Ultimate Guide to Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead

This guide details the best-colored lead refills for mechanical pencils, including the size, brand, available colors, & if it is erasable.

So let’s get started.

Table of Contents

1. Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead – Sizes & Brands

In the following section, we give details of all the mainstream brands of colored lead for each mechanical pencil’s diameter from 0.2 mm – 5.6 mm.

We have not listed Chinese brands such as June Gold as although they work in a fashion, they are not of the same quality as the long-established Japanese and German manufacturers.

1.1. 0.2 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

Pentel is the only pencil manufacturer that makes 0.2 mm lead, and they do not make any 0.2 mm colored led refills.

The only 0.2 mm refills that Pentel make are in Lead Grades HB, B & 2B

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Mechanical Lead Sizes for more information on Pentel 0.2 mm mechanical pencils and lead

1.2. 0.3 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

There are no manufacturers that make 0.3 mm colored mechanical pencil lead refills. It is probably due to the diameter being so small that the lead would break very easily.

1.3. 0.5 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

Three pencil manufacturers make 0.5 mm colored lead Pentel, Staedtler, and Uni. The Uni Nano Dia leads have the broadest range of colors and are the only 0.5mm lead that an eraser can cleanly erase from paper.

Pentel High Polymer Colored lead 0.5 mm

Pentel 05 mm Colored Lead

Pentel High Polymer Colored Lead is a strong, hardwearing colored lead with a 0.5mm diameter, and it is available in either blue or red colors in a tube containing 12 leads.

Although this is not an erasable colored lead it is possible to get the marks to fade quite a bit with an eraser.

Pentel AIN STEIN Colored Lead 0.5 mm

Pentel AIN STEIN 05 mm Colored Lead

Pentel AIN STEIN is their premium quality lead that is manufactured with a reinforced  0.5 mm silica core.

They are available in red or blue and supplied in packs of 20 leads. They are not erasable, so a faint mark will still be visible after erasing.

Staedtler Mars Micro Coloured Lead 0.5 mm

Staedtler 05 mm Colored Lead

Staedtler Mars Micro colored lead is 0.5 mm in diameter and available in blue, green, or colors in tubes of 12 leads.

These are not erasable leads, and there will still be visible marks remaining on the paper if you try to rub them out with an eraser.

Uni Nano Dia Colored Lead 0.5 mm

Uni Nano Dia 05 mm Colored Lead

Uni Nano Dia colored leads use the same nanodiamond technology as their graphite leads, giving them added strength.

They have a 0.5 mm diameter and are in packs of 20 leads.

Uni Nano Dia 0.5 mm colored lead is available in seven colors:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Lavender
  • Mint Blue
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Red

They are the only 0.5 mm lead that is truly erasable. Unlike the Pentel & Staedtler 0.5 mm colored lead, these can be easily erased and leave no trace behind.

1.4. 0.7 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

Four brands make 0.7 mm colored lead Papermate, Pentel, Pilot, & Uni.

Pentel lead is not erasable. However, Papermate, Pilot & Uni 0.7 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills are all erasable.

Papermate Colored lead 0.7 mm

Papermate 07 mm Colored Lead

Papermate 0.7 mm colored lead is available in six colors which are:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Pink
  • Purple

They are an erasable lead designed for Papermate Clearpoint 0.7mm colored pencils, but Papermate Colored Lead will fit any brand of a mechanical pencil.

Pentel High Polymer Colored lead 0.7 mm

Pentel 07 mm Colored Lead

Pentel High Polymer Colored lead is a durable hardwearing colored lead with a 0.7mm diameter.

It is available in either blue or red colors in a tube of 12.

Pilot Color Eno Neox Colored Lead 0.7 mm

Pilot Color Eno Neox Colored Lead 07 mm

Pilot Color Eno Neox is a superb colored mechanical pencil lead; it is smooth writing with a choice of eight vibrant colors.

Many people consider Pilot Color Eno Neox colored pencil lead to be the best-colored lead there is.

Neox colored lead is 0.7mm in diameter and 60 mm long and will fit any 0.7 mm mechanical pencil.

Compared to other colored leads, it is stronger and does not break as easily, making it an excellent choice for drawing.

It can also be easily erased with a standard eraser leaving no marks on the paper.

Pilot Color Eno Neox Colored Lead is available in the following eight colors:

  • Blue – HRF7C-20-L
  • Soft Blue -HRF7C-20-SL
  • Green – HRF7C-20-G
  • Orange – HRF7C-20-O
  • Pink – HRF7C-20-P
  • Red – HRF7C-20-R
  • Violet – HRF7C-20-V
  • Yellow – HRF7C-20-Y

Uni Nano Dia Colored Lead 0.7 mm

Uni Nano Dia 07 mm Colored Lead

Uni Nano Dia colored leads use the same nanodiamond technology as their graphite leads, giving them added strength.

There are twenty Uni Nano Dia 0.7 mm leads in each pack with a choice of the following seven colors.

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Lavender
  • Mint Blue
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Red

Uni Nano Dia 0.7 mm colored lead can be easily erased and leave no trace behind.

1.5. 2.0 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

2.0 mm colored lead is used in leadholders and is popular with artists and hobbyists for adding color to drawings.

Koh-I-Noor and Pentel have the broadest range of colors to choose from: six and seventeen, respectively.

Kaweco Colored Lead 2.0 mm

Kaweco 2mm Colored Lead

Kaweco 2.0 mm colored lead is 80 mm long and fits in any 2.0 mm leadholder. It is available in either blue or red colors in a pack of 24.

It can also be easily erased with a standard eraser leaving no marks on the paper.

Koh-I-Noor Colored Lead 2.0 mm

Koh I Noor 2mm Colored Lead

Koh-I-Noor 2.0 mm colored lead is 120 mm long and is suitable for most lead holders. However, it is not recommended for 2.0 mm auto-advance leadholders as some people have found that it tends to jam.

There are six colors to choose from, which are the widest choice of colors for use in any make of 2.0 mm lead holder.

They are 12 leads per pack.

Koh-Noor 2.0 mm colored lead is available in the following six colors.

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Red
  • Yellow

Staedtler Mars Lumochrom Colored Lead 2.0 mm

Staedtler 2mm Colored Lead

Staedtler Mars Lumochrom 2.0 mm colored lead is 130 mm in length. It is one of the more durable 2.0 mm colored leads and can be used in most 2.0 mm lead holders/clutch pencils

Staedtler Mars Lumochrom 2.0 mm colored lead is available in blue and red colors in packs of 4 or 12.

Pentel Multi 8 Colored Lead 2.0 mm

Pentel Multi 8 2mm Colored Lead

Pentel Multi 8 colored lead is one of the best 2.0 mm colored leads there is, and it is available in 17 colors.

Pentel Multi 8 colored lead is 58 mm long and has a metal sleeve fitted to the end to prevent it from falling out of the lead holder.

This metal sleeve prevents Pentel Multi 8 colored lead from being fitted to any other make of 2.0 mm lead holder apart from the Pentel Multi 8 lead holder without being modified.

If you are not familiar with the Pentel Multi  8 lead holder, it is a convenient device that, as its name suggests, holds eight 2.0 mm colored leads.

However, as Pentel Multi 8 is a soft lead, there are two ways to remove the metal cap, allowing it to fit any 2.0 mm lead holder/clutch pencil.

How to Remove the Cap From Pentel Multi 8 Colored Lead Refills

Method 1 – lay the lead down on a cutting mat or chopping board and then carefully cut the metal cap off using a sharp craft knife.

Method 2 – lay the lead down on a flat surface and gently pry off the metal cap using a craft tool or something with a small point to ease underneath it.

Pentel Multi 8 Colored Lead 2.0 mm refills are highly versatile and available in 17 colors.

These include Non-Copy Light Blue/Non-Photo Blue, which does not copy when copied with a PPC dry type copier or does not show on camera film.

The seventeen Pentel Multi 8 Colors are as follows:

  • Black
  • Black HB
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Flesh Tint
  • Fluorescent Pink
  • Fluorescent Yellow
  • Green
  • Light Blue
  • Light Green
  • Non-Copy Light Blue
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Red
  • Violet
  • Wine Red
  • Yellow

Uni Colored Lead 2.0 mm

Uni Colored Lead 2mm

Uni 2.0 mm colored lead is 130 mm in length and only available in red and supplied in packs of 6.

The lead is designed to fit Uni Mitsubishi lead holders and has a rubber cap to prevent falling out of the lead holder.

You can easily remove the rubber cap and then fit the Uni Mitsubishi 2.0 mm colored lead in other manufacturers’ lead holders.

1.6. 3.15 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

Worther Colored Lead 3.15 mm

Worther 315 mm Colored lead

Worther 3.15 mm colored lead is 70 mm long and supplied in tubes of 4 leads.

They are available in the following five colors:

  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Red
  • White
  • Yellow

Worther 3.15 mm colored lead fits  Worther Shorty Pencils.

1.7. 3.2 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

Kaweco Colored Lead 3.2 mm

Kaweco 3 2 mm Colored Lead

Kaweco 3.2 mm colored lead is 80 mm long and supplied in packs of 6 containing two blue, two green, and two red leads.

Kaweco 3.2 mm colored lead fits Kaweco 3.2 mm clutch pencils.

1.8. 5.6 mm Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

Kaweco Colored Lead 5.6 mm

Kaweco 5 6mm Colored Lead

Kaweco 5.6 mm colored lead is 80 mm in length and supplied in packs of 3. There are three colors available which are blue, red, and green.

Kaweco 5.6 mm colored lead fits Kaweco 3.2 mm clutch pencils.

2. What Kind of Mechanical Pencil Takes Colored Lead?

All mechanical pencils can use both graphite or colored lead. There are a couple of things to keep in mind, and that is that colored lead is a lot softer than graphite.

Therefore extra care needs to be taken not to apply too much pressure when using it.

The other thing is that colored leads that are 2.0mm and above are better suited for lead holders/clutch pencils.

In some click advance pencils, the lead can become stuck.

For more information about mechanical pencil lead check out our Guide to Mechanical Pencil Lead Grades.

3. The Best Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead

Pilot Color Eno Neox 0.7m colored lead is considered by many to be the best-colored lead. It is an erasable lead that is more robust than 0.5mm colored lead.

There are eight colors to choose from, more than any other 0.7 mm colored lead brand.

Pentel Multi 8 is the best 2.0mm colored lead, and it is available in 17 different colors. It only fits Pentel Multi 8 leadholders, but if you remove the metal cap, it works in any 2.0 mm leadholder.

For instructions on removing the cap, go to our earlier section 2.0 mm colored lead where we give detailed instructions.

If you want to know which is the best mechanical pencil lead then check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best Mechanical Pencil Lead.

4. Is Colored Mechanical Pencil Lead Erasable?

Most Colored Lead for mechanical pencils is erasable, but there are one or two exceptions. Check out our earlier sections on the different lead diameters, where we detail each type of colored lead.

5. Lightfastness of Colored Lead for Mechanical Pencils

None of the manufacturers of colored lead for mechanical pencils give any lightfast ratings for their lead.

It is safe to assume that they are not very lightfast, and if this is important to you, I would recommend using a reputable brand of wood-cased colored pencils that will give the lightfast ratings.

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