Mechanical pencils are everywhere. Quality is not. My list of tried-&-true faves follows.
Estimated Reading Time: 1:52 min
✧︎︎︎1✧︎︎︎ Uni Kuru Toga: ever-sharp winner
The Kuru Toga’s claim to fame rests with a unique internal mechanism. Each time you lift your hand from the paper, the lead auto-rotates, resulting in a near-constant sharp point. Because I favor the ultra-rich print from 4B lead, that auto-rotation proves golden. Soft lead like the 4B would go flat in a heartbeat in other pencils.
→ Amazon, JetPens, eBay.
Several additional colors of the Kuru Toga are available. (I add scotch tape to a barrel to signify installation of 4B lead.)
✧︎︎︎2✧︎︎︎ Zebra DelGuard ER: lead-longevity champ
Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencils
In an ideal world, I’d write with a 0.3mm pencil without being punished throughout the writing process. Reality intrudes, witnessing broken lead tips waaaaay too frequently. This Zebra DelGuard wonder bucks the mainstream. I’m told an internal mechanism cushions the lead. Breakage may not be eliminated but it is indeed minimized. That makes this baby a keeper! I so enjoy the 0.3mm model that I later grabbed its 0.5mm sibling. Physically, this 0.5mm is more comfortable than the Kuru Toga, but the latter retains its EDC status per its sharp tip.
→ Amazon, JetPens, eBay.
✧︎︎︎3✧︎︎︎ Pentel Sharp Kerry: beauty contestant
I never expected to see the word “beautiful” within a sentence exploring mechanical pencils. Then I discovered this gem. Stylish to a delightful extreme, the pencil also feels good in hand. (I added grip cushions to the black and blue models for a dryer grip.) The eraser is a joke, a problem vexing all but the next item on this list. I’m partial to the orange and purple versions, matching same-colored Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pens.
Pentel Sharp Kerry mechanical pencils
I started with this baby in 2009, growing my collection through the years. I’m nerdy enough to also match each with the now-rare Sensa Cloud ink pen. The ever-sharp prowess of the Kuru Toga relegated these eye-candy gems to second-tier status. But I still enjoy them from time to time, so they remain in my “preferred” stash.
→ Amazon, eBay.
✧︎︎︎4✧︎︎︎ Pentel Twist-Erase: true eraser (!)
To my knowledge, the Twist-Erase stands alone in presenting an eraser worthy of the name. And, the eraser remains accessible at all times, i.e. no cap to remove (and lose). Turn the barrel to extend/retract the eraser, which never seems to end. IMHO, best bang for the buck per style + eraser.
→ Anywhere, including Staples.
Twist-Erase mechanical pencils. Sadly, no orange variant.
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Did I miss your fave? Please, educate me in the Comments!