The 15 Best EDC Mechanical Pencils

Sep 12, 2019

Category: Gear

Usually, when we talk about everyday carry writing utensils, we’re talking about pens. But we realize that the permanence of ink isn’t for everyone — especially creatives, those prone to mistakes, or some combination of the two. In that case, we tend to lean more toward pencils.

Unfortunately, standard wood pencils are not exactly efficient. Not only is their usefulness tied directly to how much of them you’ve used, but they require you to carry around a sharpener of some sort in order to keep them in working order. Mechanical pencils, by contrast, are refillable, can be more compact, last far longer, and come in a wider range of styles. That’s why, if you’re going to incorporate a pencil into your everyday carry, we suggest one of the following 15 best mechanical pencils for EDC.

Zebra M-701 Mechanical Pencil

The pencil version of one of the best EDC pens of all time, Zebra’s M-701 mechanical pencil is practically unbeatable. Not only is it incredibly budget-friendly, but it’s also durable — constructed from stainless steel — comfortable to hold and use (thanks to a knurled grip), easy to carry in your pocket due to its integrated clip, and it is useable with standard-sized 0.7mm lead.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $6

Pentel P205A Sharp Mechanical Pencil

Pentel has been in the pencil game for a long time and their P205A Sharp mechanical pencil is their all-time best-seller — that should tell you something about its overall quality. The example above is compatible with 0.5mm lead, but there is also a trio of alternative size options for thicker or thinner lines. It also has a 4mm tip that’s ideal for drafting purposes (like using it with a ruler) and it comes with a pocket clip.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: No

Purchase: $7

Staedtler Lead Holder Mechanical Pencil

Most mechanical pencils rely on ultra-thin lead refills that are prone to breaking — especially if you’re a bit heavy-handed or you write/draw at an angle. The Staedtler Lead Holder, however, houses a thicker 2mm lead that acts more like those found in standard wooden pencils. This allows for better sketching, shading, and more resistance to pressure than its thinner counterparts — making it perfect for anyone who likes to draw. It also has an integrated sharpener to keep the tip pointed.

Lead Size: 2mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: No

Purchase: $10

Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil

Designed specifically with professionals in mind, Alvin’s Draft-Matic mechanical pencil is remarkably durable and long-lasting to the point that you might never need to buy another mechanical pencil again once you have this one. It’s also available in a quartet of different lead sizes for all your needs, comes with a pocket clip for easy hauling, and has a hideaway eraser under the tail cap.

Lead Size: 0.2mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $10+

Uni-Ball KuruToga Mechanical Pencil

You probably recognize the name Uni-Ball for the brand’s legendary lineup of pens, but it turns out they also make mechanical pencils — with the KuruToga being perhaps their best. This unique translucent offering is a state-of-the-art writing utensil available in either 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead sizes, it comes with a hideaway eraser, and it has a rotating lead mechanism to keep the tip sharp and help prevent breakage.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Plastic
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $11

Rite In The Rain All-Weather Mechanical Pencil

It’s fairly unlikely that you’ll need the ability to use your pencil in a downpour. However, if you pick up the Rite in the Rain All-Weather mechanical pencil, you can. That’s because, like their pens, this utensil has a special lead designed not to suffer any ill effect at the hands of the weather. It’s also ultra-durable, has a patented tip to help prevent breakage, and it comes in multiple colorways for your styling pleasure.

Lead Size: 1.1mm
Barrel Material: Resin
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $13

Autopoint Jumbo All-American Mechanical Pencil

One of the things missing from a lot of mechanical pencils is the ergonomic feeling you get from the faceted barrels of traditional wood pencils. Luckily, Autopoint specifically made their Jumbo All-American mechanical pencil with that same geometric styling. That makes it comfortable to hold and keeps it from rolling off your desk once you set it down. Mate that to a pocket clip and jumbo eraser and this is a solid option for any everyday carry loadout.

Lead Size: 0.9mm, 1.1mm
Barrel Material: N/A
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $14

Parker Jotter Mechanical Pencil

If you want your mechanical pencil to be a bit sleeker and modern than the competition — something you can be proud to bring into an office meeting or keep on your desk — then you might want to have a look-see at the Parker Jotter. From the legendary company that makes everyone’s favorite ink cartridges, this less-permanent utensil is crafted entirely from stainless steel, houses 0.5mm lead, and still has a pocket clip.

Lead Size: 0.5mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Eraser: No

Purchase: $15

FastCap Fatboy Extreme Mechanical Pencil

For those looking for the ultimate shading capabilities out of a mechanical pencil, the FastCap Fatboy Extreme simply cannot be beaten. That’s because, while all the competition is messing around with lead that’s fractions of a millimeter in thickness, this one comes with a whopping 5.5mm piece of lead — which is even thicker than most traditional pencils. For artists and sketchers alike, this might just be the best mechanical pencil out there.

Lead Size: 5.5mm
Barrel Material: Aluminum
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $15

rOtring Rapid PRO Mechanical Pencil

Sleek, stylish, and built to last, the Rapid PRO mechanical pencil is one of the best ones on the market for those who are frequently on-the-go. That’s because it has an added bit of safety and security in the form of a retractable tip — meaning you don’t have to worry about bending or breaking it while you’re in transit. It’s also available in matte black or chrome silver, has a knurled grip and pocket clip, and comes with a 2-year warranty against defects.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 2.0mm
Barrel Material: Metal
Eraser: No

Purchase: $35

Everyman Grafton Mechanical Pencil

Everyman’s Grafton Pen is one of our favorite permanent writing utensils of all time and, as it turns out, they also make it in a mechanical pencil version. And yes, just about everything that made the pen great remains in the mechanical pencil, save for the ink. That means it’s still got the same styling, an integrated pocket clip, an aluminum construction, and a well-balanced body. It also works with both 0.5mm and 0.7mm lead — two of the most popular sizes available. Our favorite difference, however, is probably the tail-mounted eraser on the clicker mechanism.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Aluminum
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $35

Lamy 2000 Mechanical Pencil

There is something to be said for the styling of pens. Namely, they’re typically sleeker and more refined than their lead-loaded counterparts. Lamy seems to be keen on this fact, which is probably why they made their 2000 mechanical pencil with pen-like styling. Truly, unless you write with it, you’d probably not even guess that this is a pencil at all — which is a good thing in this case. It’s also made from resin and stainless steel for plenty of durability, works with 0.7mm lead, and has an eraser on its tail end.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Makrolon Resin
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $66

Ystudio Mechanical Pencil

If you like the look of traditional yellow wood pencils, but you want a lead-filled utensil that will last a good deal longer, the Ystudio Mechanical Pencil is the pick for you. This absolutely beautiful everyday carry tool is made primarily from solid brass, has copper accents, and has phosphor bronze hardware. Because of the materials, this pencil will also age with use — giving it a unique patina reflexive of its usage. It’s a pricey investment, but it has the potential to last for generations with proper care.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Brass
Eraser: No

Purchase: $100

Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil

At first glance, you might be wondering what, exactly, makes the Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil worth nearly $200. But have a closer look and the reasoning begins to reveal itself. For starters, the pen is crafted from your choice of stainless steel, phosphor bronze, tellurium copper, or titanium. It also comes with an interchangeable mechanism to allow it to house 0.5mm, 0.7mm, or 0.9mm lead. And finally, it has both an eraser on the tail end and a retractable tip. Essentially, this handy utensil was built to last a lifetime or two.

Lead Size: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel, Copper, Bronze, or Titanium
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $180+

Porsche Design Tec Flex Mechanical Pencil

While the greater brand is best known for their impeccable sports cars, they also have a sub-brand called Porsche Design that makes everything from hi-fi home speakers to everyday carry gear. In that latter category, they’ve crafted this absolutely breathtaking mechanical pencil from seemingly-woven stainless steel. Yes, this is by far the most expensive offering on our list, but it’s also the most exclusive and possibly the most beautifully crafted mechanical pencil of all time. It’s made for the elite — and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want to count ourselves amongst them.

Lead Size: 0.7mm
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Eraser: Yes

Purchase: $230+

The 15 Best EDC Pocket Notebooks

An EDC mechanical pencil isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have something on which to write, sketch, draft, or draw. Fix that problem by adding one of the best pocket notebooks to your everyday carry loadout.

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