Best Mechanical Pencil For Woodworking

If you are a woodworker you know just how important it is to have a good trustworthy pencil to help you with your work.

Best Mechanical Pencil For Woodworking

While using a standard classic pencil works for some, many prefer using a mechanical pencil for many reasons.

These pencils are so much better when it comes to being used continuously and consistently and are perfect when it comes to making more precise markings. 

Working with standard pencils means you will have to cope with pencils inevitably becoming unsharpened and needing maintenance.

The lead on these pencils also have a much less likelihood of the lead breaking which can be a real issue when working with wood, especially rush wood projects.

If you need pencils as often as you do when you are working on woodworking projects, you will eventually grow tired with the problems which are inherent to standard pencils, and it will make your work much less efficient and the waste of time will definitely start to grate on you.

This is why so many woodworkers rely on mechanical pencils since they make the issues typical for standard pencils not an issue.

If you are a starter woodworker and do not know what you should be looking for when it comes to a pencil for woodworking, or if you are a veteran woodworker who is finally using a mechanical pencil after years of a standard pencil and do not know what to look for, this guide will be perfect for you!

There is a surprising amount of factors which are worth considering when it comes to buying a mechanical pencil.

The pencil which might be best for one woodworker, might not be the same for another because everyone uses these devices in a different way, so there is not always one device which works best for everyone.

If you know that you are going to buy a mechanical pencil for the primary goal of woodworking, this guide is going to be a necessity to read, so for whatever type of mechanical pencil you are looking for, keep reading to get the information which you need!

Also, if you want a more specific look at the factors which are worth considering when buying a mechanical pencil, refer to the buyer’s guide after the product list, so you know what you should be looking out for specifically!

The Best Mechanical Pencils For Woodworking

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil 0.5 mm

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm Premier Drafting Kit with 1 Pencil, 1 Eraser Refill Tube and 1 Eraser (PG1015EBP)

This is one of the best and most worthwhile mechanical pencils for the price which you are paying for it.

It will be great for woodwork, but is also perfect for standard writing as well.

This is a versatile pencil which can fit a variety of standards and also has a great aesthetic.

This is a perfect pencil for drawing precision lines and the heavier feel is perfect for a sturdy feeling.

The design will last a long time and makes it look much more expensive than it actually is.


  • Sleek and attractive design
  • The lead used in it is durable and very dark
  • Has a 4 mm tip
  • Has a rotating window to make viewing lead level easy
  • Easy to grip onto


  • The pocket clip is not very durable
  • If you want a lighter pencil this is not a great choice.
Pentel GraphGear 1000 Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm Premier Drafting Kit with 1 Pencil, 1 Eraser Refill Tube and 1 Eraser (PG1015EBP)
  • Produce professional-quality drawings with this 0.5mm Pentel Graph Gear 1000 mechanical drafting pencil. The dual-action feature deploys and retracts lead in one click and protects the tip from breaking, while the chiseled metallic grip with soft, latex-free pads delivers excellent writing control. Pre-loaded Pentel Super Hi-Polymer lead is break-resistant and offers outstanding performance. This refillable Pentel Graph Gear 1000 mechanical drafting pencil has a matching metallic clip for quick
  • Metallic barrel with a chiseled, soft latex-free grip.
  • Sleek silver barrel offers substantial control.
  • Pentel Super Hi-Polymer lead for reliable performance.
  • Dual-action retractor prevents tip breakage.

Rotring 600 0.5 mm Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil

rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil, 0.5 mm, Black

This is a perfect pencil for sketching and drawing, and the style of grip and shape makes it a perfect choice for woodworking.

The ergonomic design is very comfortable to hold and reduces chances of fatigue.

It has a very light weight and makes precise markings simple, this pencil is great for writing for longer stretches of time.


  • Perfect for creating clear and more precise line work
  • Great for stopping lead breakages
  • Great ergonomic grip


  • Tip is not retractable
  • Does not have an eraser built-in
rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil, 0.5 mm, Black
  • rOtring pencil technology. rOtring brass mechanism for precision lead advancement. Fixed lead guidance sleeve preventing break and offering an unimpeded view of the page for precise ruler-based drawing. Comes in a black finish and holds 0.5 mm lead
  • Ergonomic metal barrel. Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight and feeling. Hexagonal barrel ensuring fatigue-free writing and drawing. Shaped to prevent the tool from rolling when laid down on tables
  • Lead hardness grade indicator. For a rapid identification when working. Lead hardness grade indicator to identify and adjust lead
  • Lead hardness grade indicator to identify and adjust lead
  • Comes in a black finish and holds 0.5 mm lead

Uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil, Gun Metallic

uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil, Gun Metallic (M510171P.43)

This pencil is perfect for wood working and has a tip which is easy to retract to stop it from stabbing you when you are keeping it in your pocket.

It is a more heavy pencil which is great if that is what you are looking for.

This pencil uses an integrated ratchet mechanism which rotates your lead when you take it off the page which keeps it sharp as well as consistent for all of your needs. 


  • Creates crisp and consistent lines which are needed for woodwork
  • Lead remains sharp with the twisting lead technology
  • Perfect for working with for extended periods of time
  • Unique features help it stand above all its competitors


  • Can be difficult to find lead which fit its very specific build
  • The built-in eraser is quite small and this makes it wear out quite quickly
uni Core Keeps Sharp Mechanical Pencil, Gun Metallic (M510171P.43)
  • Lead Rotating Technology Mechanical Pen, Kuru Toga
  • Country Of Origin : Japan
  • For 0.5Mm Lead, Gun Metallic Body
  • Package Quantity : 1

Pentel® Automatic Sharp™ Mechanical Pencils

Pentel® Automatic Sharp™ Mechanical Pencils, 0.5 mm, Black, Pack Of 2

This is one of the most versatile as well as durable pencils on this list, and they have automatic technology to make them much more efficient and simple to work with.

The most unique feature of this pencil over its competitors is the cap it comes with which makes it, so breaking lead at the tip is kept to a minimum and makes it, so the pencil is overall more durable.


  • Perfect size for fitting in smaller pockets
  • Lead can be scanned if needed to making it easy for use in standardized testing
  • Lines which are made are thick and clear to read.


  • More expensive than a lot of the other options
  • While cap is useful, it can be quite easy to lose
Pentel® Automatic Sharp™ Mechanical Pencils, 0.5 mm, Black, Pack Of 2
  • Work through math problems or write papers with this pack of Pentel Automatic Sharp mechanical pencils. A metal clip offers easy attachment to your pocket or a folder for convenient access. These Pentel Automatic Sharp mechanical pencils accept Pentel Super Hi-Polymer HB lead that resists breaking, and a refill eraser lets you quickly make changes.
  • Pentel Super Hi-Polymer lead eliminates sharpening need.
  • A refill eraser handles errors and edits.
  • 2-pack of mechanical pencils.
  • Refillable - designed to be used repeatedly, helping you avoid single-use disposables and potentially save money.

Zebra M-701 Stainless Steel Mechanical Pencil

Zebra Pen M-701 Mechanical Pencil, Stainless Steel Barrel, Medium Point, 0.7mm, 1-Pack

This pencil has a great mix of style as well as comfort and durability while it is being used, and is perfectly well suited for being used on wood.

The grip is perfect and comfortable for using for extended periods of time and will lead to consistent and stable usage.

This pencil has a firm and sturdy design, so you do not need to worry about it breaking prematurely.

The tough steel exterior means this well performing pencil is also a good investment and can be used regularly.


  • The body being made from stainless steel makes this pencil incredibly durable
  • The design is practical as well as looking very attractive
  • The knurled design with the metal gives this pencil a very stable grip making it easy to use
  • Getting the lead points are easy to find available


  • Despite feeling so premium, the lead tip is not retractable
  • Only fits one lead size
  • The lead has no hardness indicator.
Zebra Pen M-701 Mechanical Pencil, Stainless Steel Barrel, Medium Point, 0.7mm, 1-Pack
  • 0.7mm medium point refillable mechanical pencil features a contemporary, stainless steel barrel that resists corrosion and is easier to sanitize than plastic
  • Rugged and sturdy, this refillable mechanical pencil with click-to-advance retractable lead is a significant upgrade from everyday plastic mechanical pencils
  • Weighted, balanced premium metal barrel with knurled grip is designed for ergonomic comfort and assists you in guiding the instrument for beautiful creative expression
  • Convenient clip makes these instruments a fantastic grab and go option, attaching to your pocket, planner, collar or briefcase pocket
  • This sturdy pencil is refillable with Zebra Pen Standard 0.7mm HB Lead Refill and M-Pencil Eraser Refills; The M-701 adds personal style to your work, no matter where it takes you

Buyer’s Guide

There are so many different specific factors which affect how useful a mechanical pencil is which need to be considered before you make your choice.

This buyer’s guide will talk you through all the most important aspects which should affect your choice in investing in a mechanical pencil.

Carefully consider these, so you can work out which is most important for you!

Pencil Material

Since this pencil will be heavily used through the work you are doing, you do not want it to be flimsy, and it should be able to withstand at least some roughness.

The best pencils on this list will be made out of a good quality material which will be able to withstand any hardships it may have to go through while working with it.

Some of the best materials to look for a mechanical pencil to be made out of are stainless steel, aluminum, some kind of metal, or a similarly stable material.

You can get good mechanical pencils which are made out of plastic, but if you are considering a plastic mechanical pencil you should ensure that it is a well-made durable plastic that will not snap under pressure.

If the plastic does not specifically specify that it is durable, you may want to avoid choosing this as your choice for a mechanical pencil.

Shape Of Pencil

One of the most surprisingly important factor when it comes to choosing a mechanical pencil is the shape of the barrel of the pencil.

Most woodworking pencils tend to be hexagonal or round.

However, most people tend to prefer using a hexagonal shape since this is much less likely to roll and this tends to be a useful attribute to have in woodworking since you likely do not want to lose track of your pencil.

If you prefer clipping your pencil, the shape does not matter too much, but you should definitely choose a hexagonal shape if you do not want the pencil to roll away.

Comfort Of Grip

This is not one of the factors which is that specific to woodworking, but having a pencil which is comfortable to grip means you will be able to work with it efficiently, and you want to ensure that you have a pencil which will not cause any pain after extended use.

There are many features a mechanical pencil can implement to make it more comfortable to hold, this could include; non-slip features, a metal mesh, or a rubber or silicone based grip.

You also want a grip for your pencil which will be usable under a variety of conditions, this could be like when you have sweatier hands or if you have any grip issues with your hands which could make holding a pencil difficult. 

The grip of the pencil is also important if you are left-handed as some pencils have a grip designed to be held by a certain hand, so make sure to avoid this, or purchase a left-handed version if this is how you hold pencils.

Lead Grade And Size

Since you will want to make sure to get the most effective markings out of your pencil possible, you will want to make sure that the size and grade of the lead you are using is fitting!

For most woodworkers, using a pencil with lead sized between-0.5 and 0.7 mm is usually ideal, and you will want the grade of the lead to be softer as well as darker, this will make it, so the mark can be left easily as well as easy to see.

However, if you are looking to achieve more thin and sharper lines for your woodwork, or perhaps sketches and plans, you can get a much more thin smaller size like -2.0 mm to 2.8 mm pencils with an HB grade being preferable for this size of lead.

Method Of Sharpening

Some mechanical pencils will need sharpening after excessive use and if you want to get the best quality markings, you will need your pencil to be as sharp as possible, for as long as possible.

Some mechanical pencils come with build in mechanical pencils to help with this process, but if this is not an option, get a good quality sharpener which fits your pencil and is easy to carry and store.


An eraser is an essential extra to have with your mechanical pencil as being able to get rid of unnecessary marks is almost as important as leaving the marks in the first place.

You will want to make sure to get a mechanical pencil with a high quality eraser built into it, and it is even more preferable if you can get an eraser which is protected, so it does not get worn out while it is in your pocket or not being used.

Pencil Design

Ideally, you will get a mechanical pencil which is built with the highest quality materials which are durable and comfortable, has a built-in eraser and a sharpener, will have a clip if you need it, or is the perfect shape to stop rolling, is perfect for reaching smaller areas, and also fits the perfect lead size and grade you need, as well as having a comfortable grip.

However, getting all of these perfect for you is not as easy as that, and you will likely need to compromise. The pencil which has the best type of features which are important to you, is the pencil which will have the best design for you!


Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need to make an informed decision on buying a mechanical pencil for your woodworking projects.

If you have had trouble making your decision throughout the product list, go through the buyer’s guide and choose what variables are most important to you, and then choose a pencil which fulfills these requirements the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Grade Of Pencil Is Best For Woodworking?

The thickness of the pencil lead depends on what kind of markings you are looking to make.

Some people prefer the most thin lines they can get for precision.

While other woodworkers prefer a much thicker lead, so it is easier to see the markings.

When it comes to the grade of the lead, woodworkers tend to prefer a softer lead as the dark lines it leaves are very easy to read.

Why Are Carpenters Pencils Different?

Carpenters pencils are designed to be able to leave markings on any surfaces like concrete or stone, and they are often shaped in a way to stop them rolling away, sometimes even being flat, however this makes sharpening them a bit more awkward.

Pencil Lead Grade Meanings?

Most of the lead grades you have seen either have an H or a B number or have been HB.

The harder a pencil is the higher the H number is and the softer it is, the higher the B number is.

And HB is in the middle of this. So between B and 9B, leads gets more and more soft, and between H and 9H lead gets progressively harder.

And HB is the middle ground and is quite common because of this. Between HB and H there is a grade called F for firm which is used by some pencil makers but can sometimes be hard to find.

Can Mechanical Pencils Stop Working?

Mechanical pencils are designed to work for years, and it is very unlikely that if you buy a good quality one, that it will not last for a good amount of time.

The most likely way a mechanical pencil will stop working is if a small piece of lead gets stuck inside part of the pencils mechanism, but luckily this is unlikely.

For the most part, mechanical pencil will eventually just wear down the internal mechanism, but this takes so long that it is not something you will need to actively worry about!

Are Mechanical Pencils Worth It?

If you are mainly doing line work which is what is most common with mechanical pencils, these will be much better than a standard pencil because of their consistency in their thickness.

If you are looking for a pencil that is better for drawing, mechanical pencils are not great for this as they do not suit shading, however, for woodwork, you will struggle to find a more convenient type of pencil.

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