Pentel Graph Gear 500 0.3mm Pencil Review

Pentel Graph Gear 500
0.3mm Drafting Pencil

– Handwritten Review –


  • Description: An affordable, entry level drafting pencil with a solid grip and weight
  • Tip: 4mm pipe, 0.3mm lead size
  • Weight: ~11 grams
  • Measurements: 5.5″
  • Color Options: Brown – 0.3mm, Black – 0.5mm, 0.7mm – Blue, 0.9mm – Grey (Check them all out at JetPens!)

Handwritten Review Scans:


Pentel Graph Gear 500 Drafting Pencil Review

Big thanks to JetPens for sending me over a Pentel Graph Gear 500 for review! I don’t use pencils all that often, but when I do, I definitely enjoy a good drafting pencil. The GG500 is my first 0.3mm pencil, and so far, so good. Enjoy the review!

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Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is pretty easy with all the great stuff they have. So thanks again!


Pentel Graph Gear 500 Drafting Pencil Review

The GG500 is a pretty nice looking pencil, especially for the price (under $6.00). The 0.3mm model is brown plastic with chrome accents. The knurling is nice looking and high quality and there are four rings through the grip that visually break up the knurling nicely. The tip of the pencil is thin, making it appear a bit longer than it actually is. The clip is a bit short, but it does get the job done. I’d be wary about leaving something with a such a pointy tip in my pocket though. The GG500’s brown and silver color scheme gives off an almost vintage vibe. I like it.

Construction and Feel:

Pentel Graph Gear 500 Drafting Pencil Review

The Graph Gear is solidly built and definitely has a nice weight to it without being too heavy. The grip is solid and sturdy and there’s no wiggle to be found in the tip. The body is plasticky, but at $5.50, it’s to be expected. It’s the lightest of the three drafting pencils I have, but there’s no hand fatigue when using it. The width is on point with most drafting pencils as well. I’d love to see a wider pencil with a knurled grip, something akin to the Levenger L-Tech would be awesome.

Pentel Graph Gear 500 Drafting Pencil Review

The GG500 definitely feels like it could be more expensive than it is. I’m totally happy with both the build quality and feel of the pencil. I forgot to go into the knurling before, but it’s pretty nice. It’s very comfortable – enough “bite” to hold on to, but not enough to feel like you’re taking sandpaper to your fingers. I’m a fan of using a mechanical drafting pencil over the regular wood case ones, and the construction and feel of the GG500 really back that up.

Writing Performance:

Pentel Graph Gear 500 Drafting Pencil Review
Foreground to background: GG500, Uni Shift Pipe Lock, Uni Kuru Toga Roulette

The Graph Gear 500’s 0.3mm lead is my first 0.3mm pencil. I’m using the lead that came loaded in it (which after looking it up is Pentel Super Hi-Polymer HB Lead). I prefer something a bit softer, that produces a darker line. My comfortable range is between 2B and 4B. This HB lead is getting me by just fine until I place an order for some darker ones. The 0.3mm lead is surprisingly sharp. I’m assuming there isn’t too much surface area to make a large flat spot, dulling the lead or requiring rotation. That being said, the pencil does tend to cut into the paper a little bit, and snag more than my 0.5mm pencils tend to do. The longer 4mm lead pipe stays out of the way of what you’re writing/drawing, and is meant to make use with a ruler easier. I’m sure the sharpness can be remedied by a softer lead, and I’m looking forward to trying some out in here.


  • Great price
  • Solid construction
  • Comfy grip
  • Tip stays out of the way


  • The HB 0.3mm lead can dig into the page a bit


Pentel GraphGear 500 Review

The Pentel Graph Gear 500 is a solid entrance into the world of drafting pencils. At $5.50, it’s definitely worth a try. There are no major moving parts in the tip, which means no wiggle in the lead. I’m happy with the look, feel, and construction of the pencil. It definitely holds up to both my Uni Kuru Toga Roulette and Uni Shift Pipe Lock, both of which were three times the price.

Thanks again to JetPens for sending this over to review, check out their site for more info on the pencil!


Disclaimer: This pencil was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by JetPens. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!

4 thoughts on “Pentel Graph Gear 500 0.3mm Pencil Review

  1. My first thought when I saw this review was of my set of Koh-i-noor Rapidomatic mechanical pencils currently residing in my workshop in the basement. Similar in style and available (originally) in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9, these pencils look and function as they did when I purchased them more than fifteen years ago (1997ish). Not to wax nostalgic, but I’m sorry to say that they appear to be very hard to find now and may not be available. Should mine ever fail it’s good to know there’s an alternative. 🙂

    *sigh* eBay lists them as “vintage” …

    Of course, if we’re talking mechanical pencils, it’s a crime not to bring up the rOtring 600 and 800. 😉 They are much more at home along side the likes of the fountain pens typically discussed here.

    1. The Alvin Draft-Matic is an improved Koh-I-Noor Rapido-Matic that has a much better grip, and is spring loaded. So if you like the old Koh, then you need to know the successor is the Alvin. I’m debating between a Rotring 600 or a Rotring 800, now being used to pencils like the Graphgear 500, and the Alvin Draft-Matic, as well as the Rotring 500 I’m having a hard time committing to buy the more than twice as heavy Rotrings.

  2. thank you for a wonderful review particularly for the 0.3mm, the size I would use everyday for drawing. I just upgraded my whole set from Pentel P20x series and aPG3 into a whole family of GG500s. I fell in love with the look and its weight distribution at first sight. I was weighing my choice between Rotring 500 (also half metal bottom heavy yet only available in matt black) and GG500 for their similar configuration, however GG500s are color coded and much cheaper than Rotring. Hopefully present day Pentel products are as sturdy as their 20yrs old fully functional older brothers.

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