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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Good Mechanical Pencils? Lead choices etc..

    I've decided to give mechanical pencils a go as I've noticed that a lot of modern artists prefer them due to accuracy etc.

    Could any of you please tell me, what is a good pencil for the money and are the leads the same as a traditional pencil? What size lead do you use (2mm,3mm,2b,2h etc)?

    Also, I don't want to spend a fortune but I want a good model!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Thanked 701 Times in 294 Posts
    It's really a matter of preference- and really there's no advantage to lead holders/mechanical pencils other than convenience in sharpening. But for what it's worth here's what I prefer:

    - The blue Staedtler 2mm lead holder. The only reason I prefer this one over others is that it has a built-in lead pointer in the end. I'm sure that any lead holder would do the same job when it comes to drawing. Just find one that feels right for you.

    - I use the Staedtler Mars H lead almost exclusively. This is lighter that most people prefer- I really like to keep my drawings light. If you want nice rich blacks you'll want something softer. Again, largely a matter of preference. I think in the case of most major manufacturers the lead for lead holders is the same lead that goes into their wood pencils. But there is definitely a difference from company to company for the grading of softness and hardness. 2H in one brand is usually different from 2H in another brand. I recommend experimenting with different types until you find the ones you like. I have a couple friends that draw with 2B all the time, and a teacher of mine recommended switching between H, B, and 3B for the light areas, halftones, and shadows respectively. I know others who just like regular old HB. I'm sure anyone else who answers might have a different recommendation.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Belgium, Antwerp
    Thanked 36 Times in 20 Posts
    I have 3 different ones for different types of leads.
    Doesn't really matter what you buy it's how you use them that matters.

    I have an old Rotring Tikky mechanical pencil 0.5 for 9 years now and it still works fine.
    2nd one is a Staedtler mars micro 0.5.
    3rd Staedtler Mars Technico 2mm

    leads HB 2B and HB
    don't buy them too soft or they would break too easily.
    that's why i also work with 12 staedtler mars lumograph traditional pencils.

    Do not buy small lead mech. pencils with the lead pushing mechanics in the tip on the outside like the Rotring rapid XL or the Staedtler graphite have. They jam easily.
    And never drop your mechanical pencils tip down.
    Last edited by Uziel; June 5th, 2007 at 02:11 PM.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks for all your help, I'm checking out that Mars pencil now (looks very slender).

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