use thin 0.2 mm leads for intricate work and 0.9 mm leads for bolder work or if you write with a heavy hand. Your preference for the intensity of pigment determines the grade of the lead. You may use B or 2B lead for smoothness and darkness. On the other hand, you can use 4B leads for softness. For firmness, an H or F lead is best.


Conclusion

This list of mechanical pencils has been compiled with the utmost care and includes the best options available. You can be sure that any one of these choices will result in an excellent purchase that will not leave you disappointed. You can find the right choice for you on this list, whether you are an artist, a student, or an engineer. We would suggest the Pentel Graph Gear 1000™ Mechanical Drafting Pencil and the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil since they are both excellent choices.

Use this list in conjunction with our buyer’s guide to make sure that you choose the right mechanical pencil. Our FAQ section answers common questions from buyers and can be useful to look through. Browsing it might answer any residual questions you may have or clarify other concepts regarding mechanical pencils. We hope this article will help you make a choice that you are happy with.

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