Everyday Carry

The 22 Best Mechanical Pencils in 2022 — Reviewed For EDC

Adam Molina
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The 22  Best Mechanical Pencils in 2022  — Reviewed For EDC

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Whether you’re taking notes in class, signing checks at the bank, or doodling during Zoom meetings (no judgment), something to write with is an often overlooked part of EDC. Opting for a tactical pen might get the job done for most people, but some might prefer something less permanent. The pencil has long been the tool of choice for drafters, artists, and students alike,  but the problem is that your average pencil isn’t meant to last. That’s where a good mechanical pencil can come in handy.

Jump to Our Top Pencil Picks


How to Choose the Perfect Mechanical Pencil for EDC and Beyond

So you’ve decided you want 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 of the more common sizes are 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, with the smaller number corresponding to a finer line. Some lead sizes are a bit harder to source than others, so keep that in mind if you want to go to either extreme.

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 tough metal build might be best if you’re in the field daily. Similarly, a heavy metal construction might not be what you’re after if you’re trying to keep your pockets light.

Adding a mechanical pencil to your carry-over a standard pencil has plenty of benefits. Since they 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 get from a mechanical pencil in their daily work. Students might use them for sketching in art class or working through math formulas, while professionals might draft floorplans or take notes during meetings. Whatever the case, a good 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.


Best Mechanical Pencil — 2022 Edition

The Best Overall Mechanical Pencil: uni Kuro Toga Advance Upgrade [Buy]

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

The Best Technical Mechanical Pencil: rOtring 600 [Buy]

The Best Mechanical Pencil for EDC: TWSBI Precision [Buy]

The Best Value Mechanical Pencil: Zebra M-350 [Buy]


rOtring

rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil

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


Price
$
You can’t talk about mechanical pencils without mentioning the rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil. It’s one of the most common options you’ll find in EDC, and for a good reason. It features a sleek, black metal barrel with a hexagonal shape to prevent it from rolling on your desk. Depending on your preferred lead thickness, there are multiple options for the rOtring 600. It also has an eraser and adjustable lead hardness indicator, making it easy to know which you’re using at a glance. The non-slip knurling combined with precision lead advancement makes for a great experience. Still, it’s worth noting that this particular model doesn’t have a retractable tip, so it’s best to carry it in a case or pouch to avoid accidental pokes through your pocket.
uni

uni Kuru Toga Advance Upgrade Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
"W Speed" mechanism
Non-slip metal grip
Made in Japan
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.4"
Materials
Metal grip, metal tip, metal clip, plastic body
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you’re not a huge fan of advancing lead with a few clicks every time you want to write, check out the uni Kuru Toga Advance Upgrade. This pencil has a distinct approach to advancing the lead, relying on a spring-loaded clutch that eases the lead forward as you write. Not only does that mean you never have to click again, but it also rotates the lead to stay usable on all edges. You won’t be left with that annoying sharp lead point on one side after a particularly long writing session. Under the cap is a spot for a refillable eraser, which is nice if you tend to use up the small erasers that most mechanical pencils come with.
MUJI

MUJI Low Center of Gravity Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Made in Japan
Minimalist design
Knurled grip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.83"
Materials
Metal and resin
EDC Rating


Price
$
MUJI is famous for its quality stationary at a reasonable price, and the MUJI Low Center of Gravity pencil is a prime example. Like everything else that MUJI sells, the pencil has a minimalist design with few simple yet useful features. Up top is a rotating lead hardness indicator for remembering the hardness of the lead inside. It accepts 0.5mm lead, making for a pencil that can handle writing and drawing.The precise knurling and balanced weight make for a comfortable drafting experience. If you make a mistake, simply pop off the cap to reveal the eraser.
Pentel

Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil

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


Price
$
If you’re after a classic design perfect for a professional setting, go with the Pentel Sharp Kerry. This has been a go-to mechanical pencil for years. Unlike many other options on this list, the Pentel Sharp Kerry is meant to be used with the cap fit securely on top. The cap protects the tip and makes it great for pocket carry, but when you’re ready to use it, simply snap it on top for the perfect balance in hand. Doing this also provides access to the button that allows for the advancement of the lead. Unfortunately, it only comes in 0.5mm and 0.7mm tip sizes, so if you’re looking for thinner lines, you’ll have to check elsewhere. The Sharp Kerry also comes in four different colors to find the one that best matches your style.
Staedtler

Staedtler Mars technico Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Made in Germany
Knurled grip
Lead sharpener in push button
Specifications
Lead Size
2 mm
Length
7.8"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
For anyone looking for a mechanical pencil with thicker lead check out the Staedtler Lead Holder pencil. This mechanical pencil uses 2mm thick lead, significantly thicker than many other options. Artists and drafters primarily use it to deal with versatile linework and shading, but you can still use it to jot down some ideas in a pinch. The metal barrel construction means that the odds of it breaking in your pockets are slim. It also uses a drop clutch mechanism instead of the classic incremental pushers you’re probably used to. The lead will drop down when the clutch is opened, so you can easily get your desired length. If you like the feel of a thick wooden pencil but want something a little more durable and long-lasting, the Staedtler Lead Holder should be on your shortlist.
Zebra

Zebra Techo TS-3 Mini Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Made in Japan
Slim and compact
Built-in eraser
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
4"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you’re looking for a smaller pencil that won’t take up so much space in your pockets check out the Zebra Techo TS-3 Mini. With a diameter that’s only 5.7mm at its thickest point, this slim, all-metal pencil makes a great companion for anyone looking to jot down some notes on the go. There’s no knurling to speak of, adding an elegant smoothness to the pencil. Plus, it accepts versatile 0.5mm sized lead and has a built-in eraser for good measure.
Alvin

Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Knurled grip
Multi-purpose design
Unique lead rotation
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.5"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical pencil is another great option for your EDC, thanks to its key features. For one, its metal construction means that if you forget to pack it back in a case, you won’t have to worry about it breaking. The squared-off 4mm guide tube gives you more stability when drafting up against a ruler. The Alvin Draft-Matic also is one of the more versatile options on this list and is available in the most popular lead sizes (0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm). The icing on top of the cake is the diamond-cut knurling making it easy to hold in even the most sweaty hands.
LAMY

LAMY Multi-System Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Multi-system design
Cylindrical body
Made in Germany
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
6"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
Mechanical pencils are great for sketching, drafting, and note-taking, but as great as they can be some documents still require the permanence of a pen. Instead of carrying two separate things, you can pick up the LAMY Multi-System pencil, a 2-in-1 pencil from one of the most trusted names in writing instruments. You can sign that work document with ink and then rotate the pencil's barrel into the lead position to continue taking meeting notes (or doodling). One downside is that it can only hold about five sticks of 0.5mm lead which is less than some other options on this list, but considering you’re consolidating two items into one, it’s a fair price.
Zebra

Zebra M-350 Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Rubber grip
Refillable eraser
Made in Japan
Specifications
Lead Size
0.7 mm
Length
7.5"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you search through enough EDC dumps, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll come across a few Zebra writing instruments. The company makes some of the best affordable pens and pencils on the market, and the M-350 Mechanical Pencil is no exception. A textured grip makes for a comfortable writing experience whatever the day throws at you. This is one of those pencils you’ll see in students' and professionals' kits. It has a sturdy metal clip for safekeeping and a hidden eraser that you can replace with one of the included refills when it wears out. This model only accepts 0.7mm lead, so if you’re after a slightly thicker line, this one is for you.
SKILCRAFT

SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-Function Mechanical Pencil

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


Price
$
For an all-in-one pencil that offers plenty of flexibility in a tough and elegant design, look no further than the SKILCRAFT B3 Aviator Multi-function Mechanical pencil. By rotating the barrel, you can switch between three different options: red ink, black ink, or pencil. Whatever tasks come your way, the B3 Aviator pencil has your back. It also meets all the requirements for the Foreign Object Debris (FOD) program by the FAA, so you won’t have to worry about your pen getting confiscated if you're a frequent flyer. One of the cooler features is that the pencil has a finish that doesn’t reflect light, so it’ll fit discreetly into any EDC.
Parker

Parker Jotter Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Classic solid steel
Built-in eraser
Made in the USA
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
6.89"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
One of the sleeker designs you’ll find in a mechanical pencil comes in the form of the Parker Jotter. Many EDC enthusiasts are likely already familiar with the pen version as it’s been a go-to in the community for years, but don’t overlook the pencil. It isn’t a technical writing instrument, but it has just as much attention to detail and thought into the overall design as any other option on this list. It’s super lightweight, and thanks to its stainless steel body, it can survive almost anything. It accepts a 0.5mm lead and has a very satisfying click on advancement.
Kaweco

Kaweco Special Mechanical Pencil

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


Price
$
For a unique take on the classic mechanical pencil, look at the Kaweco Special Mechanical Pencil. You’ll never confuse this with any other pencil as it has a distinctive octagonal aluminum barrel that keeps it from rolling off your desk while still being comfortable to hold. Up top is a satisfyingly clicky push-button for advancing the 0.7mm lead, and when you remove the cap, you get access to the hidden eraser underneath. One thing to remember before getting this pencil is that it doesn’t come with a clip, so if that’s important to you, you should pick it up separately.
Everyman

Everyman Grafton Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Dual lead refill compatibility
Built-in eraser
Heavy duty clip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm and 0.7 mm
Length
5.7"
Materials
Aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Grafton pen by Everyman has been finding its way into plenty of EDCs, so it’s only fair to share some of the love for the Grafton Mechanical Pencil as well. It’s similarly well-made with a body made entirely of 6061 aluminum and a bolted-on clip for securely carrying it around. It weighs only about 1 oz and has a grooved grip for comfort. Plus, it accepts either 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead and has a replaceable eraser up top for when you write something down that you shouldn’t have.
Uni-Ball

Uni-Ball Pipe Lock Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Knurled grip
Retractable tip
Pocket safe
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.9"
Materials
Metal grip, plastic body
EDC Rating


Price
$
A good drafting pencil is hard to come by. Cycling through them can be annoying, whether it’s a slippery grip, no clip, or lead that keeps breaking. Luckily, the Uni-Ball Pipe Lock mechanical pencil has none of these problems. The sleek metal design ends in a retractable tip that keeps your lead safe from breaking. It also has a diamond-cut knurled grip to keep it from slipping in your fingers as the deadline draws near. It accepts 0.5mm lead, which should cover you whether you’re sketching lines or taking notes.
TWSBI

TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Two-tip mechanism
Hexagonal design
Knurled grip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.5"
Materials
Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
Everyone makes mistakes, and the one mechanical pencil that will help you correct them is the TWSBI Precision. It has a solid metal barrel with a matching clip and a super long eraser, which is a rare find amongst mechanical pencils. The TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil comes in 0.5mm and 0.7mm options and comes with a retractable tip perfect for EDC. This means you won’t accidentally poke holes in your pockets if you sit the wrong way.
Rite

Rite in the Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Knurled metal grip
One-hand click lead advancement
Convenient pocket clip
Specifications
Lead Size
1.3 mm
Length
6"
Materials
Plastic
EDC Rating


Price
$
When it comes to writing and EDC, it’s safe to say that few brands have captured the community's trust like Rite in the Rain. The company is probably best known for its durable pocket notebooks, but you shouldn’t overlook its writing instruments. As its name suggests, the All-Weather Mechanical Pencil is a rugged option designed to work in less than ideal conditions. It features a wider knurled grip for better handling while wearing gloves and has a rust-resistant resin exterior for good measure. Even the lead comes in a thicker 1.13mm size to help prevent breaking when you’re writing on the job.
Tactile

Tactile Turn Pencil Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Schmidt DSM2006 mechanism
Slim body design
Lifetime warranty
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.5"
Materials
Titanium
EDC Rating


Price
$$
If you’re looking to shop small and support your local EDC artisan, look at the Tactile Turn Pencil. Machined from either titanium copper, bronze, or zirconium, this pencil is about as quality as it gets. The slim barrel fits means that the pencil is comfortable to write with for longer sessions and because it accepts any 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead, you won’t have any issues finding refills when you run out. Unlike other mechanical pencils, this one uses a side-bolt advancement which frees up the top of the pencil for a standard eraser. This way, you don’t need to remove any caps when you make a mistake. While the pencil can be on the pricer side, it also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’ll most likely be covered if anything goes wrong.
Fastcap

Fastcap Fatboy Extreme Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Built-in sharpener and eraser
Removable clip
For rough surfaces
Specifications
Lead Size
5.5 mm
Length
9.5"
Materials
Aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
Not all surfaces are as easy to mark up as paper. For those extreme edge cases, there’s the Fastcap Fatboy Extreme. This pencil comes with a 5.5mm HB2 lead, perfect for woodworking or sketching on quirky surfaces. Considering its size, it’s still fairly lightweight, thanks to its sleek aluminum barrel. It also has a removable clip, so the choice is whether you want to clip it to your shirt or slide it into your pocket. The thick lead is also not nearly as fragile as more popular lead sizes, so refilling when the time comes is a breeze.
Pentel

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Chiseled metallic grip
Built-in lead hardness indicator
Dual-action retractable tip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.3 mm
Length
6"
Materials
‎Metal
EDC Rating


Price
$
With its solid metal build, springy clip, and latex-dotted grip, it’s easy to see why the Pentel GraphGear 1000 drafting pencil is an EDC classic. This inexpensive mechanical pencil has been a staple for years for the reasons above and a few others. For one, it has a satisfying click mechanism that never leaves any doubt as to whether the lead is deployed or not. It also comes in three of the more popular lead sizes (0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm) and has a small window that allows you to see which style of lead you have loaded up. The pencil also has a retractable tip which is great news for EDCers as it protects the lead from breaking while you’re moving.
Pentel

Pentel GraphGear 500 Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Knurled grip
Built-in eraser
Designed for ease of writing
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
5.8"
Materials
Metal grip, plastic body
EDC Rating


Price
$
Another great option from Pentel is the GraphGear 500. This mechanical pencil is a great option for anyone who does tight, technical lines daily. It comes in 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm options, so you’ll always be covered with your preferred line weight. The GraphGear 500 features a 4mm tip perfect for sketching up against a rule or T-square when needed and helps improve accuracy even in everyday writing. It has a slim metal barrel with a slightly thicker mesh grip that, when combined with the metal cap that hides the eraser, makes a top-notch pencil worthy enough for any EDC kit.
Paper

Paper Mate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Side-click lead advance
Colored textured grip
Built-in eraser
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
7.6"
Materials
‎Plastic
EDC Rating


Price
$
You can’t go wrong with a classic, and the Paper Mate Clearpoint is just that. This mechanical pencil comes in 0.5mm and 0.7mm options with a side-click design for advancing the lead with just a click or two. It also has a textured cushioned grip and a translucent barrel which makes for a fun design that will have you holding it up close to your face to watch the mechanism with every click. Best of all, these are very affordable and are fantastic writing instruments for students and professionals alike.
uni

uni Kuru Toga Pipe Mechanical Pencil

Purchase
Key Features
Unique lead rotation
Made in Japan
Retractable tip
Specifications
Lead Size
0.5 mm
Length
7.6"
Materials
Plastic
EDC Rating


Price
$
One of the most annoying aspects of a mechanical pencil is the need to constantly rotate the pencil as you write due to the lead getting worn down on one side and creating a sharp point. The Uni Kuru Toga Pipe Slide fixes this with a clever advancement mechanism that slightly rotates the lead as you write. This way, every side of the lead gets uniformly used, and you don’t end up with a sharp point that snaps with the slightest pressure. The retractable lead sleeve also slides back into the pencil when you’re not using it, making it perfect for pockets and pencil cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best mechanical pencil?

The best mechanical pencil is the one that can keep up with your daily tasks. Going with the Uni Kuru Toga Advance Upgrade is a safe bet for most people.

Is 0.5 or 0.7 lead better?

Getting a mechanical pencil with a 0.5mm lead is better for most people. It’s a versatile lead that is great for writing but can also provide a strong, confident line if needed. Going with 0.7mm is also a good option if you're looking for a slightly thicker lead that will give you thicker lines.

Why are mechanical pencils the best?

Mechanical pencils are best for people who need to make many revisions as they work. Whether working through a complicated math problem or re-sketching blueprints to account for edits, a quality mechanical pencil gives you a real-life undo button which is something a pen does not.


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 lives. 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 with the industry and familiarity in design, materials, and usability help you make more informed choices when it comes to picking up your next piece of gear.

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Discussion (3 total)

Eddie Sutton ·
The Rite in the Rain pencil has not been available for well over a year or two now.
Lon V ·
I thought they still carry in at Lowe's or Home Depot?
Even if they do, I remember the reviews on it were not good. The feeding mechanism failed frequently.
Eddie Sutton ·
Lowe's recently carried the replacement which is also carried by Forestry Suppliers, but did not carry the eraser or lead refills. Been using these on a daily basis for over 20 years in my career as a highway Geologist and have never had a failure of any type yet.