If you're an artist who prefers pencils, you might be looking for the best mechanical pencil for drawing. Or, maybe you just need a good drafting pencil. You may be sick and tired of writing with the cheap, disposable options you'll find during back-to-school shopping.

In any case, finding the best mechanical pencil for drawing can seem like a tall order. How much should you spend? What should you look for? Are there any go-to brands? If you've only just discovered how comfortable and easy they can be to use, you may not know what your options are or how one differs from another. All you know is that you prefer the ease and convenience of mechanical pencils over wood.

Comparison Table

Things You Should Know About the Best Mechanical Pencil for Drawing

two mechanical pencils and several graphite sticks

Image Source: Pixabay.com

It's not unusual to have some questions about using the best mechanical pencil for drawing. Just what is a mechanical pencil, anyway? What makes a mechanical pencil a better option than a regular old wooden pencil? Is there an easy way to tell a good mechanical pencil from a bad one? Lastly, are there any special considerations or features to think about?

What is a mechanical pencil?

Mechanical pencils use graphite sticks loaded into the pencil by themselves, rather than bonded to wood as with a normal pencil. They use a mechanical action, often a push button, to extend for use.

You can find all kinds of variations available, and many brands offer a selection of products, including various widths and even color options. Most people become familiar with mechanical pencils while at school as children.

What makes a mechanical pencil a better option than a regular pencil?

Many artists prefer mechanical pencils over wooden pencils. There are a few different reasons for that. First, precision. It's easy to get the exact stroke you want every single time. From the size of the lead to the weight of the pencil, something should be said for consistency. A mechanical pencil gives you full control over lead diameter, pencil size, and more.

Secondly, mechanical pencils are relatively low-maintenance and low-mess in comparison to the traditional wooden versions. After all, it's never necessary to sharpen a mechanical pencil. The store of graphite within a mechanical pencil is also far greater than that of a wooden pencil, decreasing overall time and effort spent maintaining it.

It's also easier to draw fine lines with mechanical pencils -- a small diameter graphite stick in a mechanical pencil is only equaled by a wooden pencil undergoing near-constant sharpening.

How do you tell a good mechanical pencil from a bad one?

a mechanical pencil

Image Source: Pixabay.com

If you're looking for the best mechanical pencil for drawing, you clearly want quality and reliability. Good customer reviews, long-lasting construction, and quality materials set a good mechanical pencil apart.

Then again, even a cheap mechanical pencil gets the job done well enough. Plus, you may want a set. That way you can get pencils of varying hardness and diameter without having to settle on just one size or texture.

Are there any special considerations or features to think about?

The main things to keep in mind when shopping for the best mechanical pencil are the thickness of the lead (diameter), the softness or hardness of it, and, of course, the price. What are you looking to invest?

One other consideration is aesthetics. If you intend to buy a lasting set of pencils, you might as well make them something you enjoy looking at and using.

When it comes to lead softness or hardness, the scale that is employed is the graphite grading scale. Softer pencils leave darker marks, but also dull faster. Balancing the softness of your lead when drawing with pencils is key to proper shading technique.

Also, a retractable lead is something to consider. While all mechanical pencils allow you to extend the lead, not all allow you to fine-tune the exact length. This ability allows you to prevent breakage and get more precision from your pencil.

Our Process 

a mechanical pen on top of a pad paper

Image Source: Pixabay.com

To find the best products for you, we first familiarized ourselves with exactly what makes a mechanical pencil desirable to an artist, drafter, or those who spend a lot of time writing by hand.

Then, we consulted professional reviews to get a breakdown of what's dominating the market right now.

The most important step in our review process is consulting verified reviews. After all, one of the most critical metrics of quality when it comes to any product is customer satisfaction.

What to Expect to Spend 

You can find workable pencils for just a few dollars, but there are also beautiful, lasting sets of mechanical pencils that cost much more. How much you want to spend is entirely up to you. When it really comes down to it, the graphite contained within is largely the same regardless of what you spend on the pencil itself.

The Best Mechanical Pencil for Drawing: Here Are Our Top Picks

If you want to buy the best mechanical pencil for drawing, look no further. Chances are, we've got it on our list. Check out these great options below:

MstrSktch Drawing Mechanical Pencils

Mechanical Drawing Pencils for Artists - 9 Piece Travel Set
  • ARTISTS - Do you love sketching every day? Do you want the convenience of having your whole kit together and close at...
  • THE ULTIMATE SET - The MstrSktch drawing mechanical pencil set comes with 3 metal pencils sized 2.0 mm with a click to...
  • 2MM MECHANICAL PENCIL LEADS: 3 Sets (Qty: 12 ea) - HB Leads to meet the majority of drawing challenges. 5B Leads are...

This mechanical pencil set comes with three self-feeding pencils. Each takes 2mm lead refills, and the set comes with three varieties of refills. Each type of pencil lead comes with 12 refills.

To cover most needs, this set includes a set of HB leads, which have average hardness. It also includes 5B leads, which are soft and prone to breakage. In fact, the availability of 2mm pencils is somewhat rare for that reason. Last, this mechanical pencil set also includes 4H leads, which are hard and light -- perfect for stencils, tracing, and doing light outline work.

There are also some cool extras with this product. The convenient travel case that these pencils come in has additional space for other art supplies, and there's also a nail file sharpener that allows you to put precise, custom edges on your pencil leads.

Plus, kneaded eraser putty! Moldable erasers are an awesome thing to have around when you're drawing with pencils -- how useful it is for precision smudging and shading simply cannot be overstated.

MozArt Supplies Essential Mechanical Pencil Set 

MozArt Supplies Mechanical Pencil Set with Case - 4 Sizes: 0.3, 0.5,...
  • THE ULTIMATE SET - The MozArt mechanical pencil set comes with 4 tip sizes:0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9mm - The pack includes...
  • EVERYDAY WRITING TOOL - Our mechanical pencil lead set is perfect for everyday use. These drawing pencils offers...
  • CONVENIENCE AND CONSISTENCY - Teach kids or beginners how to draw - Our mechanical pencils are simple and easy to use -...

If you're looking for a set with a bit more variation in size than our previous product, this one might be a good choice for you. And this set offers versatility without much of an investment.

With four pencils of differing sizes, including 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 mm, this set offers a variety of precision options for perfect drafting, sketching, tracing, and more. The set also includes 30 extra leads for each tip size. All of the leads are the same hardness, HB, so if you want more variation than that, you'll have to do some extra shopping for leads. There are also extra erasers included.

With a great design that's light and easy to grip, it's easy to see why customers love this mechanical pencil set so much. It's definitely a contender for the best mechanical pencil for drawing.

Last but not least, this company has great customer service. They promise satisfaction, and if you are not satisfied, they are very communicative with customers and eager to solve any issues you may have.

Jovitech 3-Piece Mechanical Pencil Set 

Jovitec 3 Pieces 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil with 2 Cases Lead Refills,...
  • Mechanical pencil set: contains 3 pieces 2.0 mm 2B mechanical pencils (blue, black and silver); 2 Cases of lead refills...
  • Smooth and long-lasting: strengthened lead and inner structure offer you a steady performance for sketching, drawing,...
  • Multiple functions: with a sharpener in the cap of automatic pencil, you can sharpen the lead refills easily and...

This three-piece set offers something that other options on this list do not: color. The 2mm leads included in this mechanical pencil set come in two sets. One is black, and the other is a rainbow of different colors.

And with three 2mm pencil bodies stylishly colored in black, blue, and silver, the leads that come with this set aren't the only pretty thing, either. The caps for the pencils also include a lead sharpener, so you can get a custom edge no matter where you are. Now that's convenient!

Unfortunately, this product does have some customer complaints we feel obliged to mention. Some customers mentioned that construction quality is poor. Another customer claimed that their product shipped with only two pencils, not three as advertised.

Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil 

Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Black (PG525A)
  • 4mm tip length makes it ideal for use with rulers and templates
  • Metallic mesh grip on a slim, beveled barrel promotes control when writing
  • Weighted at your fingertips for precise drafting and template work

Specifically designed for drafting and tracing, this mechanical pencil comes with a 4mm tip that makes for easy precision. Unlike many of the other options on this list, this is just a single mechanical pencil -- it is not part of a set.

It comes available in four different sizes, depending on your preference. Additionally, it has a weighted tip that keeps the pencil balanced near your fingertips. You'll notice the difference immediately -- it's rare to have a pencil feel so smooth over paper.

Jimmidda Mechanical Pencils 

Mechanical Pencils, Jimmidda 0.5,0.7, 2.0, and 3.0, with HB Lead and...
  • Jimmidda Metal Threaded Anti-skidding pen tube. It is hard to be broken and drop resistant.
  • We offer 4 different sizes, respectively 0.5 and 0.7,2.0 and 3.0, for your maximum and most favorable experience.
  • Metal threaded Anti-skidding designation exactly help you did the best writings, drawings. It brings you more effective...

The best part of this option from Jimmidda is the increased range of pencil sizes. Like other pencils on this list, it comes in four sizes. Unlike other options, the range of sizes actually has some significance -- 0.5, 0.7, 2, and 3mm sizes mean that you'll have a better ability to get the exact shading you want on a drawing.

Many reviewers mention how weighty these pencils feel in your hand. While not a positive or a negative exactly, the weight may influence whether or not you're interested in picking this set up.

Pentel Arts GraphGear 1000 Premium Gift Set

Mechanical Pencils, Jimmidda 0.5,0.7, 2.0, and 3.0, with HB Lead and...
  • Jimmidda Metal Threaded Anti-skidding pen tube. It is hard to be broken and drop resistant.
  • We offer 4 different sizes, respectively 0.5 and 0.7,2.0 and 3.0, for your maximum and most favorable experience.
  • Metal threaded Anti-skidding designation exactly help you did the best writings, drawings. It brings you more effective...

Last, but certainly not least, we've got another offering from Pental Arts.

More so than any other pencils on this list, this might just be the best mechanical pencil for drawing. Like the GraphGear 500, this model comes with a 4mm tip that makes it perfect for use with rulers, stencils, or other tools.

There's just one major downside: It costs more than other sets. However, this set makes a great gift. And if you can look past the price, you should definitely consider these pencils. They're made of high-quality metal and designed to be long-lasting. The mechanical action both extends and withdraws your lead, allowing you to get the perfect length and preventing early breakage.

On top of that, these pencils have a built-in hardness indicator, letting you know exactly what is in your pencil at a given time.

Also, this is a four-piece set, coming in varying sizes -- 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm are all included within this set. The various sizes are color-coded for easy at-a-glance identification.

Do You Know How to Find the Best Mechanical Pencil for Drawing?

You can find workable pencils for just a few dollars, but there are also beautiful, lasting sets of mechanical pencils that cost much more. How much you want to spend is entirely up to you. When it really comes down to it, the graphite contained within is largely the same regardless of what you spend on the pencil itself.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash.com





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