Pentel Graphgear 1000 vs 500 | Comparison Review

Choosing the best mechanical pencil for educational or professional use can be challenging. However, I recommend the Pentel Graphgear 1000 to professionals for prolonged use, while the Pentel GraphGear 500 works well for beginners and students.

GraphGear 1000 and GraphGear 500 are two of the best-selling mechanical pencils on the market. These pencils are often chosen by beginners as well as seasoned professionals for producing accurate technical drawings or by artists for creating fine art. 

In this article, I shall discuss the salient features of each of these pencils so that you can choose one best suited for your purpose.  


The renowned manufacturer, Pentel Co. Ltd, was founded over 70 years ago and has been a market leader ever since. This privately-owned Japanese company has manufacturing units all over the world and is a household name for every drafting professional.

Pentel is credited with the invention of rollerball technology, which is what sets the Pentel graph apart from its competitors. This brand also uses recyclable goods to manufacture its packaging material, such as pen boxes, fountain pens, blister cards, and master cartons. 

Pentel Graphgear 1000 Drafting Pencil Review: 

The Pentel Graphgear 1000 Drafting Pencil is suitable for technical drawings and is widely used in drafting work because of its fine point quality. Different barrel colors of the pencil indicate the lead size, and you have multiple choices to opt from. It is available in a lead thickness of 0.3mm (brown), 0.5mm (gray), 0.7mm (blue), and 0.9mm (yellow). 

That is not all; the Pentel graph gear is ergonomically designed and contains a beautiful metallic grip equipped with soft latex-free pads. It is fitted with a dual-action retractor which is essential for advancing and retracting the pencil tip to prevent breaking the lead. The lead used in this pencil is of super hi-polymer HB quality. 

Product Features 

1. Retractable Tip

Pentel Graphgear 1000 is a mechanical pencil equipped with a retractable tip that goes inside the body of the pencil when not in use. This feature makes it very easy to carry from one place to another; hence, you can term it as a very portable option. 

2. Metal Body

The body of the Pentel GraphGear 1000 pencil is made of aluminum, making it super sturdy. Therefore you do not need to worry so much about damaging it whenever it slips and falls from your hands.

Well-balanced and comfortable grip
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

3. Well-Balanced And Comfortable Grip

This pencil is quite heavy and, therefore, more balanced. And that allows one to write with comfort while attaining a superior grip. It is equipped with a binder clip that enables users to attach it to certain objects. 

This feature makes it extremely convenient for people to use this tool. The pencil is ergonomically designed and possesses a rubber grip, which prevents slippage even when your hands are a bit sweaty.

4. Lead Hardness Indicator

It comes with a hardness indicator which displays the hardness of the lead that is put into the pencil through a rotating window.

5. Price

The price of the GraphGear 1000 pencil is approximately double that of the 500 version. Thus, it may often prove to be a bit too expensive for students or professionals who are just stepping into the field of technical drawing. However, if you are a pro at drawing and want the right pencil that will fit your needs, then the Pentel Graphgear 1000 Drafting Pencil is a brilliant choice. 

Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencil Review: 

Pentel Graph Gear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil with Lead and Mini...
  • Lead: Pre-loaded with Pentel Super Hi-Polymer HB...
  • Eraser: Comes with a cap to keep your eraser clean

The Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencil is an excellent tool for drafting enthusiasts. The pencil comes in thicknesses of 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9mm. It is suitable for drawing medium lines and comes with a fixed sleeve of 4mm. As with most Pentel products, this pencil boasts of producing lines with consistent density.

This drafting pencil is equipped with an easy-to-hold metallic mesh grip, can be refilled with a hi-polymer lead, and comes with a Z2-1 eraser. Not to forget, the beveled weighted barrel of the pencil gives it a sleek, stylish look.

Product Features 

1. Lightweight

This mechanical pencil has a plastic barrel body; hence it is very lightweight. Therefore, a new user can easily use this pencil without being overwhelmed by the heavyweight, as in the case of GraphGear 1000 or the Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencil. 

2. Comes In Different Lead Thickness

This pencil is suitable for most design needs. As already mentioned, it supports lead thicknesses of 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9mm. So, you can choose one as per your convenience and requirement. It can also be refilled using a hi-polymer HB lead that guarantees consistent line thickness throughout the usage period and produces dark, prominent lines.

This feature makes it well-suited to the needs of fine art enthusiasts, architects, and draftsmen.

3. Retractable Lead

The lead of this pencil can be pulled in by clicking the head of the device. This feature prevents the pencil from having a broken lead. This makes Pentel GraphGear one of the best mechanical pencils on the market for beginners today.

4. Metal Grip

The grip of this pencil is metallic. Some argue that it provides a sleek design and firm grip, while others opine that the metal tends to slip when the pencil is used with greasy or sweaty hands.

However, for students or individuals who are just starting their design and drafting careers, this should not pose to be much of a problem. This is mainly due to the fact that newbies do not have to spend hours holding a pencil to create a drawing. That job is chiefly done by experienced professionals. 

Therefore, for limited periods of usage, the metallic grip does not usually bother a new user.

5. In-Built Eraser

It comes attached with a small replaceable eraser and has a fixed sleeve of 4mm. Therefore, as students, you do not need to carry an additional block eraser to your drafting class. The small eraser can be pulled out or extended to the desired height for convenient usage.

6. Affordable Option

The Pentel GraphGear 500 is quite cost-effective compared to the 1000 model. As such, it is affordable for students and new recruits at any design firm. This further makes it one of the most widely sold technical pencils today.

Pentel Graphgear 1000 vs 500 FAQs

  • Why are the pencils called GraphGear 500 and 1000?

    Pentel is a Japanese company. The names of its two pencils – GraphGear 500 and 1000 are kept in accordance with the price of these items in Japanese currency, Yen. The GraphGear 500 pencil costs 500 Yen, and the GraphGear 1000 model is priced at around 1000 Japanese Yen.

  • By what other names are mechanical pencils found in the market?
    A local stationary shop owner might often give you a confused look when you enquire about “mechanical pencils.” These pencils are known by different names, and often the technical term may baffle a shopkeeper. These pencils are sometimes called technical pencils, drafting pencils, propelling pencils, or clinky pencils. They may also be referred to as lead pencils or pen pencils. You can check out my article on “Rotring 600 vs 800” to know more about other mechanical pencils.
  • Pentel graphgear 1000 vs 500 final thoughts
    Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

    Pentel Graphgear 1000 vs 500 Final Thoughts

    Many other mechanical pencils are available in the market today. However, both the models of Pentel pencils have been the primary choice for drafting professionals for years. They are both well-designed and produce consistent and dark lines. 

    However, you must first understand your requirements before going on to choose the pencil that would be ideal. The GraphGear 500 model serves the purpose of a beginner learning the intricacies of the draftsmanship profession. Seasoned professionals who require faster output, and have to work for very long hours, tend to choose the GraphGear 1000 model for its ergonomic design and well-balanced metal body. 

    For additional information on mechanical pencils and more options to choose from, you can check out my article on “rOtring 600 vs. 800” and “Staedtler 925 vs. rOtring 600.” That said, happy drafting and drawing!

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