October 15, 2009
Uni-ball Alpha Gel Shaka...
Uni-ball Alpha Gel Shaka Shaker Pencil - 0.5 mm
- Perfect balance in weight.
- Gel provides comfort in people who tend to write fast or extensively.
- Revised clip, better than the HD series one.
- Shaker is okay.
- Grip rips very easily, good care is recommended to avoid this.
- The shaking mechanism sometimes jams.
- No lower grip for writers who grip the pencil low.
3 people found this helpful
April 23, 2012
PROS 1) Let's get the...
1) Let's get the obvious out of the way; the alpha gel grip is superb, but it is VERY soft, keep this in mind. It feels closer to a thick cloud than the "squish" I was expecting. The grip on the 207 premier, a pen I also HIGHLY recommend btw, is more what I had in mind when I ordered this, though the difference between them is marginal.
That being said, I have a pencil-snapping, pen-shattering vice grip, especially when writing intently, and the Shaka's grip is supportive enough and body sturdy enough to enable my bad habits, unlike so many unfortunate Ticonderogas and BIC Atlantises before it.
2) The shaker function. As an American, it's the first time I'm using one and its pretty handy. i.e. mid-sentence when a thought may escape me if I pick up the pencil for too long, SHAKESHAKE and back to it. For the erratic memory or fast note-taking, it's surprisingly helpful.
3) The feature to disengage the shaker mechanism and lead clutch by fully depressing the clicker (as opposed to just part way to release more lead, like a camera shutter release) is intuitive and really an "extra mile" feature. As useful as the shaker is, it could definitely be obtrusive when you're not using the pencil and lead comes out every time you move your arms quickly, like during the all-too-frequent heated, violent, passionate or otherwise physically demanding Excel/PowerPoint presentation. The folks at Mitsu foresaw this, and gave the option of retracting the lead and not allowing the shaker mechanism to release any more until manually reengaged. Brilliant.
4) Everything else seems of solid build and it looks nice too, it has a heavier feel than most mechanical pencils, though this may just be the additional shaker mechanism, grip, and sheer size :x
5) To further illustrate the ergonomic triumph of the Shaka, its balance point can be found right at the juncture between the chrome middle piece and the "black" (see CONS below) upper shaft, aka the fulcrum where it will rest against most people's hands. This understated anatomical feature makes for an even smoother writing experience.
1) Like all soft grips, the alpha suffers from swiffer syndrome; it collects dust and grime better than most of my vacuums. I actually roll it across my desk to get all the dust up, then wipe it off into my garbage. No joke.
2) The tip (nib piece, not sure what it's called on a pencil) does not retract into the pencil, leaving a fairly sharp point floating around in a bag or pants pocket.
3) The lead that comes with it is a little soft, but pshht.
4) The colors of both the body and the grip are less black, more dark grey but, again, pshht.
5) The shaker, even when disengaged from releasing more lead, can still move inside the pen when shaken firmly, though not as freely. For example, it doesn't move when the pencil is just tipped over end-on-end, but when shaken a bit harder, whatever is holding the shaker in place lets go. It's definitely odd, and makes me a little concerned about the durability of whatever is disengaging it. But, and I promise this is the last one, pshht :)
The first two cons, in addition to the price, will keep this gem on my desk. But for 10 bucks, it's a steal for someone with bad form who does a lot of writing.
p.s. I would recommend buying this with some other things to make free shipping. Get a second one or better lead or maybe the 207 premier with some refills. I had to pay six dollars to get this to NJ, which is nearly the price of the 207 premier, and you're going to need to refill it some time :) Hope this little novella helped.
1 person found this helpful
January 21, 2011
this pencil is the best...
this pencil is the best ive ever had. the grip is better than the alpha gel kuru toga or hd and the body is shaped just right and is smooth. the blackness also looks good, i just wish that they didnt put the directions on the pencil, but on the package instead.
2 people found this helpful
October 9, 2014
This is my favorite mechanical...
This is my favorite mechanical pencil to use when drawing. The alpha gel grip is nice, but the pencil itself feels well balanced with the knock weight inside. If I could buy it over I would get one with a white grip though, as grit and hairs stick to it like crazy and the dark color shows it off. That doesn't affect the function or comfort, it just bugs me. Still, I use this more than any other 0.5mm mechanical pencil I have.
August 19, 2014
The Uni Alpha Gel pencil...
The Uni Alpha Gel pencil is a must have for anyone looking for a comfortable, smooth, and clean mechanical pencil! I've had mine for about a year and all I can say is money well-spent. I draw a lot and plan to make a career out of it and I will use this pencil for as long as it lasts. Then I'll buy another one hehe =)