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Best Mechanical Pencils 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Mechanical Pencils of 2018
The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting mechanical pencils that best serves your needs and as per your budget. On that note, I review the three best mechanical pencils of 2018 to help you get value for your money.
If you’re scouring the market for the best mechanical pencils, you’d better have the right info before spending your money. I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best mechanical pencils that you can buy this year.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this mechanical pencils win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
Why did this mechanical pencils come in second place?
I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
№3 – Pack of 24 Art Frenzy Premium Multi Color Shimmery Pencils – Bold Fine Point – Retractable and Refillable Mechanical Pencils – Assorted Colors – by Utopia Homes
Why did this mechanical pencils take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
Mechanical Pencils Buyer’s Guide
Mechanical Pencils generally fall into two categories: Drafting or General Writing.
Drafting pencils have long, straight, lead sleeves which helps the pencil to follow along in stencils or other straight-edges. Drafting pencils may also have lead hardness indicators which can be changed to match the type of lead in the pencil. Though drafting pencils are designed with some sort of technical drawing in mind, many people prefer to use them for other types of writing.
The term general writing pencil is meant to encompass all non-drafting pencils, and many are characterized by conic or short lead sleeves, a soft grip designed for extended writing, and some sort of eraser.
How we picked
To find a set of pencils that would suit different people for different tasks, we took two routes. First, we talked to the experts. Much like with our piece on pens, we turned to the thriving network of pencil lovers and stationery bloggers who have spent more hands-on time with these things than anyone else. We talked to a half-dozen experts: Dave Pye of Dave’s Mechanical Pencils, Brad Dowdy of Pen Addict, Elizabeth Price of No Pen Intended, Brian Greene of OfficeSupplyGeek, Austin Smith of ArtSupplyCritic, and Johnny Gamber of Pencil Revolution. All told, these folks have been reviewing writing utensils for a combined 3years, which provides an unparalleled body of knowledge.
Our experts keyed us in on general advice for what to look for with pencils, and also led us to a number of very high-quality pencils with different strengths and weaknesses. So in order to figure out what to prioritize, we turned to our readers for help. We surveyed more than a thousand of our readers, and got data on what they looked for in a mechanical pencil, but also the type of mechanical pencil they already used, and what (if anything) they liked about the ones they had.
There’s a certain amount of bias in that survey—after all, the sort of person who wants to answer a survey about mechanical pencils probably already is not your average pencil user—but it gave us some great information on what people are already using.
A lot of the data we gathered played into personal preferences. Some people need a large eraser, a triangular grip, or a side clicker. Which tip shape do they prefer? Another factor to consider is the amount of play: There are mechanical pencils with slightly looser lead sheaths in their tips, which some say creates a smoother writing experience, while others insist that a pencil that’s firmer feels much more precise—see a discussion about “cushioned lead” here.
The results of our reader survey and expert interviews led us to a short list of pencils that were all but universally loved, and all for totally different reasons, which we then tested ourselves for overall feel.
Each time you lift the pencil from the page, an internal ratcheting mechanism rotates the lead slightly, giving you a fresh surface.
A comparison of letters drawn using the Kuru Toga (top) versus an ordinary mechanical pencil after the same amount of writing. Image courtesy of Brian Greene of OfficeSupplyGeek.
With the Kuru Toga, each time you lift the pencil from the page, an internal ratcheting mechanism rotates the lead slightly, giving you a fresh surface. If you’re writing only a couple of lines, it’s not something you notice, but after a couple of pages of notes, you can really spot the difference—just look at the picture above! And if you look closely at the tinted plastic body of the pencil, you can even see markers along the shaft that show how much the Kuru Toga spins each time.
You can see how much the internal mechanism (the orange bit) has rotated after just a few short seconds of writing.
There are a couple of minor caveats to the rotational mechanism. It’s activated by pushing down on the page, so if you’re a very light writer, it might not rotate. And the actual rotation happens only once you lift your pencil, so it will happen less frequently for someone who writes in cursive than for someone who prints. Plus, since you’re always using the sharpest part of the lead, it tends to be a bit scratchier than other pencils—but that’s the price you pay for precision.
As for the pencil itself, it feels pretty standard. It has a fairly wide body to contain the mechanism for the constant lead rotation, and the grip is simply wavy plastic, though it’s solid and fairly comfortable. The pocket clip is functional, but it is made from cheap plastic and can’t be removed. The eraser is fairly small, but not the tiniest we’ve seen. Just based on the construction, there wouldn’t be much to make it special, but it’s that rotational mechanism that’s something else.
Dave Pye of Dave’s Mechanical Pencils, who is probably the most well-respected pencil reviewer on the Internet, got his hands on one way back in 200and showed off its efficacy against a standard pencil in short order. In an interview with us, we talked to him about our reader survey and what the responders thought was important, and he said the Kuru Toga was the best pick for most people based on those criteria, and he added, “The auto-rotating lead provides a real point of difference, something to think about whenever you use the pencil.”
Brad Dowdy of the Pen Addict complimented not just the rotation mechanism, but also the body, saying, “It is a fine mechanical pencil in its own right. The barrel is a sturdy plastic that feels like it can take a beating, and the clear grip, which is plastic as well, is surprisingly comfortable. The eraser is a little wobbly in action, but nothing too terrible.”
Pull Quote ”The barrel is a sturdy plastic that feels like it can take a beating, and the clear grip, which is plastic as well, is surprisingly comfortable.” –Brad Dowdy of Pen Addict
At the Atlantic, Steven Pool wrote about his love of mechanical pencils, and said of the Kuru Toga, “It was only on first trying a Kuru Toga that I realized I had for decades been unconsciously compensating for the chisel effect myself by turning the mechanical pencil in my fingertips every so often. That there was now no need to do so felt like a weird shift of perspective, a tiny Copernican revolution in my mechanical penciling.”
The Kuru Toga was also the favorite in our poll of more than a thousand readers. We asked the respondents if they already had a mechanical pencil that they liked, and of those who did, more than 1percent mentioned the Kuru Toga, surpassing any other pencil. Almost all of them
The Bad and The Ugly
Not all rOtring listings that look really good on the outside are quite as they seem. I’ve had a couple of pens I’ve purchased arrive at my door with a few imperfections that could make or break a deal for someone.
NOS 600 “gears” on left and heavily used and worn on the right.
With the 600s particularly, where the caps and barrels meet there are little “gears” so to speak that force these parts to line up. Well, an unfortunate flaw in these gears is that they wear down over time with long-term use. The cap and barrel may not have a scratch on them, but if the pen was used a lot during its time even with great care, these parts eventually start to become a bit loose. I purchased a silver 600 rollerball that was flawless on the outside, but once it arrived I noticed that the cap and barrel were a bit wiggly. The pen still works, but isn’t a nice snap fit like you’d find in a brand new one. A deal breaker? Maybe.
For this post, I have put together a collection of the best drafting pencils currently available for purchase.
Designed for professionals, these precision instruments use high-quality materials to allow you to do your best work. If cared for properly, these pencils should last a lifetime.
Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood Pencil
The sumptuous wood barrel of the Faber-Castell Ambition Pearwood coupled with the highly polished chrome trim makes this pencil a statement piece with real wow factor. Faber-Castell have a true pedigree when it comes to making fine writing instruments, with origins in the beginning of the 20th century and this pencil.
This sleek lightweight pencil has a modern feel and is simple to use, with the writing point twisting to extend and retract the lead. This pencil also refills through the writing point opening so there are no loose bits to lose or break.
The pen we all know and love. Ballpoint pens are probably the most widely used type of pen and are known for their reliability, availability, durability and reasonable prices. The pen functions with a small rotating ball – usually made from brass, steel or tungsten carbide, which ink clings to. The ball rotates as you write, leaving the ink on the paper while at the same time cleverly preventing the ink inside the reservoir from drying out.
The ink used in a ballpoint is generally oil-based viscous ink which is quick drying, will write on most surfaces and comes in a wide range of colours. The thicker ink in these pens can sometimes dry out on the ball when not in use but a quick scribble will usually get the ink flowing again.
Ballpoints come in a range of tip sizes – fine, medium and bold to suit your needs and satisfy your personal preference whether in the office, at school or for personal use at home.
Both disposable and refillable ballpoints are available.
Rollerballs work in the same way a ballpoint does, but using thinner water-based ink so that the effect on paper is similar to that of a fountain pen. The low viscosity ink in a rollerball flows freely with little pressure required whilst writing. This helps reduce the risk of tired or aching hands after a lengthy writing session.
Ink from a rollerball tends take a little longer to dry and may bleed through some of the more absorbent types of paper so a little extra care may be needed, although that’s a small price to pay for the superb, professional looking lines that can be created with these pens. As the ink in a rollerball flows more freely than the ink in a ballpoint, the lifespan of the refill may be shorter.
Rollerballs will either be retractable or they will come with a lid. Ensure the lid is placed on the pen when not in use, to prevent the pen from drying out. Rollerballs start off at a reasonable price and many are refillable so you never need to be parted from your favourite pen. Tip sizes vary from super fine to bold. Which size you choose simply comes down to personal preference and depends on the type of work you will use your pen for.
Fineliners have a fine tip which is ideal for creating those slightly more delicate lines. Whether it’s sketching, illustrating or writing that you’re into – or anything else which requires attention to detail, for that matter. A fineliner gives handwriting a crisper, clearer look, especially small handwriting. Fineliners come in a range of different colours and the line widths tend to be under 0.7mm, with the finest being 0.3mm.
If you’re looking for that perfect finish, technical pens are available to do just that. These pens are favoured by architects, draughtsmen and engineers. They give a precise line and are ideal for use on a range of surfaces, including tracing paper, vellum drawing paper and line board. Most technical pens are refillable with replacement nibs often available. They come in a variety of line widths ranging from the superfine 0.mm to a much thicker 1.0mm. You could opt for one of our Rotring sets which contain the basics to get you started.
Fountain pens are viewed by many as being one of the most luxurious ways to put pen to paper. They work using gravity and capillary action to get the ink through the feed and onto the paper via the nib. Fountain pens offer a smooth continuous ink flow and very little pressure is needed when writing.
The nibs are usually made from stainless steel or gold and are available in a range of sizes: fine, medium and bold. The more expensive fountain pens come in beautiful designs which are often considered treasured items by their owners.
The methods of getting ink into a fountain pen vary, although the easiest and most convenient way is via a replaceable cartridge. Other refill methods use bottled ink which, although they offer a wider range of inks and colours, are less convenient for using on the go. When you’ve found the fountain pen you wish to purchase, it’s always a good idea to research which method it uses to ensure it is compatible with your lifestyle and requirements.
Disposable fountain pens are also available and are suitable for everyday use. These pens are not refillable but still provide you with a smooth, enjoyable writing experience. They come with an iridium ball nib and sizes range from 0.7mm to 0.3mm. The Pentel JM20 has a duel sided nib in sizes from 0.3mm to 0.4mm, allowing you to adjust it to suit your own personal preference and style.
These pens are used for highlighting text and come in bright fluorescent colours, bringing text to the attention of the reader with ease. Most highlighters have a chiselled tip which produces a broad line through the text but can be used to achieve a finer line when underlining. Line widths range from 1mm to 5mm, making highlighting text of any size an easy task.
Over-head projector (OHP) pens are designed to write on OHP film but are also suitable to use on most other glossy surfaces.
OHP pens offer both a permanent and non-permanent option. If you’re looking to make your presentation colourful and eye-catching you could opt for one of our assorted colour packs which include some, or all, of the following colours: black, blue, red, orange, green, brown, purple and yellow. You can choose from a wide range of line widths, including: 0.4mm, 0.6mm, 0.8mm, 1mm and 3mm.
Pencils are made from a mixture of graphite and clay which is then placed into a protective casing, most commonly wood, or in the case of a mechanical pencil – plastic or metal.
However, a pencil is not just a pencil. Any artist who uses pencils regularly will be interested in the hardness of the lead, which ranges from hard (2H, 3H, 4H, 5H, 6H, 7H, 8H, 9H,) to black (B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B). HB is the most common type of pencil, used for most everyday writing tasks. 9H is the hardest and will leave the lightest mark on paper, while 9B is the softest and will leave the darkest mark on paper.
Colouring pens and pencils
A popular drawing tool for both children and adults, colouring pencils are available in either round or hexagonal barrels. You can choose from the standard colouring pencil or the blendable colouring pencil which helps you create those softer edges, and water colour pencils which give your creations a stunning water colour paint effect when brush strokes of water are added.
We also stock long lasting felt tip pens that come in both broad and fine tips, available in a vast range of colours. These are washable, making them the ideal choice for school children, whether in the classroom or at home.
Crayons are particularly suitable for children as they are hard wearing, cover large areas and will not create any unwanted mess. They can be sharpened so you can keep them in tip top condition and are also erasable. They are available in a range of bright, eye catching colours …. Let those imaginations run wild.
Everyone has their one special pen – their first choice when they dip into the pen pot. Once you’ve found yours, you’ll want to know how to refill it so that you can use it for ever and ever and ever….
We stock a selection of refills including Parker, Waterman, Cross and Rotring. Refills are available for ballpoints, rollerballs and technical pens. Fountain pen refills are available in the form of both cartridges and bottled ink.
Either check the packaging, or look at the refill inside your pen to find out which type your pen requires. Most ballpoints, rollerballs and gel pens simply need to be unscrewed for refill purposes. Take care when refilling so you don’t lose any springs or other small parts that the pen may contain.
Refilling a fountain pen which uses a disposable cartridge is straight forward. The cartridge is simply pushed on, piercing the top and allowing the ink to escape. Check the packaging to find out which cartridges are compatible with your pen.
The refill process can sometimes be a little more complicated (or more fun, depending on how you look at it) with a fountain pen which uses bottled ink. These fountain pens may need to be filled via the piston mechanism, which uses suction, or manually via a syringe.
Choosing the line width
The line width you choose for your pen will depend on personal preference and the type of work you intend to use your pen for. Line widths range from a very thin 0.1mm on fineliners, all the way up to a 14.8mm on pens such as markers. The average size of a medium point pen is around 0.7mm or 0.8mm, so that’s a good starting point when deciding how thick or thin you’d like your lines to be.
Non-Slip Rubber Grip
When using a pencil for hours and hours, your hands start to tire and it is only natural to slip. However, thanks to the non-slip rubber grip installed on this pencil, users can actually use these pencils for hours and hours without ever experiencing a slip. The rubber grip also provides extreme comfort and prevents any damage to your fingers.
Derwent Mechanical Pencil.
Derwent have been extremely busy over the past year or so and we as consumers are about to bare all the fruits of their labour. Let me be a bit more specific, Derwent have been working on a few new products of which I am incredibly honoured to have been allowed access to, for review purposes. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so we will take it one new product at a time.
No Toe Dipping For Derwent
I guess people might wonder why Derwent are bringing a Mechanical pencil to join their already vast range of graphite wood barrelled, I thought the same myself when I first heard. However, after a few minutes thinking, it definitely makes sense and here is why I think so.
Graphite artists love their wood barrelled pencils, with a vast range of graphite hardness and softness cores, but may artists, including technical drawing professionals, love the precision a mechanical pencil gives them and with that, Derwent had never catered to this group, until now.
Derwent however, are not just dipping their toes into this market, gauging how things are going to play out, no, they are going all in and have produced a thing of beauty in my opinion. I have actually spoke to Derwent about this product and feel their price point for the mechanical pencil is crazy and I mean crazy cheap, for what you get.
Three Spare Erasers
In line with the benefits that a mechanical pencil brings to an artist or professional draughtsman, Derwent have named their new mechanical pencil “Derwent Precision”, an incredibly apt name for a tool that certainly delivers its name sake.
Pencil Barrel With Derwent Precision Printed
The barrel is a striking black matt polished metal, and although it feels like a round barrel, when you look closer and run your finger round the diameter, you will discover it is a Hexadecagon, a 1sided shape.
Along one side of the barrel is the lettering “Derwent Precision” printed in silver, which can at times be a little bit reflective in the light but attractive non the less. Further along the barrel is printed the diameter of the pencil core and in this instance it is 0.5mm.
Lapel Clip and Core Size
The black barrel sports aesthetically pleasing, chrome like metal nib and push button on the top. Along with the push button is a strong lapel clip allowing for the pencil to be tucked into any pocket and clipped for added security. on removing the metal push button at the top of the pencil, a small white eraser, which as I previously stated, three extra erasers come with this pencil straight out of the box, four in total, including the one already on the pencil.
Derwent Precision Metal Nib a lot of mechanical pencil when placed into a pocket or pencil case get destroyed due to the protrusion of the delicate metal nib sheath that guides the thin graphite core to the exterior. Derwent have this covered with the addition of a retractable nib, a welcomed addition to the product I am sure you will agree and yet another reason I feel this pencil is such an amazing price.
Grades and Cores
Derwent’s new “Derwent Precision” mechanical pencil comes in two core sizes, 0.5mm and 0.7mm, pretty standard sizes for this type of product. Regarding the actual graphite core grades, currently the only two grades available are HB and 2B, nothing has been said with regards the addition of other grades, one step at a time I think. Although this is Derwent’s first product of this kind, I am absolutely thrilled with the pencil and think you guys will be too.
Derwent Precision Eraser
I have found that especially with the mechanical pencils sporting a retractable nib, the price points are normally, but not always, in and around the £1mark, so for Derwent’s price of £7.9I really think this is going to be yet another winner for Derwent.
Regarding the release date and when the public can expect to purchase one of these stylish mechanical pencils, you will not have too much longer to wait with an expected release date of mid to end of June 2017.
Derwent Graphic Full Set Graphite Pencils, 9B-9H – Set of 24
Dixon Golf Pencil, Hexagonal Barrel, Yellow Finish, 144-Count (14998)
Box of 14hexagonal shaped pencils Great for raffles, lotteries, surveys, auctions No. black writing core PMA certified non-toxic Earn free …
GANSSIA Colorful Series Design 0.5mm Mechanical Pencils With Eraser Pack of Pcs
Geddes Incentive Pencils, Various Phrases for Kids, Set of 14(64244)
Assortment contains 1assorted messages including Awesome!, You Did It!, Excellent!, Honor Student, I Am Special, Fantastic!, and more Pencils …
This is a killer feature that no other pencil can match. The ratcheting internal mechanism rotates the tip of the lead slightly each time your pencil leaves the page, so less time is spent adjusting your pencil and more time is spent just straight-up writing. More important, your lines are always even and at their sharpest—no more lines getting fatter and fatter as you work your way down the page.
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Expert’s post artistocrat wrote
This question can be found in GMATPrep>Practice Content>Review Questions>Q.14
I agree that just because a product is superior doesn’t guarantee an increase in sales. You could just as easily argue that if the market for mechanical pencils expands, assuming market share is constant, then there will be an increase in sales as in B.
For these reasons, I believe that the question is poorly written.
Yes, I do agree with you. The product, though superior is more expensive. So there is no guarantee that its sales will increase. Also, in its own way, even B strengthens the argument. If overall sales increase, there is a good chance that this company’s sales will also increase.
But, if you need to make the best of a given question, it would be good to note that E strengthens the argument more than B. B gives you an outside factor that could increase the sales. E is an inherent quality of the product that could increase sales.
This post receivedKUDOS
Yes, I do agree with you. The product, though superior is more expensive. So there is no guarantee that its sales will increase. Also, in its own way, even B strengthens the argument. If overall sales increase, there is a good chance that this company’s sales will also increase.
But, if you need to make the best of a given question, it would be good to note that E strengthens the argument more than B. B gives you an outside factor that could increase the sales. E is an inherent quality of the product that could increase sales. nice explanation..+to you.. also in B if sales triple may be the company metioned is not the one to be benifited, may be some other company will sweep the market because of several reasons for ex lesser cost,better quality etc..so clearly E wins..
Expert’s post gettinit wrote
I believe the argument says the lead is more expensive but not mechanical pencil itself is more expensive. The argument has to do with selling more pencils through which more lead would be sold at a more expensive price. E suggests more pencils will be sold because they are superior (not more expensive), hence leading to an increase in pencil lead sold.
The answer should be B.
If a market experiences increased demand, why wouldn’t Write Company retain its market share and therefore sell more lead? That would be the most likely scenario in real life.
The fact that the new pencil model is of superior quality means very little. The world is full of high quality products which never sold. We know nothing about the price compared with the competition, for example, or whether there is any consumer awareness of the pencil’s superiority, in other words there is no reason to believe it will sell well.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Mechanical Pencils wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Mechanical Pencils
- №1 — LOUTOC Mechanical Pencils
- №2 — June Gold 72 Mechanical Pencils
- №3 — Pack of 24 Art Frenzy Premium Multi Color Shimmery Pencils – Bold Fine Point – Retractable and Refillable Mechanical Pencils – Assorted Colors – by Utopia Homes