This is probably my first mechanical pencil review, in fact I’m pretty sure it is and as I have a lot of pencils both regular and mechanical, I decided I should make a start on them.
So, to kick off my point of comparison is my favourite mechanical pencil of all time; the Pentel Fiesta 0.7mm loaded with Pentel 2B leads. It’s a very simple plastic pen that you click to extend/retract the lead and that’s about it; but what makes this my permanent point of comparison is the fact that it has always been 100% reliable. Therefore, any mechanical pencil I have to review has to live up to this in the same way that any wooden pencil I review will always end up being compared to the Blackwing 602.
The first thing to say is I bought it on a whim; I’m not particularly fond of knurling on pens or pencils as I find it uncomfortable but nevertheless I picked this pencil up and it was comfortable to hold and the slightly quirky design (I think it looks a bit like a syringe with a short needle) convinced me to buy it.
Starting from the top the pencil has a white plastic end cap that does more than provide the ‘click’ it contains an adjustable dial that allows you to select/see what type of leads you have in it. I’m not sure it does much more than remind you of your lead choice but it’s an interesting novelty and under the end cap is the usual tiny eraser which is removable to allow you to load leads.
Directly below this is the clip, it’s reasonably springy but obviously a very low cost addition; it just doesn’t fit with the pencil, it’s a bit like a last minute add on when the designer had finished and suddenly realised the clip was missing and had to add one in a hurry.
The hexagonal body of the pencil is made of the same white plastic as the cap and the plastic extends about two thirds of the length of the pencil and the remaining third is aluminium. As you can see from the image it is an interesting design and I’ve found it comfortable to hold and use and it is the weight of the aluminium that provides the low centre of gravity which naturally tilts the pencil towards the paper which I found left me applying a lighter grip to it.
This pencil takes a 0.5mm lead; I swapped out the standard ones supplied and replaced them with Muji’s own 0.5mm 2B leads which come in a very nice little card tube.
These leads are not particularly fragile and write smoothly and evenly; I would say that they are probably at the harder end of the 2B scale but they are very pleasant to use and deliver an even medium grey line.
So, should you spend your pennies on this pencil? If you are in the market for a new mechanical pencil or you just want something different then this one is worth seeking out and for what you will pay for it it’s worth it. The design is unusual, the build quality is excellent, it’s comfortable to hold and to use and if you are really unsure Muji normally have one on display you can try out.
The one thing you can be certain of is if you go in to Muji for one of these pencils, whether you buy one or not, you will leave with a lighter wallet.
Disclaimer: This pencil was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.