Latest Update: Sorry – images lost when rearranging things.
What Is It?
An automatic pencil, but with a bit of a difference. There’s the usual button on the top to advance the lead, but with The Shaker, you can also advance the lead by just shaking the pencil – a quick up-and-down shake is all it takes to move the lead on, and you can continue writing or drawing. Personally, I think it’s solving a problem that doesn’t exist, and if it did exist, this wouldn’t be my preferred solution.
- Plastic construction.
- Eraser under top cap.
- .5mm leads, both leads and erasers are replaceable.
- Spring weight internally lets you advance the lead by shaking the pencil up and down.
- Rubber grip.
- Costs – £2.40 RRP (£1.92 from Cult Pens).
The Shaker looks very similar to the Super Grip, but with a black plastic tip section, rather than the clear plastic. The clear barrel lets you watch the spring that bounces up and down inside when you shake the pencil to advance the lead. So, it looks pretty much like a cheap plastic automatic pencil – not bad at all, but nothing special.
Again, it’s almost the same as the Super Grip – which means it feels surprisingly good. That bouncing spring makes it much more prone to rattling, though, which is a bit of a shame. Still, it also adds a bit more weight low down, which gives The Shaker a slightly better balance (for my preference, anyway).
Here’s the selling point of The Shaker. Do you tend to find that you’re in the middle of writing or drawing, and the lead runs too low? You lose your train of thought whilst struggling to reach for that button?
Well, the problem for me is that I don’t.
I can kind of see where Pilot are going with this – having to switch the pencil around in your hand to hit the button is a little distracting. You can also poke yourself in the arm with it, but you do run the risk of looking a bit mad. If you have your other hand free, you can press the button with that, but it’s going to distract you from what you were doing a little, however you do it.
For me, though, shaking the pencil up and down is just as distracting, especially because I never quite felt confident of it pushing out just one stop of lead – sometimes none, sometimes it will double-bounce, and two ‘clicks’ of lead jump out.
So, for me, this one isn’t a winner.
So, The Shaker doesn’t really do much for me. There is an alternative. If you still think reaching for the top of a pencil for the lead advance button is too much, Uni-ball have their own answer – the Shalaku DX. Any better? Yes, I think it is. If it came down to it, though, I’d just go for the Super Grip, and practice pressing that button really quickly.
Disclosure: Our Shaker was a review sample from Cult Pens. We liked them and linked to them before they started sending us new toys, but we like to be open about it.