Sorry – images lost in some rearranging.
What Is It?
A very nice automatic pencil – it’s labelled as a “Draughting Pencil”, and certainly seems to be made for more serious use than most.
- Metal Body.
- Large pocket clip.
- Eraser under cap.
- Lead hardness indicator.
- ‘Pocket-safe’ retractable tip.
- Knurled metal and rubber grip.
- Available for .3mm, .5mm, .7mm and .9mm leads.
- Cost – at the time of writing, £15.50 RRP (£9.99 from Cult Pens).
I suspect the looks of this pencil will come down to individual taste. I love it, but I can imagine some people hating it. It looks like it’s somewhere between an item of medical equipment and some sort of alien weapon. It’s every bit as odd-looking and shiny as it looks in the pictures.
If you’re looking for something that will look nice with your work suit, you should probably be looking at the Kerry instead.
If you’re looking at the pictures, and thinking “Wow, that looks cool“, then you’ll love it just as much in reality.
It’s all metal, so it feels heavy, and very solid and strong. The mechanism inside is quite heavy too, and it uses an unusually powerful spring, so pushing the mechanism down takes a firm push on the top button. When you release the mechanism again to retract the tip (pushing the top of the pocket clip), there’s a real snap as it jumps back into place. If you’re holding it lightly, the whole pencil jumps slightly in your hand.
I like that sort of thing, so I enjoy using this pencil.
The grip is very good at gripping. It’s not the most comfortable thing to hold for a long time (if you want that, try the Faber-Castell Grip Plus) but your fingers won’t slip on it, and it is more comfortable than many others. The grip section is wider than the rest of the pencil, which also makes for a better grip. The odd little rubber ovals that poke out through the knurled metal help with the grip too – when your fingers are dry and you’re gripping lightly, knurled metal can be a bit slippery – the rubber takes over then, and keeps the pencil in place.
They look kind of funky too. (Looking funky is good – it’s smelling funky that’s bad.)
The long thin tip gives you a good clear view of what you’re writing or drawing. If you like to hold a pencil really close to the tip, though, there’s nothing to hold down there.
The weight makes for a nice feel – I like a heavier pencil. The balance point is almost exactly in the centre, which, on a pencil this long, is a little high for my taste.
There’s an eraser under the cap. Like everything in this pencil, the cap feels a little over-engineered, and takes a fairly good pull to remove it. Fortunately, though, it has been designed with a flared-out end, so there’s something to get a grip on. Where the Kerry takes slightly cut-down erasers, this takes Pentel’s erasers full-length, so they should last reasonably well. If you’re going to do much erasing, you’ll want a
The lead hardness indicator is fiddly to change, but then so is changing the leads in any automatic pencil, so it’s not something you’d do often. The more likely scenario is that you like to use 2B, HB and 2H leads, so you buy three pencils and set the indicators on them to whatever you’re putting in them – so you’d only do it once.
This really isn’t going to be the pencil for everyone, but you can probably tell – I love it. I’ve tried quite a few, and nothing else feels as solid, or as strong. It’s also not cheap – you could buy almost ten cheap Pilot pencils for the price of one of these. But they won’t feel this good, they won’t look this good, and they won’t have the features this has.
I had a difficult time choosing between this and the Kerry, and I went for the Kerry in the end. Fortunately, Simon then sent me the GraphGear to review anyway, and I’m very glad. I still carry the Kerry at the moment, but I find I’m using the GraphGear much more often.
Disclosure: Our GraphGear 1000 was sent to us for review by Cult Pens. We bought from them and linked to them before they started sending us samples, but we like to be open about it.