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Mechanical pencils (or propelling pencils, as they’re sometimes called) are very versatile writing instruments that can be used for writing, drawing or drafting. We stock a wide range of mechanical pencils to suit your needs, preferences and budget. Mechanical pencils can be used for notetaking, drafting, fine art drawing, technical drawing or writing and we have models available that are perfect for all of those disciplines.
Features & Benefits of Mechanical Pencils
One of the key advantages of mechanical pencils is the multitude of features and benefits they offer. For example, unlike wooden pencils, mechanical pencils can be refilled and do not need to be sharpened.
Pencil Lead Sizes
Mechanical pencils come in a wide range of lead sizes, from 0.2mm to 5.6mm (for some lead-holders like the Lamy Scribble). The most popular lead sizes are 0.5mm and 0.7mm. Some of the old mechanical pencils are using 1.18mm lead, which is also the lead size for Yard-O-Led pencils.
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Kaweco Special Mechanical Pencil 0.3mm£42.00 excluding VAT - £35.00
Yard O Led Mayflower Mechanical Pencil£295.00 excluding VAT - £245.83
Kaweco SKYLINE Sport Mint Clutch Pencil£16.95 excluding VAT - £14.13
TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil£25.99
Lamy Safari Mechanical Pencil£13.50 – £21.00
Lamy Al-Star Mechanical Pencil£20.50
TWSBI Jr Pagoda Mechanical Pencil£4.50
Sailor Shikiori Tsukuyono Minamo Mechanical Pencil£45.00
Lamy abc Mechanical Pencil£9.50
Lamy Vista Mechanical Pencil£13.50 excluding VAT - £11.25
Lamy Scala Black Mechanical Pencil£75.00 excluding VAT - £62.50
Lamy Imporium Mechanical Pencil£288.00
Pencil Lead Hardness/Grade
Mechanical Pencil Mechanism Types
History of Mechanical Pencils
The first mechanical pencil was discovered on the shipwreck of HMS Pandora (according to Wikipedia). The ship sank in 1791 so it’s fair to say that mechanical pencils have been around for quite some time! In 1822, the first patent for a refillable pencil with a lead advance mechanism was issued to Sampson Mordan and John Isaac Hawkins in Britain. In the early 1900s, Tokuji Hayakawa invented the “Ever Ready Sharp” mechanical pencil. Since its early days, the mechanical pencil has continued to evolve and we’ve seen a lot of improvements and innovation thanks to manufacturers consistently launched lots of new, exciting features. The innovations continue to this day, and there are a number of fantastic companies still designing and manufacturing mechanical pencils.
Mechanical Pencils vs Propelling Pencils
‘Mechanical Pencil’ is the US English usage, while ‘Propelling Pencil’ is the English. However, over time, the former has more popular – even in England. Other names for mechanical pencils include: automatic pencils, drafting pencils, technical pencils and pacers (Australian English) and sharp pencil in Japan..
Where to buy mechanical pencils?
You can browse our selection of mechanical pencils on this very website. If you prefer a more traditional shopping experience, you can visit our shop on Shrewsbury’s High Street. We’re conveniently open 7 days a week and our team would love to help you find the perfect mechanical pencil for your needs..