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The 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in 2020

Jonathan Tayag
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The 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in 2020

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When it comes to EDC, you’ll often hear recommendations for a tough, write-anywhere jotter or even a tactical pen. But for some EDCers, a pencil is actually the best tool for the job. Whether you're an architect drafting plans, an engineer solving math problems, an artist sketching art, or a student taking notes, the pencil is often mightier than the pen. The problem is, a standard wooden #2 pencil just doesn't hold up to the wear, tear, and repeated use of daily carry. Instead, look to a sturdy, feature-packed mechanical pencil. They're easy to refill with your preferred lead, durable enough for EDC to school or the office, and more pocket friendly. In this guide, we'll introduce you to some of the best mechanical pencils you can carry today.

rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil

rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Full metal body
Hexagonal design
Brass mechanism
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm
Length
5.5 inches
Materials
Fully metal body and clip
EDC Rating


Price
$
For many in the community, the rOtring 600 is the be-all-end-all when it comes to EDC mechanical pencils. It has an iconic ergonomic knurled metal barrel design with a textured grip that lets you grab hold of the pen even in wet conditions, and the body is well-balanced for fatigue-free use. The brass mechanism advances lead smoothly via the rear clicker cap which also hides a thin eraser tip for correction purposes.
Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil

Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Handcrafted
Lead advance even with a posted cap
Refillable eraser
Specifications
Lead Size
0.7mm
Length
4.9 inches capped
Materials
Metal and resin
EDC Rating


Price
$
The most interesting thing about the Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencil is that it has a cap like a rollerball or fountain pen, but deep inside is the mechanical pencil lead that you know and love. Whether you post the cap at the rear of the pencil or keep it off, there’s a way to advance the lead, and there’s also a refillable eraser for your convenience. The unique design of the Pentel Sharp Kerry exudes a classic American aesthetic style that makes it a good fit for office and executive use.

Header: M.S. Varner
SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Mechanical Pencil

SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Multi-function design
Made in the USA
All-metal body
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm
Length
7 inches
Materials
Brass-plated steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
All SKILCRAFT products are made with pride in the USA by Americans with disabilities, and they happen to make one of the best combination mechanical pencils: the B3 Aviator. It has a tactical black and non-reflective look that helps keep it discreet whether you’re out in the field or jotting down some notes back at home, and its slender barrel makes it easily pocketable when you’re done using it. And in that compact footprint, the SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator fits a 0.5mm mechanical pencil mechanism (and eraser) along with both a black and red medium point pen.
Zebra Techo TS-3 Mini Mechanical Pencil

Zebra Techo TS-3 Mini Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Slim and compact for EDC
Built-in eraser
Metal construction
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm
Length
4 inches
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
The ultra-compact 4" length and slim diameter of the all metal Zebra Techo Mini makes it a great option for minimal EDC and as a backup in case you forget to bring along a larger writing implement with you. But on its own it’s a solid-enough performer to be your daily driver, especially if you primarily use a small pocketable notebook on a regular basis.
Kaweco Special Mechanical Pencil

Kaweco Special Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Minimalist design
Built-in eraser
Japanese mechanism
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm
Length
5.6 inches
Materials
Aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
The design language of the Kaweco Special mechanical pencil mixes what you’d expect out of a traditional wood pen with its hexagonal barrel shaped body, and a modern minimalist mechanical pencil with its understated single-color tone. The Kaweco Special pencil is wider than most too, with a 10mm cylindrical diameter that tapers to the 0.5mm lead point that makes this pencil easy to hold especially for long periods of time, and the high-quality lightweight aluminum body will stand up to the rigors of daily use.
MUJI Low Center of Gravity Mechanical Pencil

MUJI Low Center of Gravity Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Made in Japan
Designed for ease of writing
Knurled grip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm lead
Length
5.83 inches
Materials
Metal and resin
EDC Rating


Price
$
The MUJI Low Center of Gravity mechanical pencil wears its biggest merit on its sleeve: with its low center of gravity closer to the point where you grip the pencil, it’s extremely easy to write with this Japanese-made pencil for extended periods of time, especially when you factor in the significant knurled grip area built into the design.
Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Unique lead rotation
Knurled grip
Built-in eraser
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm
Length
6.77 inches
Materials
Metal grip, metal tip, metal clip, plastic body
EDC Rating


Price
$
This stylish modern mechanical pencil is a favorite in the EDC community, especially among mech pencil enthusiasts who like Japanese stationery. Its unique Kuru Toga lead advancement engine rotates the presented lead little by little as your write and advance, make sure that the pencil always has a consistent thinness and density. Aside from standardizing the width of the resulting written words you create, it also helps reduce unintentional breakage over time.
Zebra M-350 Mechanical Pencil

Zebra M-350 Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Wider grip
Metal barrel
Textured rubber grip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.7mm
Length
5 inches
Materials
Metal barrel, textured rubber grip
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you like a somewhat wider pencil lead width, the Zebra M-350 is one of your best bets, and its thicker design with rubber grip gives you a secure cushioned hold on this writing tool over extended notetaking sessions. It’s also one of the more immensely affordable mechanical pencils on this list, being available in a two-pack with extra lead, which makes it great for entry-level EDC first timers to try out to see if they prefer it over a traditional pencil.
TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil

TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Retractable tip
Knurled grip
Hexagonal design
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5mm lead
Length
5.5 inches
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
Aside from the all-metal construction of the TWSBI Precision pencil, it also features an extended refillable eraser that reduces the amount of times you need to replace it because we always tend to have lots of pencil lead lying about but eraser are in shorter order. Its hexagonal shape helps the pencil from sliding around on an angled desk, making it good for drafting use especially with its precision tip, but that hexagonal shape rounds out into a knurled metal grip that lets you (as the name of the pencil implies) write with precision.
Everyman Grafton Mechanical Pencil

Everyman Grafton Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Bolt-on clip
Built-in eraser
Dual lead refill compatibility
Specifications
Lead Size

Length

Materials

EDC Rating


Price
$
With its lifetime warranty and serious buy-it-for-life precision construction, the Grafton Mechanical Pencil aims to be the last mechanical pencil you have to buy. It’s made out of anodized aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum pen, and a heavy-duty clip is bolted onto the body with Torx screws. Fully unloaded, the use of this lightweight and crushproof durable material helps keep the package lightweight at just 1 ounce total, and that weight is distributed in such a way that writing with it is a joy.

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Who Likes This (12)

3 others

Discussion (5 total)

Ryan ·
I like my Zebra M-701. That Kuru Toga is interesting though.
Nicholas Chester Parks ·
I love the Kuru Toga but the metal version is SO much better then the plastic. There is really no point in the plastic version for EDC.

Matija Ljubičić ·
Theres a blog, Daves mechanical penciles who do all reviews an all penciles. 600 is a good one but the other ones cant really compare to staedler 925, parker jotter and OHTO super ones....
White Knight ·
Some groovy pencils there. Food for thought. I was gifted a wonderful Cross pen and pencil set. the pencil was stolen about a week later. Seems it was coveted. My EDC for some years now is a Pentel Graph Gear 1000. 0.9 lead, great for drawing, notes are very visible, and there's a part-rubberised finger grip which is a pleasure to use. And it hasn't been nicked. Maybe only coveted by a few?
Alexander Kritikos ·
A better Kuru Toga for EDC is the Kuru Toga Advance - not only does the tip retract to save your pockets, but the lead rotates twice as fast as the regular Kuru Toga.