Attention art materials snobs and wooden pencil purists: if you like pencil drawing but you’ve never tried drawing with drafting pencil (commonly called a leadholder), you’re missing out.
Not to be confused with a “mechanical pencil”, which dispenses a thin lead (.03 – .07mm) that doesn’t vary or require sharpening, a leadholder provides a beautiful, good sized (2mm) cylinder of graphite that can be pointed, chiseled, sanded or sharpened into any type of point you like. It’s like having a wooden pencil that shaves itself. They are a joy to draw with and are often favored by illustrators and comic book artists.
The site provides an introduction and history for leadholders and associated items like leadpointers (used, as you might expect, for sharpening), as well as a gallery of images for collectors and the curious.
The site no longer has links to purchase leadholders, but you can get them from any art supply store that carries drafting supplies. Look for a leadpointer to go along and pick out a box of 2mm leads in your favorite degree of hardness.