Pencils. I wouldn't call myself a pencil pusher. I rarely use them at home, and I only use them occasionally at work. That said, I really appreciate a good mechanical or drafting pencil. There's just something cool about actuating a mechanism to extend an always-sharp piece of lead into the ready position. Plus, I don't like wooden pencil shavings on my desk, in my desk drawers, or anywhere near my personal space.
One of my earliest posts was about my Pentel Sharp Kerry. I still like the Kerry, its design, and the color. I found, however, that capping and uncapping it can be tedious at times, and that it doesn't really have an ideal grip for serious pencil drawing, drafting, and sketching use. Accordingly, I convinced myself that I really NEEDED another mechanical/drafting pencil for everyday use at the office. So, I started looking at various retail websites and other blogs (such as Dave's Mechanical Pencils) for ideas. Long story short, I acquired this gem:
This stealthy looking item is the Pentel Graph 1000 for Pro drafting pencil, with 0.4 mm lead. I wish they sold a "for Amateur" or a "for Hacks" version of this pencil, but whatever. I was originally interested in the Rotring pencils, but I decided to buy another Pentel because I recently purchased a tube of those useless little eraser plugs and thought that it would be nice to keep things compatible. I was also ready for a departure from my 0.5 mm comfort zone and decided to try the 0.4 mm size, even though refills are not readily available.
I really like the sleek and simple design of this pencil. The clip looks nice, and the white labeling stands out on the black body. This pencil is available in several lead sizes, and the ends are color-coded to indicate the lead size (the green on mine corresponds to 0.4 mm).
The lead size is also conspicuously visible at the end for easy identification when stored in a pencil holder. The end is also outfitted with a lead hardness indicator that allows the user to select and show the type of lead that is currently loaded in the pencil. There is a nice clicky feel to the selector, which includes the following: B, HB, H, and 2H. Strangely, the selector also has two blank positions. Why didn't Pentel use those positions for two other lead hardness labels?
The picture above shows the business end of the Graph 1000. I believe that the section with the rubber grip pieces is metal (the rest of the body is plastic). This metal and plastic combo results in a somewhat lightweight yet well-balanced instrument. It weighs in at 10.8 grams, loaded with several leads. Overall, I like the matte black Darth Vadar look, and I like this pencil better than the Pentel Sharp Kerry for typical everyday use.
As I mentioned above, 0.4 mm lead is not very common. So, I also purchased two packs of 0.4 mm lead to go with the pencil. Pictured here is one of the two packs. Once again, the Japanese score high on the scale of downright awesomeness.
Check out the crazy lid opening and dispensing mechanism that is integrated into the box. The picture shows the box after the "open" lever has been actuated. As shown, a tiny spout extends so that the lead can be easily dispensed with little to no hassle. Nice touch.
To summarize: (1) I don't use pencils very often, but when I do, I break out my new Pentel Graph 1000 for Pro; (2) 0.4 mm lead is for rebels; and (3) my Pentel Sharp Kerry got demoted to home use.