If you are interested in mechanical pencils for drawing, you probably know that rOtring and Staedtler are the two biggest brands. Both are incredibly durable, with longstanding histories and quite a few supporters. Because of both pencil brands’ wild popularity, it can be difficult to know which one you should get.
In this article, we are going to review rOtring and Staedtler mechanical pencils brands. We are going to even look at specific mechanical pencils from both brands so that you can find the best pencil for your artwork. Let’s get started.
Factors We Considered About The Mechanical Pencils
Before hopping into the reviews, let’s go over the factors we consider throughout the rest of this article. When comparing any mechanical pencil for drawing, there are three main things you want to consider: comfortability, quality, and features.
Of these three things, you need to start with comfortability to ensure that you can use the pencil for a long time. If comfortability is missing, then it won’t matter how durable the pencil is or how many features it has. Once you get comfortability squared away, then you can find one that has all of your needed features.
Some of the most appreciated mechanical pencil features include the grip section, eraser, lead indicator, lead pen, retractable lead sleeve, and clip. You don’t need all features for an ideal pencil, but the more, the better, especially if the pencil is highly comfortable.
Additionally, look at the durability of the mechanical pencil. The last thing you want is for your expensive pencil to break prematurely. Look for pencils made with durable materials and include protective features.
rOtring is a leading brand in technical drawing tools and writing instruments. The manufacturer was originally established to sell fountain pens. From then, the company has serviced a wide variety of pen and pencil needs, including mechanical pencils for drawing purposes.
The name rOtring translates to “red ring.” This name refers to the red ring that is found on the pen’s barrel today. Some of the mechanical pencils have a red ring around the grip sleeve, allowing it to meld seamlessly with the pencil’s body.
One thing that stands out among rOtring products is the serious durability. Of all the mechanical pencil brands, rOtring is by far one of the most durable. Just about any product you pick up from this brand will last you a lifetime.
Today, rOtring sells a wide range of products. This includes technical pens, calligraphy fountain pens, mechanical pencils, drafting mechanical pencils, ballpoint pens, markers, compasses, and other precision tools. This makes them a favorite among a variety of professionals.
Notable Mechanical Pencils
rOtring sells a variety of mechanical pencils for drafting and art. This includes the Rapid Pro, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800, and 800+. Let’s take a closer look at the 600 and 800 specifically.
The rOtring 600 is a wildly popular model. It comes with various features, including the classic red ring, a lead indicator, and an eraser. In terms of features, this pencil does have quite a few, but there are other pencils with more. The lead indicator is easily the best feature of this pencil because it means you can have multiple copies with different sized lead.
The thing that makes this pencil stand out is its durability. You can easily expect this pencil to withstand just about anything because of its expensive feel and brass materials.
The main drawback of the 600, however, is its design. The grip is a little short, but it isn’t terrible. The thing that makes this grip less desirable is that it is not joined to the pencil body well, making it sharp at the edge. Another drawback is the hexagonal shape. It certainly is not a big deal for writing, but for drawing purposes, the hexagonal shape is pretty uncomfortable.
A more impressive rOtring pencil is the rOtring 800. This pencil has a luxurious feel that is incredibly durable and comfortable. This is easily one of the highest quality mechanical pencils for the serious artist. It comes with a lot of features, much like the 600. At the same time, it is more comfortable.
The main drawback of the 800 is its price. Most people will find it to be overkill and excessively expensive. You could likely find another mechanical pencil of similar specs at a more affordable price. Still, this pencil is likely to last much longer than other pencils, making the high price worth it for the investment.
One of the oldest pencil manufacturing companies is Staedtler. Staedtler sells a large variety of writing utensils, stationery products, art materials, and general office supplies. They claim to be the largest European mechanical pencil manufacturer.
Because Staedtler is so old, they are easily considered one of the most trustworthy brands. Their technical pens and mechanical pencils have been sold since the 70s. All around, their historical reputation makes them a favorite among many.
In terms of product range, Staedtler is hard to beat. They sell writing implements, technical drawing instruments, art materials, and accessories. This includes graphite pencils, mechanical pencils, ballpoint pens, technical pens, rulers, colored pencils, modeling clay, erasers, and more. Just about any writing or art material you could need they sell.
For drawing mechanical pencils specifically, however, Staedtler is more limited. They have much fewer pencil models than rOtring.
Notable Mechanical Pencils
Staedtler’s best mechanical pencil is the 780 C Mars. This pencil comes with just about any feature you would need, including an integrated lead sharpener, which is unique to this pencil. It also comes with a crosshatch grip zone, ensuring that it doesn’t slip out of your hand.
At the same time, this pencil is incredibly lightweight and has a pop of color. The color obviously doesn’t affect the pencil, but it doesn’t hurt it either.
The Staedtler 780 C Mars’ main drawback is that the grip can be a little uncomfortable at times. It isn’t that long either, meaning that you need to hold the pencil closer to the tip. Also, the Staedtler 780 C Mars is a bit expensive.
Unfortunately, there aren’t as many notorious options as possible within the Staedtler brand. That’s because Staedtler offers more options for technical drafters and writers. They don’t have as many option varieties for the drawer. At least the Staedtler 780 C Mars is a killer!
rOtring vs Staedtler
Now that we have looked at both brands and their most notable pencils individually, let’s compare them to one another.
Based solely on the pencils reviewed here, the Staedtler is more comfortable. Weight, design, and circular sizing mean that it fits naturally in your hand and doesn’t cause user fatigue after drawing for a long time. Though the grip certainly could be longer, its weight and smooth finish make it highly comfortable.
rOtring offers other mechanical pencils that are more comfortable than the 600 and the 800. These pencils don’t tend to have as many features, though, meaning that people prefer the 600 and 800 the most. That is why we reviewed these pencils, despite the fact they aren’t the most comfortable.
When it comes to quality, both rOtring and Staedtler are to die for. No matter what pencil you get from these brands, you can expect it to last a long time. Of course, you do sacrifice in other ways for the durability, such as in price. The price is definitely worth it if you want a pencil that will last your entire life.
Edge: Staedtler, only slightly
It was hard to pick between rOtring and Staedtler in terms of features, but we decided on the Staedtler for one reason alone. The Staedtler 780 C Mars comes with an integrated lead sharpener. This is incredibly helpful because it ensures that your lead tips are the exact shape and angle you need for your drawing purposes.
What made it so hard to pick between rOtring and Staedtler is that the rOtring 600 comes with a lead indicator. This lead indicator is incredibly helpful, and we wish it were a standard on all mechanical pencils.
Since these two products were neck and neck in terms of features, we recommend going with whichever one you would use the most. Both brands offer spectacular features that you really can’t go wrong with.
In terms of drawing mechanical pencils product selection, rOtring is by far superior. That is simply because the brand offers more pencils specific for drawing purposes. You can easily find a mechanical pencil within their line that matches your standards of comfortability and features.
In contrast, Staedtler has a lot of technical mechanical pencils for drafting and architects. They also have a lot of products for general art purposes. Artists and drawers, on the other hand, will find their mechanical pencil selection more limited.
When it comes to price, both rOtring and Staedtler are expensive. Certain pencils are more expensive than others, but the brands as a whole are pretty hefty on the price tag.
When it comes to mechanical pencils for drawing purposes, price does not necessarily indicate better drawing quality. As a result, you don’t necessarily need to get a mechanical pencil as expensive as these two brands.
The one thing that makes these pencils worth their high price, however, is their extreme durability. If you want a drawing mechanical pencil that will last your entire life, then these pencils are worth it. If you don’t care about buying a new pencil every few years, then you might want to go with a different option.
Writing vs Drawing
Technical Drafting: Staedtler
Mechanical pencils can be used for many purposes. Writing, drawing, and technical drafting are the most obvious purposes. Interestingly, you want your mechanical pencil to target your intended use. This ensures you get a pencil that matches your needs in terms of features and comfortability.
When it comes to writing, either brand will work, but we recommend Staedtler. Staedtler simply offers more options that are specifically targeted towards writing purposes. rOtring, on the other hand, has more pencils intended for drawing. That’s why we recommend this brand for drawing purposes. You get more features and options to choose from for your drawing purposes.
If you need a mechanical pencil for technical drafting, such as an architect, then we recommend Staedtler. Once again, they have a variety of mechanical pencils specifically designed for technical drafting in mind. In other words, they have designs and features that are suitable for rulers, compasses, and other technical drafting tools.
Which Should You Get?
Both rOtring and Staedtler are spectacular brands that offer highly impressive mechanical pencils. When it comes to drawing, we do recommend rOtring as a brand because they offer more products and more features for drawing specifically.
Simultaneously, we like the Staedtler 780 C Mars more than the rOtring 600 and 800 simply because it has a more comfortable design and includes a pencil sharpener. If you had to pick one of the mechanical pencil’s discussed in this article, we would recommend that one. Nevertheless, rOtring as a brand is better for drawing purposes.
To sum up what we learned in this review, both rOtring and Staedtler are phenomenal mechanical pencil brands, but rOtring has a wider selection suitable for drawers, making them the better brand as a whole.
When it comes to the individual pencil, we recommend the Staedtler 780 C Mars. This mechanical pencil has all the features you would need, and it is highly comfortable. The rOtring 600 and 800 are quite impressive too, but we simply prefer the Staedtler.
Finally, remember that what matters most is how the pencil feels in your hand. If you think that the rOtring is more comfortable for your intended use, then go with that option. As an artist, the task and decision are up to you to find the product that feels the most comfortable and useful in your hand.