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Pencil Lead For Your Mechanical Pencil Which Brand To Use ?


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#21 The Blue Knight

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 22:45

Staedtler or rotring. Basically what ever's cheap. I have brought 2 mechanical pencils lately and they came with packs of lead. I prefer rotring as it is slightly rougher and works better on slick fountain pen friendly paper which is normally not as pencil friendly.



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#22 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 22:46

Have always used pentel leads for my .5 mm mp's

Brad
 
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#23 The Blue Knight

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 22:46

 

There are a hundred and one to choose from. I like the Pentel Graphgear 1000: retractable lead sleeve, nice balance and, it seems to me, a good choice for drafting and sketching as well as writing. And of course a hundred others if you don't like this one.

 

I rate the roting 500 and 600 highly as they simple well built tanks which don't any fancy add ons which may break over time.



#24 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 03:28

I wonder if you can get that stuff at Staples or similar. I got some older mechanical pencils (not the best feeling things), that use 1mm and 0.7mm (and I think I have a 0.5 one around here somewhere). 

 

Though I'd probably want to shop around and see if there's a good mechanical pencil for under 50ish that takes either 0.7 or 0.5 and then base the lead purchase on that. 

 

Pentel P-205.

 

BTW, does anyone know of a twist lead advance 0.5 mm pencii? I can only find the 0.5 mm size with click lead advance.


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#25 FayeV

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:12

 
Pentel P-205.
 
BTW, does anyone know of a twist lead advance 0.5 mm pencii? I can only find the 0.5 mm size with click lead advance.


The Pentel P205 (and variants) saw me through college, along with Staedtler 925.

I used to have a Cross pen with twist lead advance. It was 0.9mm. I wonder if they make a 0.5mm version. Gawd I hated that pencil (and pen). I don't think I'll ever buy another Cross.

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#26 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:43

The Pentel P205 (and variants) saw me through college, along with Staedtler 925.

I used to have a Cross pen with twist lead advance. It was 0.9mm. I wonder if they make a 0.5mm version. Gawd I hated that pencil (and pen). I don't think I'll ever buy another Cross.

 

Okay, thanks. I have been looking around a bunch since I posted that request for information, and I have concluded that there are no 0.5 mm twist advance pencils around. And thinking about it, I guess that the 0.5 mm lead is really just too thin for the twist mechanisms. I'm sure such mechanical pencils could be made but it'd be a real PITA for people to get that lead in through the tip of such a pencil.

 

I'm seeing 0.9 mm ones, and even a 0.7 mm twist advance, but nothing at all in a 0.5 mm, and I guess I've figured out the reason for that.


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#27 shea2812

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 09:03

I have used Pentel Ain Stein but I have just discovered that Pilot Eno-G are better across them grades.  I am slowly switching now.  It is all relative, we dont miss what we dont know and yet when we found something better we tend to stick to it.  I have heard of the Pilot branded NEOX but have not been able to find one nearby.    Eno-G 4B o.5mm lead makes my pencil write so smooth almost FP like.   My favourite pencil for general writing currently is a Pentel Libretto despite its quirky lead advance.



#28 Dronak

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 00:22

I have a few types, and from what I've read, Japanese leads are the way to go.  I have Pentel Ain Stein, Pilot Neox Graphite, Uni NanoDia, and Uni Kuru Toga leads, in a few of the softer grades for each brand.  (I own a few others that I've had for so long, I don't know what brand they are anymore.) These leads all seem to work well enough for me in my pencils.  The Pilot Neox Graphite does seem to write a little darker than the other brands at the same grade, but that may be a result of it using "high-purity graphite".  As for the Kuru Toga leads, while they're supposed to be idea for the Kuru Toga pencil, I'm not sure the difference in performance is worth it.  All of the leads I named cost about the same per-pack when I bought them, but the Kuru Toga ones come with 20 leads while the others have 40.  I hope this is of some help.



#29 elysee

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:25

Pentel makes a relatively cheap but reliable drafting pencil in 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm lead size; these are numbered P203, P205, P207, and P209, respectively.  I used a P209 pencil during college and a P207 and P209 as well as other Pentel mechanical pencils during graduate school.  While reliable, they are a bit light for my tastes and produced some hand cramps during day-long qualifying examinations during graduate school.

 

In regard to pencil lead, I just posted some information about pencil lead in another topic.  Since it is appropriate for this topic, I included the pencil lead information (below) in this topic as well.

 

--------------------

 

I suggest Pentel Ain Stein Lead; check out JetPens.com for a nice assortment of hardness/thickness combinations.  JetPens includes the following as its information about Pentel Ain Stein Lead:

 

"STEIN stands for "Strongest Technology by Enhanced SiO2 Integrated Network". Each container contains 15 pieces of lead.

The Pentel Stein Enhanced Silica Pencil Lead features a reinforced silica core that makes the Stein Pentel's smoothest, strongest, sharpest pencil lead yet! The lead is also designed to adhere strongly to paper, making them more smear resistant and allowing you to have beautiful, clear writing and smudge free hands (great for left-handed people)."

 

 

This lead is available in

  • 2B, B, HB, H, and 2H for 0.3 mm leads,
  • 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, HB-Soft, HB-Hard, H, 2H, 3H, 4H, F, Red, and Blue for 0.5 mm leads,
  • 2B, B, HB, and H for 0.7 mm leads, and
  • 2B, B, HB, and H for 0.9 mm leads.

I use the Pentel Ain Stein 2B leads in my 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm lead pencils.  I have not found them to feel waxy but rather smooth, dark, and soft just as I prefer.  These are far better than the standard Pentel leads -- I say that as one who used the 2B, B, and HB standard Pentel leads (with great dissatisfaction) in 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm pencils for many years.

 

Another pencil lead worthy of mention is Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite Leads; these are available on JetPens in a variety of hardness/thickness combinations.  JetPens includes the following information about this lead on its pages.

 

"Your pencil lines can be cleaner and sharper than ever with the Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite Pencil Lead. The high quality graphite in the lead has very few impurities, and the bond between the carbon atoms is stronger than ever. The lead also makes use of the lubricating properties of graphite crystal to ensure a smooth writing experience. The results are clear, sharp, dark lines that will glide smoothly across your paper. Multiple lead grades available."

 

This lead is available in

  • 2B, B, HB, H, and 2H for 0.3 mm leads,
  • 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, H, 2H, 3H, 4H, F for 0.5 mm leads,
  • 2B, B, HB, and H for 0.7 mm leads, and
  • 2B, B, HB, and H for 0.9 mm leads.

It is important that I mention that JetPens does not sell Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite Leads in 2B for 0.9 mm pencils.  I used the Rakuten Global Market to purchase 2B 0.9 mm Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite Leads directly from China. 

 

Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite Leads in 2B have a smooth feel and a nice darkness but they slide back into the pencil while writing with some of my pencils (for example Cartier Must, Cartier Must II, and Elysee pencils); I have not experienced this with the Pentel Ain Stein leads.  I believe that these leads slide back into some pencils while writing due to the above mentioned "lubricating properties of graphite crystal".  My solution for this has been being selective in regard to in which pencils I use this lead.

 

Both the Pentel Ain Stein Leads and the Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite Leads provide a satisfying and smooth writing experience with the former never sliding back into any of my pencils and the latter providing the darkest writing experience.  It is important to mention that I have found the darkness of the two to be very close.


Edited by elysee, 05 January 2016 - 08:32.


#30 elysee

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:39

I don't have the time nor the interest in experimenting with leads. I therefore use Montblanc leads in my Montblanc mechanical pencils.

 

When you find the time for a bit of pencil lead experimentation, you may find that you enjoy using your Montblanc pencils more.  The right pencil lead improves the mechanical pencil writing experience.



#31 elysee

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:45

I'm very happy with Pentel Ain Stein leads.

 

I use 4B, and they're really dark, and surprisingly strong. I'm alsio surprised at how long they last.

 

Unfortunately, Pentel does not, to date, go up to 4B with anything wider than their 0.5mm leads. But the 2Bs are very good anyway, and the difference in darkness is slight.

 

 

I did not enjoy my 0.5 mm lead pencils until I filled them with 4B lead.  Using 4B 0.5 mm leads made these pencils enjoyable for the first time.  I wish that 0.7 mm leads and 0.9 mm leads had 4B options.  I am pleased to have found Pentel Ain Stein leads and Pilot Neox High-Purity Graphite leads as these are smooth and dark, providing an enjoyable writing experience.



#32 elysee

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:53

 

*Yeah, I know that mechanical pencil leads have been using polymers instead of clay for something like 30 years or more, as I said, new fangled :gaah: .

 

Through an extensive Google search, I found some wonderful clay-based 1.18 mm leads.  These leads provide a thoroughly enjoyable writing experience and, as you might imagine, I stocked up to provide for my 1.18 mm pencil lead needs for several years to come.  ; )



#33 WriterProspect

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 00:06

I really like Pentel Leads Hi-Polymer.  I like the B hardness the best.

Other leads from Uni and Foray are not as smooth or hard.

Lead can really make a difference to the writing experience.

I think Pentel Ain Stein is also a good model.



#34 nyu76pelikan

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 16:35

Pentel P-205.
 
BTW, does anyone know of a twist lead advance 0.5 mm pencii? I can only find the 0.5 mm size with click lead advance.


The Montblanc Classique 144 size was made with a 0.5 mm lead and is a twist mechanism. Used and NOS versions are usually available on eBay. I use one that is of W. German vintage, and it is a pleasure to write with. I’m not sure if the current release is available with 0.5 mm lead.

#35 dkirchge

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 02:49

Yet another vote for Pentel Ain Stein leads, although I will admit that the Pentel Hi-Polymer leads that I can get in bulk at Office Max work well, too.


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#36 SallyLyn

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 17:55

Through an extensive Google search, I found some wonderful clay-based 1.18 mm leads.  These leads provide a thoroughly enjoyable writing experience and, as you might imagine, I stocked up to provide for my 1.18 mm pencil lead needs for several years to come.  ; )


Now that you have a lifetime supply would you care to share a source or two?

#37 SallyLyn

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 18:04

Have most all of the above suggestions. When gathering a variety of leads for my .5 .7 .9 and larger, found on jetpens site Kokuyo Campus Pencil Lead 2B for .9 Found it to be very smooth, dark and a favorite. Now see it comes in other sizes so may try more.

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#38 Algester

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:01

as for me I'm leaning into Pilot's NeoX Graphite line up while softer they seem to be more "true to shade grade" than any of the brands that I know of Rotring, Staedtler, Uni, Pentel, Zebra and Tombow

except for a .2mm lead which only can be provided by Pentel

Edited by Algester, 06 January 2018 - 12:02.


#39 flatline

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 13:32

except for a .2mm lead which only can be provided by Pentel

 

Do you ever use 0.2mm for anything?

 

I bought a 0.2mm pencil out of curiosity, but it just sits on the shelf. Didn't even make the cut to be included in my backpack.

 

--flatline



#40 katerchen

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 21:51

I learned about the Ain Stein leads here (over in the pencil thread) and couldn't be any happier.

 

That 4B though *really* requires a light touch :D








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