Everyday Carry

The 12 Best Mechanical Pencils in 2024 — Reviewed for Everyday Carry

Authored by:
Jonathan Tayag
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
The 12 Best Mechanical Pencils in 2024  — Reviewed for Everyday Carry

Related Gear:
  The 25 Best Pocket Knives In 2024 - Ranked and Reviewed
  The Top 8 Wallets for Men in 2024
  The 18 Best Keychain Multitools in 2024

A wood pencil is one of the first things most people learn to write with as they grow up, but because they break easily, regular pencils don't feature that often in people's everyday carry. I use my trusty mechanical pencil whenever I need a pencil in my EDC.

EDC enthusiasts prefer writing with mechanical pencils because they feature sturdy metal or plastic construction. I also like the refillable lead because I often break the graphite on traditional pencils. The convenience and practicality of carrying a mechanical pencil make them the best choice for drafters, artists, and students. There's even a case for using mechanical pencils over traditional pencils because of their environmental impact. Research goes either way on the matter. The University of British Columbia suggests the choice lies in personal preference.

Undeniably, a quality EDC mechanical pencil will last you a long time. That's why it's essential to choose the right mechanical pencil, and in this guide, I'll go over some of my favorites and explain why they deserve a place in your everyday carry.


Best Mechanical Pencil — 2024 Edition

The Best Overall Mechanical Pencil: uni Kuru Toga Roulette [Buy]

The Best Mechanical Pencil Upgrade: Tactile Turn Pencil [Buy]

The Best Technical Mechanical Pencil: rOtring 800 [Buy]

The Best Mechanical For EDC: Staedtler Mars 780 [Buy]

The Best Value Mechanical Pencil: Pentel GraphGear 1000 [Buy]


The Best Overall Mechanical Pencil 🏆
The Best Mechanical Pencil Upgrade
The Best Technical Mechanical Pencil:
The Best Mechanical For EDC
The Best Value Mechanical Pencil
uni Kuru Toga Roulette
Tactile Turn Pencil
rOtring 800
Staedtler Mars 780
Pentel GraphGear 1000
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
  • Stylish metal construction
  • Comfortable grip
  • Rotates lead for uniform wear on tip
  • Many material options
  • Many length options
  • Two lead sizes
  • Drafting tip
  • Two lead sizes
  • Barrel prevents rolling
  • Lead holder design
  • Integrated lead sharpener
  • Hardness-degree indication on clip
  • Aluminum construction
  • Spring-loaded clip
  • Massive lead compatibility
  • Very affordable
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
  • Only available in 0.5mm
  • Price
  • rOtring’s pocket clips tend to ride very high
  • Only available in 0.2mm
  • End cap eraser isn’t the easiest to use
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
Bottom Line
The Kuru Toga is excellent for EDC because this particular Roulette model features a sturdy metal construction that feels great in your hand.
The attention to detail, beautiful design, and immense customizability of the Tactile Turn Pencil make it one of the best first-step upgrades when starting in the world of EDC mechanical pencils.
Whether you're using this pencil in combination with a compass and ruler while graphing something out or creating a design on a sketchpad, you'll enjoy the fine control you get from the rOtring 800.
The lead holder design makes it closer to a traditional pencil in concept, built sturdier and significant for all-around everyday carry. It's affordable, too, but don't mistake being cheap for poor quality.
For under 20 dollars at the time of this writing, you get a full-body aluminum construction with a precision retracting mechanism compatible with leads down to 0.3mm up to 0.9mm if you prefer a bolder writing experience.
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
SPECIFICATIONS
Length
Length
Length
Length
Length
5.7"
5.38"
6.1"
8.9"
0.63"
Refill Sizes
Refill Sizes
Refill Sizes
Refill Sizes
Refill Sizes
0.5mm
0.5mm, 0.7mm
0.5mm, 0.7mm
0.2mm
0.3mm to 0.9mm
Materials
Materials
Materials
Materials
Materials
Metal
Titanium
Plastic
HB
Metal

Scroll to see the full table

The Best Overall Mechanical Pencil: uni Kuru Toga Roulette

One of the best things about the entire uni Kuru Toga line of mechanical pencils is that they automatically deploy lead for you as you write. Having to actuate a side click or top click mechanism is distracting sometimes, and the Kuru Toga eliminates that. And because the lead deployment is reliable, this is my pick for the best overall mechanical pencil. The Kuru Toga is also excellent for EDC because, unlike the standard Kuru Toga made of plastic, this particular Roulette model features a sturdy metal construction that feels great in your hand.

Check It Out

The Best Mechanical Pencil Upgrade: Tactile Turn Pencil

I am a big fan of Tactile Turn's attention to detail. You're probably familiar with their bolt action and side click pens, but the Tactile Turn Pencil combines the two designs. The Tactile Turn Pencil uses a linear bolt on the side that retracts the lead, available in 0.5mm and 0.7mm thicknesses. The quality Schmidt DSM2006 mechanism inside has a smooth action that won't jam when trying to write, and a friction-fit eraser at the back completes the package.

Tactile Turn makes this quality EDC mechanical pencil in the United States in Texas, and you can get it in titanium, copper, bronze, and zirconium. You can upgrade the clip and the bolt with titanium treated with a Damascus finish. You can even have them engrave the pen to personalize it further. The attention to detail, beautiful design, and immense customizability of the Tactile Turn Pencil make it one of the best first-step upgrades when starting in the world of EDC mechanical pencils.

Check It Out

The Best Technical Mechanical Pencil: rOtring 800

I like the rOtring 800 for technical work because it's easy to see the tip of your pencil lead unobstructed by the pencil's body. The internal brass mechanism is built to support that extended lead. It can do that because the rOtring 800 has a twist and click retraction, unlike other mechanical pencil designs' click or push mechanisms. Whether you're using this pencil in combination with a compass and ruler while graphing something out or creating a design on a sketchpad, you'll enjoy the fine control you get from the rOtring 800.

Check It Out

The Best Mechanical For EDC: Staedtler Mars 780

A Staedtler Mars was one of my first quality everyday carry mechanical pencils. It's a lead holder, which means, unlike a standard design with a bunch of thin-diameter graphite shafts, the Staedtler Mars comes with a 2mm lead with an integrated lead sharpener that functions with the pushdown mechanism. It comes with HB hardness lead, and you can rotate the metal clip to the correct indicator point for the particular lead you place into it to remind you of what you have loaded. The lead holder design makes it closer to a traditional pencil in concept, built sturdier and significant for all-around everyday carry. It's affordable, too, but don't mistake being cheap for poor quality.

Check It Out

The Best Value Mechanical Pencil: Pentel GraphGear 1000

The Pentel GraphGear 1000 marks where you get the best value for money when starting out in mechanical pencil EDC. Its feature set is replicated in pencils that can be had for much more money, but it remains affordable and accessible to most people. For under 20 dollars at the time of this writing, you get a full-body aluminum construction with a precision retracting mechanism compatible with leads down to 0.3mm up to 0.9mm if you prefer a bolder writing experience. I particularly like the spring-loaded clip, which helps the Pentel GraphGear 1000 grab onto materials of varying thicknesses without breaking or bending.

Check It Out


Our other recommendations

Pilot Dr. Grip 4+1: The Pilot Dr. Grip is one of the most comfortable mechanical pencils you can buy. Its thick body and ergonomic padded grip make writing comfortable for extended periods.

OHTO Mechanical Wood Pencil: Suppose you want a mechanical pencil that looks like a traditional pencil. In that case, the OHTO Mechanical Wood Pencil is what you need. It has a traditional wooden body and the look of a standard pencil, but it takes 0.5mm pencil leads inside.

Pilot G2 Mechanical Pencil: The Pilot G2 gel pen is among the community's favorite EDC writing tools. Today would be your lucky day if you didn't know it comes in a mechanical pencil version. It has the same shape you love with a mechanical pencil's erasability.

STKR Concepts Mechanical Carpenter Pencil: A carpenter pencil is built tough for scribing marks onto wood before you cut. Unlike traditional ones requiring a knife to sharpen or a specialized tool, the STKR Concepts Mechanical Carpenter Pencil uses a dedicated thicker pencil lead.

Tombow Mechanical Pencil: Many mechanical pencil enthusiasts use a Tombow Mono eraser with their EDC because of its superior erasing power compared to most pencil erasers. You can carry one item with the Tombow Mechanical Pencil because it has the same quality eraser at the rear of the pencil itself.

Rhodia 9340C: The Rhodia 9340C has a distinctive hexagonal metal shape that works as a roll stop on a slanted desk. It also has a refillable 3-in-1 multi-pen and mechanical pencil mechanism.

Pilot Birdy Mini Mechanical Pencil: Out of all these mechanical pencils, this mini mechanical pencil and pen combination is my personal EDC choice. It has been ever since I picked it up years ago at a Tokyu Hands stationery aisle in Japan. Its slim size makes it a good backup, and I always keep it in my bag or pouch when I forget a full-sized writing tool at home.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best mechanical pencil?

The ability to advance a mechanical pencil lead without thinking about it makes the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette a safe bet for most people.

Is 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead better?

The thickness of the pencil lead dictates how bold your writing will be, not the darkness of the writing itself. If you write small, a thinner diameter, like 0.5mm, might be better. 0.7mm leads are better if you draw thicker lines regularly.

Why are mechanical pencils the best?

Mechanical pencils are the best because they let you write and erase like a traditional pencil but without the possibility that you snap your pencil in half in your bag like you probably did in school. The durability and convenience of a mechanical pencil make it an excellent choice whether you are taking notes, solving a math problem, or sketching for art.


How to Choose the Perfect Mechanical Pencil for EDC and Beyond

So you've decided to add a mechanical pencil to your kit. Now what? You should know a few things when choosing the perfect mechanical pencil that fits your needs. You'll need to know what lead thickness you're most comfortable writing with. Some more common sizes are 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm, with the smaller number corresponding to a finer line. Some lead sizes are more challenging to source than others, so keep that in mind if you want to go to either extreme. The hardness of the lead is essential, too. The standard American school pencil uses HB graphite. You can go with 2B or beyond if you want something softer. Graphite values like F, H, 2H, and beyond have a bit more durability and are lighter, but if you go harder, they can become brittle.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not you want an eraser. We all make mistakes (some more than others), and a built-in eraser can give you some wiggle room when you need perfect, professional-looking lines. Lastly, you'll want something that can live up to your particular flavor of EDC. A rugged metal build might be best if you're in the field daily. Similarly, a heavy metal construction might differ from what you're after if you're trying to keep your pockets light.

Adding a mechanical pencil to your carry comes with benefits. Mechanical pencils don't need to be sharpened. They stay the same length no matter how many years you use them. Plus, many mechanical pencils allow you to draw with consistently fine lines, thanks to clever barrel designs and different tip designs. They have a consistent advancement mechanism, so you never need to fumble with a sharpener to get a clean writing style.

Many people rely on the consistent, high-quality lines you can get only from a mechanical pencil in their daily work. Students might use them to sketch in art class or work through math formulas, while professionals might draft floorplans or take notes during meetings. Whatever the case, an excellent mechanical pencil can be a great way to round out your carry. In this guide, we've put together some of the best mechanical pencils you can find that would make a perfect addition to any EDC setup.


How we picked

Decades of experience and deep connections in the everyday carry industry give us a unique viewpoint on the market to inform our product recommendations. We have the depth of information for thousands of products that have come before and an extensive eye on the market to see what's new and trending for each piece of gear. The result is a buying guide that we feel is informative and useful for EDCers of every trade, industry, and budget.

What is Everyday Carry?

Everyday Carry is both the concept of what people carry in their pockets and the process of picking out gear that thoughtfully considers what one wants or needs in their daily life. It encompasses everything from style to preparedness to utility, meaning an entire industry full of valuable tools and essentials to choose from.

Why you should trust us

Our team has decades of combined experience in all aspects of everyday men's essentials, from wallets to pens to bags and everything in between, and we know where to find great gear ideas that you may not come across at your local stores or when shopping online. Our expertise in the industry and familiarity with design, materials, and usability help you make more informed choices when it comes to picking up your next piece of gear.

Jonathan Tayag

Senior Contributor


About the Author
Jonathan Tayag is secretly an information technology and corporate security expert who prefers to moonlight as a creative event and commercial photographer whenever possible. His varied experience and substantial travels have led him to seek, without even thinking about it at first, the best gear for the best use at the best price available. Before the concept of EDC (everyday carry) firmly took hold, Jonathan already spent untold amounts of time optimizing for the best-in-slot pieces of gear, from cameras and lenses to pocket knives, pens, and bags and packs. In November 2015, Jonathan joined EverydayCarry.com and has since written numerous articles and guides to help impart his knowledge to the community as a whole.

Jonathan's photographic works have appeared on numerous online websites, print, video, and television outlets for over a decade. Jonathan's previous clients include Blizzard Entertainment, Red Bull, ESL, Razer, and several other endemic and non-endemic esports sponsors and brands. His work also features heavily in online competitive gaming communities, especially those of the StarCraft and Fighting Game genres. You've likely seen his work if you've spent time in a stream or in-game chat over the years.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief


About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, Outside, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Next Up