Posts filed under Pentel

Pentel Super Hi-Polymer 0.5 mm 2B Lead Review

Pentel Kerry Sharp Super Hi-Polymer Lead

Over the years, one of the things I’ve discovered that I am good at is turning the most basic, boring stationery products into fun stationery reviews. I find it easy because I care about this stuff on a (probably) unhealthy level, and enjoy talking about the minutia around each and every product.

I also think I’m good at it because I lived it. I grew up using many of these products in the 70’s and 80’s, and it is a testament to many of them that they are still around and thriving, like Pentel’s standard mechanical pencil lead - the Super Hi-Polymer.

Pentel Sharp Hi-Polymer Lead

If you have been into mechanical pencils, or even stationery as a whole, you have seen the classic, clear, diamond-shaped lead holder that Pentel uses for this product lineup. It is as ubiquitous as the Pentel Sharp P-Series mechanical pencil that is often paired with it. If fact, did you know the P-Series pencil barrels are color coded by lead size, and the caps of the lead holders are colored to match the pencil barrels? Well, now you do.

Another thing Pentel does within the Super Hi-Polymer lineup is offer then in a huge range of hardnesses - 12 by my count on the 0.5 mm product page. This variety was mind-blowing to young me when shopping at the campus bookstore, even though I wasn’t brave enough to test any of the far end of the scale ones out at the time.

Top Secret, for Pentel internal use only, Paper Straw Holder edition.

Top Secret, for Pentel internal use only, Paper Straw Holder edition.

I am now, and even though this 2B graphite isn’t far past the middle, the quality of the product is as good now as it was back then.

My preconceived notion was that 2B would be too soft for me for regular use, but that hasn’t been the case at all. It is soft and dark - as it should be - but the point retention has been better than expected. I think I only extended the lead once on my written review page. My lines were tighter than I expected, too.

Although this lead isn’t “The One,” I am compelled by how much I like it versus how much I thought I would like it. That makes me anxious to try two things: The firmer side of the scale in the Super Hi-Polymer lineup, and Pentel’s higher end Ain Stein graphite lineup, which features long words about how special it is. Since none of the other fancy-named leads haven’t blown me away, maybe Pentel holds the key to what I am looking for in this experiment.

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


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Pentel Sharp Hi-Polymer Lead Review
Posted on March 11, 2019 and filed under Pentel, Mechanical Pencil Lead, Pencil Reviews.

Pentel EnerGel Infree Gel Pen Review

Pentel EnerGel Infree Review

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

We're all familiar with the Pentel EnerGel lineup, and for good reason. This iconic pen has been around for years and years, and it's one of the best pens you can pick up at your local big box store. But just because the EnerGel is a popular pen doesn't mean Pentel can let the line grow stagnant! To me, that's where the Infree line comes in.

The Pentel EnerGel Infree is a new style that features a clear barrel and lots of silver and chrome accents. It's the same refill inside that we all love, but there's so much more to like about this new barrel design.

Pentel EnerGel Infree Barrel

The particular version I'm using in this review is the 0.7mm in Turquoise Blue, and I am smitten. The color is amazing, and it's just as smooth and reliable as every other EnerGel I've used. The color is a dark turquoise with plenty of beautiful green to play along with the medium blue. There's no shading, but it's a lovely shade of blue-green. The 0.7mm tip is wide enough to really show off the color of this ink, and I've really enjoyed using it.

Pentel EnerGel Infree vs old

The ink looks great when writing on the page, but it also looks great inside the pen. The crystal clear barrel on this pen shows off the ink cartridge inside, allowing you to see how much ink is left as well as what color it is (in the case where you have several of these pens with different colored refills). As an added bonus, it just looks cool. I love the crystal clear body and how it shows off the refill, but it also shows off the nock mechanism and even the grip threads. It's a great touch, and it reminds me of the demonstrator fountain pens I love so much.

Pentel EnerGel Infree

The clip is a shiny chrome accent, and it's strong enough to keep this pen sturdily attached to anything the clip jaw can get around. The grip section has a textured rubber grip that is comfortable to hold, and it's also a nice gray color to compliment the clear plastic and chrome accents. The nock mechanism has a solid chunk when you use it, letting you know for sure when it's been used. All in all, it lines up exactly the same with every other EnerGel retractable pen I've used, just with a different aesthetic.

I'm a big fan of the look of this pen, and I'll heartily recommend it to anyone. My personal favorite is the Turquoise Blue, but there are several other colors available, including Blue Black, Orange, Blue, and Black. At just $3 per pen, it's a great deal for an attractive and stellar performer.

(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!

Pentel EnerGel Infree Writing
Posted on March 6, 2019 and filed under Pentel, Energel, Pen Reviews.

Pentel Kerry: A "postable" mechanical pencil with an unchanging design since 1971

(Original Mai-bun.com article, published 02/10/2019. Written by Takuya Takahashi. Translated by Bruce Eimon.)

I have started noticing "older" business people mingling amongst students in the mechanical pencil section of stationery stores in Japan. It may be that people are rediscovering the value of being able to erase what they have written, thanks to the popularity of Pilot's erasable Frixion pens. Pencils and mechanical pencils have long been tools for students, but we may be seeing a resurgence of these instruments amongst business people.

Many of the recent mechanical pencils embed advance technology, such as mechanisms that automatically twist the lead to maintain a sharp tip, or shock absorption that prevents the lead from breaking. However, when it comes to the design of these pencils, they are better suited for the classroom than the board room.

Today I would like to feature a mechanical pencil that will look right in place in the hands of any business woman or business man - the "postable" mechanical pencil, the Kerry.

Pentel Kerry

The Pentel Kerry was first released in 1971. It is long seller that has been on the market for nearly 50 years.

The engraving on the cap proudly proclaims "SINCE 1971"

The engraving on the cap proudly proclaims "SINCE 1971"

If you look at the Japanese product home page, its official name is listed as "Mannenncil Kerry." "Mannenncil" is an amalgamation of the Japanese word for fountain pen "Mannennhitsu" and "Pencil." You can tell from the name that they envisioned this product to be a mechanical pencil worthy of being carried along with your expensive fountain pens.

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You can see how the designers tried to make it resemble an elegant fountain pen. Some may feel that the look is somewhat dated, in a nice vintage kind of way.

You may not have thought about this, but you hardly ever come across mechanical pencils with caps.

To my knowledge, even in Japan there are only a few with such a design.

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By having a cap, you do not have to worry about scratching things in your pocket or having graphite dust flake out of its tip.

Unlike expensive fountain pens that have screw on caps, the Kerry has a snap-on cap. The key point of this product is that you can still click the lead out even when the cap is posted. There is a surprising amount of engineering in this cap. When the pen is capped or the cap is removed from the pen, the click-tip protrudes only slightly.

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When the cap is posted on the pen, however, the tip extends out by a fraction of an inch to give you the length needed for a satisfying click.

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This is a product designed with a lot of attention to detail. The pen can be used without the cap posted, so some people like to keep the cap hooked in their pen loop.

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Compared to standard mechanical pencils, this is a rather compact pen. When not posted, it may be barely long enough to fit in your hand.

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The whole point of this pen though, is that it can be used posted.

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Most people will want to use it posted, as this gives you much more stability. The compactness of this pen when capped makes it an ideal companion for an A6 or passport sized planner.

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The beautiful mold of the tip of this pen is also what makes the Kerry unique. This is a design choice that enables a nice balance between the thick grip and the thin lead tip.

By offering a thin tip, it makes it easier to see what you are writing too.

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While the 0.5mm size is standard in Japan, Pentel also makes a 0.7mm version for the overseas market. I was able to buy the Navy 0.7mm version on my last trip to Taiwan. It gives you a different feel on the paper, and is especially good for sketching.

With a timeless design that appeals to people of all ages, the Kerry can be a great gift item. At a price point of $15-$20+, it is a good looking pen at a reasonable price. In Japan it shouldn't be hard to find a store that will personalize it for you for that extra touch.

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There is a reason why this product has been around for nearly 50 years. If you have never used one, I suggest you give it a try!

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Recommended for:

  • People who like to use mechanical pencils
  • People who are looking for a mechanical pencil that looks more "adult"
  • People who want to carry a mechanical pencil with their planners

Information: Sharp Kerry™ Mechanical Pencil

Posted on February 27, 2019 and filed under Pentel, Kerry, Mechanical Pencil, Mai-Bun.