How to fix a Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical pencils are surely fun to use. There are so many variations to choose from. Initially you may find it difficult to find the right one among all the variations, but once you do, the whole writing or drawing experiences with a mechanical pencil gets much smoother than before.

Many people don’t take the time to learn the techniques to fix a mechanical pencil thinking they are difficult to implement. But the truth is just the opposite. Fixing issues in a mechanical pencil is quite simple and can be done quickly. For that you need to know the techniques of fixing as well as learn about the common issues.

We’ll talk about all the major problems you may face with your mechanical pencil whatever the type be, in this guide. Once you learn about these you’ll realize how simple it can be to fix one of these pencils. So without further ado, let’s talk about them.

Common mechanical pencil variations and the problems related to them

Let’s talk about some of the issues you’re highly likely to face if you use a mechanical pencil.

Stuck Spring

You must’ve seen the click to get the lead forward mechanical pencil type. That’s the most common and seen everywhere. This twist to click type is similar to that except with a slight difference – you don’t push or click the head, you twist it.

The mechanism is simple – you twist the top head part and the lead comes off a little. Release the head afterwards and the lead will stay in place but the head will come back to its initial position. The head part uses a spring inside for the movement and thus, is able to come back to its normal state.

Sometimes the spring gets stuck and thus the head can’t retract to its normal position. In a case like this, you can manually position the spring correctly to get it unstuck.

Lead Jam

Sometimes a little bit of lead part or some amount of broken lead can get stuck inside the pencil and block the whole mechanism. The easiest solution for this is to open the pencil parts by parts and remove the lead parts manually.

But some mechanical pencils don’t give an option to open the pencil. What do you do in a time like this?

One easy solution is to find out the parts that can be unscrewed. If the tip is unscrewable, open that up and take the jammed lead out from there. If there’s no parts that can be opened, try to use a thin piece of wire and poke it inside the pencil. Slowly take the lead out.

Using plastic mechanical pencils

Some people think that expensive, high-end mechanical pencils are better than the cheaper, plastic based ones. But the truth can’t be further from this. The core mechanism is basically the same so is the way of fixing the common issues.

Since there aren’t many differences in the pencil’s working mechanisms, you don’t necessarily need to buy the high end ones. Those won’t necessarily get you radically better results in any way. The best you can get is some better writing experience and comfort. That’s basically it.

Final Words

There’s not much to fix in a mechanical pencil, honestly. The common issues can and will happen sooner or later. Even if you use your mechanical pencil carefully, you can’t stop the problems from coming.

If the issue seems small and can be easily done with a simple spring or lead replacement, then do it. But if there’s a broken part that’s blocking the pencil mechanism from working properly, maybe it’s time to buy a replacement pencil.

BTW, in this post we compare a mechanical pencil with a wooden one. If you are interested, you may check that out too.