Mechanical pencils, also called clutch pencils, are pencils with a replaceable and mechanically extendable solid lead core. They are used for a variety of things from drawing to writing and even technical drawings are being done with them.
One big advantage of these pencils is that you don’t need to sharpen them ever.
If you don´t want to look through the whole guide here are the three top picks that I recommend getting.buying
Alvin Draft/Matic Pencil
Pentel Graph Gear 1000
This is my full comparison of the best mechanical pencils in 2020.
I have tested well over 30 mechanical pencils and these are the 6 very best mechanical pencils for drawing and writing, that I could find.
I tested them on grip, how they feel in the hand when writing and drawing, I have testet them on their durability and how fast they break down, how expensive they are and if they are worth it, how they look and more.
1. Alvin Draft/Matic Pencil
Detailed Review of the Alvin Draft/Matic Pencil
It has Metal knurling at the tip of the pencil wich makes the grip feel fantastic. Even after 50 hours of drawing and writing with this pencil, it has very minimal signs of me using it.
The lead can easily be refilled and if you press the button the lead comes out very smoothly. A lot of artists are using this pencil for drawing, illustration, technical drawings. You can shade with it and you can vary your line weight very well with this pencil too.
It is well balanced and very durable. This pencil will not break so easily, the only weakness I found was the clip, which could be bend back but even if that part broke off the pencil would still work just fine!
This pencil is also not very expensive and you get great value for your money! I used this marker for some of my illustrations and it feels great to draw and write with it. I had some mechanical pencils where the tip or the mechanism broke down after a while but not with this one.
Some mechanical pencils have a rubber coating at the tip for better grip but these coatings tend to rip or fall off eventually the Alvin Draft/Matic Pencil doesn´t have this problem because of its metal knurling at the tip.
The only two downsides, that I could find (and I really had to be picky to find these two) are that the eraser tends to wear down quickly if you use it and it has to be replaced. And the metal cap, that normally covers the eraser can be lost easily if you are not careful. But that’s it.
This is my number one pick because it is a very high-quality pencil that is well worth his money and this pencil will be at your side for a long time!
2. Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Pencils
Detailed Review of the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Pencil
The Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Pencils have a chiseled metallic grip, that is inlaid with soft rubber pads. This pen has an amazing grip to it and it is very comfortable to write with it.
It is has a nice weight to it and is very well balanced. When I first held it in my hand it was feeling kinda heavy but after the first few lines it was like I had drawn with it for an eternity already, that´s how fast I got comfortable with it.
This pen is also very durable even the rubber inlay, that I thought maybe a weak spot, turned out to be very robust. Only my 0.3 size pencil started making some problems after I used it for a while and apparently this happens to other people quite often too. So I would stay away from the 0.3 sizes and maybe use 0.5 or higher. They are great and durable.
Even if you write or draw with the Graph Gear 1000 for long periods of time it is still very comfortable and they don´t put a lot of strain on your hand, as far as I can tell.
These pencils are very good for drawing and illustrating. I personally used them for quite some drawings and the lines are sharp and you can control the line weight very well.
The only downside I could really find was that the 0.3 sizes tend to breakdown quite easily comüpared to the other sizes but the other sizes perform so well and are so durable, that I still have to recommend this pencil. It´s just amazing and it looks very slick too.
You can buy these pencils in a set of all sizes and extra leads, which I would recommend, but you can also buy them individually.
3. Koh-I-Noor Mephisto Profi Mechanical Pencil
Detailed Review of the Koh-I-Noor Mephisto
The grip is good but it has a full rubber grip, which I personally don´t like. It feels a little cheap and the rubber tends to get dirty fast. I also accidentally chipped a part of the rubber off and had to live with an uncomfortable grip for the rest of the drawing.
It is well balanced and quite sturdy if you ignore the rubber grip that is.
The eraser does not have a cap on it, which is great, you instead turn the back part of the pencil to make the eraser protrude and retreat. The eraser is very good, better than in most mechanical pencils.
The lead of this pencil is very good as well. It doesn´t smear and it can be erased easily. Refilling the lead is quite easy too and the mechanism for feeding the lead works perfectly and is surprisingly robust.
The lead, as well as the eraser, can be easily bought and replaced and they are quite cheap, compared to the other options, as well without loosing to quality. You can easily find replacements for both in many different online and offline stores.
These pencils can only be bought in singles. There is, as far as I know, no set available to buy as of the writing of this article.
They have a very subtle color coding for the strength of the leads at the bottom of the pencils right above the tip. So you can see what kind of lead you are using with one quick look.
It is cheaper than most mechanical pencils but this one won´t hold as long as an Alvin Draft/Matic Pencil. So this might be a good choice if you want to try out using a mechanical pencil. But if you want something that is durable and for the long term, I wouldn´t go for this one.
4. Pentel Graph Gear 500 Pencil
Pentel Graph Gear 500 Pencil Detailed Review
The Pentel Graph Gear 500 has a nice weight to just like the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 and it has a nice grip to it. Just like the Pentel Graph Gear 1100 the Pentel Graph Gear 500 has a metal knurling at its tip for a better grip.
The lead, as well as the eraser, can be replaced easily and the clicker, that feeds the lead, is working very well and it has a nice feel to it as well.
The color coding is very prominent on this pen, which I personally don´t like. The color coding is indicating which lead-size the pencil needs. Almost the complete pencil is in the color corresponding to the right lead size, that is too much in my opinion.
The eraser is covered by a cap, that can very easily be lost, which is bad because pressing on the eraser itself to feed the lead is very annoying.
The metal tip, while stylish and very good for the grip, can hurt after a long period of using the pen. So when I drew a bigger piece my fingers started hurting because of the pen’s tip after a while.
The pen is not looking smooth or stylish and the plastic in the middle of the pen makes it look a little cheap even though this is a good pencil, it doesn´t look like one.
Overall I can recommend this pen if you are looking for a cheap mechanical pen to get started but if you are serious about drawing or if you want a really high-quality writing pen then I would recommend the bigger brother of the Pentel Graph Gear 500, which is the Pentel Graph Gear 1000.
5. Pentel Graphlet Mechanical Pencil
Pentel Graphlet Detailed Review
like almost all the pentel mechanical pencils the Pental Graphlet has a metal core and metal knurling at its tip for optimal grip.
The color code for the size of the lead is subtle at the end of the pencil near the eraser, which is perfect. It is elegantly subtle and can still be seen easily.
These pencils are sturdy and don´t break easy, except for the 0.3 sizes again. I had this problem with a few mechanical pencils. All sizes were fine and held a long time except for the 0.3 sizes. A lot of shops sell the 0.3 size pencils cheaper and I think this is the main reason why.
The Pental Graphlet has an annoying cover for the eraser too, which I don´t like. They are easily lost and you have to remove them every time you want to erase something.
Changing the lead and the eraser is very easy and you can get extra leads and erasers in a lot of artists’ shops online and offline.
The metal tip is great for the grip and you can hold it well in your hands however if you draw or write for long periods of time your fingers can start to hurt.
All Pentel mechanical pencils are very high quality and this one is no exception. I liked drawing with it and it would be higher on my list but its two bigger brothers the Pentel Graph Gear 500 and the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 outperform the Pentel Graphlet on too many levels.
6. Uni-Ball Kuru Toga Pencils
Uni-Ball Kuru Toga Detailed Review
The Uni-Ball Kuru Toga Pencils are well crafted, have a nice grip and have a unique mechanism, that rotates the lead to keep it sharp.
The leads are very durable and don´t break easy, the pen is very durable as well even though it is made out of plastic.
The erasers are very short and you run through them very quickly but there is no cover on the eraser, so that’s a plus.
You can refill them easily but the leads for this pencil are sometimes hard to come by. But most online art stores have them in stock.
I found them to be amazing for writing but they are not that great if it comes to drawing. The lead is always very sharp which makes it kinda hard to shade wich sometimes. Varying line weight is simple with this pen though so if you are only using this pencil for writing and line art I can recommend it!
I didn´t found this pen very comfortable to hold and draw with, the plastic isn´t feeling all that great when holding it and the pen looks kinda cheap and fragile, even though it isn´t.
There is a little rubber ring at the tip, that is supposed to help you hold it better and make it comfortable to hold but it is the exact opposite. I didn´t like it all that much.
The pencil is on the cheaper side but there are better cheaper mechanical pencils out there. I would recommend this pencil to writers and line artist as its unique mechanism is very good for drawing sharp lines without the need for a sharpener or without the need for rotating the pencil.