A mechanical pencil is a popular writing instrument when it comes to sketching and taking down notes. It has been around for years to cater to designers and artists who require a practical tool for their project. Unlike a regular granite or lead pencil, a mechanical pencil does not need to be sharpened. It does not have to discarded it because it is refillable with lead. It provides more consistent lines for more precise sketches and neater notes.
There are several considerations when choosing a mechanical pencil. Lead with a thin diameter draws fine lines, while thicker lead makes detailed sketches. In terms of hardness, a soft lead will turn out dark, while a hard lead will turn out light. You should also consider the weight and grip of your mechanical pencil so you can write or sketch comfortably. To make choosing a good mechanical pencil much easier for you, check out our top six picks.
- What is a mechanical pencil?
Answer: A mechanical pencil, or clutch pencil, is a reusable and refillable writing instrument that uses thin sticks of lead and includes a mechanism for retracting the lead. Its lead is often made of graphite.
- How does a mechanical pencil work?
Answer: If you are using a push button and shaker mechanical pencil, you can retract the lead by holding the push button and then pushing the lead back into the tip. If you are using a twist mechanical pencil, twist the top knob of your writing tool in the opposite direction that you twist it to extend the lead.
- How do you refill the lead in your mechanical pencil?
Answer: To refill the lead in your mechanical pencil, pull the push button or the eraser. Insert 3 to 5 leads inside the storage tube. Put the push button or eraser back into place. Click on the push button to allow the new lead to come out.
Our Top Picks
Luxury Mechanical Pencil by Scriveiner
Scriveiner is a British brand based in London. Scriveiner is derived from the Middle English word scrivein meaning Scribe. They make exceptionally high quality pens and journals – items which enable their customers to reflect and document the world around them. Their products are designed to meet 5 key criteria: They should be beautifully designed, be fit for purpose, should last a lifetime, should offer incredible value for their cost and they should enrich their customers’ lives. The Scriveiner Mechanical Pencil is a part of their Scriveiner Classic range which includes Rollerballs, Fountain Pens and Ballpoints. The Classic range is a top selling range on Amazon, outselling brands such as Cross, Waterman and Montblanc. The Scriveiner Classic Mechanical Pencil comes in two styles. Black Lacquer and Silver Chrome. The Black Lacquer has 24K gold appointments and the Scriveiner logo inset into the cap in resin. The Silver Chrome also has 24K gold appointments and has the Scriveiner logo inset into the cap onto mother of pearl. Both items are manufactured to an exceptional quality standard and are designed to be perfectly weighted and balanced. Both styles use an installed German made Schmidt DSM 2006 0.7mm twist mechanism. This gives their pencils a smooth rotational action and provides for lifetime durability. The pencils come in a beautiful gift box. The box has a hinged tray and underneath the tray there is a box of spare leads. These are high polymer HB leads and are perfect for writing or sketching.
BIC Xtra-Smooth Mechanical Pencil
- Medium point
- 40 count
- Smooth writing
- Erases cleanly
Sketch or write with this mechanical pencil. It equals 2 ½ wood case pencils, and each pencil comes with 3 #2 leads. It has a fresh 0.7-mm point which is perfect for standardized tests. This pencil eliminates the need to sharpen constantly. Its smooth-writing lead does not smudge, so it stays on the page and off your hands. It erases cleanly, helping ensure your work looks tidy.
Paper Mate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil
- 0.7 mm
- Black barrel
- 44 count
Always be ready to write, draw, sketch, or doodle with this mechanical pencil. It creates clear, precise lines every time, making it ideal for designers, drafters, and artists. It has a side-click lead advance for uninterrupted writing. This pencil has a soft grip design for added comfort and ease. It has jumbo twist up eraser that makes do-overs a breeze.
Pentel Twist-Erase Express Mechanical Pencil
- 0.5 mm
- Assorted barrel colors
- With twist up eraser
Produce crisp lines of consistent density with this mechanical pencil. It is lightweight, making writing comfortable. It features a long-lasting 11/4-inch tall twist up eraser. This pencil has a latex-free grip with an extended barrel coverage for writing versatility. It ensures no smudges, paper tears, or ghosts. It is pre-loaded with lead and never needs sharpening. The pencil is super strong and produces a clear dark line.
Uni Mechanical Pencil
- 0.5 mm
- Black body
- Difficult to break
- No smudges
Take down notes or draw images with this mechanical pencil. It has a core rotation mechanism that continually rotates the lead as you write. It gives a nice thin line and uses only 50% of the lead area. This pencil has a spring-loaded clutch which twists the lead incrementally every time you lift it from the paper. Its lead is difficult to break due to its innovative mechanism. It keeps your paper clean and free of smudges.
Leda Art Supply Mechanical Pencil Set
- With 12 refills
- Includes a bonus sharpener
- Easy to grip
- Fits all grades of lead
Use this mechanical pencil to create your next masterpiece. Its 6.25-inch polymer barrel is 6-sided and tipped with a fine brass finish. It is easy to grasp for precise art making. This pencil comes with a soft 2.0-mm 5B lead which is perfect for serious drawing and making bold lines. Its lead refill pack comes with a dozen extra 5B leads for plenty of sketching. It includes a sharpener so you can sharpen the lead to a fine point for the thinnest possible lines. The pencil has an iron clip holder that secures it to your shirt or bag.
Rotring 1904255 Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil
- 0.5 mm
- Silver chrome
- Full metal body
Here is a professional tool for all sketching, writing, and drawing applications. This mechanical pencil has a sliding sleeve that provides a high level of break resistance. Its full metal body has an ideal weight balance for a comfortable and non-slip grip. It has a hexagonal shape so it won’t slide on tilted tables. The pencil is equipped with a precise cushion lead advance mechanism. It has a built-in sharpener under its push-button cap.
Mechanical pencils are all about precise lines, practicality, and ease of writing. All they need is just a click, and they are ready for use. Now that you have seen our selections of good mechanical pencils, you will be able to better find the one that best suits your project. We also recently put together a product roundup article on the best desk organizers to keep your area nice and tidy. These great desk organizers are just what you need if you find your new mechanical pencils, or other office related items seem to just find there ways to all corners of your desk with no organization in site. There are many ways to go about organizing your desk to keep it neat and clean, but just make sure that at the end of the day, your solution works for you and doesn’t add unnecessary process to your already busy life.