The 13 Best Mechanical Pencils of 2023

The rOtring 800 retractable mechanical pencil boasts metal construction and a hexagonal design and comes with a twist-and-click mechanism that makes it easy to use. Similarly, the Pentel GraphGear features a chiseled grip and dual-action retractable sleeve that makes it a dependable option.

Mechanical pencils have become an essential tool for students, professionals, and creatives alike. Mechanical pencils are an upgrade to traditional wooden pencils, and their inconsistencies such as constant sharpening, inconsistent line width, and frequent breakage thus reinventing the writing instruments world.

To help you make the best decision when choosing the perfect mechanical pencil, we’ve compiled a list of the top three factors to consider:

Lead size and hardness: Different tasks require different lead sizes and hardness levels. For precise lines and detailed work, choose a thinner lead size (0.3mm to 0.5mm), while a thicker lead (0.7mm to 0.9mm) is better suited for everyday writing and sketching.

Similarly, consider the hardness of the lead, with ‘H’ representing harder leads and ‘B’ representing softer ones. Harder leads are less likely to break but produce lighter lines, whereas softer leads create darker, more vivid lines but are more prone to breakage.

Grip and comfort: A comfortable grip is crucial for extended periods of use. Look for mechanical pencils with ergonomic designs, cushioned grips, or textured surfaces that prevent slipping and reduce hand fatigue.

The weight and balance of the pencil also play a significant role in overall comfort, so choose a pencil that feels good in your hand.

Build quality and durability: A high-quality mechanical pencil should be made of sturdy materials that can withstand regular use without breaking or wearing down. Look for pencils with metal components, as they generally offer better durability and longevity compared to their plastic counterparts.

Also, consider the pencil’s internal mechanisms, such as the lead-advancement system and eraser quality, to ensure a hassle-free experience.

Now that you know what to look for in the ideal mechanical pencil, it’s time to explore our expertly curated listicle. This buying guide will not only showcase our top recommended products but also provide in-depth reviews, helping you find the perfect mechanical pencil to suit your needs and preferences.

Best Mechanical Pencils

Designed to enhance your writing, drawing, or drafting experience, these top-rated pencils combine functionality and style. So, without further ado, here is the list of the 13 best mechanical pencils for you to explore and choose from.

Best Overall

rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil

When it comes to mechanical pencils, rOtring is among the most well-known brands in the industry. This company is famous for its wide range of writing tools and drawing instruments, and the 800 retractable mechanical pencil is a dependable option. 

Featuring a brass mechanism, this mechanical pencil boasts a metal construction, but even then, it’s well-balanced, which ensures a comfortable writing and drawing experience. Along with the metal build, the 800 features a hexagonal barrel that makes it comfortable to hold the pencil. So you won’t experience any fatigue even when working for extended periods. 

The hexagonal barrel also has another purpose – it prevents the 800 from rolling off your desk and falling so that it does not get damaged easily. And then there is the knurled metal grip that further enhances comfort while working. 

Furthermore, the rOtring pencil comes with a click-and-twist mechanism, which completely retracts the sleeve and the lead within the pencil. This keeps them protected and helps prevent injuries when the pencil is in your backpack or pocket. 

This feature makes the 800 an ideal mechanical pencil for architects as it boosts great flexibility and transport, from office to worksite, school, or meetings with clients, you don’t have to worry about the pencil tip or how you store it as the full metal build is nothing if not resilient.

Aside from that, the rOtring 800 is available in three colors and two size options. You can pick from either black, silver, or gray colors and 0.5mm and 0.7mm sizes. And this mechanical pencil even comes with a lead hardness grade indicator.

Lastly, the pencil is backed with a two-year limited warranty, so you can contact the brand whenever an issue arises. 

See the full review of the rOtring 800 here.

Material: Metal | Grip Type: Knurled | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm & 0.7mm | Special feature: Twist Retractable Tip

Best for Drafting

Pentel GraphGear Mechanical Pencil

Pentel is often among the top brands people consider when buying mechanical pencils, and with good reason. This Japanese manufacturer is famous for its high-quality products that are used globally, and the GraphGear mechanical pencil, with its high-quality construction and unbreakable lead, is one such offering.  

It comes with a chiseled metallic grip with latex-free pads, the latter of which is missing from most mechanical pencils. Available in multiple options, it features a dual-action retractor that is responsible for advancing and retracting the metal tip as required and can also help prevent accidents. 

As the rOtring 800, the retractable tip is extremely versatile and practical and thus the Graphgear 1000 stands comfortable in #2 in this guide. rOtring 800 and Graphgear 1000 are the only pencils with such technology in this article so if you look for versatility and ease of use, look no further.

The Pentel GraphGear is a highly versatile mechanical pencil that can be used for drafting, writing, sketching, doodling, and more, arguably the shape and weight of the Graphgear make it a better drafting pencil, one that you can use in drafting for hours without fatigue.

Compared to the rOtring 800 the cylindrical barrel and superior grip make the 1000 a tad more comfortable while the better, smaller form factor and superior retractable twist mechanism of the 800 make it a better all-rounder pencil for architects. Besides an eraser, it comes with a super hi-polymer lead from the company, which can be refilled easily when the existing lead runs out.

This lead has been rigorously tested to ensure that it does not break easily and doesn’t need to be sharpened, like other mechanical pencils. Also, since it features a 4mm tip design, you can easily use it with templates and rulers without worrying about visibility.

Thanks to the lead hardness indicator, identifying the type of lead being used is easy in this mechanical pencil. As for sizes, you can choose between 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm leads and the pencils are color-coded according to size for easy lead size identification, please note that the Graphgear offers lead sizes that rOtring is not offering in the same form factor with the 600 or the 800 series.   

See the full review of the Pentel GraphGear 1000 here.

Material: Metal | Grip Type: Contoured | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm | Special feature: Sliding Retractable Tip

Best for Everyday Use

rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil

Another option from rOtring, the 600, is the legendary high-quality mechanical pencil: the 600, is probably the most popular pencil on this list. It is a well-built, click-button mechanical pencil with a classic design and can be used for various purposes. But despite that, it does not cost as much as many similar options on the market. 

The 600 comes with a full-metal body and a non-slip metal knurled grip; the metal construction provides a well-balanced feel while the grip ensures comfortable use. Other than that, the barrel is shaped ergonomically, which provides some heft to the pencil but does not make it too heavy to cause discomfort. 

Like some other pencils from the rOtring brand, the 600 has a hexagonal body that protects it from falls. So, rest assured, it won’t slide off your desk and break. Furthermore, the retractable lead sleeve provides superb resistance against breakage, adding to the durability of the pencil. 

For lead advancement, the rOtring 600 has a fixed lead guidance sleeve that allows you to create precise drawings, and you can use it with rulers and other instruments. Much like the best mechanical pencils, the 600 comes with a lead-grade hardness indicator. 

As for the eraser, this pencil comes with an in-built eraser, which can be used for cleaning marks made with graphite and polymer lead. Unlike most mechanical pencil erasers, the eraser dust can easily be brushed off, and it does not affect ink marks, ensuring that your work remains clean.

While still boasting an extraordinary build, the 600 is a considerably lighter pencil compared to the Graphgear 1000 and rOtring 800 thanks to the plastic components inside. This makes the rOtring 600 a more viable choice for creatives using an arsenal of drafting pencils or drawing pencils rather than a single pencil.

See the full review of the rOtring 600 here.

Material: Metal | Grip Type: Knurled | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm & 0.7mm

Best Auto Lead Rotating

Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil

Some mechanical pencil brands offer various features that can improve the user experience, and the Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical pencil is one such option among those pencils. The Uni Kuru Toga features a rotating mechanism, which ensures that the sharp edge of the lead tip always remains on the paper.  

It rotates the lead automatically through a spring-loaded clutch mechanism using kinetic energy. So, unlike other pencils, you do not need to rotate the pencil while writing. And speaking of the lead, the pencil supports 0.5mm lead size and B and HB hardness grades but can also work with standard leads.  

Available in multiple color options, this mechanical pencil has a plastic body that makes it lighter than metal ones. The grip is also made of plastic but has a grooved pattern that provides a better hold for more comfortable drawing and writing purposes. 

And it is completely transparent, so you can see the rotation mechanism working within. The lead is advanced via a top-knock mechanism, and you even get a graphic eraser located below the button. This eraser is only suitable for erasing small marks and lines. 

All in all, this pencil is a no-frills option that can be used for a variety of purposes, which you can get without spending a lot of money.  

See the full review of the Uni Kuru Toga here.

Material: Plastic | Grip Type: Clear | Ink Color: Purple | Lead Size: 0.5mm | Special feature: Auto Lead Rotating Mechanism

Best High-End

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanic Pencil

In Japanese, Kuru stands for something turning or rotating, and Toga means sharpening to a point. The Kuru Toga pencils from the Uni brand, with their auto-rotation lead feature, take their name from this, and the Roulette is among the higher-end variants available on the market. It features a metal knurled metal grip, which enhances the durability of the pencil. 

This metal construction also adds some weight to the pencil, making it feel slightly heavier but much better balanced than other mechanical pencils made from plastic. Similarly, the knurled grip provides a more stable writing experience.

The Uni Kuru Toga Roulette features a sleek, modern design with a gun-metal finish. This makes it suitable for professional work environments where you want to avoid being seen carrying around a cheap-looking instrument. What’s more, the retractable closure keeps the tip safe even when it’s uncapped. 

Below the metal barrel lies the automatic lead rotation feature, which rotates the lead a millimeter every time the pencil is lifted. This helps save time while using the pencil since you do not need to keep rotating it to ensure that the sharp edge of the lead remains on the paper.    

The Roulette Kuru Toga pencil also comes with a removable clip, which is very strong and won’t come off easily, preventing you from losing the pencil. And there is a small window on the barrel that provides a view inside this mechanical pencil.

See the full review of the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette here.

Material: Plastic | Grip Type: Knurled | Ink Color: Silver | Lead Size: 0.5mm | Special feature: Auto Lead Rotating Mechanism

Best Value

Staedtler Mechanical Pencil

If you’re looking for a good mechanical pencil from a well-known brand that offers reliable performance, this offering from Staedtler will fit the bill. Constructed using high-quality materials, this pencil has a robust and ergonomic design that makes it a versatile option. 

The pencil has a plastic construction, but this plastic is of very high quality and feels good in the hand. Also, it makes the pencil a lightweight option while helping keep the pricing affordable. The plastic barrel of the pencil features a tiny lead grade indicator to let you know what type of lead is used.

Further enhancing this design is the diamond-cut grip with concentric grooves at the front, so using it for long hours won’t be a problem. Additionally, it ensures a strong grip, so you won’t have to worry about the pencil slipping while working.  

As for the performance, this pencil from Staedtler is an all-weather mechanical pencil. Moreover, it comes with a 4mm lead pipe that ensures unobstructed visibility and makes it easy to use on paper, and the retractable tip works just fine. Additionally, you get a tiny eraser on the back that works as a lead stopper. 

The Staedtler mechanical pencil has a push-top ratchet mechanism for lead advancement, which makes for a smooth writing experience. And there is a simple but strong clip that keeps the pencil in place when you clip it into your pocket.    

See the full review of the Staedtler here.

Material: Metal | Grip Type: Ribbed | Ink Color: Silver | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm, & 2.0mm

Best Entry-Level

Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil

Another option from Pentel that is worth checking out is the GraphGear Automatic Drafting Pencil. This 500 model has a modern design with a beveled, slim barrel made from a high-quality polymer material that makes it sturdy without adding extra weight. 

It also comes with a metallic mesh grip, allowing you to hold and use the pencil comfortably without experiencing fatigue. While this is one reason that makes this pencil well-suited for drafting and technical drawings, another is the fact that the pencil front is weighted. So you can work with templates and complete sketches with precision.

Compared to the Pentel 1000, the 500 is lighter, simpler, and more affordable, making it a great option for draftsmen that don’t care for the retractable mechanism of the 1000 that adds weight and unnecessary cost, a smaller weight means for drafting pencils less fatigue and better performance. 

Coming to the lead, the GraphGear 500 comes with Super Hi-Polymer HB lead from Pentel, which is highly durable, makes clear marks, and does not need to be sharpened. And this lead is available in all sizes that are popularly used– 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm. 

What’s more, the different-sized pencils are color-coded to make it easier to find the one you need without wasting time or effort. This is a handy feature and becomes indispensable when large drawings need to be done with varying line widths within a specified period. Apart from that, the pencil comes with a small eraser with a cover at the back for emergencies.

This Pentel mechanical pencil is highly versatile and can even be used for artwork, general writing, drafting, and educational purposes.  

See the full review of the Pentel GraphGear 500 here.

Material: Polymer | Grip Type: Knurled | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.7mm, & 0.9mm

Best for Beginners

rOtring 300 Mechanical Pencil

The rOtring 300 mechanical pencil is ideal for those who want to get the job done without requiring advanced features. Designed for individuals who find most mechanical pencils confusing, the rOtring 300 is best for first-time users.

It features solid construction while delivering a smooth performance but does not overwhelm the user with too many features. The plastic build is the most notable change when compared to the rOtring 600 and 800 which have a metal barrel, but even in plastic, the build quality of the rOtring brand does not disappoint.

Since this pencil is made of plastic, it’s one of the lightest options on the market and is better suited for beginners rather than advanced users. Despite that, it comes with the same high-quality construction and sleek design as the costlier pencils from the brand. 

Additionally, it has a hexagonal shape and comes in a black finish, which adds to its design and separates it from its siblings. This is coupled with a non-slip knurled grip that is made of metal for maximum comfort. 

It also has a lead hardness indicator, which makes it possible to know which lead you are working with. For advancing the lead, there is a click button which has an eraser placed underneath it. And you can disassemble the mechanism completely by unscrewing the tip, which can be very helpful for clearing out lead clogs.  

When you need to carry the pen, you can use the clip, which does a good job of securing the pencil to the pad, preventing it from getting misplaced.

See the full review of the rOtring 300 here.

Material: Brass, plastic, metal | Grip Type: Knurled | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm & 0.7mm

9. Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil – Best For Long Writing Sessions

Best Lead Protection

Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil

Any list of the best mechanical pencils is incomplete if it does not mention the Zebra brand. This company offers a wide selection of mechanical pencils, and the DelGuard is among its most well-known offerings. Coming with a unique and highly innovative mechanism that prevents the lead from breaking, this is one mechanical pencil that can last for a very long time. 

It has a plastic body with a tip and clip made of metal and may appear similar to mechanical pencils from other brands. Below the clip lies a tiny eraser, and overall the pencil feels very light, though the metal parts add a bit of heft. 

But the DelGuard has a different mechanism that incorporates a small lead pipe and spring within the barrel. This acts as a cushion and adjusts the lead as you draw or write without getting in the way, helping you get the job done efficiently. What’s more, it is possible to see the working of the mechanism while using the pencil, thanks to the transparent barrel.

Compared to other lead protection features often found on mechanical pencils, this one actually works well and is quite useful. Even though it comes with an eraser, carrying a separate block eraser with you is recommended because it wears out quickly. 

Besides that, performance is very smooth, and you can use 0.3mm and 0.5mm leads with this mechanical pencil. However, the pencil misses out on a 0.7 mm option. 

See the full review of the Zebra DelGuard here.

Material: Plastic | Grip Type: Ribbed | Ink Color: Red | Lead Size: 0.5mm

Best Adjustable Hardness

Faber Castell Mechanical Pencil

Most famously known for its range of PITT Artist Pens, Faber Castell offers some of the best mechanical pencils currently available. The TK Fine Vario is one of them and comes with a fantastic feature that allows you to adjust between four different hardness levels.

It has a body made of dark green plastic with a metal grip, and the brand name is printed on the body in gold. This provides a touch of class to this mechanical pencil, which otherwise has an understated design. The pencil also has a sturdy clip that can be used to carry the pencil around; however, you can remove it whenever you want. 

Aside from that, there is a 4.0mm lead guard pipe, but this does not retract into the pencil when it is not being used. Furthermore, its lead clutch allows you to vary how soft or hard the lead feels. When the clutch is set to hard, the lead will not retract; when set to soft, even the slightest pressure will cause it to go back inside the pencil. 

This feature works well and can be very useful in certain cases, saving the lead from breakage. Additionally, the Faber Castell mechanical pencil does come with a lead grade indicator, which is present below the grip. This makes it convenient to know the type of lead that is currently being used, and the pencil supports leads ranging from 2B to 4H.     

See the full review of the Faber Castell here.

Material: Plastic | Grip Type: Ribbed | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.7mm, & 1.0mm | Special feature: Hardness Level Adjustment

Best Shaker Mechanism

Pilot The Shaker Mechanical Pencil

Being a global brand, Pilot stationery products are used across many countries. While its range of pens is its most famous offering, the company also offers mechanical pencils, like this shaker mechanical pencil. 

The Pilot Shaker pencil has a well-built body that is wider than most mechanical pencils, with a wide ridged grip section. While the pencil barrel is made from plastic, the tip and clip are constructed using metal. On top of that, it boasts a textured grip– this design provides considerable sturdiness while ensuring that it is comfortable to hold and adds some weight for stable writing.

Aside from that, the pencil comes with a sliding sleeve at the tip to protect the lead from breakage. Moreover, it is a retractable sleeve that slides back when the pencil is not being used. Hence, you can use this mechanical pencil with a ruler or template easily.  

The shaker mechanism is an alternative method of extending the lead, in which you just need to shake the pencil vertically, though clicking the cap also works. Mechanical pencils with such a mechanism, like this one from Pilot, usually have a weight present inside the barrel that pushes the button for lead advancement. 

It works well, and the overall performance of the pencil is quite smooth, though you may find clicking the pencil more convenient.  

See the full review of the Pilot The Shaker here.

Material: Plastic | Grip Type: Grooved | Ink Color: Black | Lead Size: 0.5mm | Special feature: Lead-Shaker Mechanism

Best Ergonomic Grip

rOtring Mechanical Pencil Tikky

Next up is another pencil from rOtring, the Tikky mechanical pencil that comes with a lightweight plastic body and a brass lead advancement mechanism. Unlike most mechanical pencils, this one comes with a triangular barrel that provides a better grip, especially for drawing.

Additionally, this prevents the pencil from sliding off the desk and getting damaged. As for the grip, the Tikky mechanical pencil comes with a rubberized grip made from a special SoftTouch material. This prevents hand fatigue, so you can continue working for longer periods.

Besides, the pencil is color-coded according to ISO 3098 standards near the cap, making it simple to identify and select the required lead size. This can help save a lot of time and is very helpful when you need to finish a project quickly.

However, the unique feature of this pencil is its lead advancement mechanism. This fixed lead guidance system prevents the lead from breaking while allowing you to make crisp and sharp lines. 

As for the quality of the leads, the pencil uses hi-polymer mechanical pencil leads that are durable and can be erased easily; it also keeps the pencil tip clean. And you get a built-in sharpener and eraser below the cap. 

While the pencil is built to last long, you can contact the manufacturer if any issue arises because it’s backed by a two-year limited warranty. 

See the full review of the rOtring Tikky here.

Material: Plastic | Grip Type: Rubber | Ink Color: White | Lead Sizes: 0.35mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, & 1.0mm

Best Luxury

Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical pencils are more than just tools and are often works of art themselves, like this one from Modern Fuel. This mechanical pencil is constructed using premium quality metal that provides a luxurious appearance. The brand sells this pencil in four options: bronze, copper, titanium, and stainless steel.

Furthermore, the design of this pencil is such that it is hard to find any seams on the barrel, so you may think that the entire pencil is a single block of metal. But the nose cone can be unscrewed to replace the lead, which is quite easy to do. 

Inside the metal barrel is a lead pipe that retracts when the pencil is not in use. This means the lead will remain protected, and you won’t have to deal with injuries when carrying the pencil in your pocket. There is also a small black eraser at the back, and compared to most mechanical pencil erasers, it works fairly well. 

The pencil also has space for lead storage, which can be accessed by removing the eraser. You can use the provided hex wrench to unscrew and remove the lead mechanism. This makes it easy to change the lead size. 

What’s more, the pencil supports an eraser plug accessory, which can be used to switch the eraser with a flush nut. And to make carrying the pencil easier, there is a strong clip made of metal, but it has to be installed separately. 

See the full review of the Modern Fuel here.

Material: Metal | Grip Type: None | Ink Color: Black | Lead Sizes: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, & 0.9mm | Special feature: All Metal Titanium/Copper/Bronze Body

Compare the Best Mechanical Pencils

Product Material Grip Type Ink Color Lead Sizes Special feature
rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil Metal Knurled Black 0.5mm & 0.7mm Twist Retractable Tip
Pentel GraphGear Mechanical Pencil Metal Contoured Black 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm Sliding Retractable Tip
rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil Metal Knurled Black 0.5mm & 0.7mm
Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil Plastic Clear Purple 0.5mm Auto Lead Rotating Mechanism
Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanic Pencil Plastic Knurled Silver 0.5mm Auto Lead Rotating Mechanism
Staedtler Mechanical Pencil Metal Ribbed Silver 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm & 2.0mm
Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Polymer Knurled Black 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm
rOtring 300 Mechanical Pencil Brass, plastic, metal Knurled Black 0.5mm & 0.7mm
Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil Plastic Ribbed Red 0.5mm
Faber Castell Mechanical Pencil Plastic Ribbed Black 0.5mm, 0.3mm, 0.7mm, & 1.0mm Hardness Level Adjustment
Pilot The Shaker Mechanical Pencil Plastic Grooved Black 0.5mm Lead-Shaker Mechanism
rOtring Mechanical Pencil Tikky Plastic Rubber White 0.35mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, & 1.0mm
Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil Metal None Black 0.5mm, 0.7mm, & 0.9mm All Metal Titanium/Copper/Bronze Body

Buying Guide For The Best Mechanical Pencil

When it comes to selecting the right mechanical pencil, there are a few important features to consider. It helps to take into account the lead size and grade, cost, grip, lead advancement, retractable vs. capped, lead cushioning, and materials and aesthetics.

Each of these features can make a big difference in the overall quality of your writing experience and the longevity of your mechanical pencil.

1. Operating Mechanism

Different mechanical pencils come with varying operating mechanisms that advance the lead within the pencil. These allow you to continue writing without stopping and sharpening the lead. This mechanism is what differentiates a mechanical pencil from a traditional pencil. They are as follows: 

I. Simple Click

In this type of mechanical pencil, you need to click the eraser or cap to advance the lead. These are the most common types of mechanical pencils and can be easily refilled by removing the cap or eraser. Alternatively, this mechanism may be present on the side of the mechanical pencil instead of at the top.

II. Shaker Mechanism

Mechanical pencils with a shaker mechanism function more or less like click pencils, but the lead advancement is slightly different. Instead of clicking the cap or eraser, you need to shake the pencil up and down, which activates a small weight within the pencil that pushes the button. However, these pencils can also usually be activated with the click mechanism. 

III. Twist Mechanism

Mechanical pencils that resemble ballpoint pens generally come with the twist lead advancement mechanism. In such pencils, you need to twist the pencil end, which will click and cause the lead to advance. After the end is released, it will return to its original position, while the lead will be secured in its advanced position.

In twist mechanical pencils, you need to open them up to refill the lead cartridge within.

IV. Screw Mechanism

The screw mechanism was more common in older mechanical pencils, though some brands still offer pencils that use it. In such a mechanical pencil, you need to remove the remaining nub of the lead, replace it with a new lead stick, and twist the pencil. These pencils can hold a single lead piece but have some space within to store more. 

V. Automatic Advancement Mechanism

Modern mechanical pencils often come with an automatic feed system that functions with the help of a small collar that surrounds the lead. Once the lead gets used and allows the collar to come into contact with the writing surface, the collar will retract to advance the lead. 

2. Lead Size and Grade 

Lead size and grade are important considerations when choosing a mechanical pencil. The size and grade of the lead will determine the line width and darkness of the mark.

For example, a 0.5mm pencil lead is ideal for precise details, while a 0.9mm lead is better for thick lines. The lead grade also makes a difference in terms of darkness and opacity. Generally, a higher-grade lead will produce a darker, more opaque line.

Most mechanical pencils are compatible with a single lead size, and the most common sizes include 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm. People with small handwriting and those who need to create detailed drawings will find pencils with thinner lead to be better. On the flip side, thicker leads can be sharpened though they tend to provide a duller writing experience. 

Some high-end mechanical pencils come with an adapter that allows you to change the lead sizes easily. So, you won’t have to buy different pencils with varying lead sizes. 

3. Lead Hardness  

The hardness of the lead you use does not depend on the pencil but does affect the user experience. Lead hardness is measured from 9H to 9B, with HB leads falling in the center. The number before H indicates the hardness, and pencils with 9H leads are the hardest.

Therefore, these are the best mechanical pencils for detailed and technical work and can be used without worrying about smudging. 

Numbers that precede B refer to how black the lead is. Leads made from soft graphite are smoother and darker, which means that hard leads are generally lighter in color. Contrarily, soft lead pencils are more suitable for shading purposes. 

4. Cost

When looking for the best mechanical pencil, you may already have some idea about how much you want to spend. But if not, setting a budget is essential since mechanical pencils are available at several price points. Generally, costlier pencils come with more features and offer better performance, but this may not always be the case. 

The pencil price depends upon its construction, design, lead quality, thickness, and other factors. So, you can expect expensive options to feature metal builds, higher-quality lead, and similar features. In contrast, cheaper ones come with plastic construction, which may be better for beginners or those willing to purchase mechanical pencils on a budget.  

5. Grip

The grip is also an important feature to consider. It’s important to find a mechanical pencil that is comfortable to hold and write with. Generally, a thicker grip will provide more comfort and control while writing. It’s also important to make sure that the grip is durable and will not slip or slide in your hand.

6. Retractable vs. Capped

If you’re looking for convenience, a retractable mechanical pencil is probably the best option. These models can be easily retracted and stored in a pocket or bag. Capped mechanical pencils are also available, but they require you to manually push the lead into the pencil.

7. Lead Cushioning

The lead cushioning will help protect the lead from breaking or cracking during use. Many mechanical pencils come with a cushioning system that is designed to keep the lead from snapping or breaking.

8. Materials and Aesthetics

Finally, materials and aesthetics are important factors to consider when choosing a mechanical pencil. Most mechanical pencils are made from metal or plastic, but there are also wooden models available. It’s important to choose a model that is made of quality materials and looks attractive.

By taking into account these important features, you can find the perfect mechanical pencil for your needs. Whether you’re looking for precision, comfort, convenience, or aesthetics, considering these features will help you find the right mechanical pencil for your needs.


So, there you have it! These are the best mechanical pencils that can be purchased right now, and with the factors mentioned above, you may find it easier to select the most suitable one.

Now, it is time to wrap up this guide, but before that, let me share my favorites. The rOtring 800 mechanical pencil is my top pick due to its practical features, such as the twist-and-click mechanism, hexagonal barrel, and perfect size. Not to forget, it comes with a non-slip metal knurled grip that doesn’t lead to hand fatigue when used for long hours. 

Another dependable option would be the Pentel GraphGear mechanical pencil, whose dual-action retraction system and color-coded design make it very easy to use, as an arguably superior drafting gear at a more affordable price tag, the Graphgear 1000 is certainly a winner.

This being said, you can’t go wrong with anything from this list, but please do let us know what you use and how you’ve liked it so far in the comment section below.

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