Posts filed under Mechanical Pencil

Kaweco Frosted Sport Mechanical Pencil Review

Kaweco Frosted Sport Mechanical Pencil Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Kaweco has a gift for simplicity and the simple Frosted Sport Mechanical Pencil is the perfect illustration of that. There's nothing fancy or complicated about it. You remove the end cap to insert a piece of lead or two, pop the cap back on, click it, and write. There aren't any extra moving parts or gadgets--all it does is pencil, and it does it well.

It lacks an eraser, but I prefer to use a separate eraser, rather than have a proprietary refill that I have to stockpile. Still, that could be a deal-breaker for some.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Mechanical Pencil

The pencil is the same size and plastic material as the Kaweco Sport fountain pen, and this one matches my lovely frosted lime pen. It's chunky, but lightweight, and very comfortable to hold and write with. It has a steel tip cone and logo on the end cap, and the Kaweco brand engraved in silver paint on the body. The nose cone does not retract at all, but it's not as delicate or stabby as the narrow lead tubes on other pencils. It's more like the tip of a rollerball pen. The lead can be retracted by holding the button down and pushing the lead in.

Kaweco Sport Mechanical Pencil

Inside the pencil, there's a narrow tube to hold the lead refill. It's only wide enough for a piece or maybe two, so keep extras nearby if you go through lead quickly. The lead that it comes with is very nice to use. It's smooth and soft, but doesn't break easily. It can be dark with pressure, but shades well. the regular writing line is a bit pale, toward the middle of its greyscale. You can refill it with any .7mm lead you prefer, though, and JetPens has a handful to choose from.

Kaweco Sport Mechanical Pencil Barrel

The pencil does not come with a clip, but Kaweco sells separate clips that slide onto their pens and pencils. These work fairly well, but can come loose or scratch the plastic. I do worry about the durability of the plastic, but I have other Kaweco Sports that have been heartily knocked around with no consequence.

Overall, I've really enjoyed using this pencil. My only real complaint? It doesn't fit behind my ear! I need some sort of Kaweco headband to strap pens and pencils to for the days I have no pockets.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Kaweco Sport Mechanical Pencil Writing
Posted on August 15, 2019 and filed under Kaweco, Mechanical Pencil, Pencil Reviews.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Review

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Review

I was swayed by the style.

Penco is a brand I had heard of and seen online, but never had the opportunity to purchase one. That changed with a visit to Archer Paper Goods in Atlanta a few months ago, where I bought this Prime Timber Mechanical Pencil.

Penco’s products have a vintage-modern aesthetic that I love. Their lineup contains mostly basic office goods - pens, pencils, notebooks, binder clips, clipboards, etc. - which are all very consistent in their look. If Aaron Draplin founded Poppin I think this is what the result would look like.

Aesthetics aside, the product still has to be good, and the Prime Timber Mechanical Pencil is.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil

At first glance you might think this was a clutch pencil, especially looking at the elongated barrel and 2.0 mm wide graphite often found in that type of pencil. But no, this is a standard mechanical pencil with a click mechanism. Nothing wrong with that at all, other than being able to more finely control the exposed lead length and not having to press the lead into the page when retracting it with a clutch.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Barrel

The exterior barrel is incense cedar from the US, which gives you that traditional pencil smell in a mechanical pencil setup. It feels great, too, like a standard full length hex barrel pencil, but slightly heavier.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Sharpener

It ships with its own sharpener, which is almost mandatory for 2.0 mm pencil goods. Not everyone has a good tip pointer laying around their desk. Penco refers to it as a corer, which I enjoy because of sentences like this: “When putting the core into the corer, it may cause the core to break if the core is pulled out too long.”

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Tip Pointer

In practice, the corer is the weakest part of this product, leaving a barely sharp, sometimes crooked, tip. If you think you might use 2.0 mm lead frequently, then it will be worth investing in a nicer one. The popular KUM Long Point Sharpener has one on the side of the barrel, or you can get a stand-alone pointer like the Alvin Rotary for those dagger-tips when you need them.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Graphite

The B-grade graphite is a real highlight of this pencil. I haven’t used many 2.0 mm sticks outside of my beloved Caran d’Ache Fixpencil, but the Penco lead has more of a natural graphite feel than the more waxy feel of the Fixpencil. It does wear down quicker because of this, but the darkness, smoothness, and overall feel are all better.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Fixpencil

That said, I’ll take the Fixpencil over the Prime Timber every time due to the barrel feel, clip, and my clutch vs. mechanical mechanism preference. Maybe I’ll just switch the lead over the the Cd’A.

I paid $17.50 for mine, which feels about right. If you shop around, you may find them for a few bucks cheaper. They are ¥900 ($8.35) directly from Penco.

Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Tip

I really like what Penco is doing on the design front, so I’ll try to pick up a few of their pens to see how they are. I also love the look of their General Notebook, so that one will be at the top of the shopping list. Yes, even ahead of the Baseball Bat Pen.


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Penco Prime Timber 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil Click
Posted on July 22, 2019 and filed under Penco, Mechanical Pencil, Pencil Reviews.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Review

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

It's been a while since we gave the Kuru Toga some love around here, but that's going to change with the Roulette. This pencil has been around for quite some time, but it can be easy to overlook given the sheer number of mechanical pencil options that exist today. What sets the Roulette apart from the regular Kuru Toga, you ask? Knurling.

As opposed to the all-plastic construction of the regular Kuru Toga, the Roulette has a metal section with knurled grip. It's a nice feature, and definitely improves the writing experience of the pencil. At just a few bucks more than the regular Kuru Toga, it's a great upgrade. The knurled grip adds a lot of stability when holding the pencil, and the cool metal feels better in the hand compared to the plastic grip of the regular Kuru Toga.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil

Underneath the metal exterior is the namesake of this pencil — the lead rotation mechanism that made the Kuru Toga famous. As you write, the lead rotates a millimeter every time you lift the lead off the paper. This ingenious design means you are always writing with perfectly rounded lead instead of ending up with sharp angled edges. With most pencils, you're probably used to rotating the pencil a bit once one side of the lead gets too dull. That creates a sharp contrast to the small edge that the fresh lead creates. With the Kuru Toga mechanism, you can enjoy a consistent line width since it's constantly rotating as you write.

This feature isn't a gimmick, either. It works flawlessly. The only case in which this lead rotation action doesn't work well is if you're making long, continuous strokes with the pencil instead of writing. It's not a good drafting pencil, but it's great for writing notes, doing math homework, and keeping handy around the house.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Barrel

Even though the knurled metal grip adds a touch of class to this pencil, there were some compromises made in order to keep the price low. Aside from the grip, the rest of the pencil is made of plastic and painted to mimic metal. They actually did a great job with this effect, as it can be difficult to pick out the plastic bits, but it's really obvious once you pick it up and start handling it. Even though this is a compromise, they've executed it very well, and it also keeps the cost down so the pencil is very accessible.

The clip on the pencil is removable and is very strong. Once you clip this pencil to something, it's not going to come loose on accident. As with most mechanical pencils, there's also a tiny eraser under the click cap, which is also where you can add more lead.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Mechanism

Speaking of lead, this pencil is only available in the 0.5mm variety, which is a bit disappointing. I'd love to see some 0.3mm and 0.7mm options as well. You can find those sizes in the regular model of Kuru Toga, so I'm a bit perplexed by the omission in this premium line. Aside from the silver featured here, you can also pick up a gun metallic variant.

As an added bonus, the grip section features a small round window that shows the internal lead rotation mechanism as it rotates round and round. If you hold the pencil just right, you can see the rotation as you write.

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Comparison

I've always been a big fan of the Kuru Toga because of how well it works. What sounds like a gimmick is actually a great feature that Uni executed perfectly. The addition of the metal knurled grip is fantastic, drawing comparisons to much more expensive pencils and improving the grip dramatically. At just under $12, these pencils are affordable and provide an excellent value. Definitely worth having one in your arsenal!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil Writing
Posted on June 19, 2019 and filed under Uni, Kuru Toga, Mechanical Pencil, Pencil Reviews.