• Top 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in the UK 2020 1
  • Top 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in the UK 2020 2
  • Top 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in the UK 2020 3
  • Top 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in the UK 2020 4
  • Top 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in the UK 2020 5

Top 10 Best Mechanical Pencils in the UK 2020

Mechanical pencils are an essential item for any student, artist, or stationary fanatic. Simply insert a lead of your choice, whether 0.5mm or larger, and you have an easy-to-hold pencil that will never become blunt. This makes it perfect for precise art, sketching, and drawing, as well as for when you need to take notes but don’t have time to repeatedly sharpen your pencil.

Whether you want a durable metal or cute plastic design, these ultra-convenient writing instruments will last forever as long as you refill them. For something that you will use for such a long time, its important that you take the time to carefully select the right one for you. We are here to teach you the different features to take into consideration and to introduce some of our favourite products.
  • Last updated: 31-07-2020
  • 1,150 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Mechanical Pencil in the UK – Buying Guide

Have you only ever bought cheap, disposable mechanical pencils? Or have you only used traditional pencils? There is a whole world of diverse mechanical pencils with unique features awaiting you! Here are the main things you will need to take into consideration.

Choose Lead Compatibility Suited to Your Purpose

Just like regular pencils, the ideal lead thickness depends on your purpose and desired results. Mechanical pencils are not designed for all kinds of lead so you should keep this in mind while browsing.

Writing: Pencils Compatible with Medium-Sized Lead

Writing: Pencils Compatible with Medium-Sized Lead
The standard thickness for mechanical pencil lead is 0.5mm, which will be fine for most people when writing. Anything thinner than this will be too thin, thus prone to snapping. If you write with particular vigour you may want to go for a slightly thicker 0.7mm lead.
The majority of mechanical pencils are designed for 0.5mm lead, but you may need to choose a different pencil if you prefer 0.7mm or thicker.

Drawing: Thin or Thick Lead Depends on Your Desired Effect

Drawing: Thin or Thick Lead Depends on Your Desired Effect
If you plan to create rough drawings and sketches, you might want to choose mechanical pencils that are compatible with thick (0.7mm or greater) lead.
Thin (0.5mm or smaller) lead is better for technical or architectural drawings with lots of minute detail, as it offers greater control and precision.
If you are an artist who is thinking about using mechanical pencils, it might be worth getting a range of different pencils with various lead compatibility to give you more options when drawing.
In addition, if you want to use a range of hard and soft lead for drawing, you may want to look for pencils with lead grade indicators on them in order to differentiate which kind of lead is in which pencil. Pencils labeled as ‘Drafting Pencils’ often have this feature.

Lead Advance Mechanisms: Which Should You to Use?

When considering purchasing a mechanical pencil, there are various different lead advance mechanisms to keep in mind.

Push for People Who Favour Control and Convenience

Push for People Who Favour Control and Convenience
Push types are the most common and give you the freedom to extend or retract the lead easily. Most people are used to this mechanism from using retractable pens, making it the perfect choice for beginners or casual users.
There are also pencils with push mechanisms on the side which allow you to extend the lead easily with your thumb while writing. This tool is ideal for those who need to write a lot in a short amount of time.

Twist for Those Looking for a Classic Design

Twist for Those Looking for a Classic Design
Some pencils let you extend or retract the lead by twisting the end or tip of the pen. This mechanism was common with early mechanical pencils but was replaced for time efficiency. Nowadays this means that many retro-style mechanical pencils have this feature for a vintage aesthetic.
While extending lead with this method will disrupt the flow of your writing, it allows you to completely control the amount of lead you put out or inside the pencil. However, some twist pencils can only carry one piece of lead at a time, and they usually only hold thicker lead (0.9mm and above).

Shake for Students Who Need Efficiency While Jotting Down Notes

Shake for Students Who Need Efficiency While Jotting Down Notes
For the shake mechanism, you have to, as the name implies, shake the pencil to extend the lead; when you shake, a weight that is inside the pencil will force the lead to go down. Once you get used to this feature it makes it easy to extend lead without changing your writing grip, so it is perfect for those who must take notes quickly.
In addition, mechanical pencils with shake mechanisms always have a push button attached, so you have the freedom to extend the lead whichever way you choose.

Automatic for Those Seeking Stream of Consciousness Writing

Automatic for Those Seeking Stream of Consciousness Writing
Nowadays there are even auto-feed mechanisms which let you write without having to worry about extending the lead at all! They usually have plastic or metal cones at the tip which hold the lead. When the lead runs out and the tip touches the paper, the pressure activates a mechanism which extends more lead automatically.
While this is convenient, some people may not like the feeling of writing with the tip constantly touching the paper. Nevertheless, this mechanism is perfect for those who don’t want to bother with extending the lead themselves, and just want to write their thoughts on paper without delay.

Choose the Lead Sleeve Based on Your Writing Habits

Choose the Lead Sleeve Based on Your Writing Habits
The lead sleeve is the thin metal shaft that covers the section of lead that pokes out of the tip. They exist to protect the lead from snapping.
Fixed lead sleeves always stay in the same position, so are good if you are not fond of things moving around while writing.
If you tend to write with force, it is worth looking for extra features to protect your lead while writing. Sliding sleeves retract back into the tip of the pencil along with the lead when they feel pressure. Dynamic sleeves extend to cover the lead when the lead feels significant force, and spring cushions pull the lead back into the body of the pencil when it is strongly pushed.

Different Types of Grips Offer Extra Comfort

Different Types of Grips Offer Extra Comfort
Many mechanical pencils have rubber grips which make it more comfortable to write or draw with them for hours at a time. Others may simply have indentations in the plastic or knurled metal grips to prevent your fingers from slipping and sliding, and some pencils are completely smooth.
When considering pencils with different grips, ask yourself: How often do I plan on using this? From my experience using pens and pencils in the past, do I prefer those with bulky grips, or do I prefer holding something slim and smooth?
How you feel when writing with the pencil is the main factor that determines how long you will keep on using it in the long term, so it is worth determining your ideal form of grip beforehand.

Consider the Material: Plastic for Colour and Affordability, Metal for Durability and Class

Consider the Material: Plastic for Colour and Affordability, Metal for Durability and Class
Most affordable mechanical pencils that you will find are made from plastic. Pencils with this material are light, smooth, easy to hold, and can have bright, fun colours to cheer you up while you are studying.
Metal pencils are, of course, more expensive, but offer greater durability than plastic. If you want a mechanical pencil that you can use everyday for years to come, it is worth investing in a high-quality metal pencil. These silver pencils look more professional too, so are ideal for using at the workplace.

Erasers? Handy, But Not Necessary

Erasers? Handy, But Not Necessary
Pencils with erasers already attached are excellent for quickly erasing small mistakes, or attaching to a monthly diary, for example. However, they are not ideal for erasing large sections. Most high-quality mechanical pencils have refillable erasers attached, but you may want to check that the refills are easy to purchase beforehand if you do plan on using the built-in eraser often.
For artists, professionals, and students, its likely that you already have a separate eraser that you like to use, so it is not necessary to choose a pencil with an eraser attached. Nevertheless, built-in erasers are perfect for emergency use.

Top 10 Mechanical Pencils to Buy Online in the UK 2019

Now that you know the main things to consider when buying a mechanical pencil, let’s get to the top recommendations for pencils available in the UK.

10. Retro 51 Vintage Metalsmith Tornado Pencil, Dr Gray

£27.98

Lead Compatibility1.15mm
Advance MechanismTwist
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialMetal
Grip
EraserRefillable

9. Cross Classic Century Pencil – Black & Gold

£51.46

Lead Compatibility0.7mm
Advance MechanismTwist
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialMetal
Grip
EraserRefillable

8. KOH-I-NOOR Diamond Drawing Pencils Set of 6

£18.65

Lead Compatibility2mm
Advance MechanismPush (Clutch)
Lead Sleeve
MaterialMetal
Grip
EraserSeparate

7. Tombow Mono Graph Shaker Mechanical Pencil – Red Body

£3.89

Lead Compatibility0.5mm
Advance MechanismShake/Push
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialPlastic
GripPlastic
EraserRefillable

6. Zebra DelGuard Mechanical Pencil- Black

£3.69

Lead Compatibility0.5mm
Advance MechanismPush
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialPlastic
GripPlastic
EraserRefillable

5. Uni Kuru Toga Advance Mechanical Pencil – Blue

£5.48

Lead Compatibility0.5mm
Advance MechanismPush
Lead SleeveSliding/Retractable
MaterialPlastic
GripPlastic
EraserRefillable

4. Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil – Black

£11.54

Lead Compatibility0.5mm
Advance MechanismPush
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialMetal, Resin
GripMetal
EraserRefillable

3. Rotring 600 Drafting Pencil – Silver Body

£21.65

Lead Compatibility0.5mm
Advance MechanismPush
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialMetal
GripKnurled Metal
EraserRefillable

2. Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil – Silver Body

£10.74

Lead Compatibility0.5mm
Advance MechanismPush
Lead SleeveFixed
MaterialMetal
GripKnurled Metal
EraserRefillable

1. Pentel Orenz Nero Mechanical Pencil

£25.67

Lead Compatibilityo.3mm
Advance MechanismPush/Automatic
Lead SleeveSliding
MaterialPlastic/Metal
GripPlastic
EraserRefillable

Summary

As you can see, mechanical pencils nowadays all have such amazing features that it can be almost impossible to choose just one to purchase. Why don’t you buy a few to test out the different mechanisms for yourself? Either way, we hope that this article helped you to find the mechanical pencil of your dreams.

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