Background pencil portrait and on the top a mechanical pencil with caption Drawing with Mechanical Pencil

Why Drawing with Mechanical Pencil is Good for a Beginner?

When most people think of drawing and sketching, they automatically think of using a wooden pencil. After all, it’s the traditional medium used by artists for centuries. But there are several reasons why you might want to switch to using a mechanical pencil instead. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of its usage for drawing and sketching, choosing the best one for your needs, and using it effectively. We’ll also cover how to refill it and take care of it so you can get the most out of your drawing experience.

Why drawing with Mechanical Pencil is good for a Beginner?

A mechanical pencil is good for a beginner because, unlike a traditional pencil, which needs to be sharpened regularly, a mechanical pencil has a small, replaceable lead that is always sharp. This means that you can focus on your drawing without worrying about the point getting blunt. 

In addition, most mechanical pencils have an eraser built-in, so you can quickly and easily correct any mistakes. The graphite in a mechanical pencil is also usually of higher quality than that in a traditional pencil, meaning that your lines will be smoother and more precise.

When choosing a mechanical pencil for drawing, look for one with 0.5mm lead for general use or 0.3mm lead for fine line work. Pentel makes high-quality mechanical pencils in both sizes.

closeup image of a mechanical pencil
What is a mechanical pencil

What is a mechanical pencil, and how does it work?

A mechanical pencil is a pencil that uses a small, expendable lead rod in place of wood. The lead rod is held in place by a metal sleeve and can be extended by twisting the pencil barrel. Mechanical pencils are great for drawing, shading, and more precision-based tasks like technical drawing and writing. 

They come in various lead sizes, from fine to thick, and the lead can be changed when it wears down or if you want to use a different lead type. Mechanical pencils are increasingly popular among artists and writers who appreciate the wide range of lead types and sizes available and the fact that the lead doesn’t need to be regularly sharpened like wooden pencils.

If a beginner starts with a mechanical pencil, he shall get used to fine and tidy sketches.

Why do artists use mechanical pencils for sketching and drawing instead of other pencils?

Artists use mechanical pencils for sketching and drawing because they offer more precision than other pencils. The lead used in a mechanical pencil is usually thinner than a standard pencil’s, allowing artists to produce finer lines and details.

Mechanical pencils typically have adjustable lead so that artists can choose the width of their lines. Wooden pencils, on the other hand, require a sharpener, which can be time-consuming and produce uneven results.

Quality mechanical pencils also have replaceable erasers, which are great for making corrections without damaging the paper.

Overall, mechanical pencils are popular with artists because they offer a high degree of control and precision.

Pencil portrait of Marlin Manroe done using Mechanical Pencil
Marlin Monroe pencil portrait using a mechanical pencil

What are the benefits of using a mechanical pencil for drawing and sketching compared to other pencils?

There are several benefits of using a micro-tip pencil, and a few are listed below:

More Precision

One of the main reasons artists use mechanical pencils for sketching is that they are more precise than other types of pencils. This is because mechanical pencils have the lead that is the same diameter throughout the entire pencil length, allowing for consistent lines. Additionally, mechanical pencils have adjustable lead sizes so that artists can choose the thickness of their lines.

Less Smudging

Another reason artists use mechanical pencils is that they are less likely to smudge than other pencils. The lead in a mechanical pencil is held in place by a sleeve, which prevents it from coming into contact with the artist’s hand. This means there is less chance of smudging when using a mechanical pencil.

More Ergonomic

Mechanical pencils are also more ergonomic, making them easier and more comfortable for extended periods. Mechanical pencils need not be sharpened and have a lightweight design. Additionally, many mechanical pencils have cushioned grips that make them more comfortable to hold.

Easier to Use

Mechanical pencils are also generally easier to use than other pencils, as they do not require sharpening and have adjustable lead sizes. It makes them ideal for beginners still learning to sketch. Also, mechanical pencils are less likely to break than other pencils, making them ideal for artists who travel frequently.


Finally, mechanical pencils are often more cost-effective than other types of pencils. This is because they do not need to be sharpened often, and their leads do not break as easily. Many mechanical pencils come with refills, so you do not need to buy new ones frequently.

How do you choose the best mechanical pencil for your needs, and what should you look for when deciding?

When choosing a mechanical pencil, the main thing to remember is that if you are an adult, choose an adult-sized one. Make sure that it fits your grip and feels comfortable for drawing or writing.

Points to be considered when selecting a micro-tip pencil

  • The size and weight of the mechanical pencil should be comfortable for you to use. Opt for a lighter one so you can carry it around easily. It should not feel too heavy or clunky on the non-dominant hand.
  • It should be comfortable for you when drawing or writing. The thickness of the lead should be perfect for your hand. For example, if you have a thin grip, go with micro-tips that are 0.2mm to 0.3mm in diameter. The tip should be break-resistant and durable.
  • Price is essential as it determines how long you can use the mechanical pencil. Mechanical pencils are affordable and come in different price ranges, so choose one that falls within your budget.
  • The brand of the mechanical pencil is crucial as well. Brands like Staedtler, Voss, Rotring, etc., make good quality mechanical drawing pencils with different leads, so find the right one that fits your drawing style.
  • Availability of Lead sizes for refilling If you buy a mechanical pencil, make sure the leads of the same size are available in the market. Like Rotring and Staedtler, some brands come with leads you can purchase from any stationary store.
  • The lead is a crucial factor as it determines the thickness and hardness of the line, so you need to see if your mechanical pencil comes with different types of leads. You can even buy additional leads for micro-tip pencils so they don’t run out quickly.

How do you refill a mechanical pencil, and what type of lead is best suited for drawing and sketching?

Refilling a mechanical pencil is easy once you know how. You’ll need to start by removing the entire lead from the pencil, and this can be done by either pushing the lead out from the back of the pencil or gently pulling it out from the front. It only takes a few seconds.

Once the lead is out, you’ll need to choose the right type of lead for your needs. If you’re looking for a pencil perfect for drawing and sketching, you’ll want to select a softer lead. These types of leads wear down faster than harder ones but produce more refined lines and are less likely to break.

If you’re looking for a more versatile pencil that we can use for writing and drawing, you’ll want to choose a harder lead. These leads will last longer before they need to be replaced, but they’re not quite as well-suited for drawing fine lines.

When you’ve chosen the right type of lead, insert it into the back of the pencil and keep pushing it until it comes out of the nib. And that’s all there is to it. Now you can get back to writing or drawing, whichever you did before your pencil ran out of lead.

How do you take care of your mechanical pencil to last longer and work every time?

Like any other pencil, your mechanical pencil will last longer and work better if you take care of it. Here are some tips:

1. Keep the lead advanced. If the lead is too short, it will break easily. If it’s too long, it will jam the mechanism.

2. Don’t press too hard when you’re writing or drawing. Not only will this cause the lead to break, but it can also damage the mechanism itself.

3. Periodically clean the lead sleeve and eraser with a soft cloth or brush. Cleaning helps to remove debris that can build up and cause problems.

4. When you’re not using your mechanical pencil, store it in a safe place where it won’t get dropped or knocked around. A pencil case or desk drawer is ideal.

Following these simple tips can help ensure that your mechanical pencil will last for years.

Other Beginners Questions

How long is a mechanical pencil?

Mechanical pencils are very similar in size to traditional wooden pencils regarding the length of the pencil. Mechanical pencils range from 5.5 to 6 inches; however, mechanical pencils come in various sizes depending on your brand.

How thick is a mechanical pencil?

Micro-tip pencils come in several thicknesses and are an essential factor in determining the softness of the lead. These pencils range from 0.2mm to 2mm in thickness and have soft graphite. An artist has a personal preference when looking at the thickness of these pencils and will usually have a range. My personal preference is 0.3mm, 0.5mm, and 0.7mm.

How long do mechanical pencils last?

A mechanical pencil can last up to 6 months or more if you are not using it daily. If you are not using it regularly, it can last even longer. I have had friends whose mechanical pencils stayed for more than a year. On the other hand, one of my friends broke his new mechanical pencil in less than three days.

I have a mechanical metal pencil which I have been using for more than eight years now.

Are mechanical pencils worth it?

It is worth it because drawing mechanical pencils is affordable and easy to draw or write as there is no need to sharpen them. You can refill them, which makes them worth more than traditional wooden pencils. It fits into your budget and helps you save money, as the best mechanical pencils last a long time.


Learning to draw with a mechanical pencil is suitable for beginners as it has many advantages, including being continuously used without being sharpened. The other benefits of this pencil include using it on rough and smooth surfaces and having better control. Mechanical pencils are also easy for sketching and drawing outlines, allowing you to draw thin lines that can create light and shade when needed.

So whether you are just starting or a seasoned artist, a mechanical pencil is an excellent tool in your arsenal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How to Choose a Mechanical Pencil for Drawing?

    The size and weight of the mechanical pencil should be comfortable for you to use. Opt for a lighter one so you can carry it around easily. The thickness of the lead should be perfect for your hand. The tip should be break-resistant and durable. Pick the right one which bests suits you.

  2. What Are the Advantages of Using a Mechanical Pencil?

    The advantages of using a mechanical pencil include being continuously used without being sharpened, having better control, and being easy to refill. They can also be used on both rough and smooth surfaces.

  3. Is 0.7 Mechanical Pencil Good for Drawing?

    The 0.7 mm lead is a good choice for drawing as it is thick enough to produce dark lines but can also create shades of gray. It is also easy to control. A skilled artist with experience can use this lead to create beautiful sketches and drawings.

  4. Can you Refill a Mechanical Pencil?

    You can refill a mechanical pencil with lead refills. You can purchase them from any stationary store. Make sure to buy the same size lead as the one with your mechanical pencil so it fits perfectly. Always keep a few lead refills to continue drawing or writing when needed.

  5. Can you Sharpen a Mechanical Pencil?

    You cannot sharpen a mechanical pencil as the lead is already thin. The only way to get more leads is to buy a lead refill the same size as the one with your mechanical pencil. It is an advantage as you don’t need to sharpen it, and the lead lasts longer.

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