I first reviewed the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga back in December of last year, and now that the Kuru Toga High Grade model is available at JetPens, I wanted to try out some new things. In my original review, the Kuru Toga was an 0.3mm model, and while I liked it a lot, I felt that the lead size, combined with my writing style, didn't take full advantage of the core rotation mechanism that makes the Kuru Toga what it is. This time around, I went with the 0.5mm size and did a little more accurate testing with the pencil.
My normal writing style involves a bit of spinning the pen or pencil in my hand when writing. I write a few words, pick up the pencil, rotate it a bit in my fingertips, and put it back to paper. It is a fraction of a second thing, but to really get a feel for how the Kuru Toga works, I need to let the pencil do its job. So for this writing sample, I decided to punish myself like I was in 4th grade, forcing myself to write "I will not rotate the pencil in my hand when writing" over and over again until the page was full. I made a concerted effort to keep the lettering on the barrel perfectly square between my thumb and index finger throughout this experience, and was successful in doing so. If you didn't realize this already by looking at the page, the Kuru Toga really, really works. Any other pencil around would have a huge flat spot on the lead, making for wider and lighter transfer to the page. The Kuru Toga rotated properly the entire way through, keeping the lead sharp and ready to go with every word. There is no difference in line width or darkness between any line on the page. Fantastic results!
The design differences between the original Kuru Toga and the High Grade are not that different other than the materials used in construction of the barrel. The original has a plastic grip, plastic clip, and is a touch shorter, while the High Grade has an aluminum grip section, metal clip, and is a bit longer. The eraser section is also designed a bit differently as you can see in the photo, and the original is a hair lighter, but they are both lightweight pencils. The biggest difference is price, with the original costing $6.50 and the High Grade at $15.00, so it just depends on what you are looking for in a pencil for which one you should buy. The High Grade is striking looking, but my next Kuru Toga will probably be another original. You can't go wrong with either.
Click Here for the XL review.