April 22, 2013
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.
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