Monday, August 07, 2006

Refilling Mechanical Pencils

A few people find this blog with searches like “how to refill mechanical pencil” or “refill instructions for mechanical pencil” so here’s a few hints, in the name of public service.

Older Pencils
Most of the pencils from the 1930 – 1970 era are screw mechanisms where the lead is advanced by winding part of the pencil around to advance and retract the lead. Spare leads are often stored inside the body of the pencil, but its just storage, you refill the lead through the tip or other part of the pencil.

Here are a few instructions that I know of. I think you’ll see the common themes and be able to work out how to refill most common older pencils from these examples. These are full transcriptions from manufacturers’ leaflets, and they are all screw mechanisms.

CONWAY STEWART
1940 – 1960 era instructions.
“When lead has been ejected, wind mechanism back and insert new lead through point, making sure lead is fitted into socket on end of propelling rod. Lead will then be gripped so that it will propel and repel.”

PARKER
From 1950 – 70 era leaflets.
"TO INSERT NEW LEAD: Turn cap to the right until metal piece emerges from the tip to be sure all the old lead is out. Turn cap back until its stops. Insert new lead completely into the point. Press the end of the lead gently on a hard surface to secure the lead in the pencil."

SHAEFFER
From a 1980’s leaflet. Actually it’s all diagrammatic so I have written this interpretation.
"Turn mechanism until remaining lead is expelled, and then turn mechanism back until it finally stops. Hold pencil point upwards and insert a piece of lead into tip and feed it all the way in. Turn pencil over and gently press lead down on flat surface to fully seat it home." (Note the similarity to the Parker instructions)

WAHL EVERSHARP
From an English 1930 - 40’s era leaflet for a propel only pencil, i.e. you can’t wind the lead back in. It’s a bit complicated but the diagram should help. If you’re desperate I can send you a PDF of the full instructions sheet which has more pictures, and is a bit easier to read.
“Lead is exhausted when turning cap to right fails to propel more lead. Inner mechanism has been released and can be pulled straight out without unscrewing. To insert new lead push plunger all the way down, while holding mechanism upright and insert new lead in tapered end (see diagram). Slip barrel down over mechanism and turn cap to right until lead feeds out.”


YARD-O-LED
From a modern YOL booklet, but the older styles are similar. Again it’s a bit complicated but the diagram should help.

“Pull out the cap section (1) and turn in an anti-clockwise direction until the slider (2) is completely unscrewed from the barrel (3). Push the slider grip (4) along to expose the lead holder (5) and any remaining lead. To release any residual lead, hold the slider grip firmly between thumb and forefinger and push down towards the slider grip. The resulting spring action will release the lead. Unscrew the refill nut (6) and remove a spare lead from inside the barrel. Replace refill nut.
Insert the new lead into the lead holder, ensuring it is pushed fully into place. (Failure to push the new lead right into the holder may cause it to move up and down when writing). Move the slider grip back along the slider towards the cap section and insert the whole slider mechanism into the barrel. Screw the cap section back over the refill nut, then turn the cap clockwise until lead appears at the tip of the pencil”

Complicated or what!

Modern Pencils
Well compared to all that, refilling most modern pencils is a breeze - pull the end off and stick some leads in. Thats it.

Or if it’s a complicated one you pull the end off, then the eraser under that, and then stick some leads in. You can usually fill the centre tube up with quite a few leads and they will automatically feed in as the old one runs out.

Unfortunately there are some modern pencils that are “disposable” and not meant to be refilled. The Papermate Advancer and the Dixon Sensematic are probably the leading non-refillable mechanical pencils; although I think the latest Sensematics are now refillable?

Then there are a few modern pencils like the Faber-Castell E-motion and the Retro 51 Tornadoes which are basically “old style” screw mechanisms and refilled like the (Parker / Shaeffer) older style pencils above. The manufacturers’ websites should have instructions, particularly the manufacturers US market website.

If you have got a lead jam, check out the sidebar link on clearing a jammed pencil.

136 comments:

Speedmaster said...

Nice blog. I have a Faber-Castell E-Motion mechanical pencil that I love.

Chris
http://amateureconblog.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I bought a Rotring Tornado Sudoku edition to do (surprise) my sudoku and crossword puzzles. I ran out of lead about 2 weeks ago and have been using all manner of writing implements since. To be honest, I was too embarassed to go back to the store and tell them although I could afford a $50 pencil, I was too dumb to figure out how to reload it. Your website saved my pencil from the junk drawer. You Rock! PC in Bermuda

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I spent ages trying to refil my Parker pencil the old-fashioned way, not realising that it self-feeds. You're a life (and pencil) saver! Toby

CESSNA SKYLARK PILOT said...

I feel so stupid! I did not realize that modern mechanical pencils self- feed. I threw one brand away, and then bought a Papermate Technician II. I really like it and was so frustrated till I found your blog. Sure enough, when I put lead under the eraser and pumped the mechanism, voila!, the lead magically appeared! I use my pencil to enter dates in my Pocket Pal organizer. It so beats white out, erasing does.

Anonymous said...

I found your site because I was looking for instructions to refill a SenseMatic pencil. I needed the instructions because I somehow got the lead to extend out too far. The design of the sensematic prevents the led from retracting. So I pulled out the lead (quite long) and tried to refill it. Not being able to, I did a search.

I figured it out. You have to use either a long enough lead, or multiple leads that combine to be long enough. Here are the steps.

* Pull off the eraser, including the metal (just yank it off)
* Peer into the hole the eraser fit into. You should be able to make out a smaller hole about the size of the pencil lead.
* Thread the lead through that small hole until it stops. If it stops far enough in that you can't access it anymore, add another piece of lead. There should be a length of lead still sticking out the eraser end.
* Gently push a little harder, thus easing the lead out the tip.
* Restore the eraser.

On a fresh pencil, the lead is the length of the pencil, so it should last a good while.

Anonymous said...

There is a page for everything. Anyone offer help in refilling a Sanford ZeZe Penicl? I feel really stupid, but I just can't get it to work. How hard could it be? I am very comfortable with this pencil and wish to keep using it...

Fat Secretary said...

Thank you Dave!! Where have you been all my life. I must have thrown out almost every mechanical pencil I ever bought (and I love them) Now this esharp is torturing me - beautiful, but I think it's a disposable.

Fat secretary in Canada

Reber Clark said...

Dave,

Thanks for the Parker instructions. I could not for the life of me figure out how to refill this wonderful wooden bodied mechanical pencil. The body was made for me by Marc Blanchette of Rhode Island but neither of us could figure out how to load the damned thing! Excellent site! - Reber Clark

Anonymous said...

Okay, I must be a mechanical moron. I can't for the life of me figure out how to refill my Rotring Initial mechanical pencil. The instructions that came with it mention the Initial pencil but show a Newton or 600-style pencil. The end does not come off. Anyone know how to fill these things?!? Thanks in advance!

kiwi-d said...

Yea, Rotrings instructions are usless. Grab hold of the plastic body and just pull the whole upper metal body out of the plastic. That exposes the eraser, pull that off and hey-presto.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it worked! Of couse, after so much trouble finding out how to do this, and expecting to find something great underneath, I find the eraser is completely useless. Thanks for the tip.

John Baber said...

The new sensematic Plus is refillable. It has a little internal compartment to carry leads in. It can be your pencil for life, unlike the original sensematics.

Anonymous said...

I have a new Pierre Cardin 0.9 mm pencil (a set from Costco), and I cannot refill it. I have tried cranking the barrel fully in each direction, shoved leads into the tip, pressed the lead in gently, etc. There are leads in the chamber under the eraser, but there is a piece of plastic across the inside of the barrel, so I cannot see down inside. I wonder if it is plugged, but I have tried tapping it to loosen any debris. Any hints?

kiwi-d said...

Never seen a Pierre Cardin pencil. Does the whole top half pull off and then look something like this?

http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2008/01/pelikan-pura-mechanical-pencil-review.html

Anonymous said...

Dave, you are terrific!
Looking for some advice from you or another reader about getting the new lead into a Wearever. The replacement leads are under the eraser, but no holes in there. By rotating the mechanism clockwise, I can push the old lead up out of the pencil tip, but not to the point where there is a metal "grasper" of any kind. Do I just need to yank the old lead out with a pair of pliers, or is there some more elegant solution?
Thanks for any help!

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - I haven't ever seen a Wearever, but have heard of them. First question - Does the lead extend and retract back into the tip by rotating the mechanism, or is it a propell out only?

Just FYI, you often don't see the lead-grabber on many of these types of mechanisms.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the lead both extends and retracts.
Thanks -
Rebecca (aka Anonymous)

kiwi-d said...

Hi Rebecca - when you have fully extended the lead it doesn't normally require any particular force (i.e.pliers) to pull it out. If its a tip feed then the general instructions above should work, however it could be a body feed mechanism like the Eversharps mentioned.
First off I'd just try tip refill. Let me know......

Anonymous said...

Well, I have tried but the problem now is that I just can't get the little stub of lead out to make room for a new one. Unfortunately, didn't realize how close to the end I was and kept using the pencil so that now there are just a few mm of the old lead sticking out. So now I can't get a good grasp on it. Wondering if my pencil is just doomed...
Mournfully yours,
Rebecca

kiwi-d said...

Hi Rebecca - normally the lead would just fall out or easily pull out with your fingernails so I'm starting to suspect its a mechanism feed like the Wahl Eversharp or Yard-O-Led above. This means I'm not going to be able to help you as I'm not familiar with Wearever. Maybe an eBay seller will have one at some stage...

Anonymous said...

Well, I appreciate your help and will let you know if I come up with a solution!
All the best,
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Hello All,

I have an older Yard o lead to refill, very usful infomation.

Thanks, Rod

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, back again.
I got a bit more aggressive with my Wearever and discovered that it is a mechanism feed. STILL can't figure out how to get the old lead out. I took some pictures of it if you'd like to see, but not sure the best way to post them for you.
Thanks!
-Rebecca

kiwi-d said...

Hi Rebecca. Well glad you are making progress. Sure, send me a photo - but in low resolution so its a small file please. You can see my email address up in the blog header. I'd suggest you have a little play around with the feed with the Wahl Eversharp and Yard-O-Led instructions in mind. If you can't work it out I'll consider doing a post asking for help.

Anonymous said...

are there any mech. pencils which accept more than one size lead? and perhaps they have a grip of some sort which accommodates the different sizes?

kiwi-d said...

In modern pencils not really. probably the nearest you'll get is a multi-pencil that has 2 or 3 tips with each tip taking a different lead size e.g. Pentel 357.

rebecca said...

Hi, you mentioned that you have PDFs of some of the old instruction manuals for mechanical pencils? i'm working on a film project and i hope to have images from these old manuals but can only find highly compressed jpegs online. would you mind emailing me the pdfs? i'm interested in any brand, post war, 1950s-60s? i'm mostly interested in the illustrated diagrams. thanks! great sight. -r

kiwi-d said...

Hi Rebecca - leave your email address or send me an email - my address is up in the blog header.

Anonymous said...

Dave

as to the Yard O Led refilling, let me warn newcomers that the mechanism is quite fragile, and you do NOT want to bend the lead holding part (or the barrel that you extract). You need to pull firmly but straight upwards, if that makes sense. Twist to insure the gearing is no longer engaged.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, you have saved me from the awful embarrassment of admitting out loud that i had no idea how to refill my pencil, simple when you know how and now i do, thanks again.

Anonymous said...

someone gift me an old parker pencil with screw mechanism , but i cant see what type of lead i need because is not shown , it's put "PARKER MADE IN USA STERLING SILVER" , i opened and see inside and found a small central hole a little bit closed by pressure (i guess) , and 3 similar holes around. I try to insert a 0.7mm lead but is big , and when trying insert that lead in the other extrem , its gone away , lead apears to be thin , i thinking to try with 1.0mm i dont know if that measure exists but a few clicks on internet bring me to this page and see tips for older pencils , but i dont know how to make its work properly.
Any help? Thank you :)

kiwi-d said...

If its a screw mechanism you probably put the lead in through the tip, not through the top or in through the insides. See the Parker instructions above. Probably 0.9mm or 1.18mm lead size.

Anonymous said...

I have tried everything. After I put the leads in the top of the pencil and try to "pump" the lead(s) through, the lead won't come out. Some of my pencils have a metal piece near the tip that moves. After I fill the pencil from the top, the metal piece goes up into the pencil and won't stay out after I push the pencil from the top. I have tried to fill the pencil from the hole at the bottom. I can't get the lead to go up into the pencil. I've thrown out a lot of pencils. Has anyone else had these problems?

Kathy

Matthew R said...

Can you unscrew the tip and then look through it? If you can see light through it, it might be bent. If you can't see light through it, take a lead and carefully line it up and push out the old piece of lead in the tip. Then put the tip back on and try again.

teste said...

I bought a set of Pierre Cardin pen from Office Depot. My husband likes the mini pen. How do we find a refill? We searched the main Office Supply Stores but nothing fits. And to make things worst, we misplaced the original refill. Any tips?
Thanks a lot.

teste said...

I bought a set of Pierre Cardin pens from Office Depot. My husband likes the mini pen but we cannot find the refill. Already searched the main office supply stores. To make things worst, we misplaced the original refill. Where to find information of suppliers? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have a Pierre Cardin 0.9mm pencil and it does not seem to be catching the lead. I thought it may be empty, but after taking the top off and removing the eraser I was able to shake it enough for lead to come out. Any suggestions on how to get the lead through the nib?

kiwi-d said...

How do you advance and retract the lead normally - push top or twist the top or screw the top around?

Anonymous said...

It is a twist top.

kiwi-d said...

Have you previously loaded lead through the tip? When you say twist top, do you mean you twist it and it advances the lead a set amount and springs back, or you screw the top around and around to advance or retract the lead? If its a twist then I would imagine you don't feed lead through the tip. Are you sure the lead mechanism is empty - it might have a broken bit jamming it?

Anonymous said...

Great blog..

I freakin' love pencils!

J.

Anonymous said...

i have a 5 mechanical pencils with a button where u press it
wots it called???........

Anonymous said...

Like a couple of others above, I have a Pierre Cardin 0.9 mm pencil...I do think I have a broken bit jamming it, but can't figure out how to clear it...can it be cleared? I saw you just purchased/posted a Pierre Cardin 0.9 mm pencil last week and though my exterior looks different, it looks like it would be the same mechanics as yours. I removed 3 whole lead pieces but it's like there's a piece of led caught in the grabber, if that makes any sense. When I extend the led as far as it will go, I can see the lead, but it's a little crooked, not perfectly in the center of the tip as it should be. I can retract it, but then it gets stuck that way, too. I just started using it a few weeks ago (part of a set I've had forever but I prefer thinner lead) and I started losing little pieces of lead for no apparent reason. When I started to extend it further, and then retract it, that's when it got stuck. Can you help me?
-T

Jeff said...

Yeah I have that same Pierre Cardin pencil, I have no idea how to reload it. Ive tried everything, i took that black plastic thing out and tried putting the lead into the little tube but it wont go in. I have found absolutely nothing online that will tell me how

Anonymous said...

I just bought on ebay a Parker Vector 3-in-1 ballpen/pencil/stylus but it didnt come with instructions for advancing the lead or inserting ballpen refills or replacing the stylus with another ballpen. Can anyone help?
-ARR

Anonymous said...

Thank you, for posting this blog. I am new to mechanical pencils and had no idea how to refill one. :)

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I'm still not sure what the little black plastic thing is in the Pierre Cardin, but I think to reload it, the leads sort of just swim around the little tube, not in it and it sort of self feeds into the little tube when there's room for it. That's where the extra leads come out of, so just drop a couple in the outer circle, if that makes sense, and see if it works. Just turn slowley - I'm not sure how/why mine jammed and still haven't been able to fix it. Dave? Help? :)
-T

kiwi-d said...

Hi Pierre Cardin folk. Sorry I've been slow to reply as I've been away. having said that i can't really help. My PC is a normal tip feeder, like the Parker - Shaeffer - Conway Stewart instructions above. You can sometimes get a piece of lead stuck in the grabber section and you have to carefully pick it out with needle or knife tip, and you might have to unscrew the pencil tip section to be able to get at the grabber. Sorry I can't be more help.

steve said...

Hi, I have a Pierre Cardin as well that I was having trouble reloading. After finding this site, I finally figured out it is a tip loader. When the lead is far enough to touch the back it helps to twist it slightly, and it finally grab and held. Great site, I can now use my pencil again.

kiwi-d said...

My Pierre Cardin was second hand so I didn't get any instructions, but all you folk above - seemingly there were there no instructions with your pencils from new? Seems strange.

Anonymous said...

I may be just another face in the crowd here, but Dave, your a hero. I received a pen/pencil set from my grandfather, with a twist-mechanism pencil. I used it, loved it, and then the lead ran out... spent a week carrying it around trying to figure out how the refill worked, only to try a search as a last result. Ended up here, and voila! Your Parker instructions worked perfectly for it (A Papermate 0.9mm)! Thanks again!

Gary said...

What's the best way to refill a Waterman CF mechanical pencil? It has the screw mechanism. I found that I had to rotate the mechanism counter clockwise a few turns, push the lead in, then rotate again counter clockwise while applying pressure to the lead. It would not automatically back in--I found I had to keep applying pressure.

I'm not sure if this it the right way. When I used the pencil a few times, I'm pretty sure that the lead would back into the pencil with a counter clockwise turn--I wouldn't have to push on it. Now, it doesn't do that. I wonder if I loaded it incorrectly...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog. I bought my wife a Retro 51 Tornado golf pencil and had trouble replacing the lead. The only addition to your instructions I would make is that when you drop the new lead into the barrel it's necessary to turn the screw mechanism further anti-clockwise than the initial stop point. You will feel some resistance against a spring but that is what "catches" the new lead.

Sean said...

Very handy, thank you! You just diagnosed a springy lead problem in my (modern) Yard-o-Led pencil. Pb + Ag = Joy!

Anonymous said...

It's certainly possible my Pierre Cardin is a tip loader (so maybe the barrel inside is just storing the extra lead, but I then have to remove a piece and load in the tip rather than it self-feeding?) I think I've only used one piece of lead and the last of it is what's caught. My tip doesn't seem to screw off, so I can't see what's going on inside. I tried using a pin through the tip but the lead doesn't budge. I think I've lost my pencil because I have no idea how to clear the jam :(

Regarding instructions, the set is several years old and if there were any, my husband has since thrown them away - he put the pen & pencil on our desk and they just sat there (unused) until recently, when I brought the pencil to work. The box is gone, so any instructions are unfortunately gone as well.
-T

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've just bought a Wahl eversharp pencil with a rollerball clip. It has a black/white marble finish. Could you tell me how it it refilled and an approximate age? This is the first old mechanical pencil that I have bought although I do like to use old fountain pens. Sooo much better and elegant to write with!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a product called the ULTIMATE MARKING PENCIL FOR QUILTERS AND CRAFTERS. It uses .5mm
lead refills. I lost the instructions and can't understand how to refill this mechanical pencil. The end where the lead comes out keeps falling off. The back end where the eraser is located will not stay inside the barrel. There is a little spring, but the pieces do not work together at all. Can someone help with this?
Many thanks.

Matthew R said...

Without seeing the pieces, I couldn't tell you how to fix it.

Is there anything special about the pencil, or is the secret (if there is one) the leads?

Maybe you could just put the leads into a working 0.5mm pencil?

Anonymous said...

When I try to insert the lead into the tip of the pen, the lead simply falls back out. The tip will not stay on the barrel. The eraser end will not stay on the barrel. The little spring that fits inside the barrel is useless. I am wondering if this is a defective pencil because I only used it once. It ran out of lead and now lead cannot be inserted into the pencil because the tip and eraser end keep falling off.

kiwi-d said...

Google brings up two different Ultimate such pencils but they both look like just normal mech pencils so if the tip and eraser end won't stay on the barrel it certainly sounds faulty. I can't imagine anything special about the pencils, it's the leads that would be special (or at least claimed to be special) so I'd say your pencil is faulty. Try for a refund or as Matthew suggests just put the leads in any ordinary mech pencil you like.

Anonymous said...

Dave, you're a lifesaver! I tried for two hours to refill a Pentel Energizer pencil, without success. Frustrating to say the least. After reading your comments on the Energizer, I was able to refill it. Thank you so very much!! Linda

Anonymous said...

I am asking you very knowledgeable people out there for help refilling an early 20th century waterman red ripple, perhaps 1910-1920, part of a lovely set I use today, the fountain pen works beautifully. The pencil had some lovely vintage lead in it, which has now run out, and I need to refill it. I have tried to do this, and I don't think it fills from the top that unscrews, because that just has the vintage eraser and a store, for leads, I think, so can anyone help to tell me how I refill the red ripple pencil please. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

This might sound stupid for all of you experienced users of mechanical pencils but...... first time user of a mechanical pencil(Pentel P205)-I have just used up my first piece of lead. BUT I can't figure it out. The lead will not stay in the opening. What am I doing wrong?

Please give me directions to refill the pencil. I feel like a fool not being able to refill the d*** thing!

Anonymous said...

SORRY MY ORIGINAL DIDN'T SOUND RIGHT. THIS MIGHT BE CLEARER.

This might sound stupid for all of you experienced users of mechanical pencils but...... first time user of a mechanical pencil(Pentel P205)-I have just used up my first piece of lead and need to refill it. BUT I can't figure it out. The lead will not stay in the opening. What am I doing wrong?

Please give me directions to refill the pencil. I feel like a fool not being able to refill the d*** thing!

Wynne and Wes said...

pull off the cap and pull off the eraser, then drop 0.5mm lead in the hole

wes

Anonymous said...

When I try to drop it in the hole it goes no where. Now what?

Anonymous said...

I need help placing a new piece of lead into the pencil point. How do I do that? I have tried to unscrew the tip then while pushing the eraser end down(which opens the lead opening)putting the new lead into the tip but the lead does not go all the way down. It only goes down an eigth of an inch. What am I doing wrong?

Helen said...

Hello any red ripple users out there - does anyone know how to refill the lead - is it a case of twisting the lead up through the nozzle end? Also, when ordering new leads, which size ones should we be going for? Many thanks anyone who can help ! Helen.

Mark said...

Hi Dave, thanks very much for putting all of this information up. I just bought a new mechanical pencil but it has an old style mechanism so it had me completely confused.

Best regards, Mark

Mel said...

I bought my boyfriend a really nice wooden pencil. Unfortunately neither the woman in the shop nor I really knew how it worked. It seemed to be one way (you screw in one direction and lead comes out, screw in the other direction and the pencil unscrews). It is only a day or so old, but the lead wobbles slightly in and out when you write with it. We've tried everything we can think of, and have managed to reload it by screwing the mechanism back and pressing gently, but it still wobbles. The lead seems well seated in the mechanism, but the mechanism itself wobbles. Any ideas???

kiwi-d said...

Mel, is this wobble side to side, like the lead is a lot smaller than the hole in the tip it comes out of? Or is it wobble up and down as well? Whats the brand of this pencil, or is it one made froma kit by a woodeturner?

Mel said...

Not side to side, more up and down (or in and out you could say, lol.)
The shop was one that specialised in personalising wood products, so I would guess from a kit (there is no brand name).
Hope this helps!

kiwi-d said...

Hi Mel
The few custom made screw mechanism pencils I have have similar in-out movement, so I guess thats just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

I have a papermate protouch II 0.5 mm pencil which reloaded one lead with just jiggling, but that second lead ran out, and I can't get another to feed from behind no matter what I do. When I press the eraser after jiggling now I hear one click, and with subsequent presses, nothing. ... No lead appears, and the one I inserted falls right out when I remove the eraser. What am I doing wrong?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have an old sampson mordan pencil with a screw mechanism. I am able to unscrew the tip to expose the lead, but can't figure out how to replace it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
-Keith

Anonymous said...

i have a bic velocity pencil, .9 mm, and the metal nib that is supoed to stay out with the led just won't go out. i've tooken it apart and the only thing i've found is this piece of plaastic in which it goes in. how can i fix this?

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to create this page! I lost the instructions for a Cross pencil I was given as a gift and felt really stupid, because I just couldn't work out how to refill it. As soon as my son found your page, my problem was solved. I am very grateful to you!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Jennifer
Thanks for taking the time to say thanks. Glad to be of service.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a mechenicale pencil kit. The pencil i have is home made and the inside piece is broke and I would like to replace it.
thanks

2nd_astronaut said...

maybe this helps: http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2006/11/schmidt-converter.html

rocky2th said...

This is just a couple spurious questions that I have not been able to resolve. I acquired a set of KOH-I-NOOR pencils and discovered that the eraser cap from the .9mm pencil was missing. Does anyone know where I could locate just that eraser cap without having to buy a whole new pencil?

Also, I have a Japan koh-i-noor .5mm pencil. Does anyone know where the other three can be obtained?

seth H. said...

I have a Wahl Eversharp and after I load the lead it falls out. What am i doing wrong?

Kiwi-d said...

Assuming you are using the correct lead diameter, then perhaps the lead gripper has an old snapped off piece in it which is preventing the new piece from being held.

Prasanna said...

i am finding it hard to refill a waterman's mechanical pencil that has a plunger system to advance the lead?

Can you pl help?

P

Seth H. said...

Ok kiwi-d, what size lead do i need and can you supply a picture of how the lead gripper should work?

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Seth, Wahl Eversharp used various leads, including square ones so I cannot say. Most likely though it is 1.18mm.
The gripper is down inside the body so I cannot photograpgh it.
Equally Wahl made many that you do not load through the tip.
Sorry, I can't really be of any real help.

Seth H. said...

Thank you, you have helped even though it was to determine that I bought a dud.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I have the bic AI lead pencil please tell me how to refill it

Kiwi-d said...

Bic AI is a normal modern pencil - pull the top cap off, then pull the eraser out and stick some leads down inside.

For a picture of how, see my review
http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2010/02/bic-ai-mechanical-pencil-review.html

aysrav said...

This would be a miracle but I recently bought an old retractable pencil that can be hung from a keychain. It came from an antique shop although I don't really know how old it is. There is no brand name on it but it looks very much like this one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-14K-Gold-Retractable-Pencil-/330300611494?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Vintage_Fine_Jewelry&hash=item4ce7735ba6#ht_1920wt_754
I can't seem to figure out how how to change the lead. Anybody?

Kiwi-d said...

I'd be pretty sure its just a standard tip feeder and will operate something like Conway Stewart, Parker, Shaeffer described in this article.

aysrav said...

I certainly do appreciate this. I guess my real issue is ejecting the old lead. Can't get it out! Will I have to resort to the drill bit procedure?

Kiwi-d said...

Well obviously I can't see the pencil in question, but probably yes. Might be best to try and poke and gently crumble it out with a sewing needle rather than drill.

mathgenius66 said...

I just spent 20 minutes trying to put lead in a Pierre Cardin pencil before I found the instructions under the cushion in the box. To refill lead they say "To replace the lead, turn the cap clockwise until it stops. Turn completely back and insert new lead through tip. Press the lead gently on a hard surface." Put the lead in and rotate the shaft until about one millimeter is sticking out and press it down firmly on a table.

Steve said...

Hi

Am usually pretty good a figuring out the workings of things (managed to figure out my little Wahl Eversharp without instructions - which is now my constant pocketbook scribbler),

But have just got a Y-O-L off *bay (looks like Daves Yardolette, but in rolled gold) & all the parts seem to be there, but something is not quite right

Everything seems very loose (ie cap, clip etc), even when all the parts are together & there is lead in.

Is the central spiral supposed to come out? If it's not then that would make sense cos mine does, and quite easily, but if it is then I am stumped

Regards

Steve

Jan said...

lifesaver (well almost) - I have a vintage Conway Stewart Dinky, challenge one was tracking down some leads that would fit, challenge two is getting them in the bl**dy pencil.

Thanks for the tips above which I have translated as "lead in end and fiddle a bit 'til it sticks"

It seems to have worked :0)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am new to mechancial pencils. i recently got a waterman hemisphere mechancial pencil with a twist mechanism. I twisted it but when i start to write the lead goes back into the pencil. Not sure which way i should be twisting to extract and retract, tried both ways and didnt work. I sent it back as faulty. I am now waiting for a replacement and wanted to make sure it wasnt me rather than the pencil. Any help is appreciated since it doesnt come with instructions!

Thanks
Jas

ThirdeYe said...

Hi Dave, today I just found a vintage pre-1960's Sheaffer's twist pencil in a dumpster. It doesn't have any lead in it, but I'm not sure how to refill it. I tried to turn the twist mechanism but it just keeps turning. I tried manually feeding the lead through the tip but it stops after going in a couple of millimeters. Any tips? It looks just like this one, except the clip doesn't have Sheaffer's in as big of print: http://cgi.ebay.com/vintage-rare-Sheaffer-Balance-PFM-Snorkel-pencil-/330474072933?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf1ca2b65#ht_500wt_947

Any help would be greatly appreciated! You can leave a comment on my blog or e-mail me if you like.

Derek (ThirdeYe)

Sapphire said...

Hi Jas.
Waterman pencils work like this;
Twist the cap clockwise to lower the lead tube.
Let go of the cap
Twist clockwise again to let out some lead. When the lead wears down just twist clockwise again.
To retract the lead twist the cap counter clockwise until it clicks. Push the lead and lead tube back in. Twist the cap clockwise until it clicks.
To reload pull off the cap take out the eraser and put new lead in the tube and replace the eraser. Hold the pencil point down and press the eraser several times until lead emerges. Repalace the cap and use as normal.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I read your review on the Pentel Sharp Kerry. I just bought one myself. I just have one question, do you know how to refill the pencil and where is the pencil exactly?

Love the website!! Thank You!!

Anonymous said...

Sharp Kerry - pull the button off the top of the body (not the cap)

gilbert grace said...

Hi Dave,
Have just aquired British made propelling pencil similar to photo http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PROPELLING-PENCIL-PATENT-No-179290-/170550957442. Would like to know how to replace leads, what diameter, etc.
Thanks,
Gilbert

Kiwi-d said...

Gilbert
Diameter = unknown, probably 1.18mm.
Replace leads = probably a tip feeder - some combination of the Conway Stewart, Parker, Sheaffer instructions in the article.

Cassidy said...

Very useful!

Anonymous said...

For those of you that haven't found your answer above and have persevered to this point, I have a Scranton Velocity Mechanical pencil and have finally figured out how to refill it. The eraser end does not come off. You must dig out the eraser and then you can just plop the new leads into it. This is a little more tricky once you have erased down to the holder but still possible with a pointy knife. Hope this helps someone out there.

Anonymous said...

I was going nuts trying to fill my Pierre Cardin pencil. This board saved the day! Thank you for caring enough to do this.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Great site & very informative. Question for you...do Kuru Toga pencils fill from the top (under the eraser?) or from the tip?


Thanks!

Dave

Peter Hosey said...

Anonymous-Dave: Yes, the Kuru Toga refills at the top, under the eraser. I took a photo: http://flickr.com/photos/boredzo/5317768256/

Anonymous said...

CAN someone PLEASE tell me the correct size of lead to get for a Pierre Cardin mechanical pen????????? I have exhausted the Internet and can't find the answer. I don't have the instruction booklet. It is the pen that is gray base with black top. The tip of the pen/pencil unsrews/comes off. From this site, it seems everyone has questions/problems about Pieere Cardin pens/pencils???? UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH to Pierre!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

is it possible to change the refil of cross pencils. thanks

Ray said...

Hi
I've just bought a Sheaffer Targa 1003 mechanical pencil, and for the life of me I can't work out how to refill it.
The instruction booklet that comes with seems to be a generic one and makes little sense.
Any ideas please???

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! I read another comment on refilling the dixon sensematic pencil but still couldn't figure it out!! I can't get the end eraser off. Do you know how to refill it in an easier way??

Anonymous said...

The Dixon Sensematic pencil is disposable - non-refillable.

Dis said...

I have seen both .7 and .9 leads in Pierre Cardin pencils. I like the .9s the best. I had a red pearly celluloid PC pencil that I used constantly for 13 years. I lost it recently. Boy do I miss it!

Yayaism said...

Great website! Thanks to you I was Finally able to refill a beautiful old Hallmark mechanical that was given to me. Thank you so much for posting all the tips and instructions.

John K said...

I have a couple of Sheaffer mechanical pencils and a Pilot. I really like these babies but they will not feed the lead from the barrel. I have cleaned the chucks with alcohol but still no luck. Can these be repaired or should I chuck them out? Thanks for your help. John

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

For the Sheaffers, contact the company. They may have a lifetime warranty especially if they are really old models. If not, they may be able to guide you through the process of loading the leads. Generally, I have found customer service to be very good at the major pen companies. The same may be true for Pilot.

Bob S. in Phoenix, AZ

Anonymous said...

Thanks Man. You are the best. I have a sterling silver Cross pen that uses 0.9 mm lead, but could not figure out how to refill the pencil. I was just about to get rid of the pencil, when I ran into this page. I used the Parker guide and the pencil works fine now. Thanks alot.

Anonymous

D.J. said...

I bought a pantograph that uses a lead tipped stylus at the end of the drawing arm. It only came with 3 refills and there's no information on where to buy more. There's also no way to tell what size to get to fit this stylus. Any suggestions on where to buy and how to determine the proper size? Thanks for any suggestions. D.J.

Anonymous said...

small drills to test the size

Anonymous said...

Can you advise me on how to refill a Cross mini pencil (gold), approx 3.5" in length? The bottom half turns left and right but nothing else on it seems to "budge". I don't want to break anything. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks dave. i purchased a stewart conway 44 (ithink ) off ebay. i love mech pencils but this is the first vintage one i bought. soon as i got it i took it apart to see how much lead was init etc and be nosey, and shock horror i couldn't put it back together again arrgh..

i found your blog here and the refill instructions. worked perfect its now cleaned and good as new. thanks dave, love this blog, keep up the fine work my friend and happy pencilling.

Michael said...

20 years ago I was honoired with a 3 set cross pen set. I never could jam the lead up the mechaical pencil..Today I needed the color red and I tried to insert..no luck.then it sruck me use my PC to research. Daves site came alive in minutes. and now my mechanical pencil is in full use!!! DUMB AND DUMBer for 20 years. PS my name is engraved in the set. now I can use them. THANKS to Dave

ric said...

Wish you had a photo section so old pencils could be identified. It is a pocket notebook type thus smaller dimensions than usual. The lead would not seat, kept falling out when pointed down. Thought maybe it doesn't retract but held in by slight friction so I whacked the tip area on the back of a pen knife. (Old
Timer of course) Now the lead turns out and to retract I turn in that direction and simply push the lead back in. Were some older mp's designed this way. How do they actually seat the lead wo a visible capture device? ric @ pnoric@gmail.com Thanks for the great site.

Officer's Wife said...

Thank you so much for this post! My husband has a favorite pencil we found in my late grandpa's things and since it ran out of lead 3 months ago, he can't find anything else he likes and neither of us (he's an engineer) could figure out how to refill the lead. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now he can enjoy this pencil for years to come. It refills like the Parker instructions. I got it all except I didn't think to push the lead in to seat it.

Melissa said...

I have a silver pencil from the 1920s. The top turns to advance the lead. I have bought leads and worked out how to put them inm but they won't 'grip' into the pencil, and just fall out. Are they too narrow - will getting wider leads help? Thank you so much!

Matthew McAilster said...

Thanks a bunch Dave, i had a twist style Parker pencil i was trying to find out how to refill. i tried a different websites instructions, i think the website was www.ehow.com, or something along those lines, that told me to refill through a hole in the cap. i keep trying to insert lead through what i thought was the hole that the website was talking about, when i realized that the lead would not go in. what i thought was a hole, was not a hole at all. i was beginning to fell out of luck on refilling my pencil, when i found the instructions on your site. your instructions helped me to refill my pencil, i now i can happy write with my pencil.

thanks again!!!

Carl said...

Older Cross pencils (0.9mm lead, with a body tip which tapers all the way down to the lead instead of the 0.5mm pencils which have an extra tube in between) work much like the Conway Stewart. The extra leads inside the body do not feed continuously.

First, make sure the old lead really is used up by twisting clockwise until the inner push pin goes all the way to the tip (it will make clicking noises if you try to go further). Then twist counter-clockwise until it stops at the full position. Then slide a new lead all the way into the tip. There should be about 1/8 inch of lead sticking out (if you have a lead less than the official Cross spec length, twist forward until it sticks out a bit).

Important final step is to push firmly down against a piece of paper so that the lead is forced into the retaining clip on the inside (so the lead won't fall out). In some pencils, it almost feels like the lead is going to break. You can make this work easier by gently twirling the back end of the lead against a sheet of paper at 45 degrees before insertion, so the edge of the lead slides into the mechanism easier. Once the lead pops into the lock position, twist it forward a bit to expose more lead for use.

I suspect that a lot of older Cross pencils are assumed to be broken by people who don't read the directions. Either the looseness of an improperly installed lead, or the lack of knowledge that lead is not supposed to feed from the inside, can easily look like a broken mechanism. So keep an eye out for drastically under-priced vintage Cross pencils. If it twists forward a dozen turns until it clicks, and twists backward again until it stops, it's probably working even if the seller thinks otherwise.

Richard said...

Re Parker screw top pencils, I still had problem even following the above as the lead would just fall out of the tip of the pen; until I realised the pen required 0.9mm lead, while I was using 0.7mm.

Anonymous said...

Gordon,

I have an old Yard-O-Led and I find I can refill it a somewhat simpler method than outlined.

First wind the pencil clockwise (as to extend the lead) and keep winding. Eventually, the a metal pin will extend beyound the lead grip and push out any remaining lead. Rewind 4 or 5 turns, thread teh new lead through the lead hole and gently push into the holder. To ensure it is fully seated, rest the top of the pencil on a suitable surface and gently push.
If using 3 inch leads as supplied be carefull, however using the more readily available shorter leads this is not a problem.

Kim's Bizzy Bumble said...

I have a retro 51 pencil that is lacquer on the bottom and brushed chrome on top. The eraser is inside. I easily figured out to refill lead but I cannot figure out how to get the to eraser. Oddly enough I have looked all over for instructions and even emailed retro 51 but no reply so far and baffled!

Anonymous said...

Yard-o-Led refilling is not for the faint of heart. I struggled mightily, did everything imaginable, and still no success. I got to the point where I even tried slitting my wrist with it, but it wasn't sharp enough. Then I realized that all I needed to do to get the lead-holder to hold the lead was to squeeze the metal a little bit to make it a smaller diameter. It worked. Now life is good and I'm happy again. I love my Yard-o-Led!

jamie DeMott said...

I have a STIK brand mechanical pencil...my fiancee absolutely LOVES it. I found it on a few places online...its black plastic with a gold tip and a clear "stone" on the end of it. Well, its out of lead but I can't find a site online that'll tell me what size it takes. I do t want to disappoint him by telling him that I can't get it refilled....any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Dave

I hope you are still out there . . . as with someone in 2006, I cannot refill my Sensa Mechanical pencil. I know how to refill the lead container inside. But but earlier reading suggested that is a not an autorefill. But I cannot get lead to to insert from the writing end.
Help. I love my sensa.

Kiwi-d said...

Sensa is an auto refill. If you can refill the lead chamber but then it is not feeding lead through then it is probably a jammed mechanism that needs to be cleared.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pierre Cardin pencil owners! I have figured out how to refill pencils. The shaft underneath the eraser is just to hold extra led. Leave the black plastic strip in there! Its a twist refill.

1. Take out an extra led
2. Put the eraser back on
3. Assemble the pencil back together
4. Twist the pen all the way down, and maybe even a little more (don't twist tooo much, but once you think you cant twist anymore, give it another light twist)
5. Stick the lead in and lighty wiggle it around until it stays. Otherwise it will just fly back out.

Thats it :)