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PROS 1) Let's get the...
April 23, 2012
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.
5 people found this helpful
Uni-ball Alpha Gel Shaka...
October 15, 2009
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.

5 people found this helpful
Out of all the alpha...
June 17, 2016
Out of all the alpha gels I own, this is by far my favorite. The grip is squishy, but not too squishy. The shaker mechanism is also very effective. My recently discovered a small rip in the grip (haha that rhymes ok sorry XD), but no material is leaking out (unlike the other gruesome looking alpha gels I have seen at my school...dirty grips, used erasers, squishy stuff leaking out...yuck). The color of the body is also a cool gray with a little sparkle in it (I find that very attractive), and the grip is a little gradient from light to dark gray (also attractive). However, when I take the grip off of the skeleton of the pencil, I find that in between the layers, there are bubbles, and the thin material is beginning to yellow. But this doesn't affect the overall look of the pencil from the outside. The pricing here is a bit expensive, but otherwise this pencil is definitely one of my favorites :) (wow this is probably the longest review I've written haha).
1 person found this helpful
I bought this pencil...
November 27, 2015
Verified Purchase
I bought this pencil less than 3 weeks ago, but at around this time, I try to flick it and no lead comes out. Even if I click it, the lead still won't come out I can't even put lead in through the front. I really loved this pencil before this just happened out of nowhere, I take really good care of my writing supplies and my Kuru Toga works just fine, it's only this that is messed up. I hope I get a reply because I really love this pencil.
1 person found this helpful
this pencil is the best...
January 21, 2011
Verified Purchase
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
I bought this pencil,...
February 18, 2016
Verified Purchase
I bought this pencil, and the Dr. Grip Full Black pencil. I must say that the Dr. Grip is the better pencil. I originally thought that I would like this one better because it has a softer grip, but it actually makes it harder to write with than the Dr. Grip. Maybe I am just not used to this one, but I prefer the Dr. Grip, still not a bad pencil though.
Ok for this pencil, there's...
October 19, 2015
Verified Purchase
Ok for this pencil, there's a few things to take into consideration. There are 3 models of this pencil: The slim version, the regular version, and the kuru toga mech one. Honestly I think the slim version is kinda useless because this isn't even that large. The shaker mechanism does jam, but to unjam is to click the end like a normal pencil. I use f lead in this for this and i gotta say. This is my favorite, ergonomic pencil to draft with. I reccomend it
This is a great pencil,...
June 18, 2015
Verified Purchase
This is a great pencil, I really like how it works, and works so well, my favorite
Has a great feel to it,...
March 6, 2015
Verified Purchase
Has a great feel to it, sit's in you hand just right and as for me black gives it that extra umph that makes you not want to put it down. The shaker aspect as with all your similar pencils comes in very handy when you have a lot of note taking or have to write fast which at times makes you put extra pressure on the lead, a couple shakes and you're back in business.
The pen I received has...
February 12, 2015
Verified Purchase
The pen I received has a misshapen grip, which can be distracting during long writing sessions when I'm getting poked by the metal head. Other than that problem the pencil is flawless. Remember to buy an eraser or replacements for this pencil, it's a pain to get to the eraser and it's TINY. Will re-order if something happens to this one.
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