Quick question: Which is the one writing tool that you can use here, on earth, as well in space…? The answer, gentlemen, is the humble pencil. Legend has it while the Americans spent millions developing a pen for space use, the Russians simply packed a pencil along. It may very well be the most basic of writing tools, but few can compete with the best mechanical pencil when it comes to delivering a smooth flow of the written word.
The Pentel Sharp features all that you would want from a top product: great build and great lead quality. Price is the only negative.
The Uni Ball Kuru Toga promises to be a game-changer in the segment, and it delivers. Finding replacement lead, however, is a bit hard.
Best Bang for Your Buck
The Skilcraft American Classic is proof that not all excellent things come at a price. The only downside is its lack of flair, or in other words, style.
A pencil must, first and foremost, be able to write well. We can all agree on that. But in today’s digital age, the writing tool should also be comfortable enough to hold, and easy enough to grip. The more we type and type, the less our fingers grow accustomed to holding a pencil or pen. Based on these factors, we have compiled the best mechanical pencil list, taking into account the quality of the build, the toughness and clarity of the lead point, and the price.
A sleek writing tool that is a bit hard hard to grip
This mechanical pencil feels straight out of the future. At least its style does. And the style is one of the Aviation’s biggest selling points. The sleek, minimalist, monotone body can easily be mistaken for the modern stylus that we use on touchscreens.
The smooth body does not offer any unnecessary distractions, except for a magnetic ring near the pencil’s throat. Rotate the ring, and the core slides out for you to write down your enlightening thoughts.
A unique benefit of the smooth, cylindrical body is that you can even draw out your thoughts, like you would with a sketch pencil. The Aviation offers a nimble, flexible approach to expressing your ideas.
The one negative trait of the Aviation is that it can be a bit hard to grip, especially for those with plump fingers.
A good brand that is a bit expensive
The Sharp is an excellent example of why Pentel is one of the most revered brands in the segment. They have been consistent in producing top quality products that are no-fuss and no-stress. You can also count on their durability and longevity. In fact, you could easily use one of the brand’s products throughout your entire school life.
Coming back to the Sharp, the pencil boasts of a handcrafted body, with a transparent section that shows the mechanical levers in action. The oblong body allows for an easy grip, while the relatively heavy frame allows for a steady flow of words and doodles. The high definition lead produces a clear contrast of words on the page, allowing for easy reading later.
The one issue with the Sharp is that it is a bit expensive when it comes to mechanical pencils.
An innovative writing tool with a somewhat weak eraser
A pencil is a simple enough writing tool, but the Kuru Toga has done a bit of reinventing the wheel. You no longer have to worry about the lead point breaking off: the Kuru Toga features a patented rotating mechanism that keeps the lead point sharp and simultaneously free from breakages. Now you know why the Uni Ball features on the list of the best mechanical pencil.
The Kuru Toga is surely a delight to work with, if you are the innovator-creative kind. The body is soft enough to hold even for extended periods of time, while the core is stable enough to deliver strong, sharp scripts on the page. Ergonomics is another of the pencil’s unique benefits.
Where the pencil impresses the most is in its groundbreaking mechanical design. The central rotating mechanism allows the lead point a continuous, smooth movement that keeps it stable on the page, while remaining sharp and free from breaks. There is also a protective pipe that ensures the entire length of the lead remains shielded, further protecting it from awkward breaks.
A negative of the Korea Toga, when compared to uniball pens, is that it can be a bit hard to find replacement lead.
No nonsense pencil; takes two hands to advance lead tip
Rite In The Rain is not just an interesting, alliterative name, the pencil has actually been designed for the tough outdoors. If you are into construction and home maintenance, this is probably the pencil that you should be carrying around. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the price is one of the most economical in the segment.
The pencil comes with a thick lead shaft that is ideal to write on materials other than paper. Wood, for instance. You can use it to mark a variety of surfaces and the strong lead will stay the course without breaking off. In fact, the 1.1mm lead is break resistant and lends itself to strong, smooth lines wherever you choose to draw them.
Another feature that makes Rite In The Rain one of the cool mechanical pencils is that it offers a soft, firm grip for your fingers. You can hold the pencil for hours on end and still not feel its weight.
The one downside to the blue collar pencil is that it takes a bit of an effort to advance the lead tip.
A proven performer that is a bit low on style
The American Classic is an institution when it comes to mechanical pencils. Skilcraft has a rich history of delivering sturdy, dependable, top quality products. The brand comes endorsed by none other than the military and navy itself: institutions that have long used the Classic pencil and continue to do so. The best mechanical pencil is just another feather in the cap of an all-American favourite.
One of the unique features of the American Classic is that you can easily store multiple lead points in its spacious inner compartment. When one point is over, the next clicks into place without you having to worry about wasting time with a refill.
The other unique feature is the shockproof tip. The pencil’s body has been designed in such a way that no matter how the pencil lands on the page, the tip will stay strong and stable. For instance, if you are traveling over a bumpy road, the Classic will still deliver smooth scripts without any breaks.
What truly makes Skilcraft one of the best pencils is the ergonomic rubber grip that enables you to write and draw and doddle and do more without any discomfort to your fingers.
A negative trait of the pencil is that it rates a bit low on the style index.
An economical writing tool; fingers may tire after a while
Another brand that has distinguished itself with quality writing products, Paper Mate does its good name no harm with the Clearpoint. What impressed us most about the pencil is that whether you are a student, working professional, or artist, the Clearpoint is one of the best mechanical pencil you can have by your side. When the lead tip begins to shorten, you can simply extend it by pressing down on the pencil without releasing your grip. This enables a smooth flow of thoughts into words. The other impressive feature is its generous eraser head. You can rub off any mistakes without leaving a mess behind.
An issue you may face with the Clearpoint is that your fingers may tire after continuous writing.
Top of the line product, but expensive
A unique writing tool, the metal mechanical pencil from LAMY is sure to impress connoisseurs and those who cherish the fine things in life.
Crafted from a stainless steel body, the 2000 is drop dead gorgeous to look at. Clip it on your shirt pocket, and it could very well work as a fashion accessory. The easy clip mechanism enables you to carry it just about anywhere you go and available at your fingertips whenever you need it.
The ergonomics of the pencil, with its brushed Makrolon barrel, allows for an easy grip that does not tire your fingers. One of the highlights of the Steel Pencil is that the eraser head comes attached with a cleaning rod to remove lead jams.
Being a top brand, the LAMY comes at a price: One of the pencil’s negative traits.
Writing is the most important function of a mechanical pencil. According to the experts, three factors distinguish the very best from the rest:
One of the most important factors that decides the quality of a pencil is its build. There are countless plastic imitations, and there is the serious stuff. The experts recommend that the pencil should feel comfortable and light in your hand. Materials such as stainless steel, aluminium, and resin are good choices. They give a good ergonomic shape to the writing tool, placing less stress on your fingers.
One of the most irritating things when you use a pencil is the tip breaking off right in the middle of a sentence. The good news is that you no longer have to deal with this kind of irritation. The new breed of pencils offer break-resistant lead that allow for smooth, strong lines without causing any interruptions. The experts suggest that this is indeed the way forward.
As with most products, price plays an important role in deciding whether a mechanical pencil is truly worth the investment. There are economical options available and then there is the high priced pencil that feels more like a collectible than a writing tool. The choice, according to the experts, is entirely yours. Although you may want to consider why you are buying the pencil in the first place. If it is simply to write and draw, any of the products on our list is more than just good enough.
This is a tough segment to choose a winner from. All the pencils on our list bear the hallmarks of exceptional writing tools. If we had to pick just one, we lean closer towards the Uni Ball Kuru Toga: A great brand at a great price with a great set of features, not to mention some game-changing ones.