Posts filed under Pentel

Pentel Ain Stein 0.3 mm H Mechanical Pencil Lead Review

Pentel Ain Stein 0.3 mm H Mechanical Pencil Lead Review

Ain Stein Lead is Pentel’s foray into hi-grade mechanical pencil lead. Most of the big mechanical pencil companies have this type of offering, with a basic lead for mass consumption, followed by a more feature-rich, pricier, lead.

This level of lead is where the marketing takes off. Each company has their own formula as to why their lead is bigger, better, faster, and stronger, and the Pentel Ain Stein is no different. To wit: STEIN stands for "Strongest Technology by Enhanced SiO2 Integrated Network.

Me too Barack. Me too.

That said, the marketing is easy to ignore if the product is good. And this case it is. I might even say it is great for my own personal use.

Pentel Ain Stein 0.3 mm H Mechanical Pencil Lead

As fond as I am of 0.3 mm gel ink pens, that love generally does not translate to mechanical pencils. Leads in that size are either generally fragile, or so firm (to combat the fragility) that they are too light on the page. The Ain Stein 0.3 mm H solves both of those problems for me.

I could tell this lead was going to be good as soon as I loaded it into my Alvin Draft/Matic 0.3 mm Mab Graves special edition. For starters, I didn’t snap the stick when pulling it from the lead holder and sliding it into the back of the pencil. That’s a huge win for leads this tiny! Secondly, it was darker and firmer that I thought it would be when I started writing with it.

Pentel Ain Stein 0.3 mm H

That is exactly what I want when writing with an 0.3 mm pencil. This size has made me gun-shy in the past, thinking I would snap it on contact, but not the Ain Stein 0.3 mm H.

What sealed the deal for me with this lead was doing something I never, ever do: Write notes in a moving car. And no, I wasn’t driving! My family and I took a quick road trip this weekend, and with my wife behind the wheel, I took the opportunity to lay out the upcoming week in my planner and chose this pencil and lead setup to do so.

Pentel Ain Stein 0.3 mm

You would think the bouncing and shaking of the car hurtling down the highway would break the lead every time the tip hit the page. It didn’t. Not even once. This was far from a controlled environment, as my shaky handwriting can attest to, and the 0.3 mm H lead handled it perfectly. I’m surprised I even tried it, and even more surprised it worked so flawlessly.

If I’m not sold after that performance then I don’t know what else I’m looking for in a stick of graphite. The Pentel Ain Stein 0.3 mm H will be my 0.3 mm mechanical pencil lead of choice.

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


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Pentel Ain Stein
Posted on June 17, 2019 and filed under Pentel, Ain Stein, Mechanical Pencil Lead.

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.