These mechanical pencils, which have a medium 0.7 mm tip, are versatile and may be used for any sketching or writing activity. The # 2 lead offers consistently clean and smudge-free writing and comes in a set of 40. It is easy to change the lead because it can be removed from the barrel.
Mechanical pencils are commonly used by artists because they provide easy access to multiple points on one sheet of paper. They also produce very little waste material.
There are two types of leads in use with mechanical pencils: colored and black. Colored leads are available in several shades of blue, green, red, and yellow. These leads are suitable for drawing and painting applications where matching the color of the lead to that of your subject matter is necessary. Black leads are perfect for writing applications where you need to produce clear lines without any background colors obscuring them.
Mechanical pencil leads come in lengths of 5 to 7 millimeters (mm), with 0.5 mm and 1 mm being common sizes. Larger or smaller tips are available but these are generally used for drawing applications where you need to work with a lot of detail.
The number next to the name of the lead type indicates its diameter. So, a #2 lead has a diameter of about 0.7 mm.
Mechanical pencil leads and clutch pencil leads are available in a number of standard sizes and hardness ratings. A diameter of 0.3mm is regarded small, whereas 0.9mm is considered thicker. The hardness rating of lead is measured on a scale from 1 to 10 with 9 being medium and 7 being soft. Mechanical pencil leads tend to be thinner and harder than clutch pencil leads.
Thicker leads are useful for drawing or writing on paper that you plan to rub off later (such as posters or napkins), while thinner leads are good for drawing or painting on surfaces you want to keep forever (such as canvas or wood).
Lead thickness does not affect how much ink can be put down with a pen cartridge. However, more ink means better quality writing and drawing with no run-out.
The thickness of mechanical pencil leads ranges from about 0.5mm to 2.0mm, while the thickness of clutch pencil leads is usually between 0.7mm and 1.4mm.
There are several methods for measuring lead thickness including micrometers and optical leasers. Micrometers are very accurate but require special tools not available to most people. Optical leasers work by projecting a beam of light through the lead and reading its reflection off of another surface behind it.
Because mechanical pencils (a clutch pencil with a thin lead) produce lines of consistent thickness, they are commonly used for technical drawing, although many fine artists also use them to sketch. Mechanical pencils (a clutch pencil with a delicate lead) do not require sharpening. The other sizes can be sharpened or not, depending on the situation. Mechanical pencil leads come in several lengths: 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm.
Clutch pencils were invented by Henry Rose who was an artist, illustrator and teacher. He developed his invention during the 19th century when he also painted pictures using oil paints. Today, most clutch pencils are made by one of three major companies - Pentel, Faber-Castell and Munroe Pencil Company - all based in Japan.
Use of the term "mechanical" here should be taken as meaning that the lead can be removed and replaced without losing the point. Some early models could only be sharpened with a knife; later models could be sharpened with a special tool. Although this makes changing the lead easier, it also makes the pencil more likely to break if not used properly.
The first clutch pencil was called "Pilot", and it was invented by William Tickell in 1869. In 1872, John Lehr began manufacturing Lehr's Clutch Writing Pencil which was very popular among artists because it did not need sharpening and could be used dry or wet.