11 Best Drafting Pencils Right Now Reviewed

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From the time we first learned to write to the experts that we’ve grown to become, the pencil remains one of our favorite stationery. And it’s the go-to-tool for giving shape to an artist’s brilliant ideas!

The art of drafting schematics and blueprints by hand has gradually fallen out of trend, but drafting pencils have somehow managed to hold a firm position for many decades.

After all, it helps in the very first stage of creating any great piece of work. For every designer, doodler, or artist, owning a set of quality drafting pencils is pretty crucial.

The growing dependence on drafting pencils is not just for its quality and experience but also for the textured grip that ensures better control and comfort.

Now, with the range of available options, it can get challenging to navigate through the pencil aisle to find one that perfectly suits your needs. So, to simplify things, we’ve compiled some of the best drafting pencils to help you make an informed decision.

Best Drafting Pencils

So, let’s get started, shall we?

1. Rotring 600 Drafting Pencil

The Rotring 600 is one of the most well-designed drafting pencils. It makes for an ideal professional tool for drawing, sketching, and technical writing. It also features the rotrings original design with its complete body and non-slip metal grip. It’s available in three different lead sizes – 0.35mm, 0.5mm and 0.7mm.

Experience

We wanted to add a fine grip drafting pencil to our collection, and this was our first purchase from Rotring. Our colleagues suggested the 600 series, and after using it a few times, we could find a difference in the quality of our drawings.

This is an iconic mechanical pencil; it comes with a knurled grip and brass mechanism that ensures precise lead advancement. Moreover, the fixed lead guidance sleeve helps to prevent lead breakage, and it also offers a clear view of the page.

We can’t stop marveling at the ergonomic built of this drafting pencil that helps to balance out the weight of its metal construction. When it comes to comfort, it has a hexagonal barrel so we can work for extended periods without any fatigue or discomfort.

It doesn’t slide when we set the pencil down on angled drafting tables; therefore, it stays where it was earlier placed without any disturbance. And the sliding sleeve offers an incredibly high level of break resistance.

This design makes it easier for us to carry out precise drawings, especially when using a ruler. Overall, the manufacturing quality of this pencil is pretty good, and it’s great for making accurate designs.

Pros
  • Perfect weight distribution for better performance
  • Metal barrel that ensures lifetime usage
  • Offers a comfortable stellar grip
Cons
  • It comes with an inner plastic tube that is prone to breakage if not handled carefully

2. Rotring 800 Drafting Pencil

You’ll find a variety of mechanical pencils in the market, but rOtring is known for its quality products and rich history. The 800 series is a popular upgrade from the earlier iconic model. This version offers higher precision and quality with its unique ‘twist and clicks’ mechanism.

rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, 0.5 mm, Black Barrel...
  • An iconic tool meant for a lifetime of use Unique...
  • Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight...

Experience

We have used a wide range of mechanical pencils, and we wanted to try out something new, so we opted for this Rotring 800 after reading a lot of reviews. The first thing we noticed about this innovative drafting pencil is the brilliant design, and the fact that it feels pretty hefty in our hands. But, the heavy barrel and cylindrical knurled grip give a remarkable tactile experience.

The features of this drafting pencil is very innovative, which we didn’t find in many other brands. Even when we place this pencil on a tilted surface, it doesn’t roll down because of its hexagonal shape.

Plus, the retractable tip is one of the key features of this model that makes the pencil more durable and safe for usage. To extend the tip for drawing or writing, we have to twist the end. And to retract the tip, we need to twist it in reverse.

It also has a refillable eraser that works perfectly well for both polymer and graphite pencil lines. This pencil comes with a lead indicator, which is an exciting feature because we get to know what type of lead is being used before we start with our work. All in all, the flawless design of this pencil provides the professional drafting experience that we were on the lookout for.

Pros
  • Convenient to use during long-term drafting sessions
  • Has a stylish yet classic look
  • Accurate lead advancement system that prevents lead breakage
  • Features a retractable tip
Cons
  • It’s one of the most expensive drafting pencils

3. Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Drafting Pencil

This drafting pencil is commonly used by architects and other designers for technical drawings. The classic design of the Staedtler Mars 780 is suitable for those who like using lead holders. However, the trend of lead holders has hit rock bottom with its limited users, even though it boasts of exceptional German engineering. To find out why we have included this pencil in our list, let’s move to the following section.

Sale
Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil, 2mm. 780BK
  • Technical mechanical pencil, 2mm #2 lead.
  • For writing, sketching, drawing

Experience

We have been using Staedtler drafting pencils for quite some time now, and this brand stands out for its excellent quality products. When we wanted to purchase a new lead holder, we came across this product, and we ordered 3 pieces in total. It uses a 2mm lead, and to make things easier while working, we have loaded them with HB, 2B, and 4B leads accordingly.

As far as the mechanical process is concerned, it holds up pretty well, and it doesn’t clog up like the other thin lead drafting pencils. We love that these new models have rotary sharpeners for the leads, so we can use it to make the tip sharper when required.

We also prefer the top-clutch mechanism that secures the lead and holds it together for a smooth workflow. With less moving parts and sturdy metal construction, we believe that the Staedtler Mars 780 is a great drafting pencil for everyday use.

Pros
  • Placed within a reasonable price range
  • Comes with a sharpener
  • Has a quality construction
  • Multifunctional use
Cons
  • It doesn’t have an eraser

4. Pilot S20 Drafting Pencil

Pilot is a common name in the world of stationery. Known for their exquisite designs that help to maximize comfort and stability. The birch body has been polished to give the exterior a silky, velvety feel. It lives up to the expectations of the user, as it continues to deliver a stellar performance.

Experience

We have used a variety of drafting pencils, but they all had a metal casing. The birch wood construction makes this drafting pencil stand out amongst the other stationeries that we’ve got on the table. This pencil features a lead grade indicator, soft metal accents, and a capped eraser.

It produces very fine markings, and we haven’t faced any issues with the paper tearing, scoring, or puncturing due to pressure. Moreover, the lead size is 0.5mm, which is a little small, but it writes pretty smoothly. The lead sleeve is not retractable so, we prefer not to carry it around.

Best of all, the wood feels great in hand, and it’s not top-heavy. Also, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable after prolonged use. It’s a lightweight drafting pencil with an ergonomic design which makes for a great tool for our drawing and writing work.

Pros
  • Luxurious birch wood design
  • Lightweight drafting pencil
  • Comes with an eraser
  • Available in the ballpoint pen format
Cons
  • Could be a pretty expensive buy

5. Pentel Arts Graph Gear 1000 Drafting Pencil Set

Pentel has a rich history of designing unique writing instruments that come within an affordable price range. The Gear 1000 is equipped with more features and upgrades than the earlier models.This is a superior drafting pencil that comes in a set of 4, which includes a 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm lead size.

Pentel Arts GraphGear 1000 Premium Gift Set with Refill Leads &...
  • Superior drafting Pencil for professionals and...
  • Easily identify your lead Type with the built-in...

Experience

We read a lot of reviews about Pentel and the quality of its products, which helped us opt for this set. For drafting purpose, we generally need a good pencil; therefore, we were ready to stretch our budget for purchasing this set. When we opened the box, we found the pencils looking more like some fancy equipment. The four different lead sizes are of great support for our everyday use.

The pencils have a stain silver finish, and they are color-coded as per the lead size, which makes it more convenient. When it comes to the grip, we can say that the soft textured rubber parts help to increase comfort when we use the pencil for long hours.

It has a well-balanced weight distribution, and it gets easy to work with it without having to put in any additional effort. The unique dual-action retractor is a great feature that prevents the lead from breaking, and we can safely carry it with us. Overall, the design, advanced features, and smooth usage make it a value-added product.

Pros
  • High-polymer leads are pretty easy to refill
  • Retractable mechanism
  • Rubber grip helps to ensure comfortable writing
  • Durable
Cons
  • Comes with a very small eraser

6. Alvin Draft-Matic Drafting Pencil

If you’re a professional looking for a pencil that will help you perform efficiently, you should check out this model. The stainless steel construction ensures long term usage. It features a cushion point that helps to control your writing and reduces lead breakage. The 4mm stainless steel sleeve provides accurate drawing even when you are working with thick edges.

Sale
Alvin DM05 Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil (.5mm)
  • Designed for professionals.
  • Built-in eraser under cap.

Experience

For design students from all backgrounds, be it engineering, architecture, fashion, or other fields, there is an immense need for a quality drafting pencil. So, we are always in search of a quality pencil. We found this piece to be one of the most affordable products and a popular one amongst the rest.

It has a 4mm tip that holds the lead solidly, and we haven’t had any issues with the lead breaking during our drawing sessions. The lightweight construction makes it simple to work with it for many hours without any feeling of fatigue.

The comfortable grip and sturdy construction make it ideal for accurate drawing. We have also been using it for writing purposes and its pretty smooth to work with. Overall, this a pretty versatile product, and it perfectly suits our needs.

Pros
  • Comes with a 0.5 mm lead for bold and dark lines
  • Has an excellent design
  • Comfortable grip and well-balanced weight distribution
Cons
  • Can get damaged when dropped from a height

7. Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil

This is the perfect automatic drafting pencil, as it’s designed to deliver precision and control with great ease. It features a classy, metallic mesh grip, that surrounds the slim, beveled barrel. You can get this pencil in four different lead sizes ranging from 0.3mm to 0.9mm. The pencil comes with a 4mm lead sleeve which is ideal for technical drawings and template work.

Sale
Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Black (PG525A)
  • 4mm tip length makes it ideal for use with rulers...
  • Metallic mesh grip on a slim, beveled barrel...

Experience

We wanted a pencil that would give us the cold, solid, heavy metal feel of the traditional mechanical drafting pencils. After reading a ton of reviews, we decided to order this model because it fits in our budget without any compromise on its performance. It has the seamless clicking and clipping mechanism, and the metal grip gives it a high-end look.

The 4mm tip makes it simple for us to use this pencil when working with templates and rulers. Also, it has a small eraser that is attached to the end, and it’s pretty easy to refill. The Hi-polymer lead is not prone to breakage, and we don’t need to refill it often.

It doesn’t need to be sharpened, and it effortlessly produces crystal clear dark lines. This outstanding pencil is a steal for its superior quality as well as sturdy construction that makes it perfect for using it daily.

Pros
  • 4mm tip which is best for working with templates, rulers, etc
  • Hi-polymer lead
  • Modern design that comes with a traditional twist
  • Value-added product
Cons
  • Metal grip might not be comfortable for all

8. Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Gun Metallic Drafting Pencil

This pencil is made with resin polymer, and it uses the lead rotating technology. To take out the lead, you need to follow the twist and turn mechanism. It has a sleek, premium-quality metal body that looks clean and luxurious. Plus, it has a metal tip of 0.5mm, and it uses the regular HB type lead, which makes it easy to get clear, dark lines.

Sale
Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil, Gun Metallic (M510171P.43)
  • Lead rotating technology Mechanical pen, Kuru Toga
  • Roulette M510171P.43

Experience

We placed an order for this pencil after we saw a massive demand for this product among our classmates. It’s evident that in the field of designing, a quality pencil makes a significant difference in the output.

This pencil has a retractable tip, so we can easily carry it around with us without worrying about any form of accidental injury. It’s slightly heavier than the other drafting pencils, but we love its cold, heavy metal feel, especially when we are working for long hours.

It comes with an integrated ratchet mechanism that rotates the lead whenever we lift the pencil from the page. With such brilliant technology, we always have a consistent and sharp lead point. The grip section is made using metal, which is comfortable to hold. Overall, we enjoy completing our projects using this pencil that comes with a bunch of innovative features.

Pros
  • Suitable for prolonged writing and designing tasks
  • Features a revolutionary lead technology
  • Uses 0.5mm diamond-infused lead
Cons
  • The lead is unique, so you can’t find them easily

9. Koh-i-Noor Drafting Pencil

This stunning drafting pencil uses 5.6mm lead that produces thick and dark lines. It has a sleek design. And the classy metal black body with silver accents makes it stand out amongst the rest. If you’re looking for a tool that can help you in your writing, sketching or technical drawing work, this model makes for an ideal choice.

Koh-i-Noor Mechanical Hardtmuth Lead Holder with 5.6mm x 80mm Lead,...
  • Precision made with metal barrel and mechanical...
  • Sharpener is built into the cap which simply...

Experience

We were looking out for a pencil that we could use for sketching as well as writing, and we already had plenty of thin tip drafting pencils. This is the first time that we are trying out a pencil that has a lead size of 5.6 mm. To our surprise, this pencil looks and feels incredible. The size is unobtrusive and comfortable, in terms of usage and aesthetics.

It comes filled with an excellent quality lead that helps in producing solid, dark strokes with a fine texture. We can also sharpen the tips easily because the sharpener is the cap of the pencil. Moreover, the tension of the clip can be adjusted, and it’s heavy-duty, so it stays in place when we are carrying it around.

We have dropped this pencil a couple of times, and there hasn’t been any damage till now. The sturdy construction and durability of this product is perfect for its price, making it suitable for outdoor use.

Pros
  • Durable metal construction
  • Slightly heavy but has a well-balanced weight distribution
  • Uses a 5.6mm lead that produces precise and consistent values
Cons
  • It lacks a knurled grip

10. Uni Kuru- Toga Pipe Slide Drafting Pencil

The design and innovative features of this drafting pencil are brilliant. It’s equipped with a pipe slide system and cross rotation mechanism. This pencil works in a way that the lead inside rotates each time you lift the tip from the page. As a result of which you’ll be getting a sharp tip that helps you write evenly instead of a wedge-shaped tip.

Experience

We were quite excited when we saw this new version of the Kuru Toga pencil and ordered it immediately. This model has a consistent mechanism that functions efficiently without breaking the lead. It uses 0.5 mm HB lead, and whatever we draw, it ends up looking precise and crystal clear. We have also used this pencil for writing notes; the overall work looked crisp and consistent.

This pencil helps us produce some real quality work, and our shadings have improved drastically. The consistency of our drawings and writings has a smooth flow to it. Moreover, it has a retractable tip and unique pipe slide mechanism that makes it safe for our pockets.

Also, the lead rotates after every 20 strokes that prevent lead breakage. In terms of ergonomics, it has a lightweight design, and the clear-plastic grip makes it comfortable to work for long hours.

Pros
  • Made of quality materials
  • Uses an innovative rotating lead mechanism
  • Diamond-infused lead produces clear, sharp lines
Cons
  • You need to click it several times to advance the lead

11. Pilot Dr. Grip Drafting Pencil

The Pilot Dr. Grip pencil has a metallic barrel that gives it a luxurious and sophisticated feel. It comes with an ergonomic design grip which is specially designed for people who work for long hours or have arthritis. There is an even weight distribution that creates very light pressure on the hands. What makes this product more unique is the shaker mechanism.

Sale
PILOT Dr. Grip Limited Mechanical Pencil, 0.5mm, Metallic Platinum...
  • Luxurious painted metallic barrels
  • Commended for ease of use by the Arthritis...

Experience

We are usually quite selective about the pencil that we purchase because comfort plays a vital role in helping us produce quality work. One of our friends recommended the pilot Dr. Grip Model for its well-crafted design. We must say that it’s not just the aesthetics that stands out in this product, but the 0.5mm lead sizes make it suitable for different tasks.

The pencil has a double-layered grip that ensures soft handling, we often use this pencil for long hours, but we never faced any issues with its weight. For the best part, we don’t have to adjust our grip for pressing the button to advance the lead. We need to shake the pencil once or twice to push the lead gently.

Moreover, we find the usage of this model to be relatively simple when compared to the other drafting pencils. It’s the most comfortable pencil that we have used in a long time.

Pros
  • Reliable and durable construction
  • Well-designed grip that reduces fatigue on hands
  • Requires a gentle shaking action to advance the lead
Cons
  • It doesn’t have a retractable tip

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Drafting Pencil

1. Build quality

The way the product feels in your hand depends on its weight and ergonomics. Therefore, you should check whether the drafting pencil has a balanced weight distribution or not. This not only keeps you from fatigue after using the pencil for long durations, but it also helps you work more smoothly.

For a durable drafting pencil, you should check out the ones that are made with stainless steel or quality wood.

2. Lead quality

This is an essential factor that you need to consider when choosing a drafting pencil. Using the right lead makes a significant difference in the quality of your work. The hardness of the lead helps to determine how dark or light the pencil writes.

3. Lead size

The leads of drafting pencils come in a variety of sizes which is used for different purposes. For instance, the pencils that come with thin leads (0.2mm to 0.4mm) are most suitable for adding small details to your work.

Plus, the all-purpose drafting pencil has a standard lead size of 0.5mm to 0.7mm, which is best for writing and sketching. Whereas, for making bold sketches or for extra-large handwriting the thick leads of about 0.9mm to 0.13mm would work ideally.

4. Balanced grip

Drafting pencils that come with a rubber cover help to provide a better grip and comfort when working for long hours. You can also find pencil grips that are designed for diverting heat away from your hand. This feature allows you to hold the pencil without your hands getting slippery with sweat.

Lead advancement quality

You can find drafting pencils with many types of lead advancement mechanisms, but the most common ones are:

  • Shaker mechanism- Pencils that use this mechanism are the easiest to use. You need to give the pencil a firm shake a few times to advance the lead. There is some weight installed inside the casing that clicks the button for you, and a quick flick does the job.
  • Twist-Click Mechanism- When you’re using these pencils, you’ll have to twist the top of the barrel to adjust the lead to the desired level. For pushing the lead back inside, you need to twist and hold the button.

Conclusion

The simple user mechanism of drafting pencils is undoubtedly worth all the hype that surrounds this brilliant piece of stationery. It has gradually replaced the wooden pencils for its durability and higher comfort level that helps to reduce fatigue when you’re working for long hours.

Even though it has a higher price tag, this small investment will last for a lifetime if handled carefully.

Now that we’ve come to the end of our guide, we hope it has helped you find a quality drafting pencil. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and enjoy the creative process!

Until next time!

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