What is a mechanical pencil and how does it work?
Mechanical pencils also referred to as propelling or automatic pencils are basically refillable holders that utilize slim graphite lead sticks that can be extended using a push button. The pencil leads are available in a number of sizes with 0.7 being the most popular choice.
This type of pencil became popular as it introduced convenience and efficiency for the user. You do not need to sharpen it repeatedly and have the ability to refill it with another graphite lead stick.
How Does a Mechanical Pencil Work?
Every mechanical pencil has a mechanism that allows you to extend the graphite lead through the pencil's tip as the stick wears down gradually. Some of the popular mechanisms include the following:
Shaker Mechanism. A type of pencil that enables you to extend the lead by simply shaking it up and down. What happens is when you shake the pencil, there is a weight inside the holder that pushes the button and extends the stick further through the tip. Almost every shaker pencil also has a push-button that you can use manually if you want.
Push Button Mechanism. An overwhelming majority of mechanical pencils come with a push-button which when pressed extends the predetermined length of the lead stick through the tip. You can continue to write with a single push and do not need to fish for a sharpener and worry about the wood shavings. The button is generally present right on the top of the pencil but some pencils have this button on the side.
Twist Mechanism. A few mechanical pencils allow you to extend the lead stick through the pencil's tip by twisting a knob present on the top end or cone of the pencil. Twist mechanism enables writers to have better control over how much stick they want to extend. The downside of this mechanism is that the twist pencils usually only have one lead in the holder.
Advantages of Mechanical Pencil Compared to Conventional Ones
Convenience of Use. One of the biggest advantages of a mechanical pencil is you never need to sharpen it and they do not leave shavings which you have to take care of every day. This ensures that you have a seamless writing experience without any unnecessary interruptions.
Ergonomically Enhanced. Mechanical pencil is generally made with comfortable outer material, which makes it easier to hold for a longer duration. You can write, draw, or sketch for hours without feeling fatigued.
Improved Writing Quality. Mechanical pencil is more likely to deliver a consistent line width, which can be quite helpful for artists who require a consistent experience. Moreover, it also makes your writing look neater and more readable.
Reusable & Easy to Store. You can always load up more lead sticks into your mechanical pencil, which means they are more environment-friendly and affordable in the long run. Apart from that, they are easier to store as compared to conventional pencils.
By Some Folks at EndlessPens