Mechanical Pencils
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Mechanical pencils are a particular type of pencil that does not need sharpening but rather has a replaceable lead that automatically extends. In a way, they are a cross between wooden pencils and ink pens. While many refer to the core writing material inside a pencil as lead, it contains no lead and is mostly graphite. Pencils are the perfect addition to any office supplies order.

Why Use a Mechanical Pencil?
These pencils go by many names including drafting, automatic, technical, pen pencil and even lead pencil. Unlike a pen, its writing material is solid and not liquid. On the other hand, a mechanical pencil differs significantly from a wooden one because the solid graphite inside it is separate from the shell and, therefore, extendable. A mechanical model is just as suitable for teaching school kids penmanship as it is for drafting.

Compared to pens, cool mechanical coloring pencils do not run, bleed or skip. The pencil marks they make are also erasable and never fade with time if left untouched. These specialty pencils also have many advantages over regular wooden ones. Besides never requiring sharpening, they are more compact, durable and comfortable to hold. Their heft and balance also always remain the same. However, more importantly, a mechanical pencil always creates lines of the same thickness. This consistency is the chief reason artists and drafters prefer them.

Key Features of Mechanical Pencils
While it does the same thing as a wooden pencil, a mechanical version is a more advanced tool. Even then, drafting pencils come with varying sets of features. In its most basic configuration, a mechanical pencil has a lead core, a lead sleeve and a shaft. The lead inside the pencil comes in various thickness determined by the use intended for it. The lead sleeve is the part above the tip of the pencil and before the shaft. Drafting Prismacolor pencils meant for technical drawing usually have thin round sleeves while those made for writing sport conical sleeves.

The shaft of a mechanical pencil is the long section gripped in the hand. It is important to find one with a good grip. Usually, drafting pencil shafts come wrapped in silicone rubber or knurled metal to provide an enhanced grip. Another key feature of drafting pencils is the retraction mechanism. While disposable automatic pencils never retract their tips, cool mechanical pencils automatically deploy their tips. However for most models, there is a push button on the shaft for retracting and advancing the pencil's tip. Alternatively, the tip may also move by shaking the pencil, bending its shaft or twisting its cap or cone.

Picking the Right Mechanical Pencil
The right mechanical pencil to choose varies from one person to another. There are multiple factors to consider when looking for the best mechanical pencils for your needs. The most important ones are the pencil's intended use, build quality and desirable qualities.

A parent looking for a mechanical pencil for their child would want a small, compact model with a comfortable grip and a retractable tip that won't break off when stowed in a school bag. A drafter would prefer a mechanical pencil with a good grip and premium build quality as well as a fixed lead sleeve and an accurate lead width. Add a new set of mechanical pencils to your school supplies list.
Open Staples Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Medium Lead, Dozen (29082)
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Add to cart Staples Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Medium Lead, Dozen (29082)
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Add to cart Paper Mate Sharpwriter No. 2 Mechanical Pencils, 0.7 mm, 36/Pack (1921221)
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Choose options Paper Mate® Sharpwriter® Mechanical Pencils
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Add to cart Staples Side Advance Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Soft Lead, 8/Pack (41966)
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Open BIC Xtra-Life Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Medium Lead, 40/Pack (MPP40MJ-BLK)
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Add to cart BIC Xtra-Life Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Medium Lead, 40/Pack (MPP40MJ-BLK)
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Add to cart Paper Mate Write Bros. Mechanical Pencil, No. 2 Medium Lead, 2 Dozen (1984191)
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Open Pentel Twist-Erase Express Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Medium Lead, 4/pack QE415LZBP4)
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Add to cart Pentel Twist-Erase Express Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Medium Lead, 4/pack QE415LZBP4)
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Choose options Pentel® Twist-Erase® III Automatic Pencils
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Choose options Pentel Sharp™ Mechanical Pencils 2/Pack
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Add to cart BIC Velocity Mechanical Pencils, No. 2 Hard Lead, 5/Pack (41021)
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