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My Search For The Best Mechanical Pencil

Many of you know that I like tools, and I believe that you need to have the right tool for the job at hand. For me, this even carries over to mechanical pencils.

I was looking for some specific qualities in a mechanical pencil; 0.5 size, darker and softer than normal lead.  I wrote to one of my two favorite companies, JetPens, for their recommendations. In a very surprising move they wrote back and said that they would send me what they thought would be a good match if I would do a review for them. Review?! Heck yes, I can do that!

They sent me a Pilot "Play Border" Dr. Grip Shaker pencil. I was very surprised that from looking at my blog, Elaine, was able to even choose the color I would most likely enjoy! I was also provided with some Pentel silica enhanced 0.5 4B leads to go along with the pencil.

There are a few of the of the unique items about this pen, aside from the "shake-to-advance" lead option which is pretty darn cool. The Dr. Grip is larger than normal. I have small hands and it may be just a smidge too large, but, that being said, I really do find that the rubberized 'grip' section is very comfortable to hold and makes the size more of a non-issue. The comfort is worth the extra size I think.

This pencil also has a distinctive "shaker" feature. You can advance the lead simply by shaking the pen. I was surprised to find that it works very well too. It advances just enough - not too much and not too little. I had to get used to the 'feel' of the shaker thing inside the pencil, but that did not take very long! You also have the option to advance and retract the lead in the "old fashioned" way, by holding down on the top of the pencil .It's a win-win situation.

Although I personally do not have the need or desire to re-arrange the colored sections or to add a personalization to the clear barrel, I can see where this would be a very good feature to have in a family situation (where more than one person might like the same color pencil!) or in a school where the personalization would help identify the pen's owner if it was left somewhere. It was a good design plan for the pencil! Pilot is one of my favorite fountain pen makers too, so I am, in general, a fan of their products, and they did not disappoint with the design features of this lowly mechanical pencil!
When I am reading a history book I most often make notes and use a highlighter.
The lead that comes with most mechanical pencils s too light and too soft for my taste.
The 4B lead is a perfect match for me.
As with all wonderful stationary things from Japan the instructions, although written in Japanese, are always easy enough to follow based on the excellent pictograms.
Th pencil also features a handy, soft, replaceable, eraser. I am ordering more!
Elaine understood exactly what lead I would like.
This is now my new favorite lead.
 It's soft, dark and really resists breaking because of the silica

Below: This is the little gizmo that I use to hold my pencil and highlighter. The Dr. Grip pencil is about the same size as a 'normal' highlighter, but it manages to still fit in my holder as long as I put the non-rubberized end in first.

Jetpens pretty much hit the nail on the head for me. If you have not checked out this very cool company - you really should. I have been a modest customer of theirs since they began their business. Their growth has been steady, and measured. They feature all of the best in pens (of all types), markers (of all types), pencils (of all kinds), stationary and crafty items from the Japanese market, and we all know how cool these things can be! Jetpens has always carried unique products, they ship very quickly, and they have kept their customer service a top priority. I am not affiliated in any way other than as a happy customer ,and ,in this instance, as the happy owner of one great pencil and some superior pencil leads for my copious note taking!


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