A pencil is an indispensable tool in carpentry for making key markings as well as sketching designs. But the constant blunting and need to sharpen a traditional pencil after short periods gets tedious very quickly.
Turning to a sharpener so often is not only disruptive but messy. Regular sharpening also consumes your pencil quickly. For convenience, you may want to look at a more reliable alternative like a mechanical pencil.
Unlike the traditional ones, mechanical pencils stay sharp for longer. They also eliminate the need for manual sharpening and don’t get shorter over time, promoting a smooth workflow.
So then, what is the best mechanical pencil for woodworking? The best mechanical pencil will be strong with consistent sharpness and visible against a wood background so you don’t lose it while working. It should also be comfortable to hold and come with high-quality lead with high visibility.
If you are not sure where to begin looking, this post is the ideal starting point. We’ll provide a detailed buying guide and give recommendations for the best mechanical pencils for woodworking. Let’s dive in.
Mechanical Pencils For Woodworking – Buyer’s Guide
There’s a huge variety of mechanical pencils out there. You may feel lost when you don’t know what exactly to look for while shopping for one. The following features should guide you in finding a suitable one for your woodworking project.
1. Quality Of Lead
The quality of the lead is one of the key features you want to look for in a mechanical pencil for woodworking. That is because it determines the strength of the tip and also the visibility and size of the pencil marks.
A poor quality lead is prone to breakage with little pressure which is the last thing you want while woodworking. In addition, it won’t last long and will need constant replacement.
Also, check the size of the tip to ensure you are getting the ideal line size for the job. The diameter is usually indicated in mm and can be 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm, 2mm, and so on.
2. Structural Material
Plastic and metal are the two most popular materials used for building the structure of mechanical pencils. This is the outer covering or housing for the lead, plus other components like the tip.
A metallic construction offers a more robust casing that is durable and won’t break or crack. This is ideal especially in a woodworking environment where there’s a lot going on.
You can opt for plastic too but it should be high grade. The greatest advantage of plastic is that it is lightweight and would be a better choice if you do not like heavy pencils.
For enhanced comfort and a better grip while in use, opt for a mechanical pencil with a textured rubber grip. You can also get pencils where the metal is knurled or meshed to offer slip resistance. Finger contours are an added advantage for relief from fatigue.
4. Sharpening Mechanism
The need to constantly sharpen the traditional pencil is what draws many carpenters away from them and towards mechanical ones. Therefore, you need to look for a pencil with a more convenient sharpening mechanism.
Some mechanical pencils have thick lead and built-in sharpeners that you can use to refine the point of the lead. Others make use of lead that is already so small that it doesn’t need sharpening at all.
The shape of the pencil is one of those small things you do not want to overlook. Usually, the shape dictates the level of comfort as well as the ability of the pencil to stay put when placed on a flat surface.
Rounded pencils tend to roll off of flat work surfaces. No one likes bending to pick them up all the time. It almost always leads to the lead breaking inside as well.
If you want to go with a round mechanical pencil, ensure that it has an anti-roll feature like a lid with a clip.
Hexagonal or triangular pencils are a better alternative because they don’t roll around and their facets feel more comfortable to hold.
6. Ease Of Use
It wouldn’t make sense to replace the good old wooden pencil with a model that will frustrate you even more. It’s all about making your woodworking easier.
Therefore, you’ll want to check that the mechanical pencil isn’t too complex to operate. Systems to check include how to advance the lead, how to load or refill it, how to sharpen it (if need be), and how to retrieve the eraser if it has one.
Another key factor to consider which will determine a mechanical pencil’s usability is the availability of refills and ease of accessibility.
The Best Mechanical Pencils For Woodworking
Having provided you with a buying guide, it wouldn’t be fair to leave you without a few suggestions right? Well, here are our best picks.
|1.||Pentel GraphGear Mechanical Pencil||0.5 mm, retractable, replaceable eraser|
|2.||Uni-Ball KuruToga Mechanical Pencil||0.7 mm, rotating lead, replaceable eraser|
|3.||MyLifeUNIT Mechanical Pencil||2.0 mm, retractable, rubber grip, sharpener|
|4.||Rotring Mechanical Pencil||0.7 mm, full metal, anti-slip, eraser,|
|5.||FastCap Fatboy Extreme Carpenter Pencil||5.5 mm, red and white refills, eraser|
1. Pentel GraphGear Mechanical Pencil
First place is the pentel graphgear 1000 mechanical pencil. This is a premium retractable pencil with a 4 mm tip.
It is made from 0.5 mm lead for those sharp crisp lines. You advance and retract it with a push-button and since it is preloaded, there’s no need for sharpening.
The body is sleek and constructed with a robust grayish silver metallic barrel. There’s latex-free padding to reduce fatigue to your fingers while gripping the pencil.
On one end is an eraser that retracts by twisting the pencil. It also comes with a clip that prevents it from rolling off surfaces and you can conveniently carry it around in your pocket sleeve.
Loading this mechanical pencil is unfortunately not that straightforward but there’s a couple of YouTube tutorials that can help with that.
With a metallic structure, replaceable lead and eraser, and retractable features, you can expect this mechanical pencil to last a lifetime.
2. Uni-Ball KuruToga Mechanical Pencil
Next is an amazing pencil from the Uni-ball KuruToga series. If you’ve been using other unsatisfactory mechanical pencils, this one will be a game-changer.
The body is made from durable plastic except for the contoured grip and metallic tip which prevents your lead from breaking.
Its most notable feature, however, is the patented rotating mechanism that revolves the lead during usage, sharpening the pencil continuously. There will never be a dull or chiseled spot because it wears the lead out evenly, maintaining a cone shape.
The pencil’s core is a diamond-infused 0.7 mm HB lead that is hard-wearing against tough jobs. Advancing the lead is as easy as the push of a button. It also includes a replaceable eraser.
Both lead and eraser are easy to load and replace and you get some extras with this pack to keep you going long after the purchase. If you are looking for crisp lines for precise marking, this is the pencil for you.
3. MyLifeUNIT Mechanical Pencil
If you are looking for an inexpensive option that works great, MylifeUnit 2.0 mm mechanical pencil fits the description.
The mechanical pencil comes with a 2.0 mm lead that is 120 mm long. This is a thicker lead than most which is great for heavy-handed users.
Its barrel and most other components are of plastic construction which makes it incredibly lightweight. It is also retractable which is a great feature that prevents accidentally breaking the lead as opposed to when exposed.
Comfort is one of the manufacturers because the three-sided finger-holding rubber pad design is unmatched. It prevents any fatigue, pain, or discomfort.
The top clicker part serves as a sharpener as well. You’ll have to do it manually, however. One downside is that it does not come with an eraser, but given that you get 20 extra high-quality replacement lead sticks makes it totally worth it.
This mechanical pencil brand is also fairly easy to use. It offers an easy way to load the lead by pulling out the clicker and inserting the lead. The clicker advances tiny sections of the lead each time up so you stop at the length you are comfortable with.
4. Rotring Mechanical Pencil
Rotring is an iconic brand in the mechanical pens and pencils industry; the review won’t be quite complete without one. Well, the rotary 600 mechanical pencil is our choice for the fifth-best mechanical pencil for woodworking.
It features a full metal body. It also has a non-slip knurled metal grip section to prevent slippage while in use.
The barrel is hexagonal so the multi-facets prevent it from rolling around while laid flat. It also has a removable clip which helps with the same in addition to carrying it in your pocket.
Each pencil comes loaded with two to four pieces of 0.7 mm diameter lead. It utilizes a push-top ratchet advance system to advance the lead. The opposite end has an eraser installed.
It is a sturdily constructed mechanical pencil which, unfortunately, some users find a bit heavier than the typical weight of other brands. But if you’d like something really thin that has good heft and is solidly constructed, you’ll love it.
It comes as a single pencil in a classy giftable package.
5. FastCap Fatboy Extreme Carpenter Pencil
Last but not least is the Fastcap Fatboy mechanical pencil. As the name suggests, this pencil is chunkier than standard ones.
Unlike the rest of the pencils in this review, this one is a graphite pencil and has white and red refills too, making it versatile.
These measure 5.5 mm wide which is a virtually unbreakable width. You can sharpen it into a fine point if you need to using an ordinary sharpener or the in-built one provided at the cap.
The pencil is housed in aluminum and has an eraser on one end and a clip too. It’s very easy to load and uses a push and release button to advance the lead.
This may not be the best mechanical pencil for precise markings but is surely dependable. It is built for tough use and if you are heavy-handed you will highly appreciate this mechanical pencil.
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