|Model Number||PENTEL XPP502-W|
|Shipping Weight||0.68 oz|
|Diameter - Grip||8.8 mm|
|Diameter - Max||8.8 mm|
|Knurled Finger Grip||No|
|Lead Diameter||0.2 mm|
|Lead Grade Indicator||No|
|Lead Sleeve Length||3 mm|
|Length - Body||14.2 cm|
September 30, 2014
It's interesting. It's...
It's interesting. It's soooo thin.
The lead breaks if you look at it funny, digs into your paper if you happen to up-stroke just the wrong way, and the pencil jams regularly (about once per page of writing).
So, 5 starts for novelty, 1 star for usability.
September 19, 2014
tl;dr: Rugged and stylish...
tl;dr: Rugged and stylish P200-like body with clever and fool-proof mechanism that allows you to use a 3mm length of lead per click while protecting it with the sliding lead sleeve. Affordable pencil that brings you the best of both worlds, a thin line with none of the inconvenients typically associated with it.
As of writing this, I've got this pencil clipped to my shirt pocket and I just completed a small series of test with it. As always Pentel puts out a very practical and solid-feeling product that features well-executed innovative ideas.
The first thing you notice about the Orenz is the solid plastic body similar in feel to the P200 series we all know and love. The only differences with the P200 series is that the clip is a little more stylized and rounded, and the tip of the pencil is also tapered and stylized. The ridges are more spaced and less deep than on the P200 series, so while it's not as grippy as the P200's, it's smoother yet not outright slippery because of the type of plastic.
Before really putting the lead support system to any tests, I changed the provided HB lead with some Pentel Ain Stein B lead. I don't know if that HB lead is the same stuff as Pentel Ain Stein, and it might be, but it's worth swapping out the leads just to use a softer grade, since it will produce darker, more visible lines while still not smearing.
It is a bit strange to write without seeing the lead at first. Seeing only the tube, I had a very slight "lag" impression the first time I wrote, but you get used to it in seconds. The important thing is that writing with this is very very smooth. The difference between that and naked 0.35mm lead is pretty much unnoticeable.
The next test I did was to hand it to my dad, an extremely heavy-handed and left-handed writer who is used to blunt wood pencils (!!) and cheap ballpoint pens (!!!!!). He had a breakage or two at first, but he was able to write a whole sentence without it breaking. And the lead sleeve is still intact, which I think is a testament to this system's reliability. It won't just fall apart as soon as you put too much pressure. In fact, upon further testing myself, I found that I can confidently put down pressure I would hesitate to put on a 0.9mm! It's not unbreakable by any means, you can't bang it on a table or anything, but it resists to every stress it could reasonably experience.
Next I tried writing with it until the lead runs out. When it does run out, which takes a while because the system allows you to start writing with a full 3 millimeters of lead extended, it doesn't scratch the paper, it just stops writing, and with a single click you've got the full length of the sleeve full of lead again and ready to write. This system truly does everything it could possibly do to minimize the number of clicks you have to make, which is often a criticism of mechanical pencils with extremely tiny leads.
The way I think it works is that the tip of the pencil contains the free-sliding lead sleeve unit, while the lead extender is exactly 3mm behind the sliding sleeve's furthest position. When you click once, the lead extender kisses the back of the sleeve unit and lets the lead drop down to exactly that 3mm length. Further clicks extend a variable amount of lead, between 0.5mm and 1mm, which is the behavior of a lead extender with nothing in front of it to limit it (like most 2mm lead holders).
When people hear about sub-0.5mm lead, they think it's brittle (which is partly due to their poor choice of lead, I think), and they think they'll have to click out lead after every sentence. This pencil shatters those stereotypes, allowing you to use the same pressure you'd put on a really thick lead, and truly maximizing the writing length per click to a degree most thicker-leaded pencils can only dream of.
This is an extremely appealing and affordable option for small writers or STEM students. It blows everything under its price out of the water with its simple and ingenious mechanism, and it compares well to everything above its price thanks to its timeless rugged plastic P200-like body design.
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