A Versatile Drawing Tool For Artists
Mechanical pencils are an excellent drawing tool. Even though traditional pencils are indispensable, mechanical ones have a lot of advantages as well. They are much more consistent, offering even line thickness and shade, they require no sharpening, they are easy to control, and they are refillable.
We have comprised a list of three great mechanical pencils for drawing in three different price ranges and a guide on what to look for when buying one.
This pen is durable, perfectly balanced, just the right weight (around 0.6 ounces) and remarkably designed. It was first released in 1966, more than 50 years ago. It’s made out of a material called makrolon (polycarbonate) which is then given a polish for a matte look which makes fingerprints invisible and the surface clean. As you use the pencil the surface will polish naturally and become even shinier. It comes in a nice gift box and it’s fancy and expensive.
It costs around ten times more than regular mechanical pencils for drawing, but what you get is well worth the money. It’s easy to maintain and it can be taken apart easily. It’s very light, it weighs just under 19 grams, but the center of gravity is in the middle so it remains perfectly balanced despite being lightweight. Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil is made to last a lifetime. Click here for more information.
The evergreen pencil. Well rounded and reliable, extremely durable (it comes with a two year warranty too), simple and effective. It has a hexagonal full metal body which is perfect for drawing (and it can never roll off your desk). The entire pencil is made of brass and it comes in two versions; with a black or a silver finish. Lead advancement is smooth and the breakage is minimal.
Rotring 600 comes in three versions; 0.35, 0.5mm and 0.7mm, it weighs 22 grams and is 5.5″ long. It’s perfect for carrying around in a bag and sketching on the go. For more information, reviews and prices click here.
Kuru Toga (the name can be loosely translated from Japanese as “turning sharpening”) mechanical pencils are perfect for drawing because of their unique feature which simplifies the process a great deal; lead rotation. As you draw, the lead automatically rotates, which makes it sharpen into an even tip. This way you don’t have to rotate the pencil to even it out. This means no uneven line thickness and much less breaking, which is amazing. It comes in tip sizes 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7mm.
Kuru Toga uses diamond infused lead which produces remarkable lines. It’s extremely affordable (at around $8), and it’s designed to fit an artist too. Apart from the revolutionary lead rotation, the pencil itself is well made too, its plastic barrel is sturdy enough, the grip is comfortable and it doesn’t slip. Definitely one of the best mechanical pencils for drawing overall when considering the price/quality ratio. For more information, customer reviews and detailed prices click here.
Precision, Consistency, Durability
The biggest pro of mechanical pencils in general are the fine tips they have and the super-fine lines they can produce. The lead points range from 0.2 to 1.3 mm in thickness, with 0.5 and 0.7 mm being the most commonly used tip sizes. Even though they are commonly considered only to be a tool for technical drawing and writing, their versatility makes them a great tool for any type of drawing.
There are a few features mechanical pencils for drawing should have; a good grip, they should be made from a solid material (no soft, rubber or leather grips, they make it much harder to control the pencil). Good pencils should be shaped so that they fit your hand well. By that I don’t mean “ergonomic”, or whatever, but simple, round-shaped pencils. They offer most precision and control. They should be well balanced and neither too heavy nor too light, once again, look for a pencil which feels good in your hand.
The lead you use depends on the technique, surface, etc., and there is not much to say about it anyway. It’s the same as with traditional pencils, with lead grade from 9H to 9B and HB being the most commonly used lead.