Pencil and lead works great. Easy to see and makes narrow line for cutting accurate. I mainly work with pipe and it is better than soap stone as I am always sharpening the soap stone and wasting it. Only drawback is the lead falls out when you push the end to advance it in the pencil. You just have to be smarter than the pencil and put your finger at the end when advancing it. Due to the Cyberweld minimum order I had to buy two pencils and two refills. Glad I did as my partner wanted the second one.