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May 2, 2010
Verified Purchase
I am a sketch artist and an amateur aerospace designer and I have never come across a drafting pencil that is even half as good as these. I know that the price tag on it might seem like a bit much, to any beginning artists out there, but if I had a choice between this pencil and its weight in gold, I would be tempted to choose the pencil. More so than the gold.
I bought this model, the Shift 0.9mm Silver barrel with Red Accent, 0.5mm grade-B Uni-ball NanoDia and 0.9mm grade-B Uni-ball Shu Leads, and the E-Knock eraser. I would be more than happy to buy them all again.
The pencils are great, they might seem a bit heavy when you hold them in your hand, but when you start writing/drawing/sketching/drafting you will start noticing a key difference that makes this pencil unique (besides, of course, the Shift locking mechanism, which has yet to fail me, and its aesthetically pleasing design). The single most helpful aspect, as I believe it to be, is the weight distribution of this pencil. If I were to hold this and an X-acto knife in my hands, without looking, I couldn't tell you which one was was so precise, that it could be used to perform open-heart surgery, and which one was the X-acto knife! The majority of this pencil's weight, like a scalpel, is centered around the grip. This means that when you use it, controlling the tip of the pencil will seem like an effortless task because your fingers will naturally support the weight of the grip (where most of the weight is). If this does not make enough sense, please just take my word for it, buy one of these wonderful pencils, and see for your self just how great they are.
Now when it comes to pencil leads, I like to stick with the same brands. So it seemed only fitting for me to buy Uni-ball leads. Out of all the pencil lead brands that I have used [Foray(6/10), Pentel(8/10), Sharp(7.5/10), Ticonderoga(8/10), etc.] no brand has kept its promises as well as Uni-ball has, thus far. The 0.9mm grade-B Shu leads will only break if you intentionally overload them (or if you write like you're trying to kill the page and the desk beneath it!). The 0.5mm grade-B NanoDia leads are also pretty strong, for their size. Both lead types are extremely low wear (each lead lasts a long time before needing to be replaced) and erase very cleanly with the E-Knock, which I will get to next...
When I was looking for a good eraser I wanted to stay with the Uni-ball brand because, in the past, I learned that using one brand of lead and a different brand of eraser had a tendency to make erasing more like smudging. With the E-Knock eraser I never have that problem so long as I am erasing a mark from a Uni-ball lead. I am not currently sure how well the E-Knock erases most other brands (it doesn't erase Ticonderoga lead quite as well as it erases Uni-ball lead, I have not yet experimented with any brands other than those two), but I am fairly sure it can handle at least one or two other mainstream brand names. It erases with wonderful precision, I would recommend buying it with the Shift drafting pencil, because the eraser on the pencil doesn't look like it would last very long.
3 people found this helpful
I have this one and the...
July 19, 2011
Verified Purchase
I have this one and the silver version in 0.5 It's a cool looking pencil, and the metal grip is awesome. Give's it a bottom heavy feel.

If I were going to nitpick, it would probably be on the plastic top portion, but overall, it's that plastic that gives the bottom heavy feel the pencil. and it's awesome you can retract the tip and put it in your pocket.

If only they could combine the retractable tip + kura toga mechanism, made out of metal, that would be the ultimate pencil.
2 people found this helpful
Absolutely the best. I...
November 27, 2012
Absolutely the best.

I got this pencil a few years ago when I was in Japan - definitely one of my favorite things I got there, and absolutely the best pencil I have ever used! The weight is perfect (heavier and lower than most pencils, as has been mentioned), it has a sure grip, and the locking feature.. works. When you lock it away the tip is totally protected, and when you lock it out (ie for use) it will never close unexpectedly. Plus it's just a cool feature. Aside from that, the tip is the strongest pencil tip that I have experienced. I tend to use my pencils somewhat strongly, and this one has developed 0 problems in more than 3 years of use!
The shaft is plastic - something that I personally have no qualms about. It doesn't feel thin or weak, and is simply overall another of those perfectly designed Japanese products. I payed around $20 when I bought it and thought it was kinda pricey, but now that I've used it I would gladly pay much more. Save yourself the frustration of other pencils and just get this one!
1 person found this helpful
This is a fantastic pencil!...
May 2, 2011
Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic pencil! I bought this pencil as it has a very aesthetically pleasing design, and Uni-ball is a great pencil/pen maker. It knurled grip is very comfortable, and I personally have not found a position when writing where it is even remotely painful. The lead it comes with is Uni's NanoDia and it is strong, and smooth, it isn't the darkest lead, but it good enough for my everyday printing and cursive. The build quality is very good to excellent, the shift mechanism is smooth and easy to use. The body is made out of red plastic and it feels a little soft but it is durable and should hold up to most reasonable stresses. It's weight is centered more towards the bottom but is by no means unbalanced, and to me at least, is of a perfect weight.
1 person found this helpful
After receipt and use...
January 12, 2009
Verified Purchase
After receipt and use of the Pipe Lock pencil for several days, I believe that Uni-ball has a solid winner! The pencil is very well balanced and the knurling on the grip is just about perfect - not too course, not too fine, making it very comfortable for long periods of use. The shift lock mechanism is smooth and flawless, and is extremely useful for those of us that must stick the pencil in our pocket on a regular basis. Very well made!
1 person found this helpful
I really like this pencil...
October 11, 2010
Verified Purchase
I really like this pencil and how sterdy it is. I have bought three of these but only 0.5 but that is my personal favorite. The only complante i have is that if held wrong though the grip can kind of hurt. Otherwise i would recomend it to anyone.
My favorite MP along...
August 26, 2009
Verified Purchase
My favorite MP along with the Pentel Sharp Kerry (and the Caran d'Ache FixPencil, which JP doesn't sell). I don't use it professionally, just as an everyday mechanical pencil. Very comfortable and looks good in a pocket, too. I think this red version is the best looking of Shift Pipe line.

My only worry is how long the locking mechanism will last. It doesn't seem overly flimsy or obviously poorly made, so hopefully it will be fine for many years.
revised review: after...
March 30, 2009
Verified Purchase
revised review:
after a few weeks of use, i've noticed that the barrel near the eraser end has split, i'm not sure if it came this way, and i just noticed, or if it just formed a stress crack. I never use the erasers on my pencils, so its not likely that it's what caused the crack. the plastic used for the pencils shaft is fairly thin and soft, so i suspect it's a defect in the materials used. still a great pencil, but for the money, a better grade plastic of even a metal shaft would have made this particular pencil a lot more durable.
Beautiful addition to...
February 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
Beautiful addition to any mechanical pencil collection. Decided to go with this red version, after learning from another review that the silver finish scratches easily. It is practical and easy to spot, for its nice bright red color make it stand out among the other tools in my pencil bag. The Shift Lock mechanism works smoothly to protect the drafting sleeve: once one gets accustomed to turning it counter clockwise to set it on the working position and clockwise to close it for protected travel. It came loaded with the new Uni Nano Dia leads which I had been itching to try but were unfortunately out-of-stock when I placed my order. Not sure if they were HB, but they were certainly strong and smooth yielding nice dark lines. While I tend to be weary of knurled metal grips, I find this pencil as comfortable and well balanced as my favored Pentel Graph 1000. Uni-ball graphite offerings have never let me down, and the Shift is certainly no exception.
i was a little apprehensive...
February 2, 2009
Verified Purchase
i was a little apprehensive about ordering this particular pencil because it seemed so similar to one made by other companies available here in the states, but i went ahead and got it anyway. This has to be the best pencil i've purchased here so far, and considering how many i've purchased, that's saying something.

for me a good indication that I found the right pencil is when i forget i'm even holding it and am focused only my drawing. usually i'm fussing over the grip or the weight and feel of the pencil in my hand, but not here. the knurled grip is smooth enough to were you don't notice it, but with just enough texture to keep your fingers from slipping.

the overall size of the pencil from end to tip is about 5 3/4" inches and the knurled grip measures about an inch and a half.

the body itself is plastic. i don't know if the silver version is metal or simply painted, but the colored barrels are all plastic. that doesn't cause it to be unbalanced in anyway though. so i dont consider it a factor in it's purchase. I'm also not sure of how long the locking mechanism that retracts the tip will last, since having to click it over and over might wear it out over time.
overall its a great instrument and one i'll be using for a long time, in fact i'll be order a few more just in case i lose it or they are no longer available
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