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Average Customer Review
 4.3 (53 customer reviews)
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November 4, 2011
As someone who has a...
As someone who has a degree in Industrial Design, I just love highly technical pencils. So I bought two of these (black and silver), and they are now my preferred pencils out of my collection (more than 30, mostly contemporary, with some NOS vintage ones). These are very handsome pencils, especially in black (the silver version is a little less slick looking, just because of the color).

The lead really rotates, and you indeed end up with more even lines and a cleaner writing as a result of the mechanism. The grip area is really well made, out of high quality and precisely machined aluminum, with very precise tolerances; the genuine attention to quality shines! A little window in the the grip area is open to (barely) show a (very) small part of the inner mechanism; on this orange plastic part of the mechanism, there is a printed Kuru Toga logo that wheels past by, while you use the pencil and the mechanism become active.

There is a slightest 'floating point' feeling to the lead, as the little black part on the tip, to which the lead rod is attached (see the close up picture of the nib), is directly mounted to the internal 'Kuru Toga Engine', which is a spring-loaded clutch. That black part hence 'moves' inside the pencil for a fraction of a millimeter (you barely see it) each time you hit the paper, activating the spring-loaded clutch, which rotates the lead. But in all honesty, if you don't concentrate to see it and feel it, you don't really notice. I hope this internal engine is made of wear-proof plastic (such as Polyamide-imides - check it out on Wikipedia), and has been rated to write for a long time, as I sometimes wonder what will happen if the internal clutch's ratchet teeth become dull.

Two things I regret on this pencil: I wish the upper part of the body was also made of the same nicely machined aluminum, and I wish they had put a more, I don't know, "hi-tech" looking clip. Then this pencil would be the p-e-r-f-e-c-t mechanical pencil!

As it is, at the price, this is the best value out there, as far as mechanical pencils are concerned. I plan to buy several more, as I am too afraid that Uni will either stop making this particular model (aluminum is expensive!), or lower the quality of the inner components in the next iteration of the pencils.

17 people found this helpful
razavisdump
 
July 11, 2011
I just bought this, as...
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I just bought this, as well as the Pipe Shift Uni pencil. I actually like the Pipe shift better kind of, it's really close tie.

This pencil is more evenly balanced, and the mechanism that gives a straight line is really cool. I had to write and pay attention to notice the feature though, some may not notice it. But you can see the lines are more consistent etc...

The ONLY reason I give it 4 starts instead of 5 is because it's not 100% metal body, only the bottom half is. And the "nib" is not retractable, though I know that would be difficult to do since it already has the other mechanism in it.

This is an incredibly solid pencil, and annihilates any other pencil you would find in the USA (I'm from Indiana) or wal-mart Etc...

I do prefer the Pipe shift for some odd reason though; i think it's a different concept and I like the fact that I don't have to worry about breaking the nib.

You really can't go wrong with any of these pencils from Uni. I plan to get some more in different colors, and maybe try out the Pentel graphgear

10 people found this helpful
albertopizano
 
January 4, 2012
Very high quality mechanical...
Very high quality mechanical pencil at a good price compared to what I have seen. What I love about these pencils that have the Kuru Toga engine, and it actually works! I have been collecting pencils for a while and this pencil has been standing out quite well. It has a nice weight to it and it has pretty good balance. I just wish that this had a full metal (aluminum, I guess,) body. I don't know if anybody else is experiencing the same thing, but my only complaint is that the eraser cap, after some time, gets kind of loose and even to the point that sometimes when you are flipping it over to use the eraser it would just fly off.

8 people found this helpful
 
February 15, 2012
This pencil is Wonderful....
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This pencil is Wonderful. I would so give it a five, but there are certain no-no's but it's not that big of a deal. Tbh, i would give it a 4.5, not a 4, but since the rating system only have whole numbers...
Well I remember that someone had already address the issue about the mechanism's function. True that it's an amazing mechanism; i use it and it certain did the work, but like when putting at an angle and that you don't press the pencil down for the mechanism to move, the pencil's lead will get somewhat dull until you lift the pencil up. Still, i kinda write things and put pressure on the pencil, so this isn't a bad thing for me, but something i write lightly, so this happens. Still, it's a wonderful pencil, it works the way it suppose to work, i've been writing with this pencil ever since i got it from the mail. i didn't have to turn my pencils around all the time.
The appearance of this pencil is very nice, slick, cool, slim, and really smooth. Some people say that it's not different from high grade version, to me I don't have that, but from the look of it, this design was made for people that want a better grip of the pencil. I've heard elsewhere that the high grade was made of silicon materials, and some people lost the grip while holding the pencil.
To me, i like the grip, i slip my pencils a lot so i was glad i ordered this version. And also, I like the look of this version better. The high grade one isn't aesthetically appealing to me... (lol).
Imo, you should really take care of the pencil. The price isn't a cheap price for a pencil, but it was worth it (for me and for those who likes to write nicely and neatly). The technology of this pencil is top notch, and it's also a beautiful pencil. Nobody want to lose their $ right? :]

7 people found this helpful
kohane369
 
June 5, 2013
This is one of the best...
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This is one of the best mechanical pencils I have ever purchased and I highly recommend it!

The pencil has many positives. The first being the rotating mechanism works flawlessly consistently providing a nice sharp tip albeit it takes a bit of getting used to as I'm accustomed to rotating pencils in my hand to keep the tip sharp so it might take you a while to get used to relearn how to held your pencil as you write. The second positive is the build of the pencil. I lost my first one because somebody stole it so I went to the local supply store and bought a regular kuru toga (the plastic one). The plastic one feels cheap and not nearly as well constructed so it is definitely worth the extra money for the metal version. Lastly the pencil has a nice balenced weight in your hand and doesn't feel too bulky, which is why I won't deduct points for the upper half being made of plastic because that might make it bulkier and not feel so perfect in your hands

The only negative that I can thing of is the gunmetal versions grip. The grip is made of metal and being an engineer I'm used to holding a metal grip in my pencils instead of rubber. But the kuru toga grip is a bit more gritty if that makes any sense(akin to a nair file...sorta) so you will rub of some skin using it. This isn't a functional problem and is a lot less bad than I make it sound because you can certainly use this for extended periods of time in comfort. The biggest issue with this is in the gunmetal version you will get white streaks of skin cells in the grip section so my biggest problem is that it lowers the aesthetic beauty and you gotta keep cleaning it thats why I recommend the white version so this isn't a problem. The last negative is that the tip doesn't retract meaning you can't have you pencil in your pocket for immediate use.

2 people found this helpful
kuroshmoshfegh
 
January 6, 2013
There have been comments...
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There have been comments about the looseness or "play" in the end of pencil around the lead pipe. The roulette is the second Kuru Toga I have used and both have the same characteristic. I find that it does not present a problem when I write a lot, such as when I take notes or write printed words on a paper. Where I find it unacceptable is when I am working math problems or doing any type of precise drawing, such as electrical schematic symbols or mechanical drawings. The slight movement of the pencil's lead pipe makes it difficult to draw straight lines or lines that are in close proximity when precision is required. I normally switch to a drafting pencil for those uses.

The main benefit to me of the KT is that I don't have to rotate the pencil around to keep a sharp edge on the paper. This, of course is what makes the pencil unique. It works exactly as advertised. Presently, I am using it for most of my writing because of this benefit.

The biggest drawback which I have not heard mentioned, is that the pencil only seems to hold a total of two leads. Moreover, when the pencil is completely empty of leads, and after you insert the first one, the second lead will not go down into the interior of the pencil far enough to let you push the eraser into place without contacting the protruding lead. To get the second lead to go down far enough, you have to put the end cap on without the eraser in and click several times to get it to move down some distance. After all this, you can finally put in the eraser and replace the end cap. I assume there is something about the design of these pencils that only allows them to hold a few leads. If not, then I have been unlucky enough to have bought two defective units out of two.

As far as I know there is no way to completely disassemble the pencil to find out if there is lead jammed up inside it that may be keeping it from holding more lead.

If you write a lot with a pencil and you can deal with the drawbacks mentioned, I think you will be satisfied with the Kuru Toga.

2 people found this helpful
david38261
 
July 29, 2012
Overhyped Auto lead...
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Overhyped

Auto lead rotation is a great concept and I decided to give the Kuru Toga Roulette a try. Upon using it, however, I've realized it's not for me.

I write in small block letters and try to be very neat and precise. The slight movement of the tip (about 1 mm) that triggers the lead rotation might sound insignificant, but it's enough to give the pencil a spongy, slightly unstable feeling in use. This makes it harder to write precisely and it's tiring as the hand tries to compensate for the sponginess by varying downward pressure. If they came up with a way to rotate the lead with no tip movement, that could be a winner, but as it is now, it's somewhat of a gimmick IMHO.

For different writing styles, it may work well. It's probably well suited to writing in Chinese or Japanese characters (flowing, angular strokes) or cursive.

The pencil does what it was designed to do. Lines are indeed a bit sharper and more consistent in thickness with this pencil. Whether this is worth the awkward feel depends on the user. Most people have a habit of rotating the pencil anyway, when it feels like the tip of the lead has flattened out. Fit and finish are nice, but could be better (for example an all metal barrel) for the price.

My order also included a Uni-ball Shift Pipe and a Uni-ball Alpha Gel Slim, both of which I much prefer over the Roulette (they're also priced similarly). If you want to try a Toga, I'd suggest going with the cheaper version first.

If anyone wants a Roulette in mint condition, look for my soon-to-be posted listing on ebay!

4 people found this helpful
 
December 3, 2011
I don't get all the hype...
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I don't get all the hype over this pencil, or its "Kuru Toga" mechanism... First off, the pencil's action is kinda sloppy: there a lot of dead play when you push the cap before it engages the clutch and moves the lead out. You feel and hear a cheap spring compressing at the top of the movement. Its *click* sounds thin, cheap and imprecise. You're far from the positive action characteristic of well engineered pencils.

The barrel is not bad, but I wish the top part were also metal. The tiny bit of plastic surrounding the lead pipe looks out of place in a $16 pencil.

As for "Kuru Toga", it's more of a novelty gadget than a useful feature, in my opinion. It's picky about the angle at which you hold the pencil: too shallow and the mechanism won't engage, too steep and the benefits of a rotating lead are negated. It never seems to keep up with my writing and I need to rotate the pencil myself anyway. My particular pencil will also always stop rotating after 3/4 turns, requiring me to push the lead with considerable pressure to restart it. However, I suspect this latter problem is a very rare issue.

I'm giving this one away. On the plus side, the lead this pencil comes loaded with is fantastic. I'll be buying some to use in other pencils.

5 people found this helpful
bdeshaies
 
July 21, 2014
The roulette mechanism...
The roulette mechanism is a good idea, but it comes at the expense of an ungainly pencil made of cheap materials. All of the upper part of the barrel, cap and clip are made of disposable ballpoint-quality materials. The conical part at the bottom (what is that called?) is blocky and angular, an inelegant and cumbersome design, and so the quarter-inch at the bottom isn't gnurled. If you don't mind the poor quality of this as an object, this might be the pencil for you. Works well. Of course, for three dollars more you can have a Staedtler Silver Series, which is a beautiful pen with a perfect mechanism.

1 person found this helpful
 
March 18, 2014
Great pencil. Rotating...
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Great pencil. Rotating mechanism works well.

Two problems:
1. after using this for a few hours of work, the fat of my pointer finger gets irritated because of the somewhat-pointy grip pattern. It's not a soft plastic, so perhaps a cushion would be a good add-on.
2. I know this is a given with high-quality mechanical pencils, but the eraser wears out very, very quickly. Even while erasing just a few numbers or letters, chunks begin to peel off.

Other than that, great purchase.

1 person found this helpful