View Full Version : Pencil leads - differences between brands?

November 3rd, 2016, 02:13 PM
I was just curious whether there are differences between pencil leads between different brands given the same hardness. With fountain pen inks there appear to be a lot of variables that can go into a "plain ol black" ink. I was curious whether, for instance one brand's 0.7 mm HB lead refill behaves the same as other brand's 0.7 mm HB lead refill. I don't have much familiarity with pencil leads so my apologies if this is a naive question.

November 3rd, 2016, 02:44 PM
Yes, there is
There are subtle differences between brands, just like ink, each of them has its own "feel" and shade.
in the old days (1980s) I had draftng classes in High School and College, and had to have a few pencils that covered the whole spectrum (4B-4H)
I liked the Staedtler 0.5mm leads over Rotring and Pentel (except HB), they just felt right and gave me the results I wanted.
In the large pencil leads (2.0mm) Koh-I-Noor (HB-4B) and Staedtler (HB-4H) and Faber Castel (F) were the ones I used in high school and college for drafting.

Nowadays I use Pentel (HB) because they are easily available, and have tried the UNI (HB) brand and they are not bad at all.

PS. I found a small cache of Faber Castell 9000 F pencils at a bargain bin... made my Xmas!

November 4th, 2016, 02:57 AM
One comparison is available by JetPens Guide to mechanical pencil leads (http://www.jetpens.com/blog/mechanical-pencil-lead-comparison/pt/887)

November 4th, 2016, 10:32 AM
Wow! Thanks - I didn't realize there could be such variability. Pencils may be another avenue to explore beyond fountain pens, and likely a bit less expensive. I have a Parker 51 pencil that I haven't used yet and wonder how it will write!

December 13th, 2017, 05:26 AM
I have a number of 51 pencils. I use them for crosswords.

I just bought some IBM testing 1.1 leads for a Scripto pencil. I can finally read the writing with this pencil.

December 13th, 2017, 09:59 PM
I use cheap, grocery store disposable mechanical pencils. A lot. I want a nicer one, but got too confused by the variety.

Because of this thread and the Jet Pens link I bought a Pentel Kerry 0.5 (Pilot Neox 2B lead) and a Uni Kuru Toga Auto 0.3 (Nano Dia B) to try!

January 27th, 2018, 05:36 PM
Yea a number 2 (HB) from Dixon, Staedtler and General very different. The Dixon is the hardest, Staedtler softer/smoother and the General very dark. They are the only three brands I have experience of in regular use though.