The 10 Best Mechanical Pencils For Writing

Sara Mandeed
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For many people, a standard pencil is a more preferable writing option than a pen, and mechanical pencils are a popular choice. Mechanical pencils are made of three basic parts: the lead supply, the push or clutch mechanism, and the lead support.

The lead supplier is often made from either wood, plastic, or metal and is firmly attached to the pencil body, delivering more pencil lead to the tip of the pencil.

The push mechanism is a secondary part of the mechanical pencil that controls the flow of lead and also helps keep the lead from breaking.

The pencil lead support holds the lead in line with the tip of the pencil and helps to keep it from breaking.

Overall, mechanical pencils are extremely light and easy to use than standard pencils. They also have very few moving parts and lifespan is the same as a conventional pencil.

Check out the 10 best mechanical pencils for writing and drawing in 2021, below!

NameCategoryProduct
rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical PencilBest OverallrOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil
Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting PencilBudget PickPentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil
Lamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical PencilUpgrade PickLamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical Pencil

1. rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 9 / 10

rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Made from solid brass in Germany
  • Very comfortable to hold
  • Small and lightweight
  • Great lead quality
  • Affordable
  • Lifetime mechanical pencil warranty
  • Classic matte finish
  • Available in multiple colors
  • 3-year mechanical pencil warranty

2. Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 9 / 10

Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Non-refillable lead prevents lead from breaking during use
  • Barrel made from metal, not plastic
  • Refillable with .07mm leads
  • Available in five different colors
  • Perfect for detailed work

Cons:

  • Expensive, but worth it for enthusiasts
  • Packaging may be a little too large
  • Costs about four times more than top-selling integrated lead pencils

We’re not sure why mechanical pencils aren’t more popular, but the times are changing. We’ve decided to honor the best mechanical pencils on the market today. The Uni USOS Mechanical Pencil is an entry-level pencil that has some amazing features.

It’s a good option for those who prefer to do their writing with a pencil and a sheet of paper instead of a digital note-taking tool. The Uni USOS Mechanical Pencil comes in a pack of three, and each pencil comes with a 3mm refillable lead.

These pencils are made from metal, which is a lot sturdier than plastic. There are five color options to choose from, but we’ve picked Gun Metallic for its durability and design.

3. Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil

Our rating: 9 / 10

Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil

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Pros:

  • Self-sharpening and anti-roll barrel design
  • Good grip … easy to hold
  • Perfect for drawing, writing, and drafting applications
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Includes a free sharpener
  • Allows you to produce a variety of different line weights
  • Lasts a long time
  • Good value for the money spent
  • Relatively affordable
  • Convenient size and shape

Cons:

  • No eraser
  • No clip to attach the pencil to your pocket
  • The pencil might be too soft for some people

4. Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 9 / 10

Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Well-balanced weight for comfortable writing
  • Clear and bold line formation
  • Mechanical pencil with automatic lead advance
  • Reliable and convenient for everyday writing

The Zebra M-701 is a great looking mechanical pencil with comfortable weight and a clear smooth line formation. It is also a high quality pencil that offers automatic feed of lead that will consistently provide you with a clear 0.7mm line. It’s the perfect pencil for everyday writing and is reliably consistent. However, some people aren’t fans of the lead advance mechanism because it makes it difficult to see where the tip is at, or to adjust the amount of lead exposed before writing. This Zebra pencil works best for you if you prefer mechanical pencils and can deal with frequent sharpening.

5. Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Pen

Our rating: 9 / 10

Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Pen

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Pros:

  • Slim design that suits adult hands
  • Available in different colors
  • Anti-roll design
  • Hard-core grip for a steady and comfortable hold
  • One retractable pencil in every pack
  • Excellent value for money

It is the top pencil, which is certainly a unit of its own that offers a lot in writing. It is exclusively designed for people who remember the joy of writing with a pencil, and have missed the perfections that come with it.

With the compact design, the pencil is perfect for sharing with friends and classmates. The pencil also comes with a thicker grip.

The pencil will also save you time and money as it comes with one pencil. It is also durable and is also a great value for money. With the lead size of 0.5mm, you won’t have any problem in writing for a long time.

6. Pentel Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pentel Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Relatively cheap
  • Good to write with
  • Great lead resistance
  • Easy to refill lead
  • Wide lead tip for larger writing areas
  • Available in 12 colors
  • Comes with pouch

Cons:

  • Lead can fall out if pencil tip is shaken
  • Some models have loose parts
  • Lead is not available every model

The Pentel Kerry is a well-priced mechanical pencil that offers the best bang for your buck. It’s relatively cheap, and performs better than similarly priced models from competitors.

The Pentel Kerry is available in 12 color combinations, and features a semi-hexagonal barrel design for ease of gripping. It also has a extra-large lead tip so you can write on a relatively large area in one stroke. The large lead tip is a departure from the classic round tip, which allows you to write in some really cool curvy styles.

We also really love that the Pentel Kerry comes with a wide range of refill (0.5mm and 0.7mm) options to fit your writing needs. Some competitors don’t offer refills at all, and others only include 0.7mm options.

7. Pentel Sharp Kerry Automatic Pencil

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pentel Sharp Kerry Automatic Pencil

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Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Professional-grade construction
  • Pencil has a comfortable grip
  • Writes smoothly for both left and right-handed users
  • Compact and easy to carry

The Pentel Sharp Kerry Automatic pencil is a pencil that’s given a professional grade construction with the use of metal and weight. It’s small and compact enough to carry around in your pocket whenever you need it. With a pencil tip that’s the standard HB size, it’s easy for left-handed or right-handed users to write and draw without needing to sharpen it constantly. It’s a perfect candidate for students or for professionals who are always using a lot of paper.

Aside from being a great pencil that’s easy to carry around, it’s also made from strong metal that ensures it will last long and remain intact for your everyday use.

8. Lamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Slim and lightweight design
  • Comfortable soft grip
  • Durable and rugged with great aesthetics
  • Easy to use

The Lamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical Pencil offers a great performance, with amazing control and accuracy. It’s sturdy, well-constructed, and feels great in your hand.

This pencil includes a sturdy rear clip that holds the lead tightly in place without causing damage to the wood while retracting. You also get a good grip on the pencil due to the soft grip on the pencil’s sleeve. The soft grip itself doesn’t wear off easily over time. The small design also makes it portable and easy to store. The Lamy pencil also features a two-tone design with a brushed stainless steel clip, clip ring, and grip ring.

9. Mechanical Pencils

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mechanical Pencils

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Pros:

  • Bright colors available
  • Reasonably priced
  • Wax-based lead, which maintains its point well.
  • Won’t leak or bleed through paper
  • Smooth writing and no scratching
  • High quality, strong eraser
  • Works great for drawing and writing
  • Functions as a regular pencil
  • 0.7 mm lead is good for writing
  • 0.5 mm lead would be good for drawing

Cons:

  • Cannot be used on a computer because the tip is too thick.
  • Cannot be sharpened with a pencil sharpener, you might tear through the sleeve on the outside of the pencil.
  • Lead is softer than other mechanical pencils, and does not hold up well if you press down hard while writing.
  • Pencils can get very hot on the inside when used for an extended period of time.
  • Does not have a rubber inside piece to prevent eraser from coming up while removing the cap.

110 mm/5.5 Inch and 150 mm/6.0 Inch

10. PILOT Dr. Grip Limited Mechanical Pencil

Our rating: 6 / 10

PILOT Dr. Grip Limited Mechanical Pencil

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to grip
  • Sturdy construction
  • Nice metallic finish
  • Long life of 2 years of heavy use

Cons:

  • Some have reported that the tip is too thin
  • Not the most affordable pencil

The Pilot Dr. Grip Limited pencil is suitable for all kinds of writing applications. It includes a 0.5 mm lead grade that’s perfect for both everyday writing and more detailed projects. The pencil has a thin diameter of .5 mm and a length of 5 inches. It’s lightweight and ergonomically designed with a triangular shape that allows for a perfect grip.

The barrel of the pencil is made from a metallic platinum finish. It holds points firmly, but doesn’t feel too brittle. When it comes to durability, this writing utensil is sure to last since it’s made out of metal. In fact, it’s guaranteed to last for up to two years of continuous use.

The pencil’s lead grade is 0.5 mm, which makes it perfect for everyday writing and cursive writing. It also works great for drawing and more detailed projects since it has a strong lead system. Additionally, the pencil can be used for left-handed people as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best mechanical pencil for writing?

In an ideal world, you'll have two pencils: a cheap one for rough drafts, and a nice one for the finished draft. Whether you carry them in a pencil case or display them like this guy, we think it's nice to have pencils that look good.

But we digress. For most of us, mechanical pencils serve as the poor man's option in the world of drafting pencils. And by and large they should. You're getting the same technologies, just limited by the cost of their production.

With that said, we'd still like a mechanical pencil that writes well. And we should probably mention that none of the options on this list will feel as good as writing with a good non-mechanical pencil.

What should I look for when I buy a mechanical pencil?

Are mechanical pencils good for writing?

Although mechanical pencils have been around since the 1800s, they didn't become popular until the middle of the 1900s when they started to replace their conventional pen-and-pencil counterparts. Just like conventional pencils, they have a lead tube that is encased by a solid wooden barrel that makes it very comfortable to hold.

From that point on, the mechanical pencil became the pencil of choice for many professional and amateur writers.

There are many different kinds of mechanical pencils on the market today, though. Some might not be ideal for writing, while others will resist wear and tear better than the rest.

Some features you'll want to look out for in the best mechanical pencils are:

  • a break-resistant tip
  • a comfortable grip
  • a strong lead
  • the wick of lead supply (some might require reloading)
  • a chiseled lead (for more accurate and sharp strokes)

Is 0.5 or 0.7 lead better?

The size of the hole in the pencil is directly related to the diameter of the lead. Thus, 0.5 pencils are produced only with a 0.5 diameter lead and 0.7 pencil uses a 0.5 diameter lead.

However, there are various finishes that you can purchase, including 2B, B, HB, F, and H. The numerical value denotes the hardness of the lead.

The higher the number, the harder it is. The lead is, thus, firmer and darker as well. However, they break more easily. The softer ones are known to wear out faster and produce lighter lines due to minimal contact during the writing process.

For many writers, getting the smaller diameter and softer grade pencils provides for a better writing experience, especially for standardized exams. However, if you’re a teacher and want to save time when grading exams, then a hard pencil is what you need.

What type of pencil is best for the environment?

Although they may be harder to obtain, wooden pencils are a great choice which can be sharpened. Just make sure you check your local refilling center in case you need a new lead. In addition, these are recyclable and are a sustainable natural resource.

Another great option is the metal pencil which will last for years. These may be more expensive initially but will save you money in the long run. They are also recyclable and can be sharpened.

Bamboo or wooden mechanical pencils are also a possibility which in some ways, are better for the environment. The natural resources they used are renewable and less harmful to the environment. Sadly, they aren’t very good for the environment if they are disposed without being refilled.

Conclusion

When you sit down to write something important, something that impacts you, something dear to your heart, you want tools that help you get it all out, right? That’s why we’re so passionate about our selections for the best mechanical pencil for writing in this guide. We want you to have the tools you need to realize your creative potential and craft work that is so good, it could make grown adults cry.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical PencilBest OverallrOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil
Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting PencilBudget PickPentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil
Lamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical PencilUpgrade PickLamy 7mm 2000 Mechanical Pencil