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June 22, 2013
I ordered this not knowing...
I ordered this not knowing what to expect given the lack of reviews. Based on how great the Maruman Mnemosyne notebook paper is, I figured this would be on the same level. The price also seemed to indicate really high quality.
When I examined the sketchbook (it's really more of a pad than a book) I noticed that it's not much more than semi-transparent vellum paper with a very light grey grid on it. The paper is neutral white with a slight tooth and it's very thin. The paper is also super sensitive to heat and warps easily when you rest your hand on it.
It's not bad paper, but the price is way off the mark of what it should be. There are other papers out there that offer superior drawing characteristics, durability, and resistance to heat that don't cost half as much. The pad itself is also very fragile.
Not sure why these pads are priced so high, but I don't see anything about this paper to warrant the cost. Not recommended.
June 22, 2013
This is seriously good...
This is seriously good pencil lead. It's super smooth, fast, and dark. This and the Hi-Uni are, in my opinion, the best leads available here. It's also at least as strong as any other lead that I've tried (I don't really break leads no matter how cheap they are, so I can't comment on strength.)
I've tried most every lead on Jetpens and if I had to choose only one brand, it would probably be this one. Hi-Uni is a very close second, and maybe even just as good, but that's more subjective than anything.
3 people found this helpful
May 24, 2013
Best all-around drafting...
Best all-around drafting pencil I've ever used.
Compared to all the modern-day greats, such as the Rotring 600, Graphgear 1000, Rapidomatic, Rapid Pro, Kuru Toga, and even Ohto's own Super-Promecha, this is the best all-around pencil I've ever used.
The weight is perfect, the grip (older style, no longer offered here at Jetpens) is perfectly knurled without being too smooth or too rough, and the internal parts are brass with plastic for the lead sleeve to keep the weight down. The retractable tip via rotating grip is less awkward than the auto-on style of the Graphgear and Rapid Pro, in that you don't have to worry about plastic wearing out or having to manually push back the lead sleeve to retract it. It twists in or out and the action is solid. The lead sleeve is almost on par with the laser-precise internals of the Pentels, in that there is no lead wobble at all. The eraser is decent, but just a Mars plastic imitation which can be replaced anyway.
The balance is also spot on, much like the Rapidomatics of old, which were (until now) the most well-balanced pencils I'd used. You pick this up and it makes other drafting pencils feel strange all of a sudden, because they got it right with this one. The Super-Promecha is too long, too heavy and frankly is no longer of serious quality after the latest revision.
I bought three of these to keep for a lifetime of drawing, since they're phasing out this older design. Again, best all-around pencil I've ever used.
2 people found this helpful
May 8, 2013
The weight and build...
The weight and build quality of this pencil is fairly good, but not the best. The lead sleeve isn't as snug as, say, a Pentel and it's not as solid as the Rotring pencils, but on par with the price.
The biggest concern I have is that Ohto decided to revise the entire pencil apparently without notifying anyone. If you bought this pencil back at the end of 2012, you may have one of the "older" models with a more pronounced knurled grip and chalkier finish.
The latest iteration of these pencils have a super smooth and noticably shiner aluminum finish, rounded corners on the adjustment window near the middle of the pencil and most importantly - the knurled grip is no longer a knurled grip in functionality, but only in looks. It's as though they missed a step in the manufacturing process and didn't create a 3d surface in the knurling part. It's basically just a smooth aluminum surface with channels or grooves cut where there should be knurling. The end result is a grip that is very slippery and quite honestly not on par with the previous version of this pencil.
Can't recommend it anymore, even though it used to be a really nice pencil. If they fix the grip, it'll be fantastic again.
April 23, 2013
Lots of people use qualifiers...
Lots of people use qualifiers in their reviews for this pencil such as "yeah, it's heavy, but it's not meant to be used for writing. It's a drafting pencil." It's definitely well-built, and some areas are solid brass. But it's prohibitively heavy. If the body and grip were a bit larger in diameter (like the Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic) the weight would be more managable. It's just too thin and heavy to be usable, in my opinion.
It's a beautiful pencil and extremely well made, but it's too unwieldy to be used as a daily writing or drawing instrument. After using this pencil for 15 mins and then picking up another drafting pencil, you'll notice the difference in weight immediately. It's substantial.
The lead sleeve is also the weakest area of this pencil, being bested by the Pentel Graphgear series in quality. I really want to like the 600 series, but the weight keeps it off my list.
April 22, 2013
The positive reviews...
The positive reviews are right. This is definitely one of the best mechanical pencils out there. In my experience, Pentel has the best lead sleeves by far. The lead sticks are so snug within the sleeve that it seems as though Pentel has a higher standard for manufacturing tolerances than other companies. Even the Rotring 600 and Rapid PRO series don't have this type of precision in the lead sleeve. So, rest assured, this pencil has that type of build quality (at least in the sleeve area).
Oddly, this seems to be a pencil that was built by visual designers. Whereas, say, the Ohto Super Promecha looks like a group of mechanical engineers got together and came up with the idea of turning an adjustable wrench into a pencil, the GraphGear 1000 looks like a team of graphic designers did an "exquisite corpse" project with a mechanical pencil. It's at once midcentury modern, 80's mod, early 2000's minidisc, etc. etc. Aesthetically, it doesn't really coordinate with itself, and yet it does. It's eccentric and cool.
Weight is in the center, which might be the only serious usability drawback. I prefer a front-heavy pencil (GraphGear 500, SuperPromecha, etc.) It's not a dramatic thing, but you do feel the top end of the pencil trying to force the tip away from the writing surface ever so slightly while writing or drawing. It isn't nearly as bad as the Rotring Rapid PRO, which I found to be almost unusable because of its strange balance and length.
Also, the plastic area underneath the retracting mechanism seems reliable, but plastic is plastic and there is a lot of torque in the spring used to keep the lead sleeve open. Sooner or later, it'll fail. Hopefully not within a couple decades, but it's tough to rate a pencil in this area without using it first.
The silicon ovals inlaid in the grip are nice and they do add a bit of mushy comfort, but I wish they weren't there. I tend to like all metal drafting pencils because there's a sense that they'll last indefinitely. With the silicon grip area, there's always a chance of deterioration in the future.
1 person found this helpful