It’s National Pencil Day. What Do I Use?


Do mechanical pencils count? I use them daily and have a decided need in my journal for easily amended notes. The no fuss MP writes without hesitation and requires no special care, perfect for my Traveler’s Notebook Diary.

Recently, I switched from 2B to HB lead to reduce smearing and breakage as well as downsize from 0.7 to 0.5. However, the 0.7 is easier to read so a test of HB at that size is pending. Uni Nano Dia is smooth and relatively sturdy making it my lead of choice. 

Having the right diameter, weight and balance for my hand has made the Tombow MONO graph the mechanical pencil I return to time after time. Next in line is the Zebra DelGuard 0.7. For variety, a Uni Kuru Toga and a Pilot Opt round out my rotation. Yes, I have a mechanical pencil rotation just like a fountain pen rotation. 

A Pentel Clic Eraser (ZE21T) is an essential tool with all of them considering my fickle nature and obsession with editing.

The fact that a pencil will write on any paper is very convenient. However, I still favor quality paper although writing with MPs has made it possible to use some of the lesser quality notebooks like the Moleskine that have come my way. 

Did I mention mechanical pencils are economical? Few cost more than $10 and most cost less than $7. A package of 120 leads costs about $7. Not bad, eh? It isn’t a fountain pen but it will do nicely for everyday use.

Shopping list for products mentioned. Inkophile may earn a tiny commission and I do mean tiny.


  1. Pentel GraphGear 500, the full set (it’s not easy being obsessive). Splurge pencil (long ago): Rotring 800 2mm clutch/nock. Great with 4B for scribbling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! My GraphGear broke years ago. My Rotring went into hiding and I have no clue where. At least my inexpensive ones can get broken or lost and be easily replaced without denting my budget. However, the GraphGear and the Rotring are more solidly built. Good choices in that regard.


  2. A Cross mechanical pencil has served me well for over 40 years. Never fails. I too am an inveterate editor and pencils are the only way.
    I do have a fairly respectable pen collection that I must call on now and then as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a dependable mechanical pencil is a treasure. Luckily, it found a reliable mate in you. 🙂


  3. Happy Pencil Day! I love those click erasers, they were my “fidget toy” before fidget toys were a thing 😅.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In many ways I miss the days of note-taking and mechanical pencils. I don’t use them as much in my journals, though, because of the smudging issue. However, when I do use a mechanical pencil these days, I use my Zebra DelGuard with Totoro pictures all over it. Makes me smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cute!


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