The pictures of the Kerry are nice, but one cannot fully appreciate the good
looks of this pencil until they see it in person. The body is plastic, but
really looks metallic until you actually pick it up and hold it. For its size,
it's got a nice weight to it, but is well balanced. The cap is metal and
contains the eraser. The inner barrel that holds the lead is also made of metal.
Since this pencil is capped, it is pocket safe, which gives it a good advantage
over many other pencils. Overall a great pencil.
This lead came as quite a surprise to me. I didn't think there was much
competition to Pentel's Ain lead, but Pilot has made this lead the way I like
it: dark and smooth. It's darker than your average HB grade lead, to boot.
Consequently, it smudges a little more easily. However, seeing as how I like a
HB lead that's this dark and smooth, it fits the bill perfectly.
6 pieces for $3.50 is quite a deal, at least for where I live. (10 pieces of
Faber-Castell cost me $9.25.) The lead is all I could ask for: it writes smooth
and consistently, and leaves a nice dark line. Compared to Faber-Castell and
Staedtler lead of the same hardness it's noticeably darker, and consequently it
wears down a little faster, but not by much. The lead can fit with the stopper
in my Staedtler Mars 780 and my Rotring 300, though it has to be modified to fit
into a Caran d'Ache Fixpencil 22. Compared to Caran d'Ache's lead, which isn't
easy to find and costs quite a bit when found, the Uni lead costs about half as
much for the same amount and of the same quality.
Boxy is similar to the roller ball pens sold by Uni-ball in the US. From my
observations, it writes a bit smoother, the ink flow is a bit more consistent
and the ink itself seems to be more vibrant. The ink dries pretty quick, though
being that I'm a righty I'm not sure how well this would do in the hands of a
southpaw. It's not anything like the Pilot Hi-Tec-C or the Pentel Slicci, but it
gets the job done.
This is probably about as close as you can get to combining the everyday
usability and practicallity of a mechanical pencil with the charm, looks and
natural feel of a woodcase pencil. The obvious standout here is the wood. The
deep red-stained wood (which Pilot claims to be Kabazai cherry wood grown in
Hokkaido, though this is disputed) looks wonderful and feels great in the hands,
being very smooth and having a sort of natural "warmth" to it. The pencil itself
is balanced very nicely, and is light but not insubstantial. With these two
working in concert, it makes for a very smooth writing experience. Even note
taking in class becomes less of a chore. Definitely a pencil for the entusiast
or the professional looking for something that looks more natural rather than a
The Smash lives up to its position as one of the three pencils of those referred
to as "Pentel's Wonders." For being mostly plastic, except for the guide pipe,
clip and the inner lead storage tube (at least from basic observation), the
pencil has a nice weight to it and is properly balanced. The rubber matrix is
comfortable and provides a good grip. The plastic is also of a good quality.
Aesthetically, its understated looks are great, in that stealth-black unassuming
look, but it is anything but. A great pencil for both writing and drafting.