How to Fix A Mechanical Pencil If Pencil Lead Won’t Come Out?

Sometimes we become disappointed with the mechanical pencil we use and feel like I bought you for an easy user experience, but you’re troubling me.

How to Fix A Mechanical Pencil

Well, that happens because a lead jam inside the pencil and let not work it gracefully. We buy this pencil investing so many dollars, can’t throw it away because of the jam inside, can we?

So we need to know some basic facts about how to fix a mechanical pencil that is jammed by something inside. In our article, we’ve tried enough to give you some helpful instructions. So read it to the last.

How The Jam Happens in Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical pencil is a simple device and no major problem can’t take place in this. Yes, it can stop working sometimes but we can fix it. Before knowing how to fix it, we should know why it gets jammed. Whereas, we can’t make things right unless we know the problem.

  1. Most often a little piece of broken lead gets stuck, and it happens mostly in the clutch or nose of the pencil.
  2. If you’re using pencil lead that is HB and 0.2 or 0.3 mm in diameter, then there has more possibility of getting a break. We all know HB leads are harder and break easily.
  3. Suppose, your pencil’s diameter is 0.5 mm and you have installed 0.3 mm or 0.2 mm lead. Or you’ve put a lead that is larger than the diameter, then lead getting stuck is obvious.
  4. Putting more than 2 or 3 leads inside can jam your mechanical pencil. So it is not right to put lots of lead altogether.
  5. Dust sometimes blocks the clutch or nose of the pencil over time. But this happens rarely.

Basically, number 1 reason is most responsible for the jam inside a pencil.

What Do We Need to Fix The Lead?

When lead is stuck in a mechanical pencil, it stops working. Then we start shaking the pencil or twisting the press button, but that is not enough and sometimes the situation gets worse by shaking. So let’s know what our requirements are to fix the lead or dust stuck problem.

➥ Clean Out Rod

Clean out rod is a very thin tool that most often comes with the mechanical pencil you’re using. It stays joined below the eraser. If you’ve one clean-out rod, you can use this for many pencil repairs.

We all know that mechanical pencil has a very thin diameter, competing with that clean out rod is thinner. Thus it can repair going inside of the stuck area and clean the area perfectly.

This tool is the best way to mechanical pencil repair. Especially this tool is very helpful for woodworkers because they have to be used mechanical pencil repeatedly.

➥ Eraser Kit

Sometimes we get an eraser refill with our pencil. Each eraser refill has a clean-out rod. If your pencil doesn’t have an eraser or clean-out rob, you can buy any eraser refill for your mechanical pencil even if the eraser doesn’t match your pencil size. Surely you’ll get a cleanout rod with it that you can use to fix any mechanical pencil.

➥ Twist Tile

If you don’t have any clean-out rod or eraser kit, but you’re in an emergency, you can look for any twist tile inside your house. Sometimes we use metal thread for very purposes, if you can DIY these as cleanout rods, then your fixing job will be done easily.

But remember, the twist tile should be metal and it has to be thinner than the pencil’s diameter. I recommend you not to use any bread or garbage bags twist tile, because these are very flexible, will not do the job nicely, rather can make the situation worse.

➥ Safety Pin

You don’t have any of these mentioned above, then you can go for a safety pin. But make sure the safety pin is thin enough then the pencil diameter. Otherwise, your pencil can crack up.

We recommend you use the clean-out rod because it nicely fixes the problem and leaves no risk.

Point to be noted:

Never use any lead to fix the jam of your mechanical pencil. Leads are very soft for this purpose. This may occur a more serious problem.

How to Fix Jammed Mechanical Pencils

How to fix jammed mechanical pencils

We are aware from our previous discussion that what causes the jamming problem and what tools we need to solve the problem. Now we’ll know how to fix the jammed mechanical pencil.

➥ Shaking or Pressing Button

When we first experience our mechanical pencil is jammed and not working, usually we start shaking the pencil or pressing the upside-down button. And sometimes it works. But it only works when the jam is not too much.

When your pencil has much jam, this shaking or pressing button method enhance more problem. So better you stop doing that when you find that the pencil is not getting a fix.

➥ Unscrewing The Pencil Nose

To know the problem clearly, you have to unscrew the nose of the pencil. Sometimes dust gets stuck in the nose and the pencil stops working. So if you find any dust there, clean it.

The most important part of unscrewing the nose is that you’ll get to see the clutch of the pencil. Through the clutch, you’ll get to see if there has any jam or not.

The clutch holds the pencil lead, and most often if any lead breaks, it is stuck here in the clutch. To observe the clutch more carefully, you should push the pressing button.

➥ Using The Cleaning Rod

After observing the clutch, now you know where the jam is. So it is time to start using the clearing rod.

First set a comfortable position of how you can manage the work gracefully. Now push the press button down and do not leave until your job is done.

So when the clutch is at your comfortable reach, now push the clean-out rod into the clutch hole. Start rotating it inside the clutch carefully. Do not be very forceful.

You’re pushing the press button to the down, and moving the clean-out rod inside the pencil. When you’re done with cleaning, now throw the broken leads by u-turning the pencil.

This is how the broken lead will come out and the jam will be clear. So finally the fixing is done.

How to Fix Badly Jammed Mechanical Pencils

If your pencil is not fixed yet, that means a serious jammed has taken place over there. So the following fixing tips are for you.

  1. Here you’ll have to work on the upper part of the pencil where the eraser is located.
  2. Start with removing the eraser.
  3. Then remove leads from the pencil.
  4. Unscrew the front or grip part of the pencil.
  5. To observe the clutch, push the press button down and hold it.
  6. Push the rod inside the clutch and clean it nicely.
  7. Now your pencil is free from all the dirt and broken leads.

When your cleaning job is done, you can fix the pencil as it was before.

How to Put Lead in A Mechanical Pencil

Some people in hurry try to push a lead from the bottom of the nose of a mechanical pencil. But this is the worst idea. You just have to follow few things to refill your mechanical pencil by mechanical pencil leads.

  1. Pull the cover and then the eraser of the pencil. If the pencil don’t have any cover, directly work with the eraser.
  2. Then you’ll see the pencil is empty, before refilling the lead make sure by shaking the pencil is really empty or not. Otherwise, later it’ll cause a jam.
  3. Now refill with 6 or 7 leads. To avoid jam refill with 3 or 4 leads. Then put the eraser and cover back.

We recommend you not to let your eraser ever get low because If it gets very low, you’ll have to give lots of effort to make the eraser out. If you can’t make the eraser out, how you’re supposed to refill the pencil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my mechanical pencil not work?

If your mechanical pencil is not working then it is jammed. The jam causes because sometimes leads get break inside the pencil. Or sometimes you put so many leads in the pencil when you shouldn’t put more than 2, 3, or 4 leads for a jam-free service.

Moreover, sometimes dust causes a jam. If any of the reasons is behind your mechanical pencil’s not working, then fix the jam as soon as possible.

How long does a mechanical pencil last?

Answer: As you’re asking how long a mechanical pencil lasts, I will say the longer you’ll take care of it. Yes, a mechanical pencil can serve even a decade if you don’t fall it or cause an accident.

People also ask if the expensive one lasts long. Sometimes the cheap one also serves years after years. Only you have to be careful enough.

How to get the eraser out of a mechanical pencil

Actually, the eraser is the most useful part of a mechanical pencil. With this, you have refill leads. Also, you’ve to clean the pencil with the help of making out the erase.

Removing the eraser is not any major task. You just have to figure out where the eraser is. Then pulling is enough to make the eraser out from the pencil.

Why does my mechanical pencil lead keeps breaking?

Answer: Mechanical pencil leads will get a break or keep breaking if it is very thin, hard, or HB. HB leads are not soft like 2B leads and there is more clay than graphite.

If you’re using very thin leads that don’t need sharpening, then it’ll break often. Some mechanical pencil accepts only thin leads. There to avoid leads breaking, give less pressure while you’re working.


Finally, you know how to fix a mechanical pencil. Our methods are most fruitful and tempested. No matter how badly jammed your pencil is, if you follow each guide, we assure you that your mechanical pencil will work like before.

When you’ll try once, you’ll become an expert at fixing pencils. We recommend you to do the fixing job as soon as possible when you first experience it. Our article is also helpful for those who haven’t experience any jam in their pencil yet.  Above all what is the obstacle to know!

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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!