I use pencils a lot. I use them for sketching forms I want to throw. I use them to draw equipment I want to build. I use them for taking notes. So when something new comes along in the world of pencils, I’m pretty interested.
JetPens.com carries an amazing selection of things that make marks – pens, pencils, pens, you name it. Many are Japanese. The most recent development i’ve noticed are pencils that advance the lead with a shake, and those that automatically rotate the lead so you don’t have to. If you’ve studied drafting, you know you rotate your pencil as you draw to keep a point on the lead. Doing so keeps the point from developing a flat spot. This also allows the point to retain a more consistent line width. Probably more than you wanted to think about then you pick up a pencil.
Enter the amazing new Kuru Toga from Mitsubishi Pencil Co, Ltd. This mechanical pencil rotates the lead for you. My first test with this pencil was to write notes on a 3×5 card. I could tell it was a different pencil immediately. Putting thread on the paper and lightly bearing down made the pencil tip gently give. Writing was smooth and the line weight stayedthesameforsolong, I wondered if the pencil was also advancing the lead. It wasn’t, but the pencil seems to write more between clicks. This makes sense if the point is staying consistently sharper.
So far, I’m really impressed. Both sketching and writing are pleasant and consistent. I haven’t broken a tip so far, either. The pen I’m testing is a 0.5mm model. They also offers 0.3mm model. I should also note that I’m left-handed and tend to print, rather than writing in script. Lifting the tip appears to be part that makes the magic happen, so if you don’t lift the tip, the result may not be be so pronounced.
The pencil itself has a comfortable grip. The grips texture is molded in with the addition of a soft ring where the tip of the index finger rests. It isn’t fancy, but is completely functional. The whole pencil is plastic and doesn’t weigh much. Aside from the ability to rotate the lead, this pencil’s initial impression would be nice, but unremarkable. Writing and sketching was comfortable for me. Most of my lead holders and mechanical pencils are old and heavy, so this was a contrast, but not a problem. The eraser is smooth and works well and appears to be pretty standard for a mechanical pencil.
The bottom line is that this is a really nice mechanical pencil for anyone who likes mechanical pencils, or uses them in their work, or for the pencil geek in all of us. It solves a problem most people don’t know they have. The difference is a subtle, but pleasant surprise. I like the Kuru Toga mechanical pencil.
My pencil was provided by JetPens.com for review.