How to Refill a Mechanical Pencil (6 Steps) | Choose Marker (2023)

Been a long since I have been using the mechanical pencil. As a professional artist of technical drawing, it was indeed a good choice in my day-to-day works. I suggest the mechanical pencil to any busy person, as it allows you to be flexible in your writings.

But surely, you’ll face a hassle with refilling the pencil. As it is not a wooden pencil and fully regulated and worked by a lead, it is tough to refill the leads inside the pencil.

The same happened to me at the beginning. Pondering over the issue, I took the object and determined the easiest way to refill a mechanical pencil.

Within a minute, I got the most straightforward and most flexible answer. Using the correct lead and exercising the object correctly eased my work a bit. Let me share the unique and best way of refilling and resolving a mechanical pencil in this article.

How to Refill a Mechanical Pencil (6 Steps) | Choose Marker (1)

What is a Mechanical Pencil?

A mechanical pencil is a ballpoint pen Esque pencil that has a lead advance mechanism in it. It is fully regulated and run by a lead that can be changeable and refillable.

Once the lead gets broken or finishes, you can change the lead accordingly. These leads are available in the market separately. The chamber of the pen allows the lead to get inside it.

Mechanical Pencils have different kinds of names in different parts of the world. ‘Automatic pencil’ and ‘propelling pencil’ are commonly used terms in the European side. People also sometimes term it as ‘clicky pencils.

This is one of the most feasible means for everyday life usage. Everyone in office to schools and colleges can use this like a ballpoint pen. The pencil gives you the scope of perfect wiring, correcting, and signing on different papers, documents, etc.

You get to work with it as a usual wooden pencil for detailed drawing from time to time. It is one of the most versatile writing instruments in the world at the moment.

In the long run, a mechanical pencil is an excellent choice to have. Surely it will boost your writing capabilities to a new stage.

Are All Mechanical Pencils Refillable?

All the mechanical pencils don’t have to be refillable. But most mechanical pencils in the market are refillable and can be adjusted with branded leads like ballpoint refills.

Usually, you’ll see most mechanical pencils in the market require 0.7mm lead to be inserted in them. Depending upon overall usage and compatibility, it is the most suitable one to have.

For your everyday writings, signatures, drawings, you can use the lead ideally. Once the lead breaks or becomes unusable, you get to replace it with a new one.

(Video) Re-assemble the Pencil

You can get them while buying the pencil or separately from the store as a whole. Refill them inside the pencil, and you are set to use the pencil again as usual.

Steps to Refill a Mechanical Pencil

Knowing all the feasibility of a mechanical pencil, now it is time to make the best use of it. Let’s get to know how to refill a mechanical pencil in some convenient manners.

Step 1: Identify the Pencil Type

Identifying the pencil doesn’t mean having a specific pencil type to undergo the lead replacement. You just need to be sure that the type of mechanical pencil you are using has access to refilling.

Most of the cheap mechanical pencils in the market do not have the feature. This makes most of your buy not sensible for the long run. That’s why it is a win in all situations to buy a mechanical pencil that can be refilled further after use.

Step 2: Pick Up the Right Lead

Lead selection is essential. Based on your pencil’s type and characteristics, you need to select the correct size lead for your pencil. For example, your pencil requires a lead of 0.5mm; so, you have to get the lead that is 0.5mm.

Any lead out of the box or the wrong size will not work for you.

Also, you need to consider the durability of the lead. Keep in mind, the broader the lead, the stronger it is. That makes clear sense that the classic size 0.7mm lead will be stronger than a 0.5mm one.

But using the 0.5mm lead is more convenient and more accessible. Because the lead gives you all the scope of using it almost for all daily necessities, be it writing, art, drawing, sketching, etc. And being a little careful, you can make full use of it.

Make sure you are getting the best lead for yourself based on what you will use it for.

Step 3: Open Up the Filling Chamber

The filing chamber of the mechanical pencils is quite different based on the models of the pencils. They usually remain on the opposite side of the pencil’s tip, i.e., on the side of the eraser. You’ll find the chamber mainly after removing the eraser head.

Again, some lead opening comes from the face of the tip of the pencil. Usually, you get to insert the lead inside the mouth, having a gripper holder on the other side.

Pressing the gripper holder opens the scope for inserting the lead, and you can fill it accordingly. The cheap pencils usually have this feature.

The primary step in refilling your mechanical pencil is opening the filling chamber slowly and carefully. The cap covers the end of your pencil and lead; it gives an excellent balance to the lead in remaining inside the pencil.

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Step 4: Clearing Inside

Before you insert the lead inside, take a closer look at the inside of the chamber. There are possibilities of having broken leads stored inside it.

When you try to refill the pencil with a new one, you might face difficulty doing so. Not only that, your lead might get broken due to extensive pressure and congestion.

It will be your prime duty to clear the pencil inside. Just give a multiple shaking of the pencil, keeping it upside down. The lead would’ve fallen by that. If needed, you can use a cotton bud or a stick to clean the inside part.

Step-5: Refill the Leads

Accessing the chamber correctly, now it’s time to insert the lead accordingly. As the lead is not that solid or durable, you have to be gentle while dealing with it. Any kind of extreme pressure on it will surely break it into pieces.

You have to work gently on it then. Determine the chamber of the pencil and open the lid of it (if you have any). Take the lead gently and insert it inside the chamber.

Make sure the lead is of perfect size. Length and girth should be appropriately determined. After you are done refilling the lead inside, close the chamber or release the gripper button.

Step-6: Reassemble Everything

After you are done with the refilling, but the accessories are to the position accordingly. Put up the eraser in its usual place and make it ready for your desired operations.

How Long Do Mechanical Mencils Last?

These auto-feed pencils can last as long as you can keep it up. Unlike a wooden pencil, you can use the pencil for many years without any failure.

One of the most amazing things about the pencil that keeps it long-lasting is its refill ability. You get to change and replace the lead again and again without any hassle.

But you need to make sure the mechanism and spring inside the pencil remain active and exemplary. Otherwise, you won’t be able to click and use the pencil as usual.

The first mechanical pencil I bought was two years ago. It didn’t lose its character a bit and still tends to serve me like the way it served to be the very first time. Still, I use it sometimes for writing some usual stuff.

How to Make a Mechanical Pencil Last longer

Mechanical pencil is one of the most ever-ready sharp pencils you can ask for in the present market. The way it serves you is immense and worth every penny.

But it won’t work and serve in the same manner if you keep on neglecting its fitness. So, you need to keep an eye on some factors and try to bring them alive while using one.

(Video) How to Fix a Mechanical Pencil Lead Jam

Using Break Resistant Lead

The break-resistant lead will always provide you the security of using it for a long time. The better the resistivity, the more you get serving you get from it. These leads will assure you that they remain active and alive even after a certain number of fallings or applying slight pressure on them.

If you’re looking for a good lead brand, there are numerous in the market. From my end, I would say you can go for Pentel Ain Stein, Uni NanoDia, and Pilot Neox graphite which is my recommendation. Been using it for two years, and they are serving me convincingly.

Avoid Colored Leads

Keep in mind; it is wise to avoid using colored lead. Their composition makes them weaker than the usual ones.

Thus, you cannot expect the same durability from them as the usual sticks of graphite. You can find separate special barrel colors mechanical pencils in the market for certain purposes.

Use Wider Lead

More comprehensive lead, by default, arises a good idea of how durable it can be. The wider the lead, the better its resistivity.

With a good material composition, the more comprehensive lead can sustain for a long time. They are also able to provide darker and deeper colors than the usual ones. Moreover, you get to implement them in different types of work, i.e., writing, sketching, making bold lines, bordering, etc.

Using a Built-in Lead-Guard

A built-in lead guard allows the lead inside the pencil to remain safe and protective from external impact. It is not like that the lead will never break. The guard will indeed protect it from usual impacts, making it securer than regular times.

With the impact of the guard, the lead can be used for versatile works. Significantly, the kids can avail themselves good access to the mechanical pencil. The hassle of changing the lead decreases, and you can use the lead relentlessly.


Q: How do you refill a Pentel mechanical pencil?

Refilling a pentel mechanical pencil is simple. All you have to do is to follow some simple steps:

Step 1: Open the chamber of the pentel mechanical pencil. Clear the inner part of the chamber. The leftover leads will go out from it, and it will make a clean state inside.

Step 2: Choose the perfect lead for the pencil. 0.7Hp lead is preferable and mainly used with the pentel mechanical pencil.

Step 3: Insert the lead through the chamber calmly. Make sure it fits throughout the pencil.

Step 4: Seal the chamber and fix any part you have dislocated from the pencil.

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Q: How do you refill a mechanical metal pencil?

A mechanical metal pencil can be refilled easily. Let me show it to you through some ordinary steps:

Step 1: Open the refill eraser/cap at the top of the pencil. You’ll find a hole inside, which is the chamber of the pencil.

Step 2: Take the lead and insert it inside the chamber of the pencil. Penetrate it through the tip hole of the pencil.

Step 3: Fix the twist eraser or eraser holder of the pencil at the top.

Q: How do you fix a mechanical pencil?

A mechanical pencil might become jammed after specific uses. Usually, the broken leads make a good block inside the pencil. This creates a hassle but surely doesn’t resist the pencil to use further.

Rotate the lid cover of the pencil. See if there is any block in it. Taking the grip off will indeed allow you to make a feasible condition inside the pencil.

Screw the inner cone and separate it from the pencil. Check whether it is blocked or not.

Lastly, check the clutch mechanism of the pencil. Open and close the jaw of the pencil. It will allow you to separate the clutch. Check the parts carefully and clear if you find any broken pieces inside.

Q: How many leads can you put in a mechanical pencil?

2-3 pieces of lead are perfect to put in a mechanical pencil. Although the number might vary depending upon the number of leads you use, this is the least number you can go for.

Final Words

A mechanical pencil is undoubtedly not a complicated object like it seems, or many people define it. It is one of the most amazing ideal tools and pencil mechanisms for day-to-day use.

The refilling of the object made it favorable to our cases. Taking proper care of the pencil will last for years.

Not only are you getting the proper service but also it is becoming worthy of your every penny. Keep on using the fantastic pencil, and stay tuned till we cover more exciting stuff related to it.

Related Content: How to Revive a Ballpoint Pen Easily

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How do you refill a mechanical pencil Bic? ›

How do I refill a BIC® Mechanical Pencil? To refill a BIC mechanical pencil please follow these steps: (1) remove the eraser, (2) insert new leads, (3) replace eraser & (4) click eraser to advance new lead.

How do you change the pencil on a mechanical pencil? ›

This pen follows the simple, classic mechanical pencil refill process.
  1. Remove the gold cap of the clip mechanism by pulling it straight off from the cap. ...
  2. Pull the eraser off from the pen.
  3. Insert 0.7mm lead into the visible hole.
  4. Replace eraser and cap and click the pen until the lead appears in the tip.
Jan 2, 2023

How do you refill a clear point pencil? ›

To refill the lead of Paper Mate Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil, unscrew the top of the barrel (colored part of the pencil) and insert the new lead. Screw the top portion of the barrel back. Click the pencil a few times to advance the lead.

Why won t my mechanical pencil work? ›

If you use mechanical pencils, at some point you're likely to have a lead jam. It happens. A tiny bit of lead gets stuck somewhere in the mechanism, and stops it from working. Lead might not click forward, or it might click forward but slide back in when you try to use the pencil.

How long is a Bic 0.7 mechanical pencil? ›

Product TypeMechanical Pencil
Width In Inches2.20
Height In Inches0.90
Length In Inches6.10
11 more rows

Are mechanical pencils number 2? ›

2 pencil and mechanical pencils are not always regulated as No. 2. In addition, they are thin and prone to breaking, which means your marks may not be as readable as the thicker, darker marks you can achieve with an old-school number 2 pencil.

What goes in a mechanical pencil? ›

A mechanical pencil, also clutch pencil, is a pencil with a replaceable and mechanically extendable solid pigment core called a "lead" /ˈlɛd/. The lead, often made of graphite, is not bonded to the outer casing, and can be mechanically extended as its point is worn away as it is being used.

How do old mechanical pencils work? ›

A small rod inside pushes the lead forward, as needed, usually with a twist action mechanism. When done writing, the user twists the mechanism in reverse, and manually pushes the lead back down into it's socket. Some of these pencils are simple, some are fancy.

Are mechanical pencils erasable? ›

These colored mechanical pencils are softer and more gentle than typical graphite pencils. Each pencil is loaded with “Uni NanoDia Color Lead” which is very vibrant! The lead shows up very well on light or dark paper and is easily erasable. We think these mechanical pencils are great for art, studying or crafting.

Is graphite poisonous to humans? ›

Symptoms. Graphite is relatively nonpoisonous. There may be no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may include stomachache and vomiting, which could be from a bowel obstruction (blockage).

How long do mechanical pencils last? ›

4) It lasts for years.

The longest I've used the same mechanical pencil is seven years. Only when the interior mechanism was worn out did I need to buy a new one. Because of the durability of the mechanical pencil, it is a very economical writing tool.

How do you close a mechanical pencil? ›

Using a Mechanical Pencil. For the most part, mechanical pencils are quite simple to use - with most of them, you just click the button on the end to feed out more lead whenever you need to. Retract the lead by holding the button in and gently pushing the lead in.

How do you make pencil lead? ›

The “lead” in a pencil isn't actually made from lead. It is made from a form of carbon called graphite. The graphite is mixed with clay and formed into long thin pencil lead.

Is it OK to use a mechanical pencil? ›

Mechanical pencils are good for drawing, in fact, they are my pencils of choice. Mechanical pencils are excellent for drawing. The 'leads' range in size from 0.2mm – 0.9mm and are graded from 6H – 4B. The lines erase well, are lightfast and the shading is consistent.

Are mechanical pencils worth it? ›

Why you should use a mechanical pencil. Consistent lines: Mechanical pencils can achieve the type of precision and detail a regular wooden pencil cannot. With lead size ranging from as small as 0.3mm, you can draw very fine lines, perfect for adding detail to any creative project.

Do you sharpen mechanical pencil? ›

The mechanical pencils (a clutch pencil that contains a delicate lead) don't need sharpening.

How do you make a BB gun out of a mechanical pencil? ›

Take the rubber band and stretch it out to the middle of the pencil, cut a slit into the eraser and attach it. Wrap a second rubber band to the first one along the barrel to hold it down. Pull back on the slide and put the BB in through the front. Once you let go, the BB should go shooting out.

What is #2 pencil? ›

A No. 2 pencil is towards the middle when it comes to the hardness of lead (graphite) and the darkness of the shade. If a pencil has a number higher than 2 it means it has a harder graphite core, a harder point, and a lighter shade. These pencils are often used by engineers or architects.

Is 0.3 mechanical pencil good for drawing? ›

If you wish to draw very fine lines, you'll want to go for a 0.3mm lead. For writing and most drawing, you'll probably prefer a 0.5mm lead. A thicker, 0.7mm lead, meanwhile, may be better for sketching and non-detailed drawing. Other sizes are also available for specialist uses.

What grade is a mechanical pencil? ›

Do mechanical pencils use lead grades? Yes, mechanical pencils do use lead grades. This is to say that a number of lead hardness levels are sold in mechanical pencil lead, but not as wide a range as in wooden pencils. Typically you'll see a high quality lead, like Uni's NanoDia sold in 4B, 2B, B, HB, H, 2H, and 4H.

How do you hold a pencil and write? ›

General guidelines for a good pencil grip, as shown in figure 2, include: ◗ the pencil is held in a stable position between the thumb, index and middle fingers ◗ the ring and little fingers are bent and rest comfortably on the table ◗ the index finger and thumb form an open space ◗ the wrist is bent back slightly, and ...

Are twist pens refillable? ›

A: It CAN refill!

Is there a #1 pencil? ›

Lead pencils are graded on a scale from No. 1 to No. 4 based on how much graphite is inside the core. The #1 pencils are the softest, while the #4 pencils are the hardest.

Are erasers allowed in SAT? ›

Your up-to-date admission ticket. (You need to print this out.) Acceptable photo ID. Two No. 2 pencils with erasers.

What B is a #2 pencil? ›

Generally, an HB grade about the middle of the scale is considered to be equivalent to a #2 pencil using the U.S. numbering system.

Is mechanical pencil 2b? ›

When it comes to precise, smooth and uniform writing a mechanical pencil is the best choice. Comfortable and ergonomic grip zones provide a pleasant but yet exact result. Mechanical pencils are ideal for sketching, drawing and writing.

Is 0.7 lead a #2 pencil? ›

Staples Mechanical Pencil, 0.7mm, #2 Medium Lead, Dozen (29082-CC) | Staples.

What are mechanical pencils called? ›

While called a “mechanical pencil” in the United States it is called “propelling pencil” in the UK and “pen pencil” in India. This pen is mainly used for technical drawing and writing, but it can also be used in fine art. They do not have to be sharpened to be used and because of that are very popular with students.

Is mechanical pencil lead toxic? ›

Pencil “lead” is actually graphite which is safe and non-toxic.

Do mechanical pencils have led? ›

This may come as a shock to some people but lead pencils do not contain any lead. Never did. The “lead” actually is a mixture of graphite and clay; the more graphite, the softer and darker the point.

What are erasers made of? ›

Today, erasers are usually made from synthetic rubber, which is a polymer.

How can mechanical pencils be reused? ›

Nonetheless, you can always reuse your mechanical pencil by refilling the lead. You could also gather them up in large quantities and send them to recycling organizations like Terracycle that collects waste that is difficult to recycle for conversion into materials and products.

Can you use 0.7 lead in a 0.5 pencil? ›

If your pencil says 0.5mm, you wont be able to use 0.7 or 0.9mm lead with it.

Can mechanical pencils be refilled? ›

Most Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils are refilled by simply pulling the eraser out, and inserting the new lead. Click the mechanical pencil a few times to advance the lead. As for the Clearpoint Mechanical Pencil, unscrew the top of the barrel (colored part of the pencil) and insert the new lead.

Can a mechanical pencil be a #2? ›

A: Yes, it's equivalent to a #2 pencil.

What goes inside a mechanical pencil? ›

A mechanical pencil, also clutch pencil, is a pencil with a replaceable and mechanically extendable solid pigment core called a "lead" /ˈlɛd/. The lead, often made of graphite, is not bonded to the outer casing, and can be mechanically extended as its point is worn away as it is being used.

Is Paper Mate a number 2 pencil? ›

Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils, Write Bros. Classic #2 Pencil, Great for Standardized Testing, 0.7mm, 24 Count -

Is 2 pencil lead toxic? ›

Pencil “lead” is actually graphite which is safe and non-toxic.

Is there a #3 pencil? ›

3 Medium-Hard Yellow Pencil.

What is the darkest pencil lead? ›

B9 is the softest and darkest. 9H is the lightest and hardest graphite pencil. So a B6 is softer and darker than a B2. An 6H is harder and lighter than a 2H and much harder and lighter than a HB or a B pencil.

Do artists use mechanical pencils? ›

Artists can use mechanical pencils exclusively or can alternate between them and traditional pencils to great advantage. Among the strengths of mechanical pencils are their fine points, which in many cases are so thin that they do not need to be sharpened, unlike traditional pencils.

Why do artists tape their pencils? ›

The wrap gives the pencil some body and lets me get a firmer grip on it. The foam never gets slippery or slick, so I always have a solid, dry, non-slip grip no matter how sweaty of a day it is.


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