The Best Mechanical Pencil of 2023

You can create a masterpiece every time the creative motivation moves you with this fantastic list of the best mechanical pencils!

Best Mechanical Pencils

Technology has really advanced, but nothing beats the nostalgic sweetness of using a good ol’ pencil. Whether you are making art, working on something technical, or simply doodling, pencils always have that authentic, old-fashioned appeal. But you know what is even more appealing than your traditional pencil? A mechanical pencil.

A mechanical pencil still acts as a pencil, but it has unique features that work together to make it easy to use and beautiful to carry. These pencils are refillable, have a constant line width, and don’t need sharpening. It’s a sophisticated way to make a statement in your writing or drawing.

Mechanical pencils are small and relatively cheap, so more and more hit the market daily. Choosing one out of the numerous mechanical pencils could quickly become an arduous task for you. Therefore, we made a list of the best mechanical pencils available to help you make a choice.

 

How We Picked

  • Lead Grade

    The lead grade represents how hard or soft a pencil's lead is and the shade it'll produce. Heavy writers need lighter grades and vice versa.

  • Type of Barrel and Nib

    The type of barrel affects a mechanical pencil's grip, design, weight, and comfort. The nib size determines the size and style of writing.

  • Eraser

    What's a pencil without an eraser? The best mechanical pencils have erasers that are easy to use and refill.

  • Price

    Quality isn’t always price-dependent. Our picks include amazing mechanical pencils with top-notch functions for a few dollars.

Our Top Picks

Top Pick

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

A traditional pencil ideal for heavy drafting.

This comfortable metal mechanical pencil checks all the right boxes.

Buy Now

The Pentel GraphGear 1000 is a metal drafting-style pencil in its simplicity and elegance. It feels good in the hand as much as its design appeals to the eyes. Its heavy metal material combines with the overall design to give it the traditional feel of a drafting pencil.

Runner Up

Pentel Quicker Clicker

Pentel Quicker Clicker

A perfect balance between style and function.

This inexpensive pencil is lightweight with a slick design and a smooth feel.

Buy Now for $11.18

The Pentel company calls this pencil the original side-advance-lead mechanical pencil, which allows you to easily propel the lead upward while in use without changing your hand position. It features a transparent barrel that lets you see how much lead you have left and know when you jam your pencil. It comes in many classy colors as well.

Most Cost-Effective

Uni Mechanical Pencil

Uni Mechanical Pencil

The market leader for exceptional lead quality.

The lead in this pencil is durable and does not break easily.

Buy Now for $5.78

The Uni Kuru Toga Pipe Slide pencil is at the top of the list for affordable mechanical pencils of high quality. It features a lead that rotates inside as you lift the tip from the page, giving you the cleanest and most consistent writing compared to other pencils.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

A traditional pencil ideal for heavy drafting.

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Pentel Quicker Clicker

Pentel Quicker Clicker

A perfect balance between style and function.

$11.18

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Uni Mechanical Pencil

Uni Mechanical Pencil

The market leader for exceptional lead quality.

$5.78

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This list is perfect for artists, architects, and people involved in careers related to art and drawing. Maybe you also just like how it feels to scribble with a pencil on a piece of paper.

You will also love this list if you prefer pencils to pens because they let you erase mistakes. Also, this list is for people who spend a fortune on regular pencils and want something more sustainable.

Mechanical vs. regular pencils

Although the choice always boils down to what you want, there are several reasons you may choose to go for a mechanical pencil over a regular one. Here are some key differences between the two types;

No sharpening required

Sharpening a pencil can be stressful and a bit messy. Therefore, mechanical pencils save the time and energy you’d otherwise have spent sharpening a regular pencil.

Consistent line width

Unlike regular pencils, which have to be freshly sharpened to write with a fine line, a mechanical pencil gives a consistent line at all times. The line from a mechanical pencil will not get thicker as you continue writing.

Refillable

This is the unique feature of mechanical pencils. You can use the lead of a mechanical pencil and replace it when it finishes.

Consistent balance

Unlike regular pencils, the length and balance of mechanical pencils don’t change as you use them. Regular pencils lose shape and eventually balance as you keep sharpening them.

Different styles and materials of construction

Regular pencils have wood as their primary mode of construction. On the other hand, mechanical pencils come in different materials and styles. They could have metal or plastic parts, and you can use them as luxury goods or technical tools.

Is it worth splurging on?

A good mechanical pencil is worth it because it’s something you’re going to incredibly enjoy using. Investing in a sophisticated mechanical pencil guarantees you never have to worry about constantly re-buying regular pencils.

 

Why You Should Trust Us

To help you make the best choice, we carefully reviewed the numerous mechanical pencils available. We took note of key factors like lead advancement and grade, types of barrel and nibs, cost, and eraser performance.

 

How We Picked

In our evaluation, we considered essential features of mechanical pencils to give you choices worth every dime you spend on them. We know that the most expensive products aren’t always the best. So, we picked mechanical pencils with all the right features that go for just a few dollars.

Lead grade

Although our links will take you to the 0.5mm wide size of the pencils, we selected pencils that have two or more lead size options so you can have variety. We chose lead grades that produce quality writing, bearing in mind the mechanism involved in advancing them. Standard mechanical pencils are retractable. However, the producers of our top pick and most cost-effective mechanical pencils make capped versions if you like.

Type of barrel

Our selections include mechanical pencils in different colors and styles, so you can choose a design that suits you. We also considered the type and material of the pencil’s barrel as it affects the pencil’s weight, looks, and feel. The barrel type also goes a long way toward determining how comfortable you’ll find the pencil. Finally, we also picked based on the quality and position of the eraser, ensuring it’s easy to use and refill.

 

Our Picks For You

Top Pick - Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

Top Pick

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

A traditional pencil ideal for heavy drafting.

This comfortable metal mechanical pencil checks all the right boxes.

Buy Now

Who It’s For

The Pentel GraphGear 1000 is suitable for people who prefer the traditional drafting pencil's heavy and hard feel. Its metal material contributes to its weight and is also ideal for people who love the cool metal feel. The pencil is also of value to drafters, artists, and architects because it retains the traditional feel of a drafting pencil while offering the features of a mechanical pencil.

Why It’s Great

The barrel has chiseled metal dotted with soft latex pads, which gives a firm hold and superior comfort. The GraphGear 1000 is a good investment for its durability and good function. The pencil features a high-quality eraser that is easy to find a replacement for. The eraser’s firmness beats that of the other picks. The eraser effortlessly comes out of the pencil so that you can comfortably increase the amount of eraser you want to use. The lead grade is between soft and hard, making it suitable for both light and heavy writers.

Potential Flaws

The flaws of the Pentel GraphGear 1000 come down to preference. On the one hand, some customers didn't like the over-fancy of the pencil, and others didn’t like how heavy it felt in their hands or pockets. Also, the click-retract action of the pen may be painful if it catches your finger in it.

Other Features

The Pentel GraphGear 1000 comes in varying colors, according to their sizes. Our pick is a 0.5mm one and it comes in grey. 0.3mm is brown, 0.7mm is blue, and 0.9mm is yellow. The colors help for easy identification. The metal tip is retractable; you only need to push the top of the clip, which gives an oddly satisfying spring click. The pencil has a small window by the side which acts as an indicator of the lead grade. The pencil has a very detailed and beautiful traditional look.

Product Specifications

Color: Grey
Ink Color: Black
Material: Metal
Item Weight: 0.723 ounces
Dimensions: 0.63 × 6 × 0.63 inches
Closure: Retractable
Grip type: Contoured
Lead grade: HB
Point Type: Fine

Runner Up - Pentel Quicker Clicker

Runner Up

Pentel Quicker Clicker

Pentel Quicker Clicker

A perfect balance between style and function.

This inexpensive pencil is lightweight with a slick design and a smooth feel.

Buy Now for $11.18

Who It’s For

The Pentel Quicker Clicker is excellent for heavy writers. The lead is fine, and the pencil design allows heavy writers to write for a long time without cramping their hands. It’s also good for you if you’re working on a budget but need a good-functioning pencil.

Why It’s Great

Coming in three line widths – 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm – the Pentel Quicker Clicker's lead is a standard graphite grade. The graphite grade can also be called the No.2 grade. The lead grade can also come in shades of blue and violet, unlike traditional black. The high-quality eraser of the pencil doesn’t leave any smears from using it. It's competitively priced, second only to the Uni Kurutoga Pipe Slide pencil. The transparent barrel of the Pentel Quicker Clicker is excellent because it lets you see how much lead you've used and when you jam your pencil.

Potential Flaws

The grip wears out with time. From the reviews online, customers don’t fancy the side advance compared to traditional mechanical pencils' click at the top. The eraser refills may be hard to find in physical stores, although they're readily available online.

Other Features

It comes in many colors, so you will undoubtedly find something suitable for you. The sleek and smooth design is attractive, and the side-advance button gives you access to more lead without demanding a change in your hand position.

Product Specifications:

Color: Gray
Ink Color: Gray
Material: Metal
Item Weight: 0.8 ounces
Dimensions: 0.6 × 2.7 × 7.4 inches
Closure: Button
Grip type: Ribbed
Lead grade: HB
Point Type: Fine

Most Cost-Effective - Uni Mechanical Pencil

Most Cost-Effective

Uni Mechanical Pencil

Uni Mechanical Pencil

The market leader for exceptional lead quality.

The lead in this pencil is durable and does not break easily.

Buy Now for $5.78

Who It’s For

Go for the Kurutoga Pipe Slide pencil if you are particular about the consistency and cleanliness of your writing and want it to be perfect. The pencil is great if you're looking for quality at an affordable price. The pipe slide is best for heavy writers because the pipe slides inwards as the lead gets smaller. This mechanism will ensure you don’t snap the lead.

Why It’s Great

The Kurotoga Pipe Slide pencil beats others when it comes to price. It's cheap and provides unique functions, making it very competitive. The barrel is made of plastic, making it lightweight and great for those who prefer a lighter pencil. Because it is light, you will also not have to worry about bending the tip. The lead is of a soft grade; it is not scratchy and offers a smooth feel and high writing quality. The cap of the eraser keeps it from getting dirty when you’re not using the pencil.

Potential Flaws

It's unsuitable for drafting because the tip doesn’t have that extra width and length. The grip is a little wavy and may feel big in your fingers. The eraser of the Kurotoga Pipe Slide is relatively small, and the plastic clip tends to snap off easily. The lead advancement of the pencil is small and will require more clicks to get your desired lead.

Other Features

The grip is transparent, so you can take comfort in seeing the inner workings of your pencil. The pencil has a fantastic feature — it spins the lead in the shaft to give you a more precise, consistent, and clean line.

Product Specifications

Color: Black
Ink Color: Black
Material: Plastic
Item Weight: 0.48 ounces
Dimensions: 7.6 × 0.6 × 2 inches
Closure: Retractable
Grip type: Plain
Lead grade: HB
Point Type: Fine

Almost Made The Cut - Rotring 1904444 600 Mechanical Pencil

Almost Made The Cut

Rotring 1904444 600 Mechanical Pencil

Rotring 1904444 600 Mechanical Pencil

The Rotring 600 has one of the most sophisticated and slick designs.

Like the Pentel GraphGear 1000, it is a full-metal drafting pen. It gives a sturdy feel but falls short of our list only because it’s relatively more expensive than the rest of the list.

Buy Now for $30.25

Who It’s For

The Rotring 600 will be valuable to people who love the Pentel GraphGear 1000. They both resemble traditional drafting pencils and are heavier than the other picks. The difference is that the Rotring 600 is more expensive than the Pentel GraphGear 1000, owing to its heavier metal construction material.

Why It’s Great

The Rotring 600 has a conventional, high-quality eraser, long enough to allow easy refill. The eraser sits on the shaft entrance, and a cap covers it to protect it. The pencil allows you to use all kinds of grade hardness and has an indicator for all hardness except 4B.

Potential Flaws

It doesn’t have a retractable tip, so you can’t carry it around in your pocket. The lead may give a scratchy feel that doesn't sit well with everyone. The knurling on the pen — straight ridges that help you grip it better — traps dirt and will look dirty with time. Hands down, it is costly for a mechanical pencil.

Other Features

It is easy to control when writing. It has extra heft, which leaves you confident as you write, and a hexagonal shape to keep it from rolling off your desk. The pencil has a solid clip that can re-bend. It has beautiful knurling at the grip and top, which allows for a good feeling when you hold the pencil in your fingers. It’s luxurious and high-end.

Product Specifications:

Color: Black
Ink Color: Black
Material: Metal
Item Weight: 0.8 ounces
Dimensions: 6.69 × 1.1 × 6.1 inches
Closure: None
Grip type: Knurled
Lead grade: HB
Point Type: Fine

Care and Maintenance

Your mechanical pencil will last you a long time if you know how to take care of it properly. That is why they make such great gifts for graduations and job promotions.

Typically, mechanical pencils don’t require any special cleaning. However, they need correct maintenance to last a while. Here are some ways to maintain your mechanical pencil to make it last longer;

Properly extend your mechanical pencil’s lead

Different mechanical pencils have different mechanisms for extending the lead within. These mechanisms include;

Push-button mechanical pencils come with a button at the top. There could also be an eraser attached to the button. A push-button mechanical pencil requires you to push the button as often as possible to get your desired amount of lead.

Shaker mechanical pencils are a more sophisticated lot. The shaker function is usually added to and not as a replacement for the push button ones. You need to shake them up and down (not sideways) until you get your desired lead.

Twist mechanical pencils demand you twist the nose cone or knob of the pencil to get your desired lead.

Carefully adhering to your mechanical pencil’s lead extension mechanism will enable its extended use.

Retract your mechanical pencil’s lead when necessary

Sometimes, you may overextend the lead of your mechanical pencil. In that case, you need to withdraw some of the lead, so it doesn’t snap off when you use the pencil.

Mechanical pencils lead

Your mechanical pencil can last for months, but not the lead. In time, you’ll need to change or replace it. Firstly, you need to have the correct size and grade of lead for your particular mechanical pencil. A lead size wider than your pencil will make it jam and the lead lodge inside. On the other hand, if your lead size is too narrow, it’ll fall out.

Proper refilling

For the push button and shaker mechanical pencils, press and hold the button at the pencil’s top (or side). While holding the button, tap the pencil upright to clear it of any lead particles. Insert the new lead into the shaft and release the button. Push the button or shake to get your desired new lead.

For pencils with a twist mechanism, twist the nose cone or knob clockwise to open the shaft fully. Insert the new lead into the shaft and twist anticlockwise to tighten. Twist clockwise again to get your desired new lead.

Troubleshooting problems

A non-refillable pencil, the wrong lead size, failed mechanism, and an already jammed shaft are why the lead will not be able to go into the shaft of your pencil.

A short lead is the cause of your lead pushing back into the pencil when you try to use it. Replace the lead.

A partial jam in your pencil will cause the lead to break when you try to extend it. Use a harder lead grade if your lead keeps breaking every time you try to use your pencil.

When not in use, retract the tip of your retractable mechanical pencils and keep them in your pockets or drawers. If your pencil isn’t retractable, do not keep it in your pockets; look for a drawer or pencil case and put it there.