Best Mechanical Pencils for Drawing

Mechanical pencil is a type of a drawing instrument consisting of a solid replaceable core made of graphite, called a lead. The lead is held within the outer casing, which helps in adjusting the length of the lead and also provides a good grip. Ming a good grip. Mechanical pencils are mainly used for drawing lines of constant length needless of sharpening. 

Best Mechanical Pencils for Drawing

Various mechanical pencils of different brands are used for drawing. Some of the best ones are as follows:

  • Pentel Graphgear 1000 – A high quality mechanical pencil available in the sizes 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 0.9mm, with a metallic body and an embedded rubber grip. Another special feature it possesses is that it has a retractive button. 
  • Rotring Tikky – Its special feature is its unique grip. What makes it unique is its structure with plastic elements. It has an optimum weight for smooth gliding. 
  • Derwent Precision – It comes in a package with a lead box and a set of eraser tips. Its casing is fully metallic and is comparatively heavy weighted. However, eraser tips can be attached to it, which gives it a unique outlook. 
  • Maped Black Peps – It is a low-price mechanical pencil. It is light-weight and has a decent casing with a regular rubber grip. It is an automatic lead dispensing pencil. 
  • Unicore Keep Sharp – It has an attractive look, with a matte black casing and some silver elements. It fits well in the hand and as a textured grip, for a better hold. It allows you to draw for long hours without causing hand fatigue.     

Types of Mechanical Pencils 

  • Screw-based pencils – This was the most popular type in the early 20th century, in such pencils, the lead is advanced by twisting the screw. 
  • Ratchet-based pencils – In these pencils, the lead is situated between two jaws inside the tip. A button controls the jaws, which allows the lead to advance back and forth. 

Mechanical pencils can vary based on the structure, function and  type of lead. 

Lead variations 

Contrary to what the name suggests, pencil leads are not constituted of the chemical element lead, they are rather made of non-toxic materials like clay, graphite or polymers. 


Pencil leads with different sizes are available in order to suit different purposes and serve different functions. The most popularly used lead sizes are 0.5mm and 0.7mm. However, they can range from 0.2mm to 5mm. 


Pencil leads are available according to hardness ratings just as regular pencils are. This allows to achieve different shades of light and dark while drawing. The extent to which the graphite blends on the paper is also determined by its hardness. 


Mechanical pencils with pigmented leads are quite uncommon but companies like Crayola, Pentel and Uni-ball manufacture coloured leads.

Benefits of Using Mechanical Pencil 

No sharpening

Mechanical pencils are not required to be sharpened since the lead is thin and sharp throughout. 


Mechanical pencils help achieve consistent line width while drawing, unlike a non mechanical pencil.


Mechanical pencils are highly convenient as they do not have to be replaced again and again. Only the lead needs to be replaced after it has been fully used. 


Mechanical pencils are very versatile as they can be used for all kinds of drawings, writing, drafting etc. They also come in various styles to suit the requirements. 


Mechanical pencils are eco friendly owing to their quality of being refillable. No trees are required to be cut down. 

How To Buy the Right Mechanical Pencil? 

To buy the right mechanical pencil, you must be mindful of the following criteria :


You must know what you are going to use it for to choose the right one. 


Once you know the purpose, you need to find out what combination of features would best suit your purpose.


Various mechanical pencils are available with different mechanisms like push button, shaker and twister. While making a choice of mechanism, you need to consider your comfort. 


Just as everything else, mechanical pencils vary in prices depending upon the brand, looks, type, mechanism, features etc. So you must set a budget to look for the best option.

Is it Better than A Non Mechanical Pencil? 

Mechanical pencils are definitely better than non mechanical pencils as they have a range of benefits over wooden pencils. Once you buy a mechanical pencil, you only need to buy more leads, which are quite cheap. Hence mechanical pencils are way more sustainable as compared to wooden pencils. They also don’t require additional tools  like erasers and sharpeners unlike wooden pencils, so they save a lot of hassle and mess. 

How To Choose a Lead?

The size of the lead depends upon the purpose of the pencil. For instance, for writing, a 0.5mm lead would be optimal whereas for drawing, a thicker 0.7mm lead might be good. However for detailed drawings, thinner leads would play a better role. 

The lead can also be chosen on the basis of darkness, which varies with its hardness. A harder lead would produce lighter lines and a softer lead would produce darker lines. 


Mechanical pencils were designed for convenience. They are an efficient replacement for wooden pencils. However, for drawing, mechanical pencils are much better as they help avoid hassle.  

Frequently Asked Questions : 
  • How Long do Mechanical Pencils Last?

Mechanical pencils can last several years as long as you use them carefully, as they are very durable. 

  • Are Mechanical Pencils Erasable?

Just like wooden pencils, the lead of mechanical pencils is usually made of graphite which can be easily erased. 

  • How to Retract Mechanical Pencil? 

The lead can be retracted by pushing the button in and pushing the lead back in carefully so as to not break it. 

  • Are Mechanical Pencils Toxic?

No, leads of mechanical pencils are made of graphite or clay which is a non toxic substance. 

  •  Which lead is best for writing?

An HB lead of size 0.2mm to 0.4mm is most suitable for writing. 

Best Mechanical Pencils for Drawing

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