GraphGear 500 Vs. 1000 – Which Is Better?

The GraphGear 500 and the GraphGear 1000 are two pencils from the Pentel family. Thanks to their shared brand, these pencils share many characteristics, so what is the difference between them, and which should you buy?

The GraphGear 500 is the standard model, which is excellent for precision in technical drawings and possesses a nice, lightweight. Whereas the GraphGear 1000 is the heavier, all-metal version that encompasses some solid updates – such as a retractable point – that give this model an edge.

Continue reading as we compare these two premium pencils. Find out the pros and cons of each, the reasons why the 1000 model is more expensive, and which one is the best pencil for technical drawings and daily use.

Table of Contents

What Is The GraphGear 500?

The GraphGear 500 is a standard entry-level mechanical pencil that possesses a few nice features. The pencil has a plastic body, metal grip, metalhead, metal pipe (nib), metal clip, and metal button.

What Is The GraphGear 1000?

Showcasing the all-metal GraphGear 1000

The GraphGear 1000 is a step above the 500 models with an entire metal body and a spring-loaded clip. The grip is a more premium metal, with several oval-shaped holes that allow small amounts of rubber to poke through and soften your grip on the pencil.

Holding a Pentel Graphgear 1000 Pencil

There are several additional features on the GraphGear 1000. Pushing the clip allows you to retract the pipe for travel; one click extends the pipe, while subsequent clicks extend the lead out.

What Are The GraphGear 500 and 1000 Made From?

The exterior of the GraphGear 500 is metal, but the interior is predominantly plastic. This differs from many other mechanical pencils, which are all metal and easier to manufacture.

The plastic body can provide a satisfying weighted feeling to the GraphGear 500 and many artists like this, along with the old-school style of the pencil.

The GraphGear 1000 is entirely metal and the only one in the GraphGear range with a metal body.

Both pencils come with a range of lead thicknesses which you can choose when you order. And the pencils are color coordinated, which is helpful for professionals to know the thickness of said pencil at a glance.

Pentel Graphgear 1000 Pencil Tip
Close up of the GraphGear 1000

Who Makes The GraphGear 500 And 1000?

The Pentel company produces and makes the GraphGear 500 and 1000. The company’s name derives from the words “pen” and “tell,” and the company also creates non-permanent markers.

Why Are They Called GraphGear 500 And 1000?

The names of these two pencils correspond to their price in Japanese yen. While the standard model – GraphGear 500 – is around 500 Yen or US$5, the premium model – GraphGear 1000 – is about 1000 Yen or US$10. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of The GraphGear 500 Vs. GraphGear 1000?

Both the GraphGear 500 and GraphGear 1000 have their own characteristics that give the pencil distinct advantages.

The GraphGear 500 has a smaller barrel, making the model much lighter than its competitors. Despite its lightness, the GraphGear 500 possesses a sturdy construction and a solid metallic grip.

Some people find the metallic grip too hard on the fingers after prolonged use, but others like this mesh’s extra grip.

The GraphGear 1000 is a heavier model with a rotating window on its barrel, allowing you to see which type of lead you are using.

The 1000 model also retracts, which can be helpful if you carry your pencil around and don’t want to cause damage to your purse, pocket, or pencil tip.

Pros Cons
GraphGear 500Lightweight Metal grips become uncomfortable after prolonged use
Extendable eraserThe tip doesn’t retract
GraphGear 1000 The tip retractshe eraser cap can come loose over time
It has a rotating window on the barrel containing a hardness indicator. The mechanism of the pen relies on the clip to work.
Spring-loaded clip with increased functionality
Weight is well balancedIt’s not easy to find eraser replacements

What Are The Differences Between The GraphGear 500 And GraphGear 1000?

Both the GraphGear 500 and GraphGear 1000 are quality pencils, but they possess a few key differences.

Writing with a Pentel Graphgear 1000 Pencil

The GraphGear 1000 is noticeably heavier than the 500 models. In addition, the GraphGear 1000 has a retractable lead, whereas the 500 does not. Some may consider the 1000 as an upgraded version of the 500, but the main problem with the GraphGear 1000 is its eraser cap.

The small eraser of the Pentel Graphgear 1000 Pencil Tip
The small eraser on the GraphGear 1000

If you purchase the GraphGear 1000, you will probably need to buy a separate eraser.

Neither of these models has spring-loaded or twistable lead. They are basic tech pencils rather than high-level tech pencils.

Which Is Better, GraphGear 500 or 1000?

Both of these pencils are premium models, and reviewers recommend each for different reasons. Either of them would be an upgrade from a cheap mechanical pencil. They both have a metal grip, which provides a firm hold on the pencil, but the 1000 model is heavier and has a retractable lead.

The GraphGear 500 is a great pencil for those on a budget who still want a quality writing utensil, whereas the GraphGear 1000 is a slightly more advanced pencil with a few additional features.

Pentel GraphGear 500 Automatic Drafting Pencil Black (PG525A)
  • 4mm tip length makes it ideal for use with rulers and templates
  • Metallic mesh grip on a slim, beveled barrel promotes control when writing
  • Weighted at your fingertips for precise drafting and template work
  • Pre-loaded with Pentel Super Hi-Polymer HB lead; never needs sharpening, is super strong and produces a clear dark line
  • 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm & 0.9mm sizes available; color coded sizes for fast & easy size lead size identification

The 500 is the best pencil for a technical drawing, thanks to its 4mm fixed sleeve, weighted barrel, and metallic grip. The sleek design of this pencil is perfect for precision drawings and allows you to stay in control at all times.

The 1000 maintains these characteristics while providing you with some additional features. Most of these features offer a luxury look and feel to the pencil and are helpful for professional artists.

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For example, the window on the 1000 model allows you to see the hardness of the lead you are using. If you only possess a limited amount of pencils, this might not be so useful, but for professional artists who need to switch between pencils quickly and want to know which is which at a glance, these details can make all the difference.

Final Thoughts.

The GraphGear 500 is a lovely entry-level pencil for beginners to graphic design with a reasonable price tag of $5. Its biggest drawback is that it doesn’t retract, so you’ll need to keep it in your studio rather than carry it in your pocket.

For the professional artist, the 1000 model is superior. Not only does it possess a sleekier, weightier design, but it has several professional features such as a hardness gauge, retractable pipe, and hybrid grip.

If you’re just starting out, the GraphGear is an excellent entry point for mechanical pencils, but once you’ve got some experience, opt for the GraphGear 1000 for a more professional look and feel.

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