It's been about a year...
It's been about a year since I bought the rapid PRO. All I can say is that I'm
amazed. I'm a student, so I use it up to 6 hours a day. While I've been
relatively very careful, it has gone through probably 25 falls, a few with the
tip extended, and I've even put it through the washing machine (the pencil was
somehow unscathed and perhaps a little cleaner). The tip and extension system
works perfectly. Pushing down the clicky still gives the resistance and hearty
click as it did the day I got it. The grip is slightly less abrasive than some
other drafting alternatives (such as the very rough graphgear 500 line), but I
have not had any slippage issues even during long writing sessions. If you are a
heavy sweater, you may experience slipping though.
Just to review some of the best and most striking qualities of the pencil: the
clicky system allows you to extend out the tip a tiny bit, which has no give and
is great for writing. Then you can easily push harder and extend it out fully
for drafting or sketching, still with impeccable tolerances. Under high
pressure, the tip pushes in, meaning it's necessarily impossible to both break
the tip and tear into your paper. It has an amazing balance that allows a high
level of control, even when you are gripped further up the barrel. The clip is
insanely durable. I've clipped it to just about everything, it has a strong hold
and has given up none of that hold. The body is also very hearty, as besides all
my falls there is only one noticeable scratch (it's not actually noticeable to
anyone but me) and it has slight wear (showing the metal) on the barrel around
the tip and at the cap).
Now, problems (the few): about four months in, the cap became loose, it would
slip off too easy. Solution, using pliers I squeezed the cap a little, making it
much more difficult to take off, and now it has not come off by accident since
then. Second, the clip has a little grip space at the end, which means over some
time a little grime can build up. I usually just push it out with a paper clip.
Third, the grip likes picking up tiny particles, like eraser shavings or who
knows what that make it look dirty. Best way to clean is continue to use and
your fingers will abrase such out, or you can use a wet cloth and rub it down.
Fourth, in writing sessions of over three hours straight: it's still a heavy
metal drafting pencil, and your hand will definitely show a lot more wear than
your pencil. And it may hurt. It's ok, switch to your uni kuru toga for a little
bit while you recover. Finally, about ten months in, sometimes more lead will
slip out when you try to extend than normal. This is probably the inside grip
showing wear, or perhaps I am just using a lower quality lead than before.
This pencil is a fantastic piece of engineering. It is a honda engine of
pencils. This year anniversary isn't so much about the year the pencil has
served me well, but rather the many years I expect it to continue doing so.