You’ll find an amazing variety of the best mechanical pencil online. Each of these mechanical pencils comes with its own unique features, which is why they vary in price. Understanding what each of these pencils can do and how they differ from each other can help you make the best choice.
Of course, it’s also important to think of how you plan on using the pencil. For instance, if you’re an architect and you need to use a pen for drafting, then you need to choose a mechanical pencil that comes with added features like a knurled grip section, extra rugged construction, and more.
If this is your first time to buy a mechanical pencil, then refer to our guide below. We’ve also put together a list of the best mechanical pencils that you might want to check out.
A Brief History of Mechanical Pencils
First, let’s find out more information about mechanical pencils, including their history. Some English inventors and engineers patented the first mechanical pencil in early 1882. But prior to that, the first real mechanical pencil that came with a push-button was introduced in 1879 in New York. This pen was invented by Joseph Hoffman.
However, the pen came with a few drawbacks. So, in 1915, a Japanese businessman named Tokuji Hayakawa addressed this problem by creating the first “Ever-Ready Sharp Pencil.” It became hugely successful so he derived the name of his company, “Sharp” from the pen. Sharp Corporation started as a manufacturing company and later on ventured into electronic products and appliances.
PLAN - PRICE
START UP - $ 29
Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil (QE517A)
BUSINESS - $ 49
ROtring 1904257 Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil
ADVANCED - $ 99
Mr. Pen Mechanical Pencils
ADVANCED - $ 99
MozArt Supplies Essential Mechanical Pencil Set
ADVANCED - $ 99
Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil
What Are the Benefits of Mechanical Pencils?
The biggest benefit of using a mechanical pencil over the traditional pencil is that when you run out of lead, you just need to insert another one, which saves you a lot of time from having to sharpen the pencil. Furthermore, mechanical pencils are more capable of producing consistent lines, which is important for engineers and architects who are doing drafting work.
A lot of artists also prefer a mechanical pencil when drawing or making a masterpiece. It’s because the pen’s weight and size are consistent, unlike the wood pencil that will only produce fine lines after you sharpen it. Artists want the pen to produce fine lines since they are much easier to erase.
It’s also worth noting that mechanical pencils are more cost-effective than typical pencils, especially in the long run. It’s because you simply have to add a new lead if it runs out instead of replacing the entire pen, which is what happens if you’re using a pencil. Furthermore, the mechanical pencil is very convenient to carry around, as you no longer need to bring a sharpener with you.
How to Use Mechanical Pencils?
Using a mechanical pencil isn’t really that complicated. It’s like any regular pencil when writing, but the biggest difference lies in the fact that there’s no longer a need to sharpen it. You just need to replace the lead and you can go back to your work again.
Depending upon the mechanism used for a particular mechanical pencil, all you need to do is to click or screw the pen and a new lead will come out. Once the lead has been used up, simply click or screw the pen again and new lead will be released. When you run out of all the lead, you just need to feed more lead into the hole that’s usually located underneath the button of the pen.
So how long will each lead last, you ask? This will actually depend on the length of the lead and the amount of work that you do with the pen.
Types of Mechanical Pencils
When looking for the best mechanical pencil, you’ll find that there are several different types of them and they differ slightly from one another in terms of how they work.
Here are some of them:
To use the shaker mechanical pen, simply give it a good shake. In doing so, the weight inside it will push the lead forward. These pens come with a button, but shaking it will make it work much faster.
For twist-click mechanical pens, you just need to screw the barrel at the top in order to release the lead. Then twist or screw the barrel again while holding the pen in order to push back the lead. Such a mechanism is the same as that of the clicky type of pen. But instead pushing the barrel, it will be twisted. You’ll find that these pens are similar to typical pens. In fact, there are some that look like a regular ball pen.
With the auto-feed mechanical pen, the lead will be fitted into a plastic cone. Once the lead is used up, the cone will get into contact with the paper and is pressed back slightly. It comes with an innerspring that will move the pen back.
What’s good about this pen is that it won’t sound scratchy as you use it, plus it produces a smooth and round result, which is why it’s considered the best mechanical pencil for drawing.
Best Brands of Mechanical Pencils
There are probably thousands of different brands of mechanical pencils on the market. Some of the best brands have already built a reputation for producing the best types of mechanical pencils, while there are a few new brands that have also produced the best pencils. The cost of mechanical pencils ranges between $1 and $100. They could cost even more, especially those that come with high-tech features.
Some of the best brands of mechanical pencils in the market are Pilot, Pentel, Faber Castell, Zebra, Parker, Cross, Platinum, Uni, and Staedtler. Japanese-made mechanical pencils are very popular since they come with interesting features. For instance, the Uni Kuru Toga is a self-sharpening mechanical pencil and took the market by storm when it was first released.
Best Mechanical Pencils on Amazon this Year
Now it’s time to start searching for the best mechanical pencil to buy. To help you with your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best ones in the market.
1 – Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil (QE517A)
The Pentel Twist-Erase Mechanical Pencil may just look like a regular mechanical pencil, but it comes with features that make it stand out from the rest. Customers love the pencil’s minimalist design featuring a solid blue color with a pocket clip and a tip that’s made of chrome. You’ll find some details printed at the top portion of its body. As for the weight, many customers have said that it’s lighter than what they expected.
The pencil’s pocket clip is made from a strong and durable metal. Three holes are punched out of the clip to enhance the design. Its tip section is made of chrome and uses a 3-mm lead, which is suitable for drawing and writing. However, it should be noted that the sleeve of this pencil is not retractable so it’s not that safe to keep in your pocket.
The Twist-Erase Mechanical Pencil features a push top design, which means that you need to push the pencil to release the lead and start writing. You’ll find that the top portion of the pen can be pulled off in order for you to gain access to the lead.
Available in different variants and lead sizes
Comes in a pack of 12
Eraser is extra size
Grip is latex-free
The pricing is not friendly for those on a budget
2 – ROtring 1904257 Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil
Next on the list is the ROtring 1904257 Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil, which many believe is the best mechanical pencil for drawing. In fact, it’s the favorite pencil of illustrators and artists. It features a retractable design and a cushioned lead-delivery mechanism. To use this pencil, you just need to press the push button.
What’s great about this pencil is that it comes with a lead sharpener that’s built beneath the push button. The entire body is made from metal and has a sliding sleeve that enhances the pencil’s durability. And thanks to the pen’s hexagonal shape, it will never roll or slide off when you put it down.
Most customers love the fact that the Rapid ROtring 1904257 Mechanical Pencil is easy on the hands. Thus, it won’t make your fingers feel sore even if you use it for drawing or writing for a very long time. It has a knurled grip with a few bumps on the barrel that improves the control and comfort when using the pen. You can choose from the chrome or matte black design with this pen and both are looking elegant and stylish.
Comes with a 2-year warranty
Hexagonal shape keeps the pen from sliding
Easy to hold
Good weight balance
Ideal for various applications
Precise cushion lead advance mechanism
A bit difficult to retract when pressure is applied
3 – Mr. Pen Mechanical Pencils – (The Cheapest Mechanical Pencil Set Sold Online)
If you want bright-colored pencils, the Mr. Pen- Mechanical Pencil Set is highly recommended. Each set has five different pencils of different shades of red, blue, green, black, and chrome.
You’ll also get the pencils in different sizes of 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 0.9 and 2 mm. These color-coded pencils make it easy for you to choose the size of lead that you need to use, depending on the project that you’re working on.
The Mr. Pen high-quality mechanical pencils are latex-free and offer a soft and non-slip grip, which allows you to write or draw comfortably. These pencils are comfortable enough on your hands and let you write for a long time with less fatigue. The length of the tip is 4mm, which is adequate for everyday use. Aside from writing, you can also use these pencils for technical drawing, drafting, etc.
Available in different lead sizes
Comes with a built-in lead sharpener
Five mechanical pencils in one package
Excellent for beginners, but not so good for professional use
4 – MozArt Supplies Essential Mechanical Pencil Set
The MozArt Supplies Essential Mechanical Pencil Set is a very versatile pencil set that can be used for various types of applications. It’s highly recommended for professionals who need the best mechanical pencil for writing.
With this pencil, you can choose from a wide variety of sizes, versatility, and precision. Even though this pencil appeals mainly to professional users, students, and other users will also find this pencil very useful.
The lead of this pencil is of excellent quality, which is known as the HB lead. Even if you have not used such a pencil in the past, you’ll easily get used to it. It’s extremely easy to use, as it merely requires pushing the button of the pencil at the top in order for the lead to be released. Plus, refilling the lead is very easy. It uses a lead that’s around 0.3 to 0.9 mm.
With this mechanical pencil set, you’ll get four replaceable erasers on top of the lead refills and the pencil itself. This is a great feature as it allows you to correct any mistake committed when writing or drawing.
Available in various sizes
Consistent and sharp
Easy to refill
Full set of mechanical pencil
Ideal for most applications.
Doesn’t have any color codes and you could end up refilling the wrong size if you are not careful
5 – Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil
When it comes to a luxury mechanical pencil, the Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil is what we would recommend. This pencil is strong enough to allow you to produce high-quality marking, although it’s also light enough to handle.
It’s recommended for writers who need to write several pages of documents on a daily basis. With this pencil, you won’t have to worry about suffering from writer’s fatigue. Furthermore, this writing tool boasts an impressive lead rotation system that maintains a pointed sharp and prevents unnecessary breaks.
Most mechanical pencils have a circular lead that tends to wear down on one side and this results in inconsistent writing quality. To address this issue, this mechanical pencil was created in such a way that the pencil will constantly rotate the lead by itself as you write. Doing so can lead to uniform wear, which makes the pencil produce lines of consistent quality.
Features a proprietary rotating lead system
Produces consistent line quality
Refilling the lead can be complicated
Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Mechanical Pencil
With dozens of brands to choose from, how do you find the best mechanical pencil for crossword puzzles? Keep your intended use in mind as you navigate this guide. Here are the main things you should take into consideration:
The grip of the pencil will not really affect the ease and comfort of using a pencil. In fact, others find it unnecessary and cumbersome. However, if you are more comfortable with writing using a thick pencil, then you better go for a mechanical pencil that comes with a squishy grip. The grip helps to keep your grasp stay firmly, which makes for a more comfortable writing experience.
When it comes to the best mechanical pencil drawing, some people want the pencil to have a width of around 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm. This is also the size of the lead that the pencil is going to use. You can always go for a larger or smaller size, depending on what you prefer. Aside from the size, the hardness of the lead is another factor to consider. Remember that the hardness and size of the lead will affect the writing of the pen.
To use a standard mechanical pencil, you simply need to click at the top in order to release the lead. But some of the more advanced models come with a side-click mechanism. There are also a few models that come with a twist advance feature. The decision will all come down to your own personal preferences.
There are mechanical pencils that use lead cushioning also known as a guard when writing. The main role of the cushioning is to provide support to the lead, especially when used for rough writing. People who tend to be aggressive with their writing pens should consider using this.
Capped vs. Retractable
Another thing to consider is whether you will get a pencil that’s capped or retractable. If you prefer something that looks more polished, perhaps, the capped version of Pentel pens would be a great choice.
Just like with any tools for writing, you’ll find a wide range of styles and colors for your mechanical pencils. This will mainly depend upon your personal preferences. You can opt for pencils that resemble conventional pencils or something that looks like a ball pen. There are those that have colorful and bright patterns while some have simple and basic designs.
Just like with any type of pen, the cost of mechanical pencils varies. Remember that the most expensive ones are not always the best and the cheapest are not the worst either. It is best to decide ahead of time how much you are willing to spend for a mechanical pencil so you can focus your search within this price range.
More Top Mechanical Pencils Reviews
6 – Paper Mate Handwriting Triangular Mechanical Pencil Set
If you want your mechanical pencils to look like traditional pencils, then you’ll surely love this Paper Mate Handwriting Triangular Mechanical Pencil Set. You’ll get a total of 16 different items in every set, which include 10 colorful pencils, 4 erasers, and 2 lead refills. Coming at an affordable price, this pencil set is quite a steal!
Available in attractive colors of green, orange, purple, yellow, red, and blue, these colorful pencils appeal the most to kids, although they are also recommended for college students and some professionals.
These pencils are the best writing tools for early writers. It uses a 1.3 mm thick of lead and each pencil is in a triangular shape, which is much easier to hold and encourage the proper placement of the fingers.
16 pieces in one pack
Bright colored pencils
Ideal for kids
Doesn’t come with enough extra leads and erasers
7 – Nicpro 6PCS Mechanical Pencils
For those who need a luxury mechanical pencil, the Nicpro 6PCS Mechanical Pencils, Metal Automatic Drafting Pencil is another great product that we would highly recommend. Featuring a full-body metal case, in brown, silver, and champagne colors, these pencils look very elegant and are suitable for professionals, such as engineers and architects.
The entire set has 20 pieces of items, which include 3 pieces of 0.5 mm, 3 pieces of 0.7 mm, 3 tubes of HB pencil leads, 3 pack erasers, and all other writing essentials. What’s more, these luxury pencils come with a durable case that can keep your pencils fully protected.
In the Nicpro 6PCS Mechanical Pencils, the lead starts automatically at the touch of a click. These pencils are drop-resistant and are guaranteed to last for a long time despite repeated use.
100% risk-free purchase
Anti-skidding pen tubes
Convenient to use
Full metal body
Hardwearing mechanical pencils
Some might find the diameter of the pencil a bit too small
8 – Jimmidda 0.5 and 0.7 Mechanical Pencils
With this 2-pack Jimmidda Mechanical Pencils, you’ll get 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm mechanical pencils. Therefore, it’s perfect for different types of drawing and writing works. What’s great about these pencils is that they feature an anti-skidding surface, which helps the user to achieve precise results.
You’ll be able to comfortably and firmly hold these pencils as you work on your task. In addition, this set of pencils comes with refills that ensure you’ll be able to use them continuously without having to worry about spending more money on extra refills. The refills include the 0.7 mm and 0.5 mm leads.
Another great feature of these pencils is that they have pocket clips that allow you to fasten them into your pockets, documents, etc. Furthermore, it’s also possible to adjust the lead’s overall length.
Available in two different sizes
Don’t get broken easily
Company is known for offering excellent customer service
Some users complained the pencils are heavy
9 – Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil
The best mechanical pencil is one that allows you to be able to grip comfortably on your pencil such as the Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil. Thanks to its excellent grip, you’ll be able to focus on your drawing or writing jobs.
This pencil uses a 0.7 mm lead and comes with a knurled metal that helps users to write steadily. With its excellent grip, it’s not surprising why professional artists and architects highly recommend this pencil. The Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil is a one-time investment since you don’t need to keep on replacing it for a new one.
It comes with a refill kit that allows you to continuously use the pencil even when the leads run out. The stainless-steel barrel is sturdy and can last for a very long time. With this excellent mechanical pencil, there’s no longer a need to keep on sharpening your pencil, which is very inconvenient.
Comes with a superior quality clip
Comfortable to use since it’s lightweight
Features a non-slip metallic grip
A full-package mechanical pencil that includes a ballpoint pen
Elegant style and design
Removing the pencil from your pocket is difficult due to the clip
10 – Pilot Dr. Grip G-Spec Frost Color Shaker Mechanical Pencil
Pilot is a Japanese brand known for producing some of the best pens on the market. One of their most popular products is this Dr. Grip G-Spec Frost Mechanical Pencils. It comes with a unique feature known as the fun shaker mechanism, which lets the user extend the lead by merely shaking the pencil!
It’s also possible to advance the lead of the pen using the knock button at the top. Just like with the other Dr. Grip range of pens, these pencils feature an ergonomic shape, which is what the Dr. Grip mechanical pencils of Pilot are known for. Furthermore, these mechanical pencils look very stylish and come in a matte finish body and grip.
0.5 mm lead size
Available in two attractive colors
Comfortable to use
Reduces hand fatigue
How to Fix Mechanical Pencils?
How to put a mechanical pencil back together? If in the event that your mechanical pencil gets broken, don’t attempt to fix it or you could end up ruining it even more. Most of these pens are covered with a warranty so find out the warranty policy of your pen. This way, you will know how to get it replaced when it gets broken.
One of the most common issues that you could encounter after using your mechanical pen for a while is lead jamming. This happens when bits of pieces of lead get trapped into the pen’s mechanism, which keeps it from working. When it comes to this, the best thing that you can do is to dismantle your pen.
To dismantle your mechanical pen, simply unscrew that portion close to the tip so you’ll be able to see the pen’s inner mechanism. When you press the button, the clutch will go up. You’ll then see a ring right at the clutch jaws. Gently push the ring to discharge the jaws. Now that the pen is open, those bits of lead that got jammed should be discharged.
If you’re unable to open the pencil’s mechanism, the best thing you can do is to manually fit a pin into the tip and remove those lead pieces that got stuck. Never force any thick item into the pencil to remove the lead or it will get broken.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Mechanical Pencils
How do Mechanical Pencils Work?
Most of the mechanical pencils work by releasing the lead with the help of a pushing or twisting mechanism. The button can be found right by the eraser. Upon pushing or twisting the button, the lead shaft will be pushed downward.
What’s the Weight of Mechanical Pencil?
The overall weight of a mechanical pencil depends upon the materials used in making these writing tools. Most of these pencils weigh around 28-30 grams or around 1 ounce.
How do I Refill a Mechanical Pencil?
There are different methods of refilling the mechanical pencils, depending on the brand and model. But usually, it requires the user to manually check the side portion of the pencil to determine the size of the lead that was used. Then the cap will be removed in order for the replacement lead to be inserted. The cap will then be returned after the new lead is inserted.
What’s the Price of a Mechanical Pencil?
The cost will mainly depend on the brand and type of pencil that you’re buying. These writing tools are not really that expensive. In fact, most of the mechanical pencils that we’ve featured on the list below are very affordable.
Can I Use a Mechanical Pencil on Scantrons?
Mechanical pencils are not allowed for Scantrons due to various reasons. Some say that it’s mainly due to the fact that the machines that are used in checking these tests are unable to scan or read the text that was written using a mechanical pencil.
How do I Find the Best Mechanical Pencil for Drawing?
When it comes to the best mechanical pencils for drawing, look for those that produce a fine point, that’s around 5 mm. If you’re going to use a pencil for sketches, what we would recommend is the Rite in the Rain pencil. This comes with a 1.1mm-thick lead that can produce different pencil mark varieties.
PLAN - PRICE
START UP - $ 29
Paper Mate Handwriting Triangular Mechanical Pencil Set
BUSINESS - $ 49
Nicpro 6PCS Mechanical Pencils
ADVANCED - $ 99
Jimmidda 0.5 and 0.7 Mechanical Pencils
ADVANCED - $ 99
Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil
ADVANCED - $ 99
Pilot Dr. Grip G-Spec Frost Color Shaker Mechanical Pencil
The Best mechanical pencil ever must be comfortable and easy to hold whether drafting, writing or drawing. The rOtring 1904257 Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil, 0.7 mm is proof that you don’t really need to spend a lot of money to get the best mechanical pencil.
This affordable pen is packed with excellent features, such as the sliding sleeve, cushioned lead mechanism, and non-slip knurled metal grip. It works with the help of a push mechanism that gives you full control over the pencil as you write or draw.
Above all, the rOtring offers a 2-year limited warranty for this product against defects. Thus, your money will certainly not go to waste if you choose to buy this mechanical pencil.