The 5 Best Mechanical Pencils for Artists
Great art requires genius and inspiration - but here’s a little trick. Discovering the best tools for the job will allow you to unleash your creativity in its most natural and powerful way. Whilst picking up the best mechanical pencil won’t suddenly bring your sketches to life, it will allow you to stop being held back by subpar drawing tools, and to flourish as an artist.
Let’s take a look at the top mechanical pencils on the market - we’ll soon turn you into the next Leonardo da Vinci!
Why Choose A Mechanical Pencil?
Mechanical pencils have been designed with increasing ingenuity to provide a superior drawing tool. From the carefully balanced weight to comfortable grips, mechanical pencils offer complete control over your sketch, reducing smudges and mistakes.
What’s more, mechanical pencils allow you to choose a hyper-specific thickness of lead, giving you greater choice in your drawing output. “Lead thickness can vary greatly and many artists have a variety of pencils to choose from,” says Arnold Brixter, an arts writer at Britstudent. “If you’re sketching a delicate, light piece then a slimmer lead will work better, whereas with heavier lines a thicker lead can produce a more substantial impact.”
The Top 5 Mechanical Pencils For Drawing And Sketching
1) Pentel Graphgear 500
Pentel are a Japanese stationery company with a reputation for quality. Their Graphgear 500 pencil features a textured metal grip, giving you complete control of the twists and turns of your sketch. The metal grip, however, gives this pencil a top heavy feel - something that can take some time to get used to. For many, the Graphgear 500 is their go-to sketching pencil but if you’re coming to this from a lighter pencil the weighting can feel unwieldy at first.
2) Sakura 8 Piece Pigma
Sakura’s 8 piece Pigma pencil set is marketed as the perfect Manga pencil set, but you don’t have to be sketching manga to make the most of this excellent stationery set. With eight writing implements to choose from, this set can handle all your drawing needs from pencil-sketching to ink drawing. The included pencil is certainly notable as it’s perfectly weighted and features a .7mm lead for exact lines.
3) Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil
Modern Fuel exploded on Kickstarter a few years ago and this mechanical pencil made a big splash for its stylish design. Now in its second iteration, the new Modern Fuel mechanical pencil is as cool-looking as its predecessor and comes with a lifetime guarantee - it’s a pencil for life.
The complete metal chassis is durable and comfortable, and the whole sleeve is perfectly balanced, meaning there are no slips as you sketch.
4) rOtring Rapid Pro
rOtring’s all-metal mechanical pencil is designed to be the perfect companion to any artist. By building this pencil from entirely metal components, rejecting cheap plastic and quick short-cuts in production, rOtring has produced a pencil that’s built to last.
“rOtring is a company with its roots in the Bauhaus era of German design, built for artists by artists and designers - it’s a company you can put your faith in,” says Vanessa Withers, a lifestyle blogger at Originwritings. “They’ve been around for over a century producing exceptional tools for artists.”
5) Morning Glory Flat Lead Mechanical Pencil
Morning Glory manage to make all their stationery range stand out with a playful twist, and their flat-lead mechanical pencil is no different. Rather than reverting to the traditionally cylindrical design of a pencil, Morning Glory have reinvented the pencil in a slim-line rectangular form, including a flat-lead.
Whilst this can create a learning curve for using their pencil, once you master the flat-lead technology it produces reliable and exquisite results in your drawings. Comfortable in your hand and leading to smooth, firm lines, this is a great choice of mechanical pencil.
Investing in high-quality tools allows you to draw, sketch and write more fluidly, in a way that’s unfiltered by blunt pencils and snapping leads. These mechanical pencils are all top of the range, and you’ll be amazed by how comfortable they feel in your hand, and the way they convert your creativity onto the page.