LAST UPDATED: December 03, 2020

The Best Mechanical Pencils (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencil Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencil
Best Value June Gold 72 Mechanical Pencils June Gold 72 Mechanical Pencils
Premium Pick rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil

Whether you’re a high-school student about to take a standardized test, a college student meticulously taking notes in class, or an artist who loves drawing, a high-quality mechanical pencil can be an important asset. The best mechanical pencils are available in a variety of colors and sizes, smudge-resistant, and come equipped with efficient erasers. Mechanical pencils are preferred because they can easily be refilled with more lead rather than making a mess to sharpen them. Mechanical pencils also provide a soft, non-slip grip, making them more comfortable to use long-term. We took a look at five of the best mechanical pencils currently on the market. Whether you are looking for reliability, excellent value, durability, versatility, or a fun option, read on to see which product is the best for your writing needs.

The Best Mechanical Pencils

If you’re looking for a high-quality writing utensil, the Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencil may be the best product on the market. This mechanical pencil is available in classic goldenrod or a variety pack of assorted colors. It is available to purchase in a 3-count, 5-count, 6-count, 7-count, and 12-count package. An important feature of the Paper Mate mechanical pencil is the shock-absorbing tip, which helps to significantly reduce lead breakage. This product uses 0.7mm Number 2 lead, which makes it an ideal pencil for education, note-taking, writing sessions, and all forms of standardized testing. This mechanical pencil features an easy-to-use twistable tip for added convenience. The high-quality, smudge-resistant eraser easily helps you take care of any writing mistakes. The eraser is easy to remove to install replacement lead.

One downside of the Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencil is that each pencil only holds a limited number of graphite refills inside. You may have to open the top to reload, and some customers have reported that their lead or actual pencil has broken when attempting to refill it.

If you want a great mechanical pencil at an unbeatable price, there is no better product on the market than the June Gold 72 Mechanical Pencils. This product is available to purchase in a value pack of 72 pencils. The June Gold mechanical pencil value pack comes in 0.5mm, 0.7mm, or 0.9mm lead size. This pack comes with 220 graphite lead refills for your pencils. There are also 16 durable, smudge-resistant erasers included in the value pack. Each June Gold mechanical pencil comes with a convenient side-click to easily dispense the lead for your writing needs. This product provides a soft, comfortable, non-slip grip so you don’t have to worry about your fingers hurting after a long day of note-taking.

One issue with the June Gold 72 Mechanical Pencils is that they are not very durable compared to other products. These pencils have been known to break and the lead is quite fragile. But if you are looking for a value option available in bright colors, then this is still an excellent budget-friendly choice.

The Rotring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil is an ideal deluxe option. This product is made from an ergonomically enhanced full metal body to hold up over time. Its “Twist and Click” mechanism can retract the entire sleeve and lead at once, making this product an extremely durable option. The Rotring mechanical pencil is available in 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead options, with color varieties of black or silver. It has a unique hexagonal shape so that your pencil won’t slide off when placed on uneven or tilted surfaces. This model provides an ideal weight balance along with a comfortable non-slip grip so that you can work comfortably for long hours at a time. This is an ideal product for sketching, writing, drawing, and other art applications.

One downside of the Rotring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil is its price point. It is one of the most expensive options on the market, but if you are looking for a product that you can use for several years, then this product is well worth its price tag.

The Mr. Pen Mechanical Drawing Graphite Pencils comes in a set of five different sizes: 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm, and 2mm. Each size is available as a different color option. There are also lead refills for each size included in the package, which can easily be replaced by removing the eraser topper. Eraser refills are also included in the Mr. Pen product package for added value. This product features a non-slip, latex-free, soft-grip design for maximum comfort and less fatigue while writing. Mr. Pen mechanical pencils are great for any number of everyday activities, including essay writing, note-taking, education, drawing, sketching, and artwork. As a bonus, there is even a lead sharpener located on the other side of the eraser topper.

One issue with the Mr. Pen Mechanical Drawing Graphite Pencils is with its eraser. The eraser does not work very well, so if you do purchase this set of mechanical pencils, you may want to buy a separate set of erasers to maximize functionality.

If you’re in the market for a fun option for adults and children of all ages, the BIC Xtra-Sparkle Mechanical Pencil is an exciting product. This mechanical pencil comes in sparkling colors of blue, green, orange, purple, and red. It is available to purchase in a 2-count, 3-count, 4-count, 5-count, 15-count, and 24-count value package. The BIC Xtra Sparkle mechanical pencil features a push-button action design for simple lead advancement. This product is made for use with 0.7mm Number 2 lead, making it an ideal choice for students when taking notes, writing essays, doing homework, or taking standardized tests. The mechanical pencil is easily refillable by simply removing the eraser topper and filling with new lead. The BIC product writes very smoothly, erases cleanly, and is completely smudge-resistant.

One issue that customers have reported with the BIC Xtra-Sparkle Mechanical Pencil is that the packages have been shipped with broken pieces. Make sure to inspect your package upon delivery for any broken items, and contact the company for a refund or replacement if there are any issues with your delivery.

The Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil is an extremely high-quality product for its price point. This mechanical pencil is the perfect choice for everyday writing, but can also be used by artists, architects, or graphic designers. It features soft latex-free padding for a very comfortable grip. The dual-action retractor easily advances and retracts the lead tip for convenient use. It is available to purchase in a variety of lead options, including 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm. The different sized lead options are color-coded for added convenience. This pencil is completely refillable with Pentel Super Hi-Polymer Lead and a Z2-1 eraser. Pentel is an extremely reputable company and quality manufacturer. Most of Pentel’s writing instruments are green products and are made from at least 50 percent recycled materials.

One downside of the Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil is its eraser. The eraser is very small and located under the silver cap at the top. It is designed for fixing only small mistakes. If you need to use an eraser often, it is recommended to purchase a separate eraser or set of erasers to use with this mechanical pencil.

The Uni Kurutoga Mechanical Pencil is one of the most durable products on the market today. This mechanical pencil includes a unique lead rotating mechanism, which allows for a sharp point at all times and prevents your lead from breaking. It constantly rotates the pencil lead as you write. A spring-loaded clutch twists the lead each time you lift the pencil from your paper. This pencil is exclusively made for 0.5mm lead and a pipe slide system, which makes the lead very difficult to break as you write. There is also a guide pipe that protects the entire length of the lead from breaking while writing.  This mechanical pencil is available in color options of black or pink, and it is available to purchase as a single pencil or value packs with two to five pencils included.

One issue with the Uni Kurutoga Mechanical Pencil is that it is only available in one size of lead. The 0.5mm lead is not as common as lead of other sizes, so be aware of this before making your purchase. It can sometimes be difficult to find 0.5mm lead for replacements.

The WSD Mechanical Pencil features a sleek design that is still extremely functional. This mechanical pencil includes a magnetic control: a magnetic ring to control the length by sliding. The magnetic ring remains at the top of the pencil while writing. It is a very lightweight option that is also very comfortable. This mechanical pencil is available in five color varieties: black, gold, rose gold, silver, and blue. A 2mm pencil core with 12 refills is included with each purchase. Perhaps the biggest benefit of this product, each purchase also includes a mini pencil sharpener, pencil slipcase, and an instruction manual. If you are looking for a fashionable product with refills that are easy to find, then you can’t go wrong with this WSD Mechanical Pencil.

One downside of the WSD Mechanical Pencil is that the lead tends to snap inside of this mechanical pencil. Some customers have reported that their lead has unfortunately snapped about halfway through each use. If this issue occurs, you may want to reach out to the company about a possible replacement product.

Best Mechanical Pencils Buying Guide & FAQ

Mechanical pencils are a high-quality writing utensil that can be used both for casual and professional use. In addition to everyday writing, they can be used by artists, architects, graphic designers, and more. The best mechanical pencils come with a variety of special features and are available in several different colors and lead options.

Mechanical pencils are completely reusable and can easily be refilled. They feature a variety of different grips, erasers, and other features for added comfort and flexibility. Rather than having to worry about resharpening your pencil and making a mess, mechanical pencils are a clean and convenient solution for your writing needs.

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Benefits of Mechanical Pencils

The main reason for using a mechanical pencil is for convenience. If you use a mechanical pencil as your primary writing device, it prevents the need to also have a pencil sharpener. Mechanical pencils are an environmentally-friendly option that can be refilled and reused, and they are also a lot less messy than a regular pencil.

Mechanical pencils are typically lightweight, feature a well-padded grip, and come in a variety of color options. Several different types of lead can be used in mechanical pencils, and this lead is very easy to find to replace when your current lead runs out. While your mechanical pencil will not last forever, it is extremely durable compared to regular pencils. Mechanical pencils are typically built to last for many years without any issues.

  • Mechanical pencils are extremely lightweight and comfortable, typically featuring a high-quality grip and built-in eraser for added comfort and convenience.
  • Mechanical pencils are reusable and refillable, making them an extremely eco-friendly product. Just make sure to choose the correct lead type and size for your needs, and always reload the pencil with the correct lead.
  • Mechanical pencils are an extremely versatile writing utensil. They can be used for everyday writing, but they can also be used by professionals like artists, architects, graphic designers, and more, for drawing and other purposes.
Man drawing with mechanical pencil on a table
Mechanical pencils can be used for a variety of purposes

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Different Kinds of Mechanical Pencils

There are three main types of mechanical pencils, each one coming with their special features and benefits. You may need a mechanical pencil for a specific use, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the various types of mechanical pencils to purchase one that is best for your writing needs.

Push-Button

Push-button mechanical pencils may be the most common type of mechanical pencil, and they are likely the ones you are most familiar with. This type of mechanical pencil features a push button that will advance a certain amount of lead with each click of the button. 

The push-button is typically located at the end of the pencil or under the eraser. Although in some models, the push button can be found on the side of the mechanical pencil. This type of mechanical pencil has been known to have issues with lead breakage, and it is sometimes difficult to control the amount of lead that will be dispensed with each push of the button.

Twist

Twist mechanical pencils are a more controlled type of mechanical pencil. Twist mechanical pencils will advance and retract the lead via the turn of a knob, which is typically located at the top of the pencil or the nose cone of the pencil. It allows for the continuous advancement of the lead, and it is very easy to control the knob. 

One benefit of twist mechanisms is that if you advance too much lead, it is easy to retract it by reversing the direction of the knob. One disadvantage of this type of mechanical pencil is that they typically are only used for larger sizes of lead, and many models will only hold a single piece of lead at a time.

Automatic

Automatic mechanical pencils are a more modern type of mechanical pencil. This type of mechanical pencil is perhaps the most user-friendly and easiest type to use. You do not need to do anything to advance the lead in automatic mechanical pencils. Simply keep writing or drawing, and the more lead will be pushed out once it is used down to the lead sleeve. The lead is pushed down via a ratchet mechanism that senses when more lead is needed through the pressure of your writing. 

One issue that many users have with automatic mechanical pencils is that the lead sleeve will drag on the paper while in use. Some people find this a major inconvenience and a distraction while working.

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What to Look for When Buying Mechanical Pencils

Hand drawing a line with mechanical pencil
Mechanical pencils come in all sizes and styles

A mechanical pencil is an extremely useful and versatile product. It is important to familiarize yourself with the product and options available before making your purchase. There are several key features and factors to consider before choosing the best mechanical pencil to fit your writing needs.

  • The overall weight of your mechanical pencil is an important consideration. If you will be using your pencil for everyday writing, it must be lightweight and comfortable.
  • The type of grip and material of the grip section is another key feature to consider. Mechanical pencils come in a variety of sizes and different types of grips, so make sure to try them out before choosing the one that is most comfortable for you.
  • The lead size can be a key consideration. Some mechanical pencils are available in a variety of lead sizes, while others are meant specifically for one type of lead. It is important to find a writing utensil that fits the lead size for your writing needs.

Best Mechanical Pencils FAQ:

Understanding the purpose of your mechanical pencil and how to properly use it is essential. You should familiarize yourself with the various types of mechanical pencils and their specific features before making your purchase. While there are numerous options available, make sure to do your proper research and choose a product that is the best fit for your writing needs.

Q. What is the most comfortable mechanical pencil?

There are several extremely comfortable mechanical pencils available, but our most comfortable choice is the Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil. Make sure to read our reviews and do your research before choosing to best fit your comfort level.

Q. What is a mechanical pencil used for?

A mechanical pencil can be used for everyday writing and drawing, but it is also an excellent choice for professionals like artists, architects, and graphic designers to use for their work.

Q. Why are mechanical pencils so expensive?

Some types of mechanical pencils can be expensive, but there are also many budget-friendly options and value packs of mechanical pencils available on the market. One benefit of mechanical pencils is that they are reusable and can be refilled. While they may seem expensive compared to regular pencils, mechanical pencils may save you money in the long run.

Our Top Pick

The Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencil is our choice for the best overall mechanical pencil. It is available in classic goldenrod or a variety pack of assorted colors. It is available to purchase in a 3-count, 5-count, 6-count, 7-count, and 12-count package. An important feature of this mechanical pencil is the shock-absorbing tip, which helps to significantly reduce lead breakage. This product uses 0.7mm Number 2 lead, which makes it an ideal pencil for education, note-taking, writing sessions, and all forms of standardized testing.

Final Thoughts

For the best overall portable vacuum cleaner, consider the Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencil, featuring a shock-absorbing tip, or the June Gold 72 Mechanical Pencils, available to purchase as a value pack of 72 pencils.

Sources:

  1. Mechanical Pencil – Wikipedia