Best Mechanical Pencil [2020]


Pentel is a well-known name among writing instrument manufacturers. This means you can trust that decades of experience and thoughtful engineering go into the premium units offered throughout their line. This rings true with the GraphGear 1000, which is tailored to look and feel like an executive mechanical pencil. Yet it can also serve as an everyday writing instrument.

It only weighs in at .8 ounces and was designed with a soft textured metallic grip. This allows it to feel comfortable in your hand while allowing you to hold it securely. The Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil’s eraser is discretely secured under a small metal cap. Pentel also makes it a point to offer inexpensive replacement erasers and .5 mm lead refills.

All this means that the GraphGear 1000 can live stylishly on an executive’s desk, while also being able to create the kind of .5 mm precise lines that drafting professionals often need.

There are some people who simply need a reliable writing instrument that spares them the need to carry or find a pencil sharpener. This type of mechanical pencil is good for students who need to take tests, and don’t want to waste time sharpening a traditional wood pencil.

Filling this very important niche is the Paper Mate 1952700 Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil. It comes in a conveniently priced four-pack. Each one is created from durable clear plastic which allows the user to see how much lead is left inside the mechanical shaft.

The soft grip makes the Clearpoint easy to hold while reducing hand fatigue. It was also designed with a slide system to advance the lead without having to change your hand position. There are also affordable lead refills and replacement erasers, which makes the Clearpoint a step ahead of what might otherwise be seen as a disposable mechanical pencil.

Kuru toga is another popular international writing instrument brand sold around the world in a variety of styles. Their Uniball mechanical pencil was carefully designed to appeal to the average consumer who needs a reliable daily writing instrument, while also having the .5 mm fine point functionality for professional use.

The Uniball mechanical pencil only weighs in at a very comfortable .8 ounces which helps minimize hand fatigue. This is a very appealing feature for professionals who often need to use their mechanical pencil for long periods of time.

This mechanical pencil was also engineered with a retractable tip as well as a smooth-operating internal guide pipe. This helps to save on wear and tear on your pocket. It also helps reduce the chances of lead breaking off while writing with the relatively thin, delicate .5 mm lead.

How We Picked

Mechanical pencils have many benefits that appeal to people throughout a range of niches. Drafting professionals, technical artists, and similar vocations appreciate the consistent line weight a mechanical pencil produces, as well as the ability to draw continuously without inconvenient breaks to find a pencil sharpener.

Overall weight is going to be more of a factor for professionals where long drawing or writing sessions can lead to hand fatigue. This can also affect things like penmanship or prohibitive hand cramps. As a general rule of thumb if you are going to be using the mechanical pencil for prolonged periods of time in a day you want to target a unit that weighs less than 1.2 ounces.

The grip can also contribute to hand cramping and penmanship issues. Ideally, we tried to look for terms like “Soft Grip” or “Textured Grip” which not only lets you keep a secure and accurate hold on the pencil body, but it also helps combat the hand fatigue that can occur from having to hold it too firmly.

The availability and reasonable price of things like replacement erasers and refillable lead was also an important factor when searching for a high-quality mechanical pencil with a low long-term cost of ownership. Ultimately, you want the pencil to last for many years to come, along the way you don’t want to end up spending an arm and a leg trying to buy replacement lead or trying to find it from a far-flung online vendor.

At the same time, the thickness of the lead it uses is also an important consideration. If you are simply looking for a quality writing utensil to serve as an executive pencil on your desk, then lead thickness might not be a major issue. If you need a high-quality mechanical pencil to deliver a thin, consistent, and accurate line for professional reasons, then lead thickness should be high on your list of priorities.

Very thin lead is more prone to bend or snap off while making a faint line. Too thick of lead may be clumsy or create a line that’s simply too thick for an accurate technical drawing. The sweet spot tends to be right around .7 mm lead thickness.

At the same time, we also tried to keep an eye out for well-known brands that have a reputation for providing quality writing instruments. A few have roots in the United States, though many are better represented on the international stage.

Uni Mechanical Pencil Kurutoga Pipe Slide Model 0.5mm With Blue Body


  • Weighs .8 ounces
  • .5 mm line size
  • Pipe slide
  • Retractable tip

Kuru toga is one of the more trusted and popular mechanical pencil brands, with units available on the international market.

Uni Mechanical Pencil Kurutoga Pipe Slide Model 0.5mm

Their Uniball mechanical pencil was designed to appeal to the average consumer as well as being functional enough for professional use.

Uni Mechanical Pencil Kurutoga Pipe Slide Model 0.5mm

It only weighs in at a very comfortable .8 ounces which fit well in the hand without causing any hand fatigue. It has a guide pipe to safely secure and the .5 mm lead. It also has a retractable tip to save wear and tear on your pocket, while reducing the chances of the breaking off while writing.