The Best Mechanical Pencils For Drawing In 2023

Last updated: Today

Erin Carpenter

Top 5 Best Mechanical Pencils For Drawing 2023:

  1. Pentel GraphGear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil
  2. Uni Core Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil
  3. Rotring 600 Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil
  4. Zebra 54012 Stainless Steel Mechanical Pencil
  5. Pentel Kerry Automatic Pencil

Mechanical pencils – great for killing people. 

If you need a pencil for this purpose, please leave our website!

However, if you’re looking for an awesome drawing tool, then please, read on.

Many people ask, “Why buy a mechanical pencil instead of a regular one?” Well, regular pencils are inferior in almost every aspect, and you can read more about this later in the article.

If you already know why you want this product, then we don’t have to explain anything to you. Let us help you find the best mechanical pencil for drawing, and get you on the road of becoming better at drawing!

5 Best Mechanical Pencils For Drawing In 2023: Detailed Reviews

A decent mechanical pencil isn’t that hard to find, but it’s sure as heck difficult to find the best ones. With our article, we wanted to go a step further and find five pencils, each considered the best in its respective category.

We thought about everyone’s needs and capabilities and put together the list that you can see below. Check it out!

1. Pentel GraphGear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil – Best Overall

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Are you an architect, designer, or just someone who likes to draw? No matter the answer, chances are that the Pentel GraphGear 1000 mechanical pencil is suitable for you.  

This versatile model offers amazing value for the money and meets the highest industry standards. It’s made from metal, and it has a solid and sturdy feel. This construction will appeal to folks who like a traditional mechanical pencil, or those who enjoy classy-looking models. 

It features a standard clicking mechanism (like a pen), and the graphite lead is inserted by removing the button on top. GraphGear also has a metal clip so that you can attach it to a front pocket. A problem with the clip is that it gets caught on clothes and might even scratch it.

As for the lead diameter, you can buy models compatible with 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm leads, so there’s something for everyone’s needs. The finely-chiseled metallic grip is inlaid with soft latex, which makes it non-slip and comfortable to hold. Another useful detail is the eraser built into the bottom of the cap, so it’s always there if you need it.

All in all, Pentel GraphGear 1000 is an incredible, high-quality model that goes for a fair price. If you don’t mind it’s slightly heavier weight, then feel free to go for it.


  • Classic design with modern features
  • Available for several lead diameters
  • Includes an eraser
  • Chiseled grip with inlaid latex


  • The clip might get caught on clothes
  • Relatively heavy

2. Uni Core Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil – Best Mechanical Pencil with Advanced Features

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Uni is a name that needs no introduction in the world of stationery. As expected, they are the manufacturer of some of the best mechanical pencils on the market, and Kuru Toga happens to be one of them.

What makes this model special is its integrated ratchet mechanism, which rotates the lead whenever you lift it up. OK, why does it do this? By constantly rotating, the lead gets worn out on all sides equally, which lets you draw very consistent lines. This is truly groundbreaking technology!

The Kuru Toga pencil has a sleek, metal body that gives it a luxurious, high-end look. The grip is thicker than the rest of the pencil, it’s made of metal, and it’s knurled, so it doesn’t slip. Such a design makes the grip the pencil’s center of gravity, so it is easy to maneuver it.

The metal tip is retractable, which makes the pencil extra-safe to use and removes the possibility of accidental injury, especially when carrying it in your pocket.

The Kuru Toga leads are 0.5 mm thick, and they’re great, but they’re pricey and hard to find. Aside from this, there aren’t any noteworthy downsides to this product!


  • Lead rotating technology for consistent lines
  • Comfortable grip 
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Great value for the price


  • Finding leads to buy may be challenging
  • Poor quality eraser 

3. Rotring 600 Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil – Best High-End Model

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Sketch artists, drafters, and people alike gather and behold the Rotring 600! This is a mechanical pencil for those who are willing to spend a bit more on their craft, and now we’re going to unpack it.

The pencil’s metal body gives the user a sort of confidence and makes the pencil feel reliable. The knurled metal prevents slippage, even when holding the pencil for extended periods of time.

The Rotring 600 sports an ergonomic design that mitigates wrist and finger fatigue. Its unique hexagon barrel prevents rolling (and potential damage), and the lightweight construction makes handling effortless.

Another great feature is the lead hardness indicator, which tells you what grade of lead you’re using. This option can be extremely useful, but not many mechanical pencils have it. As for the diameter, this model takes 0.5 mm leads, but Rotring makes pencils for 0.35 mm and 0.7 mm too.

With this product, you’ll get several cap erasers, so once the first one is spent, you can easily replace it. 

The main flaw with Rotring 600, is its durability, more specifically the lack of it. Some customers complained that the pen did not last long when used intensely. Also, it’s a costly model, so many have wondered if it is worth all that money. We leave the final decision up to you!


  • Writes very precisely
  • Includes a lead hardness indicator
  • Ergonomic design reduces wrist and finger fatigue
  • Knurled, non-slip grip


  • Expensive
  • Not very durable

4. Zebra 54012 Stainless Steel Mechanical Pencil – Best Stylish Mechanical Pencil

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Those who are looking for the cheapest quality option out there will be interested in Zebra 54012. This isn’t the most sophisticated mechanical pencil in the world, but it gets the job done very well!

Zebra has become synonymous with affordable yet durable stationery, and their 54012 pencil fits the description. It’s got a stainless-steel body, which is lightweight and which won’t break easily.

The material also gives it a sleek look, and you’d never guess that it costs so little. The black non-slip grip is another significant detail, and its diameter is thick and comfortable to hold.

The pencil is available in two-point sizes, 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm, which might not be ideal for folks who like ultra-thin lines. Now, Zebra’s leads are not of the highest quality, and we’ve read many reports where users complain that they break too easily. This is the biggest issue with the 54012 pencils, so it’s not for everyone.

You get two pens in the package, and they cost half the price of most other mechanical pencils.

We feel that most people who’re not looking for superb quality or advanced features will be more than satisfied with the product. 


  • Extremely cheap
  • Sturdy and well-built
  • Non-slip grip
  • Wide metal grip


  • Zebra’s leads break easily

5. Pentel Kerry Automatic Pencil – Best Budget Mechanical Pencil

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Last but definitely not least, we have another Pentel pencil, and it’s called Kerry. Folks who enjoy stylish and beautifully designed pencils will take a liking of this one.

It is interesting to point out that Kerry mechanical pencils are made using watchmaker tools, which is why they look so good and elegant. A wonderful detail that this model has is the cap, which prevents the lead tip from breaking when carrying the pencil in your pocket or bag.

Kerry has a long and wide clip so you can attach it to your purse or any clothing item that you like. It isn’t very heavy, so it shouldn’t weigh down on your front pocket.

The pencil comes in a clear plastic box, which makes a perfect gift. It’s also equipped with an eraser that can be replaced when necessary.

Unfortunately, Pentel Kerry isn’t the most comfortable model. Its grip is divided into two parts, the smooth lower and the knurled upper part, and you’ll probably be covering both of them with your finger. This may lead to discomfort, especially when drawing for a long time.

To sum up, this mechanical pencil is a great choice for those who put looks over function.


  • Elegant and stylish design
  • Includes a cap for the tip
  • Comes in a clear plastic box


  • The grip isn’t very comfortable
  • Pricier than most

What Is A Mechanical Pencil For Drawing?

You’ve probably seen mechanical pencils many times, and perhaps even used them, without knowing how they’re called. 

These things look like pens, and they are basically holders into which you put a thin piece of graphite and then draw/write with it. They have a mechanism for extending the graphite stick, also called “lead”, when you run out of it.

Unlike regular pencils, their mechanical counterparts don’t ever need to be sharpened, and they always write thin, uniform lines.

See Also: The Best Laptop For Drawing

What To Know Before Buying A Mechanical Pencil For Drawing?

Mechanical pencils serve various purposes, including writing, drawing, sketching, and so on. As you know, today we’re focusing on pencils for drawing, but there’s a lot of variety among them too.

In the following section, we want to show you which factors you need to consider before buying such a pencil.

1. Lead Diameter

What’s the line thickness that you want to draw? This is the question that you ought to answer when looking for a mechanical pen. The line thickness is determined by the diameter of the graphite leads, and you can choose anywhere from 0.2 mm to 0.9 mm. 

In case you want to draw very fine lines, go for 0.2 mm or 0.3 mm. However, if you think that this would be too thin, 0.5 mm is your safest bet as most artists use this one. Also, keep in mind that thinner leads will break more easily, which may be frustrating if you’re not used to it.

2. Hardness

Just like regular pencils, graphite leads for mechanical pencils come in different hardnesses. You’ve heard about HB pencils, right? Well, they are in the middle, while the hardest ones are marked as 9H and the softest 9B.

The H-B is a standard rating system, but it is not the only one. Some manufacturers use scales from 1 to 4 to indicate hardness (higher numbers – harder, lower numbers – softer), so pay attention to what kind of rating the brand you want to buy uses.

3. Mechanism

When it comes to lead extension or advancement, there are three mechanisms to choose from. Lead advancement is something that you’ll often be doing, especially if you draw a lot, so it’s crucial to get a mechanism that suits you.

The first type is known as the twist-click, and it works by twisting the barrel of the pencil to push out more lead. If you pushed out too much, turn the barrel, hold it in the end position, and push the lead back in.

The second one is the good old push-button mechanism that most ballpoint pens use, and there’s probably no need to explain how it works.

The third and most interesting kind is the shaker. This design features an internal weight sliding mechanism that requires you to slightly shake the pencil for the lead to advance. The shaker is ideal for people who don’t like to change their grip when drawing.

4. Grip

For the ultimate drawing experience, you’ll need a comfortable grip. The main thing to consider here is the diameter of the pen, specifically the part which you will be holding. The diameter is mainly a matter of personal preference, but sometimes it depends on other factors too.

For example, people who have weak hands due to arthritis or some other condition will probably do better with a thicker grip. Thin diameters are usually great for people with small hands and those who, well, prefer a thinner grip. 

The next thing to consider is the grip material, and the most common ones include plastic, metal, rubber, and silicone. The last two are suitable for folks who like a squishy, non-slip grip.

5. Material

The material that the pencil’s made from will have an impact on two things – durability and weight. Models that are made from metal, usually stainless steel, are sturdy and long-lasting, but they’re also pretty heavy. Such pencils are considered premium quality and tend to cost more.

Plastic mechanical pencils come in a variety of designs. Some feel well-made and durable, while others seem cheap and flimsy. If you’re after a lightweight pencil, definitely go for a plastic one.

6. Eraser

If you’re serious about drawing, we’re sure you’ve got plenty of quality erasers at home. While an eraser built into the pencil shouldn’t be something that you rely on regularly, it can be a practical accessory. Those who like doodling on the move (e.g., in public transport) will probably find this feature quite valuable.

Read More: The Best Drawing Tablet


OK folks, it’s time to stop reading about mechanical pencils and get to buying, so that you can finally start to use them. Here are our three favorite models for today.

Our number one pick is the Pentel GearGraph 1000. This well-rounded pencil is made to last, it works like a charm, and you can get it for an excellent price.

The runner up is Uni Kuru Toga, with its incredible lead-rotating technology. This is a great choice for a perfectionist who values line consistency above all.

The third top pick is Rotring 600, and it got there thanks to its ergonomic design, precision, and overall ease of use. If you’ve got the money, we say go for it.

In case you like some other mechanical pencil from the list, we encourage you to try it out, as they’re all remarkable.

About Erin Carpenter

Erin Carpenter has over 15 years experience in the diamond industry working with Artic Canadian Diamonds, Anglo-American Diamonds. She is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as USA Today, Forbes, The New York Times and more.