Updated October 15, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

The 10 Best Mechanical Pencils

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in April of 2018. Far removed from the yellow, wooden relics of yesteryear, today's mechanical pencils take advantage of close tolerances and clever technology to provide the ultimate writing and drawing experience, with features like auto-advancement and rotating sleeves. Engineers, authors, and sketch artists alike will appreciate the care and attention that's gone into these fine instruments. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best mechanical pencil on Amazon.

10. FastCap Fatboy

9. Autopoint Twin

8. Staedtler Technical

7. Pentel Orenz Nero

6. Uni-Ball Kuru Toga

5. Pentel Sharp

4. Zebra Stainless Steel

3. Graph Gear 1000

2. Rotring Rapid Pro

1. Kuru Toga Roulette

Editor's Notes

October 04, 2019:

You might be surprised at how enthusiastic some people are about their pencils, and no matter what you're using it for, there's probably one that will get you at least a little excited. If you're working on a DIY project you'll want something like the FastCap, though for more precise or technical projects you might want to go with the Staedtler, a longtime beloved manufacturer of writing utensils. The Autopoint Twin is another relatively specialized model that's ideal for anyone grading papers or making notes on their own rough draft.

If you're going for an inexpensive and lightweight option that's comfortable for all-day use, the Pentel Sharp is one of the most well-known such choices around. The Zebra is a little less popular but you may actually prefer how it feels in the hand. For a little more money you can move to an innovative rotating model like the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga or the slightly upgraded Roulette, both of which keep your writing a consistent width while making it less likely you'll poke holes in the paper. For serious drafting, many engineers really like the Graph Gear 1000 thanks in part to its hefty metal barrel. The Rotring is a good compromise between a heavy drafting pencil and a lightweight note-taking utensil. If you really want to get fancy, check out the Pentel Orenz Nero, which combines some of the best parts of all the options into one luxurious, albeit expensive device.


Christopher Thomas
Last updated on October 15, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


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