During successful conventions, I pretty much spend ALL of my time drawing. Sometimes, I spend so much time drawing that I wear through my drawing callouses (gross!), and end up with sore, irritated skin on my middle finger and thumb. Wrapping the area with medical tape helps (a lot!), but I also wanted something on my pencils to help cushion my hand a bit, and possibly postpone the irritating inevitable.
As a kid, my mom made sure all my pencils had soft, cushy foam grips. These little livesavers were pretty ubiquitous- I think she picked them up at our local Walmart on the cheap, and she seemed to have a never-ending supply. These darlings not only spared my hands some pain, but were also a fun fiddle toy to help young, ADHD me focus in class. Unfortunately, these affordable pencil grips are not one-size-fits-all-pencils, and I needed to find an expandable grip that could go over my drafting pencils and protect my fingers.
To know me may be to love me, but it's also most certainly to know that I love Japanese stationary, and I love Jetpens. A quick browse later and I was eyeing their pencil grips, I was fast intrigued by the adorable and affordable Tombow Ippo Coiled Pencil Grip Aid, and for $2, decided to take the plunge.
This flexible little grips can fit a variety of pencil sizes, and were easily coiled around my drafting pencils (including the Pentel Graph Gear 1000, which has been my steady drawing companion for years and does some heavy damage to my skin despite already having a grip with some cushion). Since the pack came with 4, there's also a grip on my blue lead bearing mechacinal pencil (an Alvin DraftLine), and my two Mono Zero erasers.
While these grips are comfortable, adjustable, and cheap, they're not perfect. Because they're coiled, they do slide on my pencils a bit, and they do catch on things in my pencil bag. But given their ability to protect my fingers on drafting pencils that I love, I'll take these minor flaws any day and enjoy me some extra cushion.
All in all, if you like to use mechanical pencils, drafting pencils, or lead holders, and your drawing toy of choice doesn't come with a grip, or the existing grip tears up your fingers, the Tombow Ippo Coiled Pencil Grip might be the cheap solution you're looking for.