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Article: Mechanical Pencil 101

Looking after your Mechanical Pencil - Wingback
black steel

Mechanical Pencil 101

Wingback metal products are built to last, machined from aerospace grade brass and stainless steel. Use this guide to keep them going for the long haul.

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Robust, adventure-ready and engineered to write as far as your journey takes you, the Mechanical Pencil comes in brass, stainless steel and with a scratch-resistant black steel tungsten carbide finish.

Usually the storage tank in pencils can only fit a small number of lead refills and you lose most of the lead in wooden pencils to the sharpener. So we created a bespoke all-metal propelling mechanism that can fit up to 2.4m of lead – enough to keep you writing for over 50km.

Mirroring the dimensions of our Mechanical Pen, its satisfying weight puts a little extra momentum behind straight lines and circles and acts as a gentle reminder to take time over your writing and drawing, helping achieve a neater result.

Delve deeper into the making of the pencil's sister product, the Mechanical Pen, here.

The fourth most important tool in human history - Forbes X Wingback


The Pencil's bespoke all-metal mechanism holds up to 2.4m of lead. It should keep you writing, sketching, drawing and doodling for months or even years.

Custom designed from start to finish, the mechanism is made in Iwaki, by Japan's oldest mechanical pencil manufacturer (founded in 1909) with a track record for producing quality parts for the world's most respected stationery brands.

You can shop lead refills here.

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Like the Mechanical Pen, the Wingback Mechanical Pencil should generally operate maintenance free.


Brass will develop a unique patina over time and can be polished back to its original glory using Brasso and a soft cloth. Try to avoid getting cleaner in the knurled grip, and if you do use a brush to clean it out.

Stainless steel surfaces will maintain a crisp surface finish without any additional TLC.


If the mechanism stops feeding lead, you can disassemble and maintain it by following these steps.

1. Hold the tip and twist the barrel anticlockwise to open the pencil, then set the casing aside.

2. Unscrew the cone to reveal the mechanism, then unscrew the tip of the mechanism to reveal the retractable lead sleeve.

3. Remove lead from the tip, then unscrew the top of the mechanism to open the lead barrel and remove the refills.

4. Clean all mechanism parts thoroughly by wiping them with a dry or slightly damp cloth.

5. Dry if necessary.

6. Reassemble the pencil and it should be good as new. (So long as you don't forget to refill with lead).



Shop personalised mechanical pens and stationery by Wingback


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For more wear, care and breaking in instructions, visit our support section here.


You’re very welcome Richard. Thanks for the feedback.

Charlie from Wingback

Pencil arrived last night. What a beautiful object. Very well made, lively weight and the maps are lovely. Fantastic, thank you.

Richard Cradock

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