I've been experimenting...
October 14, 2012
I've been experimenting with many drawing instruments purchased from JetPens for
eight months now, but this is the first review I've written here--the Pro-Use II
has inspired me.
When I found out there was something beyond mechanical pencils--namely drafting
pencils--I went about finding out everything I could about them online. I was
after one with a thick, solid grip, because I felt that would be easier
ergonomically. After much looking around and reading reviews, it became clear
that the Platinum Pro-Use II was the only choice.
When I received it I was surprised by just how short it is, but I have somewhat
small hands, and after a few days of adjusting, it now feels almost like a part
of me. The biggest adjustment was actually the balance; the short length makes
it forward weighted, which was quite different than what I came to realize was
the back-weighting of the long, decades-old (and still in great shape!) Pentel
PD345 mechanical pencil I'd been using, which was further backweighted by a
larger eraser stuck on the end. But I've found that the forward weighting of the
Pro-Use II is the way to go--it inclines toward the drawing board and seems to
make lines with almost no effort from me! In fact, from the very first drawing I
made with it, I noticed an improvement in my drawing over what I'd been doing
previously. I'm sure this is mostly a mental thing...but given the drawing
improvement I've noticed since getting it, I can't help viewing this pencil as
something almost magical.
The construction is cool, lightweight, and as solid as I can imagine is
possible, despite the fact that if you want you can unscrew various parts and
pare the pencil down to just the tip, grip, and inner lead-holding tube. Aside
from that inner tube, which is plastic, the rest of the body seems to be very
finely milled aluminum. By unscrewing the end of the pencil, you can remove the
pocket clip, although I've left mine on since it prevents the Pro-Use II from
rolling away when placed on a flat surface. There is a very tiny eraser under
the end cap, which I have not tried using and do not intend to, since I prefer
using standalone block erasers.
My favorite part of the Pro-Use II is the grip: nice and thick, initially cool
to the touch, and knobbed with those lovely gentle undulating ribs that just
seem made for fingertips to grasp with easy security--there's absolutely no
slipping, sliding, squishing or grating like you may get with just about any
other type of pencil grip. The Pro-Use II grip is a marvelous invention that
should go down as a landmark in writing instrument design.
I'm a comic artist and the Pro-Use II has been my primary, daily drawing
instrument for the past six weeks, during which time I've only come to like and
admire it more and more. I use Pentel Super Hi-Polymer 0.5 mm H leads in it,
which are pretty easy to find just about anywhere, and haven't had a single lead
break or jam, despite having clumsily struck the tip of the pencil against the
lower lip of my drawing table on numerous occasions.
Scans of a few pencil layouts I've done with the Pro-Use II:
http://smbhax.com/stuff/121009e17d102p.jpg (approx 16.5" wide)
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