Best Mechanical Pencil Leads for Artists & Designers in 2023

In our professional or study life, we are nothing without writing content. Nowadays, science maybe links our daily life, but science can’t take the place of writing accessories.

The equipment that requires us most for regular drawing and writing applications is a pencil. Among all writing tools, it is the most popular. Children to artists everyone needs it for their task.

best lead for mechanical pencils

Whoever uses pencil daily finds it a little expensive to buy lots of wood pencil altogether and prefers using mechanical pencil leads as it comes in huge quantities, also economical.

But most often, people are not satisfied with the leads they’re using. This happens because they don’t know about good pencil lead brands and useful guides.

So today, I’m here to tell you about the top 8 best mechanical pencil leads that are used widely by all. And last, we’ll provide you with some helpful guidance about purchasing pencil leads.



Editor's Rating


June Gold


Jovitec Colored Pencils Lead


Pentel Hi-Polymer Lead


Mr. Pen 0.5 Pencil Lead


Bild Premium Mechanical Pencil Lead


What Is The Best Lead for Mechanical Pencils?

what is mechanical pencil lead

Mechanical pencil lead is made of clay and graphite. The lead that is consists of much graphite is actually the best one. Because clay makes the leads harder and lighter in color.

On the other hand, graphite is softer than clay, keep the pencil lead softer, and gives a darker color. Lead grades 2B and 4B have much graphite portion inside. These provide you break-free, smooth and dark features.

Our Top 8 Best Mechanical Pencil Lead Reviews in 2021

1. June Gold

June Gold 820 Pieces

Pencil is required in our life from the start of learning to every sector. Those who need pencil regularly, better they use mechanical pencil lead. Because, this is very economical and serves longer time.

June Gold is a leading brand for mechanical pencil lead. In each packaging, there have four dispensers. And each tube has 205 pieces of 0.3 mm 2B lead refills. That is to say, there have 820 pieces of graphite leads, and these are 60 mm tall.

These pencil leads are break-resistant and can write all day. Furthermore, they are designed with convenience for easy and straightforward use. You can have experience of writing uniformly, smoothly, efficiently and last long with dark graphite color.

However, this brand’s lead works with any brand’s 0.3 mm pencils. And you never have to worry that your pencil may need to sharpen.

Moreover, the lead grade is 2B which is softer and darker. You’ll not get any harsh experience of erasing. All these leads will fit the paper mate 1.3 mm mechanical pencils as they have a perfect height of 60 mm.

Unquestionably, you’ll love these leads as they write gracefully on paper with minimum pressure. Specifically, you can do notes and art both. These can be used in both school and office work.

Highlighted features:

  • Each package has 4 boxes.
  • All the boxes hold 820 leads altogether.
  • The leads are .3 mm and 60 mm tall.
  • These 2B refills are softer and darker.
  • No need to worry about sharpening.

2. Jovitec Color Lead Refill Colored Pencils Lead

Jovitec Color Lead Refill Colored Pencils Lead

We all want to decorate our notes with a variety of colors so that they may look good. But sometimes mistakes happen, and we want to erase them. Especially, we all are introduced to black graphite leads, but occasionally colorful things serve our needs in so many ways.

Jovitec color lead refills are one of the top-notch mechanical pencil leads to decorating notes or drawing. There are six colors in each package: red, orange, green, blue, purple, and rose pink. Each tube’s cover has an extra tip to open and close.

Additionally, in every tube, there have 30 pieces of leads. And all the plastic boxes are of 6 different colors. The pink one has pink color lead inside, and the blue one has blue color lead.

All the refills are 0.7 mm and 60 mm in width and length. If you make any mistakes carelessly, you can fix your mistakes by erasing them. Because of these erasing features, these leads are the supreme. Isn’t it funny that you’re using a colored pencil, and you can erase too?

These mechanical pencil leads are HB; thus, they’re harder and can break sometimes if you push much pressure.

Undoubtedly, you can use these at home, in schools, and anywhere else.

Highlighted features:

  • There have red, blue, rose pink, green, orange, and purple color pencil leads in one set.
  • Every box holds its own colored pencil and has 30 pieces inside.
  • You can erase if you make any mistakes.
  • These pencils are 0.7 mm (width) and .60 mm (length).
  • As these are HB, they break easily if they get much pressure.

3. Pentel C27BPHB3K6 Super Hi-Polymer Lead Refills

Pentel C27BPHB3K6 Super Hi-Polymer Lead Refills

When we think about a pencil, then the graphite or gray color comes into our mind. Now it is time to show you one of the most leading brands for mechanical pencil lead.

Pentel Super Hi-Polymer Lead Refills is the one I am talking about. This polymer pencil leads come 90 pieces in a set.

You’ll get a satisfactory experience with these pentel super hi leads. Comparatively, they give a clear and dark line. Although it is HB, it doesn’t break easily. It smoothly moves across on any paper as well as the water-based paper also. And these provide a guarantee for scanning.

However, the pentel super hi refills are for 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm mechanical pencils. And the polymer refills are like the #2 pencil.

Again, these are break resistance, and sharpening is never required. The body of every box is made of recycled plastic.

Pentel super hi refills are manufactured in Japan. In this case, if you buy this refill, you will invest money in the right sector. Many people do not want to use other options if they start using this polymer mechanical pencil leads once.

Mainly, you can do sketches and notes using these. Every lead of this set is perfect. You’ll just love using them.

Highlighted features:

  • The pentel super hi boxes are made of recycled plastic.
  • In total, there have 90 high-quality polymer refills.
  • Fit for 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm mechanical pencils.
  • HB lead is like the #2 pencil, and sharpening is not required.
  • They accept scanning and break resistance.

4. Mr. Pen 0.5 Millimeter Lead Refills 

Mr. Pen 0.5 Millimeter Lead Refills for Mechanical Pencils

If you want to buy lots of high-quality refills altogether in one purchase, then you can undoubtedly buy Mr. Pen refills.

Generally speaking, this Mr. Pen Millimeter Lead Refills worth your buying. The most attractive here is the packaging, and on the box, there has a cute mustache which gives a message that he is really a Mr. You will get 4 boxes, and each box has 150 refills inside.

These are fit for any 0.5 mechanical pencils. Although these pencils seem very thin, they do not break easily. But breaking a few is ok sometimes, as you’re getting so many pencils within such a price. And some will obviously break as HB gets break easily by much pressure.

Moreover, you can use these refills for regular use, like drawing, sketching, doing notes, and surely getting a pleasant experience. These refills are 2-3/8 inches long, which may seem short in length, but works finely and gracefully. Indeed, you can use these refills for longer as these come in a huge quantity.

Sometimes customers judge its features because it is thin. I will say, if you want all Pieces not to break ever, then you are a daydreamer. With its slim figure, it serves you in the best way.

Highlighted features:

  • Mr. pen refills are standard for any type of 0.5 mm mechanical pencils.
  • In a package, you’ll get 4 boxes, and each box has 150 refills.
  • All the leads are of high quality and similar to the #2 pencil.
  • The leads are HB, thin, and 2-3/8 inches long.
  • They deliver it in nice packaging.

5. Bild Premium Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills (HB, 1.3 mm)

Bild Premium Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills (HB, 1.3 mm)

Bild is a trustworthy brand for mechanical pencil refills. Many people have complete faith in their product.

Indeed, these premium mechanical lead refills were designed to give the customer an easy, graceful, and scratchy writing experience on paper—no doubt in its quality.

The lead size is 1.3 mm, and it works with any mechanical pencil that has a 1.3 mm size. And the grade of these leads is HB. But it is available in 2B too. If you want 2B, then order 2B leads.

Bild leads are available in 03 mm to 2.0 mm. You may get confused about how many leads you’ll receive with 1.3 mm, as Bild leads have many size variations, and quantity variations depend on the size number.

Let me make it clear for you. If you order 1.3 mm, then you’ll get a total of 4 boxes. Among 4 boxes, 3 will hold regular graphite leads, and the quantity will be 72. Which means, each 3 boxes will have 24 leads. And 1 box will contain 12 (more aor less)  color leads.

The quality of the graphite leads is excellent. So, you can use them for regular writing and drawing. But, the color leads are breakable. Specially 1.3 size pencil lead is very useful for woodworkers.

Still, you’ll have a fun experience using these leads.

Highlighted features:

  • They provide good quality refills.
  • You’ll get size variations from 0.3 mm to 2.0 mm.
  • 1.3 mm refills have 72 HB graphite leads and one box of color lead.
  • The color refills come only with HB.
  • The quantity number varies from size to size.

6. June Gold 36 Assorted Colored 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Leads

June Gold 36 Assorted Colored 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencils

Children are fond of drawing, and as guardians, we want their wishes to be fulfilled. Color pencil is probably the perfect option for the child. And June Gold 36 assorted color pencils will be best for them.

In one premium set, there have 36 pencils of 36 different color shades. All the shades are red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, pink, white, brown, black, gray, and tan.

With every wood pencil, there has one safe sharpener located at the end of the pencil. Every pencil has a hexagon barrel to grip by hand easily and does not roll away. And these are refillable.

The leads are 2.0 mm and 90 mm in width and length. And these are not waxy but oil-based and do not break easily. In every application, you’ll get dark and resonant colors on your paper.

You’ll find the leads with rich cores that help the color blending and shading smoothly. June gold demands them as the leading competitor, and they worth it.

Chiefly, these color pencils are outstanding for children, and others too. You can use them for multi-purposes like drawing, crafting, underlining, decorating notes, and cards.

Highlighted features:

  • The pencils are refillable with lead.
  • All the leads are of high quality and blend smoothly on paper.
  • In one packet, there have 36 pencils of different shades.
  • Each pencil has a safe sharpener included in the back.
  • The leads are 2.0 mm in width and 90 mm in length.
  • This package is not for under 3 years child.

7. Uni NanoDia Color Mechanical Pencil Leads

Uni NanoDia Color Mechanical Pencil Leads 0.5mm 7 Color Set

Color pencils are equally important, like graphite pencils. Uni nonodia mechanical color leads are the best option for color pencils.

This color leads boxes to seem very cute. There has a total of 7 color boxes: red, pink, orange, mint blue, blue, green, and lavender.

Each box keeps its own colored pencil leads inside, and each has 20 leads. In total, there have 140 leads.

Specifically, the leads are HB and 0.5 mm, which fit in every different 0.5 mm refillable pencils. Although these are not color pencils, they’re almost like color pencils, but better than colored pencils as these always hold a sharp point.

All the colors are gorgeous, and they write so nicely. Also, the colors are dark and can be erased. But after erasing, you can feel a bit of color stay left.

Customers can use those leads for traditional art or drawing on sketchbooks. Even some customers do simple sketches using them. You’ll get an enjoyable experience using them.

Even these leads have no possibility of getting a break as they are not like other pencils. Many people are disturbed because graphite HB color leads break easily. But Uni NanoDia is break-resistant.

Highlighted features:

  • This brand provides you 140 color leads of 7 colors.
  • Each color box holds 20 leads inside.
  • Better than colored pencils as they always remain sharp.
  • The leads are 0.5 mm and get fit in every type of 0.5 mm pencils.
  • All leads are break-resistant mechanical color pencils.

8. Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead

Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead

Everyone wants the premium quality brand pencil leads for regular writing and drawing, and for them, Staedtler is probably the most satisfying mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler leads are marded carbon leads, and the size is 2 mm. It only comes with one box and 12 leads.

There you’ll see a pink cylindrical thing on the box. If you put this on the top of a pencil, it indicates which type of lead you use.

All the leads are 2 mm. and, there are two types of graphite color available to order-2B and 4B. Comparatively, 4B is much softer and darker. 2B is god, but 4B is much better. And the price of 4B is much than the 2B.

If you use solid lead for regular writing and drawing, these leads will give you satisfying use. In fact, these are good for the left-handed person too. Whoever has different writing techniques will not face any problem using these leads.

People find it very useful in drawing. Usually, they comfortably can draw sketches as the leads run smoothly and give dark color. Some people use them daily as they’re so useful. No one can avoid the refills if they start using once.

But people feel it difficult opening the box. After opening, when one gets to know about the quality, they become really satisfied.

Highlighted features:

  • The package comes with only one box and 12 leads.
  • This carbon lead has a 2 mm lead of both 2B and 4B.
  • German is the manufacturer of this product.
  • The packaging is hard to open.
  • It is best for regular writing and drawing as it has a dark color.

Mechanical Pencil Leads Comparison Chart






June Gold


Graphite lead

0.2 mm to 0.3 mm


Jovitec Pencils Lead


Color lead

0.7 mm


Pentel Hi-Polymer Lead


Graphite lead

0.5 mm, 0.7 mm & 0.9 mm


Mr. Pen 0.5 mm Lead


Graphite lead

0.5 mm


Premium Mechanical Pencil Lead

Quantity vary from size to size

Graphite and color lead

0.3 mm to 2.0 mm

HB, 2B and HB Mega pack

June Gold 2.0 mm Lead

36 pencils

Color pencils and refillable by color lead

0.2 mm


Uni NanoDia Color Leads


Color lead

0.5 mm


Staedtler Carbon Lead


Graphite lead

2 mm

2B and 4B

Our Consideration Before Buying Mechanical Pencil Lead

best mechanical pencil lead

In our article, you are introduced to 8 best mechanical pencil leads. We hope you’ll pick your best one. But still, there is some information to consider before buying.

Sometimes people choose a product from amazon or other sites and then later get disappointed. This is not because the product is terrible, the fault is yours that you did not choose the right one.

So, following buying guidelines of each product is equally important, like knowing about the product. Similarly, before buying mechanical pencil leads from amazon or other sites, you must know some facts that we’ve gathered after reading reviews after reviews. Let’s proceed now!

Lead size

If you want to buy pencil leads, then first look for the pencil size you already own. This is a very wrong idea if you choose the size that does not match the one you already have.

But if you don’t have any pencils to refill and think about buying, you should consider some facts. 0.2 mm to 0.4 mm pencil leads provide extra-fine writing and suitable for detailed drawings. 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm leads are perfect for regular writing and art. And 0.9 mm to up leads are for creating bold lines and drawing.

Thinner leads give sharp lines and can be used fast, but they break often. And more comprehensive leads are suitable for smooth writing and break-resistant. The thinner one is good for writing, and the wider one is for drawing and sketching.

Lead grade

There are various graded pencil leads in the market. But in our product list, we have given you information about HB, 2B, and 4B features that are widely used.

Mechanical pencil leads are usually made of clay and graphite. Lead grade mechanisms both clay and graphite in the pencil leads. The quality of the leads depends on the lead grade.

HB gets break easily but good for regular writing as they do not smudge much. Like HB, 2B is also used and liked by so many people. And comparatively, this is much better than HB. 2B is softer and darker, thus doesn’t break easily and gives dark color.

4B is more soft and dark than 2B. This grade gives you nice dark color. Artists prefer 2B and 4B more, but they do smudge.

Smoothness in using

After knowing about lead size and grade, you should know how smoothly you can use these leads. Who wants unsmooth writing? Obviously nobody. Although in our list, every lead can write smoothly. Still, there have feature variations.

Thin leads are good for sharp lines, but using this is not always smooth since there can be a break.

But if you use dark or wide leads, you’ll get a smooth writing experience. They give you a luxurious writing zone as you do not need to worry about breaking too early.

The hardness of leads often controls the smoothness. If writing or drawing without any hindrance is your mandatory choice, then try to choose the softer lead.


Actually, the features of mechanical pencil leads have links to each other. If ones do testing with thin, hard, and HB, then after testing, he’ll not get much darkness.

But if he uses 2B, soft and wide lead, then he’ll get much darkness.

Comparatively, 4b will provide you much darkness.

Break resistance and Longevity

It is for sure that if your pencil lead does not break easily, then it’ll last longer. Another thing that defines Longevity is length.

As HB lead is hard, it breaks easily, and thus, does not last long.

2B mechanical leads are softer than HB, and that is why it does not break easily. So, it has good Longevity.

Comparatively, 4B is softer than HB and 2B. Because of that, it breaks less and lasts long.

Smudge resistance and Erasability

Why people use a pencil so much? Because by erasing, we can fix the mistake. But there are some pencil leads which left the mark of pencils after erasing. This happens widely in the case of color leads.

HB leads are smudge resistant but sometimes left marks after erasing. But 2B or 4B smudge a lot as they are softer and darker, but the same way these erase nicely.

Smudge resistance leads are good for one’s handwriting, and 2B or 4B brands are good for everything. But people also use HB in drawing.

We discuss additional details in our another article about fixing badly jammed mechanical pencils, that’s why you can repeatedly use a mechanical pencil long time.


1. What is the hardest lead for a mechanical pencil?

Based on grade, leads are divided into three-part. These are- soft, medium, and hard lead. ‘H’ means hard leads. If the number of H do increases, then the hardness increases.

According to that, HB is the hardest lead for mechanical pencils.

2. Is HB or 2B better for drawing?

Artists can use both HB and 2B leads. But as HB is hard, not dark enough, and breaks easily, some artists do not use this much.

2B is dark enough and soft, thus provide a smooth writing experience. So, artists like to use 2B leads most often. That doesn’t mean HB is not used in sketching at all. Sometimes to draw a thin line, HB is required widely.

3. Which lead is darker HB or 2B?

After testing, people find 2B much darker than HB. Because HB mechanical leads have much clay part, and the 2B leads have much graphite portion. Graphite gives dark color in pencils.

Final Words

We have reached the last part of our post. Our firm belief is that our article will help you to take your decision while choosing mechanical pencil leads. Although we tried mentioning the best mechanical pencil lead and each has satisfying mechanisms.

So we’ve given you hints to choose your one. You’re requested to read buying guide part and each detail of the product carefully. Then surely you will invest money in the right product.

We wish you all the best and happy purchasing.

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Expertise: Content writer

My goal in life is to always be learning. I've spent 25+ years working with my hands and have found the art of building something new to be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Through my writing I aim to share some of what I've stumbled upon with the world in hopes others can benefit from my own experiences!