Best Mechanical Pencil Leads

Never sharpen those pencils again! A mechanical pencil with lots of extra lead will guarantee that you will never have to deal with wooden pencil shavings and black-tipped hands ever again. Leads are great modern inventions because the lead tip stays extra-pointy no matter what.

They keep their length and don’t ever shrink, unlike a wooden one that gets shorter with each sharpening job. You help save Mother Nature from deforestation, too.

Leads always give consistent lines with precision and finer details that a wooden cannot offer.

Stocking up on the leads is a must for any home, office, or school because they help get work done swiftly and efficiently.

For the lead in the market, the Pentel brand gives the most value for money with three tubes of 30 in each refill. Read this detailed top lead refills guide below to help you see which one is the perfect one for you.

Best Mechanical Pencil Leads:

1. Pentel C27BPHB3K6 Super Hi-Polymer Lead Refills


This Pentel super hi-polymer comes from a trusted brand that has been around for many years. Fun fact: this is the number one selling lead in the world. Among all the lead options available on Amazon, this one has the most reviews.

This HB lead is equal to the dark shadings offered number 2, so this can be easily scanned for tests, making it the perfect companion for your SATs or other exams.

It is also ideal for other kinds of writing applications like sketching, writing notes, and more. This particular Pentel refill can fit all 0.7mm mechanical.

Each lead bundle is packaged in tubes, which can fit 30 lead pieces. This makes it handy to carry around refills to ensure you’re never out of the lead when you need them the most. This is the lead refill that offers both durability and affordability.


  • The plastic compartment of this lead is made out of 100 percent recyclable materials.
  • This is very affordable and doesn’t break the bank.
  • The thickness of the product provides great results.
  • It goes smooth on paper and glides over easily.
  • Pentel gives the premium brands a serious run for their money.


  • Some people complained that the lead is brittle, snapping easily even with minimal pressure.
  • There are little hard bits on the lead that can easily snag on paper.

2. Strength & Deep & Smooth -Uni-ball Extra Fine Diamond Infused Pencil Leads


This Uni-ball comes at 0.30mm, making it the finest lead pencil out there. This particular number is extraordinarily fine and is one of the thinnest diameters out there for mechanical. It is perfect for those who want to write smaller or finer lines for their sketches.

Even with the fine tip, the lead works offering smoother and darker results. Although this is just HB in terms of grade, rendering the lead on paper shows a much darker quality. Even with a little bit of pressure when writing, the lead surprisingly remains firm.


  • Helps you make really fine, steady lines with the smallest tip out there.
  • Durability is another plus because breakage is not an issue despite the finer size.
  • The diamond name is apt because this offers brilliance on paper.


  • They are quite expensive and cost even more than your daily morning vitamins.
  • Because it is super fine-tipped, you just end up consuming them a lot faster, making them costly to use.
  • The amount of lead you get for the price is just too little making it an extravagant choice for anyone’s pocket.

3. Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead


This carbon lead can be concluded as the darkest lead in the market to date. Its 2B grading is accurate, as with all Staedtler leads. You can count on this for consistency of texture and performance on paper.

This item is proudly manufactured in Germany, and you can rely on German engineering and precision to get things done well. The lead tips are professional in quality, giving a wide range of tones in graphite portraits. The 2mm tips make it the smallest mechanical lead refill for whatever fine-tip job you need to get done.


  • It comes in excellent, sturdy packaging which keeps all the leads protected from the possibility of breakage.
  • The grading is accurate, making it easy to control for all writing applications.
  • This offers consistency like no other.


  • The plastic case is hard to figure out so it took quite a bit of time to get the lead out.
  • The lead refills are a lot softer than expected, so they can easily break when pressure is applied.

4. Paper Mate Mechanical Refills

This affordably priced Papermate product comes with 105 #2 refills. The best part is this best. 5mm lead can easily fit all kinds. They come a bit longer and the amount eases the stress of running out of the lead when you need it the most.

The grade makes fairly dark marks on paper which helps you create neat notes on paper. In addition to that, this Paper Mate product is the ideal companion for a standardized test because of its bold look. In terms of hardness, this can withstand a fair amount of pressure making it a fairly cheap and durable product that won’t hurt your wallet.


  • The packaging that comes with it is very cool. Unlike the open and tilt style which releases a lot of lead, this one is awesome because you can just partially open the top, and only one or two pieces of lead can come out.
  • This comes at a very affordable price with lots of lead refills per order.
  • Each lead piece is hard, making it a strong choice even for rough little school children’s hands.


  • Some pointed out that the lead in the pencil is darker than the refills.
  • The hue of this is a dark gray tone, so if you want a little bit dark, choose another lead refill brand.

5. Pilot Mechanical Lead Neox Graphite


This Pilot refill comes with an HB rating, which feels more like a 2B or a B grade. This means it registers a lot darker, making it much easier to use. This will be a perfect companion for standardized tests that need a darker print, so the shadings would register well on the computer.

This Neox Graphite series comes from the Pilot brand, which has also been a well-known brand through the years. Each order comes with 40 pieces of lead, making it a fairly reasonable purchase. It comes with an easy-to-open case, making sure that you can have access to lead whenever the need arises.


  • It has a very nice feel as it glides across the paper.
  • This Neox graphite is aptly named because it appears darker than its registered grading.
  • It is great for smudging and smearing, making it great for artsy projects like portraits.


  • Because of its smudging power, the lines may not be as crisp as you want them to appear.
  • The lead is very soft so it can wear down a lot faster, which means you’ll consume it faster, too.
  • For its level, it is not the most affordable choice.

6. BIC Lead Refills, Thick Point

This no-nonsense product comes from another industry leader, BIC. This is one of the mechanical lead refills out there because it gets your job done with ease. In case you make a mistake, fret not, for this erases easily barely leaving any residue.

Each pack comes with a fair amount of lead, so it can last for a long time. Each purchase comes in a double pack, so you’ll get many pieces of lead to ensure you don’t run out. This is perfect for taking notes or drafting project plans.


  • Very affordable and lasts for a long time, too.
  • Creates crisp lines that are perfect for any writing application.
  • The product comes fast with a free two-day shipping service.


  • The lead is very soft and can break even when gentle pressure is applied.
  • You can no longer get their counterpart eraser refills, so they are now a no-go.

7. Faber-Castell Super Leads Mechanical

Faber Castell is a world-renowned brand that has been around since time immemorial. They are synonymous with quality. They are known for their fabulous pencils and other amazing drawing paraphernalia.

This 2B grade, 0.7 mm high-quality lead can fit in any size. Each order comes with 1 tube that can contain a max of 24 leads. This lead glides smoothly across the paper when you write, taking less pressure off your hand and less effort.

Moreover, it can create intense black lines with ease. It’s akin to gliding your ballpoint pen on your paper. The Farber Castell leads deserve all the praise because they live up to the quality and standard that comes with it.


  • This is a fairly affordable product that gets the job done easily without breaking any bank.
  • It comes with a decent lead length that glides smoothly and doesn’t smudge easily.
  • It gives very dark and intense lines that can be easily seen.


  • It can break a little bit easier than the HD lead, but this can be easily fixed by adjusting the pressure.
  • The plastic box that contains all the refill lead is very hard to open.

8. 2 Pcs. Rotring Tikky Mechanical Lead


This sturdy product is one of those leads in the market that doesn’t break easily. And for a lead, that is no mean feat. They have a lot of niche customers that are happy with their product offerings.

This comes in a signature Rotring case that can hold twelve pieces of lead. It is a fairly good lead that writes well. Rotring prides itself on being a premium brand that addresses your needs with ease.


  • Gives dark markings that register well on paper.
  • Can write surprisingly well as the lead gently glides on paper.
  • Very sturdy and doesn’t break easily.


  • It is just too expensive with only 12 leads inside the box.
  • For the price, you can easily get other lead refills from comparable brands out there that are more reasonably priced.
  • The box is opaque so you cannot monitor how much lead is inside.

9. Koh-I-Noor 6 Gioconda Graphite

This is one of for pencils out there because it is a good product that aims to deliver quality results. Their graphite gives dark lines that are perfectly suited for any type of writing application. It comes with a fairly low price and fast delivery, making it a good choice.


  • Gives darker lines perfect for making clear notes and clear architectural drafts.
  • This product is affordable and does not cost too much.
  • This item was delivered swiftly, which is a bonus.


  • There were some broken pieces of lead inside her container.

10. June Gold Break Resistant Lead/Graphite


This product comes with a lot of refills, making sure you never run out of the lead. Each tubing refill comes with an outstanding 110 pieces of lead, all of which can be easily dispensed because the dispensing mechanism is easy to figure out. This product’s primary goal is to get you a lot of value for your money.

The lead is touted to be break-resistant and was manufactured for smooth writing. This can fit any 0.7mm. Offering dark marks, this makes the perfect companion for any kind of test.


  • This product is very affordable, with each order guaranteed to last for a long time.
  • This comes with a variety of options for hardness.
  • It indeed does not break easily.


  • Shipping took a little while longer than expected.

Making the Decision

There are many options out there for the pencil lead refill that you can buy for your use. The only person who can make the final decision is you. You have to keep in mind what you’re using this mechanical lead for.

Do you need precision for making architectural blueprints, do you need darker marks for your upcoming SATS, or do you need something that smudges for your pencil portraits? Do your research and check out the prices to see what best suits your budget. Your pencil will be a daily companion that you’ll end up using for a variety of tasks.

Failure to secure the right can give you grief. No one wants to feel the frustration of pieces of lead breaking all the darn time. Choosing the that works for you is critical for getting your work done with ease.

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