Mechanical Pencils and Accessories

Common Questions
Mechanical Pencils
Lead Refills and Accessories
Lead Pointers
Mechanical Pencils Questions and Answers



  • What size lead should I choose?

    Mechanical pencils require leads in a variety of sizes, and each pencil can only use the size for which it was designed. Dick Blick carries both pencils and lead refills for sizes 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm, as well as for 2 mm lead holders (drafting pencils).

    return to all questions

  • Are the "leads" harmful?

    Although pencil leads once contained lead, an element that is toxic when ingested, all modern pencils and pencil leads are made with graphite, a naturally occuring form of carbon that is not toxic or harmful. Powdered graphite is fired with a fine clay binder to create leads of varying width and hardness.

    return to all questions

  • Which size refills are easiest to find?

    The 0.5 mm lead size is the one most commonly used for ordinary writing. Most fine writing instruments, mechanical pencils that are designed for a general audience rather than for graphic artists, require this size of lead.

    return to all questions

  • How do graphic artists use the different sizes?

    It is common for graphic artists to own several mechanical pencils, each with a different color of barrel, to create both fine and coarse lines. Each pencil is loaded with a different thickness and hardness of lead. Several colors of lead are also available.

    return to all questions

  • What is a drafting pencil?

    A drafting pencil or "lead holder" is a mechanical pencil that uses the much larger 2 mm leads. The point can be sharpened as necessary with a lead pointer. We recommend a lead pointer as an extra accessory.

    return to all questions

group 1_0_1_3

Dick Blick Art Materials · P.O. Box 1267 · Galesburg, IL 61402-1267 · Toll-free Phone (800) 828-4548 International Phone +1-309-343-6181 ext. 5402 · Fax (800) 621-8293

Dick Blick Art Materials®, Blick®, Blick Studio®, and Artists Pick Blick® are registered trademarks of
Dick Blick Holdings Inc. © Copyright 1999-2018 Dick Blick Holdings Inc. All rights reserved.