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Mechanical pencils need more maintenance than carpenter pencils, artist pencils or school pencils. Some brief tips... * Don't over-twist the mechanism to advance the pencil lead. * Use the correct thickness of lead in your pencils. If your pencil takes .9 mm lead, use .9 mm lead, not .7 mm lead. * Always check the manufacturers' directions, or the LifeTips sections on your particular pencil brand. * Use a soft polishing cloth for the surface, rather than strong cleaning agents or chemicals.