We use a lot of mechanical pencils in our shop in a variety of lead sizes and hardnesses. We even bicker about it! (Megan loves .5mm lead. A lot.)
One thing (I think) we agree on is that the Pentel GraphGear mechanical pencils are the most durable ones out there. They last at least five times as long as any other brand.
Why? Well the bodies are all-metal, of course. That helps. But what really helps is the way the tip of the pencil prairie dogs back into the body of the pencil when it’s not in use.
This remarkable feature makes a satisfying “click” and prevents the pencil’s lead sleeve from getting bent. If you use mechanical pencils in the workshop, then you know that the quickest way to destroy one is to bend the sleeve even the tiniest bit. And they are typically as fragile as a strand of angel hair pasta.
The GraphGears are widely available and, to date, undefeated in terms of toughness by any other mechanical pencil we’ve tried.
— Christopher Schwarz
To read previous entries in the gift guide, click here.