Any designer, artist, academic, engineer, or diligent notebook-keeper will lay claim to the importance of a good EDC (every day carry) mechanical pencil.
Pens simply won’t cut it in the above categories, as ink leaves very little room for error, to say nothing of the potential mess. Save the ink pen for its proper use, and savor the convenience of a superior quality mechanical pencil.
When choosing a mechanical pencil there are several things to keep in mind.
For starters, touch, weight, and balance are arguably the most important factors when it comes to a mechanical pencil’s must-haves. The heavier the pencil, the looser the grip, resulting in less writing fatigue. Heavier pencils also provide significantly more balance, and thus a steadier flow. True mechanical pencil enthusiasts can’t stress the importance of advance precision enough–in other words, how evenly the pencil produces lead. The more precise the pen’s advance, the more consistent the lead rate will be.
Last but far from least, lead width and hardness should be taken into account. While most mechanical pencils will accept lead of almost any size, with a number of high-end brands even featuring an indicator of which type of lead has been loaded, it’s worth taking note of the chosen lead width to avoid damagaging the pencil or producing lines that are broader or thinner than desired.
Overall, the best mechanical pencils are lightweight, easy to grip, and maintain a strong, smooth line. Whether you’re scribbling notes or rendering a painstaking drawing, you’ll want a mechanical pencil that holds up to–if not surpasses–the designated task at hand. Depending on your lead thickness preference, there are a number of mechanical pencils designed for specific projects and drafting sources. Available in materials ranging from polycarbonate makrolon (a high-grade plastic) to sleek metal, you’ll have no shortage of designs and brands to choose from.
Mechanical pencils are just one of life’s subtle tools, and easy to take for granted. For the true pros, however, a task-targeted and personalized mechanical pencil is the thinking man’s weapon of choice.
Top 25 Best Mechanical Pencils
1. Staedtler Mars 780 Technical
Reliability, durability and style all go hand-in-hand with this mechanical pencil by Staedtler. This features a strong break-resistant 2.0mm lead with adjustable hardness degree indicator making this the perfect tool for use with rulers and templates. You will never have to worry about breaking your lead again.
2. Pentel Automatic
Say hello to an economy mechanical pencil that will satisfy even the most demanding needs. Complete with 0.7mm lead, retractable eraser and a unique side button allows you to keep going without releasing your grip or slowing you down. The rubber grip ensures you are comfortable while you are working.
3. Rotring 600 Black Barrel
When precision is the key to your drafting, this mechanical pencil from Rotring is the key. It comes in a variety of lead sizes, and has a precision lead harness to allow you a clear view of your work. The design, shape, size and balance are perfectly tuned to allow you to work for hours without slipping or fatiguing.
4. Zebra M 301 Stainless Steel
These stylish mechanical pencils from Zebra are a cost effective crowd pleaser. They feature a 0.5mm lead, along with a stainless steel barrel and nonslip grip. Whether you are an up and coming engineer or a professional drafter, these pencils will be a perfect addition to your tool set.
5. Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting
For graphics and drafting professionals, one mechanical pencil may not be enough. Thankfully, the GraphGear gift set from Pentel comes with four pencils with 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm leads, giving you the flexibility for whatever shading, lines, and intricate drafting comes your way. Coming from Pentel, these pencils are economical yet professional in design and feel.
6. Pentel Sharp Kerry
This mechanical pencil is where style intersects quality. This unique mechanical pencil is handcrafted with watchmaker’s tools, and is the only pencil in the United States with a capped writing tip, meaning you protect your tip, as well as your pockets or purse. It is perfectly balanced, ensuring your experience is not only functional, but also completely enjoyable.
7. Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model
Stop worrying about the variations in the line from your mechanical pencil thanks to the Roulette from Kuru Toga. The innovative technology rotates the lead every time you lift your pencil, ensuring even wear of the lead tip. The metal finish provides the professional appearance to match the quality of work.
8. Uni Ball Kurutoga
Elegance and economy make a powerful partnership in this mechanical pencil from Uni-Ball. Featuring a 0.5mm lead and a sleek black and silver body, this pencil is both elegant, incredibly precise and cost effective. The knurled grip ensures the pencil will not slip while you are drawing, and the retractable tip keeps it pocket-friendly.
9. Alvin Draft Matic
The perfect mechanical pencil for when you need professional quality to meet your professional drafting needs. A sleek design, with 0.5mm lead and built-in eraser means you have what you need for the job. The cushioned points on knurled stainless steel finger grips make for an enjoyable drafting experience.
10. Cross Century Chrome
Cross is the standard for quality writing instruments, and this mechanical pencil upholds that standard. With a classic slim design, with a chrome-plated finish, the pencil is the model of professionalism. Match that with the lifetime mechanical guarantee, you have the only pencil you will ever need.
11. Faber Castell Grip Silver
When you need a more rugged writing experience, this 0.7mm Faber-Castell mechanical pencil is the go-to tool. The unique triangular design with no slip grip dots provides for a comfortable ergonomic experience. It also sports a twist-out eraser under the end cap so you never have to worry about making a mistake.
12. Paper Mate Sharpwriter
Paper Mate is a trusted name in affordable writing implements. The SharpWriter has 0.7mm #2 lead, a pink eraser tip, and a shock-absorbing tip to reduce lead breakage. Coming in a package of three or more mechanical pencils, this is affordable writing implement is perfect for everyone from students to professionals.
13. Pentel Energize
When you need professional style with an economy price, the EverGize mechanical pencil by Pentel is the perfect tool. This pencil has a stylish metal barrel with a retractable tip. It sports a fine 0.5mm lead and has a super comfortable latex-free grip. This pencil is perfect for students to seasoned professionals.
14. Caran Dache Varius Ivanhoe
For the ultimate in luxury writing utensils seek Swiss style with the Caran d’Ache Varius mechanical pencil. Each silver plated stainless steel mechanical pencil arrives with the ability to use 0.7mm graphite lead and features a smooth push button mechanism. For a sharp look and flawless grip, you’ll find a micro-woven detail throughout this mechanical pencil.
15. Rite In The Rain All Weather
For some professionals, finding a mechanical pencil that is usable in the field is a challenging part of the job. Rite In The Rain answers this need with the all-weather pencil. It features a strong resin barrel with a patented tip that expands so the lead will continue to function regardless of the conditions you face.
16. Rotring Multi Function Four In One
The true professional not only needs an incredible drafting mechanical pencil, but also a reliable pen with quality strokes. This multi-function tool from Rotring offers just that with this sleek and stylish dark silver pen. It sports a fine 0.5mm mechanical pencil along with three different pen colors to ensure you have exactly what you need in one convenient tool.
17. Staedtler Night Blue Series
Staedtler has produced the only mechanical pencil you will ever need. This mechanical pencil utilizes a 2mm grade B lead, but has an integrated lead pointer under the cap so you can be precise without worrying about the lead breaking. This is the pencil that will meet every need from broad to precise strokes.
18. Staedtler White Body
This mechanical pencil is perfect for anyone who cramps up from using pencils that are too small. The larger triangular grip ensures a comfortable writing experience. The 1.33mm lead ensures you do not have to worry about the lead breaking when you need it most. Forget about cramped hands while you work.
19. Lamy 2000 With Brushed SS Clip
The sleek and beautifully designed LAMY 7mm mechanical pencil provides top of the line quality to ensure you have the pencil when you need it. This pencil also includes an attached clean-out rod for clearing any lead jams, ensures you are never caught without your most important tool.
20. Uni Ball Pipe Lock Drafting
Economy and technology meet with this pencil from Uni-Ball. This mechanical pencil features a 0.7mm lead and a knurled grip to prevent slipping. The unique lead-rotating mechanism ensures your lead is always sharp, and helps prevent breaking. This is the perfect pencil for everyone from students to professionals.
21. Porsche Design P3130 Micado
When you need a luxury pen experience, Porsche Design accepts the challenge! This mechanical pencil is stainless steel, sleek and black, with a woven stainless steel threads on the metal shaft. You do not have to worry about the lead breaking either with the break-resistant 0.7mm lead.
23. Porsche Design Tec Flex Black
Porsche Designs delivers another mechanical pencil that is equivalent to a work of art. The mechanical Micado pencil is fashioned from stylish stainless steel with a platinum coating. The shaft is uniquely crafted from 17 stainless steel rods that twist around offering a unique writing experience. It uses a break-resistant 0.7mm lead.