Whether you’re in school, working in an office, like to do DIY projects around the house, or create art in your spare time, having a mechanical pencil can make just about any job easier. Whether you splurge on one high end mechanical pencil or purchase a box with multiple pencils, these writing tools can be useful in a ‘handful’ of situations. And depending on the cushioned grip of your pencil, that hand will be well rested.
Often thought of only as a writing instrument that’s used in academic settings, mechanical pencils have a place beyond the classroom. Artists who sketch like to use mechanical pencils because they don’t require frequent sharpening like traditional pencils. Professionals, including architects, engineers, contractors, draftsman and more prefer using mechanical pencils because of their long-lasting ability. Even if your job only requires you to occasionally take notes, many people prefer the feel and look of writing with a mechanical pencil.
For those who are preparing to take on DIY jobs around the house, mechanical pencils are ideal for marking measurements, with amateur carpenters able to quickly make notes without having to worry about their traditional pencil breaking in their tool box or requiring sharpening at an inopportune time, like when you’ve finally found the perfect spot to hang your new picture.
Of course, mechanical pencils are a great option for students as well, whether they need a writing instrument that can be erased while working on STEM subjects or want to be able to make notes in the margins of essays, textbooks and class notes with the ability to erase them at a later date.
Mechanical pencils are often reusable, which makes then environmentally friendly. Made from metal or plastic instead of wood like traditional pencils, they cut down on the negative impact of deforestation, another plus for saving the trees.
So, which mechanical pencil is ‘write’ for you? We’ve got five great options to choose from.
1. Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil
Designed with a comfort, extra-soft latex free grip that makes writing all day easy on your hand, the Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil comes with a number of features, including an extra-large eraser (two bonus refills included), a well-balanced barrel and the option of selecting 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm lead sizes. The 12 pencils included in each box come preloaded with Pentel Super Hi-Polymer HB lead, which writes dark and doesn’t smudge.
Pros: Well-balanced barrel, good weight, extra large eraser and comes pre-loaded with lead so it’s ready to use.
Cons: The cap occasionally comes loose and the lead may fall out.
2. Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencils
Each box of the Paper Mate SharpWriter Mechanical Pencils includes 36 #2 lead mechanical pencils. The pencils include a shock absorbing tip that reduces lead breakage and a smooth twist design that allows for more lead to be released. The pink eraser makes mistakes easy to forget and do-overs easy to make happen, and the sleek design makes them easy to pack in large quantities without taking up too much space in your backpack or satchel.
Pros: Shock-absorbing tip, twistable tip makes it easy to release more lead, reliable eraser, perfect for standardized tests.
Cons: Occasionally the lead can get jammed in the protective tip.
3. BIC Extra-Sparkle Mechanical Pencil
These BIC Extra-Sparkle mechanical pencils are colorful, festive and take #2 lead making them perfect for standardized tests and other pencil writing needs. This pencil never needs sharpening and requires one simple click of the eraser to dispense more lead. The lead writes smoothly and won’t smudge so your work stays tidy. It also has an eraser on the other end so you can quickly correct mistakes.
Pros: Colorful, festive design, easy lead dispensing, lead writes smoothly and avoids smudging.
Cons: Sometimes erasing pushes the click function and dispenses more lead.
4. MozArt Supplies Mechanical Pencil With Case
This mechanical pencil from MozArt Supplies has a compact, lightweight design that’s non-slip and ergonomic. It comes in an elegant, clear case so you can bring your supplies anywhere you go and the pencils are made to be comfortable during long writing and drawing sessions. The pencil is designed with consistent lead thickness so your drawing or writing will come out smoothly, and the refills fit into the case so you’ll never run out of the lead you need.
Pros: Ergonomic barrel design, plenty of refills, clear case so transport is easy.
Cons: Pencils do not have a built-in eraser.
5. Papermate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil
This mechanical pencil from Papermate creates clear, precise lines every time with a thick, ergonomic barrel and a side lead advance for easy dispensing. The soft grip adds to the comfort and ease of using this pencil, and it has a jumbo twist-up eraser that makes correcting mistakes easy. This pack comes with four pencils so you’ll have plenty to switch between, and the design is ideal for everyone from students to artists and designers.
Pros: Thick barrel design that’s comfortable to hold, side lead advance makes dispensing easy, soft grip, jumbo eraser.
Cons: Takes 0.7mm lead, slightly larger than other pencils.