I probably mentioned it already, but I’m very picky about the pens and pencils I use. In a pinch, I’ll use whatever’s available. But for regular use, I have preferences.
Judging from the response to our Do You Have a Favorite Pen, Pencil, Marker, or Other Writing Tool post, I’m not alone in this.
I’ve been using Staedler’s metal-bodied mechanical pencils for some time, and tend to like them a lot. I believe I started off with a 2.0 mm pencil before moving to 0.7 and 0.5 mm designs. A 2.0 mm pencil is more for drafting, with smaller sizes being better suited for writing and quick sketching.
I like 2.0 mm pencils since there’s an easier variety of lead, more control in how you sharpen a point, and out of habit.
They also offer 0.3 and 0.9 mm pencil sizes.
Staedtler makes these pencils with silver or blue finishes. Up to now I’ve been using the silver-styled ones, but I’ve been meaning to buy another 0.7 mm pencil and will go blue this time around. I don’t think that the “Night Blue” finish was available when I purchased my Staedtler mechanical pencils a few years ago.
I use my pencils more for sketching out project plans, and not really for drawing. The grip is finely textured metal – the entire pencil body is made from metal (aluminum) – which I definitely like better than the gummy rubbery grips found on other designs.
These pencils aren’t weighty, but they’re also not flimsy. They have the feeling of strength and good balance, but you don’t have that “chunk of metal” feel that you might or might not like from your pens and pencils.
They’re fairly inexpensive, at ~$10 to $15 each. While I have pricier fountain pens that I love using (more on that another time if anyone’s interested), $15 is about the upper end of what I’m willing to spend on a mechanical pencil.
A few years ago, I considered $7-10 to be a lot for a mechanical pencil. But then again, that’s talking about plastic-bodied office supply store pencils that I tended to break too easily. These Staedtlers are definitely built a lot better, and I think it’s fair to say that you do get 2x the quality for the 1.5x to 2x the price.
P.S. Which pens or pencils should I look to try next?
I received at least one email request in recent months, asking for more pen and pencil reviews. I’d be up for it.