Mechanical pencils date back pre 1800, today they are available in a variety of shapes & sizes with prices to suit all pockets, many comparable to the standard wooden type.
The Artline 7050 Mechanical Pencil 0.5 is available in 3 barrel colours, mine has a shiny black body with a comfy rubberised triangular ergonomic grip section. The lead can be advanced & retracted with a simple push of the translucent button which also houses an eraser.
At risk of showing my age again, when I recall my early school days there wasn't a mechanical pencil to be seen. I can still picture the small queue at Sir's desk (no first name terms used back then) where a row of kids stood waiting to get their pencil into the grips of the old fashioned sharpening machine before turning the handle on the side & going back to carry on with their work.
Back in the 21st century, take a look on a few forums & you will see a variety of pros & cons of mechanical pencils listed, clearly these change depending on the users preference.
Here are some of them anyway
- They don't need sharpening – saving time & energy.
- They can achieve a finer and more consistent line, often preferred when small writing is required or for technical drawing.
- The length of a mechanical pencil stays the same, no matter how much you write with it.
- Refillable pencils are widely available deeming them eco friendly.
- Although mechanical pencils don't need sharpening they often waste the end of the lead.
- The leads can be prone to breaking – particularly if you're heavy handed.
- Generally they don't seem to be favoured for drawing.
I have to say I found the Artline 7050 a pleasure to write with, the lead didn't break once & I'm prone to being a little heavy handed!
Whilst many students prefer mechanical pencils it seems not all examination boards feel the same way. Apparently not all scanners can pick up the graphite, something to do with the grade of the lead it seems & some College web sites don't give a reason for the ban, maybe there's concern about cheating but I'll let you work that one out for yourself.
When it comes to pencils I guess its down to personal choice, horses for courses as they say.