I thought it looked nice in the preview images, but when I received it - woah.
My inner architect is having a field day! Gorgeous form and function, the switch
mechanism works smoothly as butter, and the metal body feels nice and gives the
reassurance that it probably won't break in a fall. The only setbacks are that
there isn't a set "closed" setting - the tips retract in between the various
tools, and it *might* accidentally pop out if you nudge the pen. The matte paint
job also seems like it would scratch easily (as noted in the description), and
of course the pen's weighty price point. Regardless, I love it.
Purchased this and a 12 pack of the B grade, because all I had left were tubes
of Staedtler 2H and 4H. Not fun to sketch with!
Having only used one other brand of 2mm leads (Staedtler's), I'll state that
these leads are quite good. They seem slightly more brittle than their Staedtler
counterparts though, and sharpening via both a handheld (the miniature Uni
bought on this site) and a rotary yields a less accurate point.
Of course, regardless of how pointy you can get a lead, it vanishes after a few
marks on paper, and after that the Rotring lead performs as well as any other.
Shading is consistent and lead feels strong. At less than $0.75 a lead it's
cheaper than a pencil, and performs just as well without the pencil shavings.
I've had this pencil for a year and three months now, and for some reason
experienced none of the problems other reviewers on this site had. For a year
this pencil was not just sitting on a drawing table. It was on the floor, held
during sketching trips, dropped, used for miscellaneous purposes, etc. And even
now every function works like it was purchased yesterday. Retractable lead pipe
cover works, lead length adjustment works, lead dispensing works. Probably the
only thing that is off is the lettering - expect nearly all the printed black
text to have worn off after a year of continuous use.
I don't know why this thing gets so much criticism - maybe I'm lucky.
The Uni Pin line, being a technical pen and all, is on par with the Microns that
my fellow Architecture students use. I didn't actually get my Uni Pin from this
site, instead while shopping at a stationery store in Hong Kong a few years
back. Needless to say, I wished I bought in bulk when I had the chance.
Uniform line width, solid color
Useful steel guide pipe
Acrylic window on the cap is a nice touch, although it does get dirty
Loved the sleek, matte black finish and no-nonsense livery
Cheaper than the Micron line
Tip is fragile; mine bent a bit, then retracted into the housing after
significant use (around a year)
Labels may not be aligned perfectly with pen body - but hardly a concern
All in all, a great product. The logo on the pen changed slightly from my
three-year old copy, but I'd still love to buy some.
I bought the current variant of this pencil around 6 months ago as an
architecture student, when I finally tired of colorful disposables. I won't
bother with initial experiences, because it hardly matters. What matters is
that after 6 months of continuous use it still runs smoothly, and in that period
it has endured endless note-taking, drafting and sketching.
All of the engineered functions - guide pipe length adjustor, lead length
adjustor, lead grade indicator - still work great. The lead length adjustor
tends to occasionally stick to the extreme settings if you push it too far, but
isn't a problem if you remember to not tighten it at all. I thought the grip
would be annoying as it rotated back and forth, but it isn't. It doesn't move,
even if you keep it in a moderate setting.
Some disappointments - The lead grade setting is a sticker, and the knob that
sets it in place is hard to center; you have to keep three parts in place as you
screw it in, so that the "HB" looks centered in the tiny window. Ditto with the
clip adjustment - it's hard to screw the clip back on if you adjust it, due to
the tiny knob. Construction-wise, the lead tube is ABS plastic, and due to its
slightly smaller diameter and materiality, the cap tends to look skewed when
looked at, because it's stuck right on to the ABS tube. Disturbing if you're an
aesthetic nazi, but no structural problems.
Regardless, it's a great pencil, and an excellent example of taking risks in
development. It felt heavy at first use, but now I barely feel it - it's
replaced my entire compliment of other drafting pencils.