I’ve been using a Pica-Dry Longlife mechanical pencil for the past month and prefer it much more than a traditional wood carpenter’s pencil. It’s comfortable to hold and use; very durable; leaves an easily visible line on just about any surface; the lead isn’t overly soft, so it lasts a long time; and it fastens to my belt so it’s always at hand.
The Pica is about 38mm (1-1/2″) shorter than a traditional carpenter’s pencil and weighs just about the same. The body is made of high impact ABS and the stem is stainless steel. It comes with an innovative holster that has a toothed clip so you can secure the holster to your tool belt or pants pocket and it has a built-in sharpener that works really well. Friction holds the pencil securely in the holster.