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STAEDTLER Pencils and Drawing Tools
Staedtler drawing tools
  • Genuine Staedtler Mars Lumograph products
  • Precision German engineering for longevity
  • Wonderful consistency - 20 year-old leads indistinguishable from modern
  • Leads use top quality graphite and clays and are virtually impurity free
  • Excellent break-resistant lead formulation
Staedtler drawing tools
I've used Staedtler clutch pencils, leads, and other tools professionally for over 35 years. At times I've tried others, including a couple of Faber Castell clutch pencils that are sill in service but have worn far more than my Staedtlers. It's worth noting that any manufacturer's 2mm leads will fit any brand of clutch pencil - but I still use only Staedtler. Their consistency is legendary, as is their break-resistant formulation; the finely calculated wax content makes the graphite flow effortlessly onto the paper; and their top quality clay content, coupled with long grinding times, leaves them virtually free of gritty impurities.

Staedtler products are not as widely available as their less quality-conscious competitors. I'm now making them available here because I've received so many requests for sources resulting from fruitless searches.

To keep your shipping costs down, we calculate shipping based on the total weight of your order. Please order from the shop, which is set up to make the calculations.

Please note: 2mm clutch pencils are technical drawing instruments. The rise of CAD in popularity has resulted in Staedtler recently withdrawing some grades. No longer available are 6B, F, 6H and 8H. Personally, I work with 2B, HB and 2H and I believe you will find those grades cover almost all you may need in your drawings.

QUALITY Starter Pack
The Professional's clutch pencils, also known as Lead Holders, have milled metal finger grips and are built to last. Their slightly heavier weight aids control too. The pack contains three 780 clutch pencils pre-loaded with 2B, HB and 2H leads - the three I use most. As all grades can produce overlapping values, depending on the pressure used, they effectively cover 6B right up to 4H or even 6H - but without the coarse texture, soft edges, and crumbling found in softer leads.

Also included are a dedicated Tub Lead Pointer (see below for more details) and a pack of Blu-Tack - the most versatile eraser available (see my Blu-Tack tutorial for its many uses).
Staedtler QUALITY-PLUS STARTER SET featuring 780c Lead Holders
As the Quality Starter Pack above but including 1 pack each of 2B, HB and 2H leads (12 per pack). The clutch pencils retain their original HB leads. Everything you need in one box without having to search for replacement leads when you need them. Staedtler ECONOMY STARTER SET featuring 788c Lead Holders
ECONOMY Starter Pack
This pack contains three economical 788 clutch pencils, which have ribbed plastic finger grips for comfort and a firm grip. The pencils are pre-loaded with 2B, HB and 2H leads (they have only HB leads when purchased separately). I've also included a dedicated Lead Pointer Tub, often not easy to source, and a pack of Blu-Tack, my personal favourite eraser - so efficient and versatile that no other eraser is worthy of inclusion.
Staedtler TRADITIONAL STARTER SET featuring Lumograph 100 wood-cased pencils
This pack has been put together for the more traditional artist, and it's the most economical too - especially important if you are just starting on your drawing adventure. It contains top-quality Staedtler Lumograph 100 wood-cased pencils in grades 4B, 2B, HB, 2H and 4H, a plastic art eraser, metal-bodied pencil sharpener, a pack of Blu-Tack (of course!) and a free tortillon blender. Everything you need to get going!

Staedtler professional 780c clutch pencil Staedtler economy 788c clutch pencil Staedtler 775 mechanical pencil Staedtler 100 Lumograph Graphite Pencils
The Professional's choice of clutch pencils, also known as Lead Holders. These superbly engineered pencils have milled metal finger grips for longevity and ease of control. I have 30 year-old 780s still in regular use - they are built to last!

Staedtler 780c clutch pencil with integral sharpener They handle like a traditional wood-cased pencil but their slightly heavier weight increases control. More importantly, they maintain a consistent weight and length, unlike wood-cased that shorten with constant sharpening. Every time I pick up a 780 I know exactly how it is going to perform.

The chromed push button on the top contains a built in lead sharpener. While I don't recommend its regular use (too much stray graphite dust!) it is a real benefit when drawing plein-air.

Buy one to try and before long you'll want three. They are pre-loaded with HB leads - load two with 2B and 2H and they should cover almost all the tonal values you might want to produce.
Staedtler economy 788c clutch pencil
ECONOMY 788 Clutch Pencil
Very similar to the 780 but with a plastic ribbed finger grip that offers a similar firm grip. Each pencil is pre-loaded with an HB lead. They don't possess the integral lead pointer, but they should handle very much like the 780 and are 30% cheaper.
Staedtler 775 mechanical pencil
MECHANICAL 775 0.5mm Pencil
A mechanical pencil for 0.5mm leads; fitted with a ribbed rubber grip; and metal tip, push-button and pocket clip. The rigid, cylindrical lead sleeve cushions the lead for a high level of break resistance, and is fully retractable when not in use. A latex-free eraser is fitted under the pull-off top cap. The pencil is easy to refill with "12-a-go" Mars mechanical pencil leads, and comes ready-loaded with B leads.
Staedtler 100 Lumograph Graphite Pencils
Staedtler's Mars brand of professional grade drawing pencils was introduced in 1900 and the familiar Lumograph, ideal for professional drawing and sketching, was introduced in the early 1930s. The pencil is now world-famous and it's my pencil of choice. Although I now use Staedtler clutch pencils and leads, I still believe Staedtler Lumograph wood-cased to be the best of their kind. They are wonderfully consistent, impurity-free and smooth to apply.

Pencils obtain their degrees of hardness from being mixed with clay - the more clay, the harder the grade. Cheap alternatives use inferior clays and shortened grinding times resulting in gritty impurities that can scratch your paper. They can also have leads that are not perfectly centred in the wooden case leading to multiple breaks during sharpening. Staedtler pencils are top quality and buying the best can often work out cheaper!

Staedtler's first-class materials and manufacturing processes guarantee outstanding and unbeatable product quality, and the super-bonded leads wear evenly and are easy to erase and sharpen. The Lumograph is available in up to 16 degrees and we stock the most popular 5 grades - 4B, 2B, HB, 2H and 4H. As there is a wide overlap between adjacent grades, these five can, by varying the pressure applied, effectively cover the range from 6B through to 6H.

Staedtler Mars clutch pencil leads
Staedtler leadholder pencil lead grades These leads can be used on paper and vellum and are an indispensable tool for precise drawing and sketching. The superior quality and strength of the specially bonded lead prevents breakage during use and sharpening.

We stock all the seven available grades except B - the overlap between 2B and HB fills that gap. But we do stock H as an alternative to the discontinued F grade.

These are the leads I use for my own drawings. I've tried other brands but only Staedtler combine the strength, consistency, smoothness and quality that I demand.

Each box of 12 leads contains a plastic colour-coded push button to replace the pencil's chromed one. That allows for instant recognition of the grade it contains. If, like me, you hold a handful of pencils as you work, picking out the purple button of the 2B, or the red 2H, is simplicity itself. Personally, I retain the chromed button on my HB in preference to the black button supplied, because it retains the integral sharpener as an emergency backup.

Staedtler 502 Clutch Pencil Lead Sharpener Staedtler 526 Vinyl Art Eraser Staedtler 510 Single-hole Pencil Sharpener
The Staedtler Lead Pointer 502 Tub has a precision cutting wheel, and features a high-quality plastic housing. It's rotary action will sharpen both 2 mm graphite and coloured leads and is adaptable for use with all makes of lead holders. Included are a point cleaner and depth gauges for perfect points.

I'm regularly asked how to properly use this sharpener - see below for the definitive instructions.
Staedtler 526 Vinyl Art Eraser
This superb plastic eraser removes graphite marks from paper, matt drafting film or overhead transparencies virtually residue-free and with only minimal crumbling. It is equipped with a slide sleeve for convenient handling, and has an extremely long service life. It's not only efficient - being Phthalate and latex-free it's also environmentally safe.

The eraser gives first-class erasing results with only minimal crumbling and wear, is absolutely age-resistant, and shows no discolouration on the paper. Size: 65 x 23 x 13 mm
Staedtler 510 Single-hole Pencil Sharpener
This quality, hard wearing metal-bodied sharpener will sharpen your pencils quickly and easily. It's intended for use with standard-sized blacklead pencils up to 8.2 mm diameter and features an accurate sharpening angle of 23 degrees for clear and accurate lines.

How to set up and use the Staedtler 502 tub point sharpener Clutch pencils (leadholders) require different points due to the variety of applications they are used for:
  • A blunt point for normal writing
  • A very sharp point for drawing
How to set up and use the Staedtler 502 tub lead pointer The triangular symbols next to the small holes indicate the different kinds of points. The fine, sharp point on the left (a) is suitable for drawing, the normal point on the right (b - shown as being slightly blunt) is for writing. These holes are used for setting the amount of lead protrusion - simply place your pencil onto a hole, depress the push button on the top of your pencil and allow the lead to drop into the hole. The result is exactly the correct length of lead to form the desired point. When you've finished sharpening, push the point into the fibre pad (c) to clean it of graphite dust.

How to use the Staedtler Lead Pointer 502 Tub To use your Staedtler 502 Lead Pointer Tub:
  • Hold the tub in your left hand (if you're right-handed)
  • Place the pencil (with preset length of lead) into the pointer's main hole
  • Use the pencil to turn the lid in a clockwise direction
  • Gently feed the lead in as you turn - applying force can cause the lead to break
  • Turn until the resistance eases off
  • Finally, I give a couple of anti-clockwise turns to polish the point
  • The lead is now sharpened
How to use the Staedtler sharpener Any graphite dust on the lead can be removed by gently twisting the sharpened lead in the fibre cleaning insert (c), or poke it into a ball of Blu-Tack as I do.

Periodically empty the tub by pulling the lid up and off. If you like to use powdered graphite in your drawings, save the contents for later use - but do make certain it contains no broken points.