View Full Version : July 5 Happy mechanical pencil day

AW Admin
07-05-2019, 08:30 PM
When I was a kid my father had a few mechanical pencils.

I found the endlessly frustrating. The erasers were always too small, and the lead broke routinely and got jammed in the mechanism. I avoided them.

Later I started to use mechanical drafting pencils at work for UI designs, and then, discovered Pentel mechanical pencils.

I still use mechanical pencils, particularly for drafting, and when I don't want to deal with sharpening a pencil. I've got some favorites though (KuruToga).

Lots of people love mechanical pencils (https://www.cultpens.com/news/q/date/2018/07/05/mechanical-pencil-day-why-we-love-mechanical-pencils), even the ubiquitous yellow plastic pencils from BIC.

07-05-2019, 09:56 PM
Yesterday I was going through Kid Two's boxes from her childhood, since she refuses to sort the trash from the donations, and I came across a favorite mechanical pencil that was just right in the hand. It doesn't come with an eraser, which is a serious flaw, but I like it so much better than the BICs I use for the crossword puzzle. (I'll never be good enough to try that in ink.) I found out they stopped making it a long time ago. Naturally.

Who's got a favorite mechanical pencil? What do you like about it? Is the eraser big enough, and does it actually erase or just smear--or tear the paper?

Maryn, open to suggestions

Alessandra Kelley
07-05-2019, 11:04 PM
I do most of my serious drawing with 0.3 mm mechanical pencils. I love them! They’re great for really fine lines and details. The leads are so fine they can only be gotten at specialty stores.

I don’t use the erasers, generally. I use big specialty erasers, especially a kneaded eraser for detail work. I do like that they have a wire in to clear out clogged leads. I basically treat them as corks for the lead storage.

My current main 0.3mm mechanical pencil is a Staedtler, with an emergency backup Alvin that I like for its heft. There are a few more emergency backups in my studio, but I don’t remember what kind they are.

07-06-2019, 12:09 AM
I use cheap .7 BIC mechanical pencils and Pink Pearl erasers. With anything thinner than .7, I break the lead too often.

07-06-2019, 12:14 AM
Pentels! I had to take an engineering drafting course my freshman year of college. I don’t remember whether the curriculum required a Pentel, or if that was all the campus bookstores carried, but that’s what I bought and used and I adored them. Used them for years after when I needed a pencil, until keyboards made handwriting obsolete for me. ;)

Alessandra Kelley
07-06-2019, 01:55 AM
Well, whoops. Looks like my 0.3mm Staedtler just died on me, after many years of service.

I rummaged around in my studio for my emergency backup’s backups and found another Alvin and a couple of Koh-i-Noors, which seem to be on the exact same model as the Alvins except red instead of yellow, and also my much loved old olive green Pentel. This isn’t a Pentel like their cheapie plastic throwaways, but a proper meant-to-last hard plastic and metal drafting mechanical pencil.

Sooo ... Now my main art pencil is a 0.3mm Alvin with a Koh-i-Noor as emergency backup.