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I havent bought a mechanical pencil since highschool 60 years ago.
I am getting tired of sharpening pencils and I will be using it on wood.
Also dont know what size/number lead to get for my old compasses.
What is a decent brand, what size lead should I get for it and where is a good place to get them?
 

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Same here, Tony. I just bought the #4, #7 and #9. I like the #9 better as it is "almost" the size of the standard #2 yellow wood pencil.
 

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I use 0.7mm & 0.9mm most of the time on wood. Lead holders I usually use Pentel or whatever brand I see in Wally-world or Office Depot.
 

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I havent bought a mechanical pencil since highschool 60 years ago.
I am getting tired of sharpening pencils and I will be using it on wood.
Also dont know what size/number lead to get for my old compasses.
What is a decent brand, what size lead should I get for it and where is a good place to get them?
I've never had luck using a mechanical pencil working with wood. The lead hangs on the grain and breaks it so you end up spending more time forwarding the lead than sharpening a conventional pencil.
 

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Lead holders > wood pencils > mechanical pencils. Mechanical pencils are not my favorite for marking. .05 lead breaks way too easily and .07 is too wide to be of use for anything but rough cuts. I use a lead holder with 2B lead. Yes it needs to be sharpened too, but the point is very fine and yet very sturdy and doesn't break easily. The sharpener for these leads works one handed if they're secured to a desk/bench/cabinet. I have a few from college drafting days, but they're still available and pretty inexpensive.

The lead retracts into the pencil body simply by pressing the button on the back and and tilting it up. When I'm going to mark a board, I hold it near where the intended line will be, press the button and the lead slide out to be exposed. I also have a very large lead holder I use to mark boards when I'm breaking them down.

Those are two sharpeners for the leads. The red one is new and is clamped to my cabinet with a clamp that comes with it. The black sharpener is probably 50-60 years old and maybe older. I move that around the shop depending upon where I'm working. It's pretty heavy as it's a cast metal with metal internals. I put some mole skin on the bottom so it doesn't move around. I use the little yellow plastic pencil sharpener for the larger lead. I also have an old Boston Champion pencil sharpener for wood pencils mounted in the shop. If I get lazy and not near a sharpener, the utility knife in my pocket works too ;)

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I could never keep up with mechanical pencils at the work shop, but when I started working at home it’s been easy to keep up with them.. I’ve got plenty of pencils, pens and markers around from when I had my shop full time.

Guess I’m lucky. My aunt had something to do with Boston pencil sharpeners. Gave me a nice one in the box..
 

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all of the cool guys on Youtube use these pencils
I use whatever I can scrounge out of my pencil bucket. On compass leads the example below represents.
Note the chisel tip, this is the best point for compass work.
calabrese55

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Font Rectangle Writing implement Office supplies Logo
 

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I should have added, lead holders allow for the lead to be extended to pretty much any length with just the simple push of the rear button, giving it the reach of a scratch awl. This makes for reaching tight spots very easy, such as when marking dovetails and pins - which ever you choose to do second lol Mechanical pencils cannot do that.
 

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In the shop I use either a #2 round pencil or a carpenter’s pencil and sharpen them with a utility knife. I got some mechanical pencils in the house I’ll use when drawing up a plan. I have had the same ones I used in college drafting classes years ago. I have no idea what brand they are. Dietzgen?
 

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The problem I’ve had with mechanical pencils is lead breaking if I drop. I’ve got real nice ones I won’t use because I don’t want to scratch them. I’ve got so many pencils I have to stop and resharpen them. When I went to EBay 10 years ago to buy bulk, I was surprised at how many people were collectors of good, quality pencils
 

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Have Big Country make you one.
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I'm generally a plain old pencil guy...

I do have a 0.7mm graph gear mechanical pencil that works well, and I seem to misplace that a lot less...I don't really know why...I think maybe because I like the sound the clip makes when I put it back on my apron.

I am certain you can use any pencil you want and still do top quality work, so whatever works best for you is the right answer!
 
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