The Tombow Mono Graph Shaker isn't a new player to the mechanical pencil lineup, but the new neon colors certainly are. The colors that you could buy from JetPens before this week were more standard and "non-exciting," but these new colors are far from normal or boring.
The particular color I have, the Neon Green, is especially bright on my desk. I have several orange bags and pens, and this Tombow has no problem standing out.
For those that are new to the Tombow Shaker series, what exactly makes these unique? Well, it has something to do with the name. The Shaker denotes the unique lead advancement method that this pencil employees. Sure, you can still click to advance lead using the pocket clip, but you can also give the pencil a shake or two to bring out more lead. Once you try it, it makes perfect sense, and it works pretty well.
There's a small weight inside the body of the pencil (you can see it through the translucent grip section) that puts enough force on the lead mechanism to generate a "click" when it comes in contact. It's a pretty cool idea, and fun to use in practice. It does't require a violent shake, but just a simple flick of the wrist. Once you’ve done it a couple times, it's pretty easy to casually advance the lead when needed.
As far as unique click mechanisms go, I'be always been a fan of the index finger click button on the pencil grip because it allows you to keep the pencil on the page as you advance the lead. Still, this shaker method allows you to keep your grip on the pencil instead of repositioning so your thumb can click the back end of the pencil. The shaker mechanism adds a bit of fun to the process of keeping your lead going while writing.
Like I mentioned earlier, the pocket clip also acts as a clicker to advance the lead, but if you push the clip up toward the back of the pencil, it locks the shaker mechanism so that it doesn't accidentally advance lead while not in use. It's a very firm position on the clip that isn't likely to come undone accidentally. It takes deliberate action to open the pencil for use again.
On the end of the pencil, you have a standard twist eraser that does a pretty good job of erasing marks. If you pull the eraser component, it pops off to reveal the lead reservoir. The Shaker I have is the 0.5 mm version that came with standard HB lead.
The grip of the pencil is actually very comfortable. I've enjoyed writing with it so far. Even though it's completely plastic, it doesn't have any issues with slipping or being uncomfortable. Plus, the fact that it's translucent and exposes the pencil workings inside is an added bonus.
The tip of the pencil is a 5 mm long shaft that makes it easy to always see where your lead is on the page or to use a straight-edge without damaging the lead.
All in all, it's a great pencil. There's nothing earth-shatteringly new with this version, but the additional colors are a nice bonus for those of you that want a more exciting array of colors in your pencil collection.
The price is also very agreeable, at just $6.00. As far as "gimmicky" pencils go, this one doesn't break the bank, and it does a great job to boot.
The barrel is a bit on the thick side, but it's still very comfortable for me. I compared the size to a Rotring 600, which I feel is a skinny pencil. There's a nice weight to the Mono Graph, and the balance works well since the shaker weight always sits toward the writing end of the pencil while you're writing (assuming you're not writing upside down).
Overall, the Tombow Mono Graph Shaker is a great pencil with or without the shaker mechanism. It writes well, feels great in the hand, and has a decent eraser. Now, with the additional neon colors, you have more choices in front of you.
(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, which I am very grateful for.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!