Pentel 120 A3 DX drafting pencils

Pentel 120 A3 DX drafting pencils

A recent trip to a local university provided a chance to visit their engineering supply store, where I picked up some Pentel 120 A3 DX drafting pencils. They were one of two brands sold, along with the competitor Staedtler Mars micro.

The pencils come in four versions, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 mm. While I have various 0.5 and 0.7 mm mechanical pencils, the thin 0.3 mm and thick 0.9 mm varieties aren’t familiar to me, and seemed like they would be fun to play around with.

Pentel 120 A3 DX drafting pencils

The pencils have a metal tip, rubber grip, plastic body and cap, and metal clip. The lead is advanced by clicking the cap. The cap also lifts off to reveal a very tiny eraser.

The internal mechanisms have some variations – the length of lead dispensed by a click corresponds to the diameter of the lead, with a click of the 0.9 mm pencil dispensing the most lead, and the 0.3 mm pencil the least.

Pentel 120 A3 DX drafting pencils

The grip looked like a seasonally appropriate winter tire to me, and I liked it. It was comfortable and grippable.

After a few days of trying them out, I think they are a nice set, and a reasonable and inexpensive introduction to the category.

17 Replies to “Pentel 120 A3 DX drafting pencils”

  1. “…the length of lead dispensed by a click corresponds to the diameter of the lead, with a click of the 0.9mm pencil dispensing the most lead, and the 0.3mm pencil the least.” Which (I guess) stands to reason as the larger the diameter of the mechanical pencil, the softer the lead available. For instance, it is possible to acquire 4B lead refills for 0.5mm mechanical pencils, but good luck on finding anything softer than 2B in 0.3mm. These look like decent MP’s, how inexpensive are they?

  2. They feel really good, I picked up a 0.5mm last weekend and feels great. I paid much less than $4.50, probably $2.50 max, these drafting-type pencils tend to be cheap here (I paid close to that for a Staedtler 925, while in the USA they retail for like $8 each). Curiously, where I got it, they were all grey instead of black. I’ll probably grab a few more this weekend.

  3. I have no idea about our sourcer of pencils, but I’ll definitely grab some grey ones.

    Was grey changed for black? or did both exist simultaneously?

  4. Felipe, thanks for your comments, and for that interesting link. Does their graphic say that this will be a limited edition of ten million, or is it more indicating that Pentel has already sold ten million “Graph” pencils?

  5. No idea, I don’t speak japanese, but next week I’ll see if I can get a japanese guy in my school to tell me what it says.

  6. I love this pencil and have been trying to find a replacement for years. Any leads on them in the USA?

  7. Decent quality, entry level drafting pencil. While comparing them to the p200 series is like comparing apples and oranges, both are a solid value at the lower end of the spectrum in drafting pencil technology.
    I can also say, I don’t like rubber grips of any kind. The one on these is not a hinderance in any way.
    What about the Limited edition Graph? Anybody know where to get them?

  8. Help…. all I want is a supplier in Norfolk, England or ANYWHERe of 0.7mm 4b pencil leads. Ridiculous is`nt it.

    Most grateful in anticipation.

  9. I took the clip off of the pencil. It feels better with the clip out because the body becomes more smooth somehow without the clip in the way.

  10. Hi I have an Pentel 120 a3dx, loved it but having some sort of trouble. I was trying to replace the lead but couldn’t pull the eraser because has I tried to pull it out the eraser went too deep inside the mechanical pencil.

    Does anyone have any helpful ways to pull it out???

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