August 7, 2011
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.