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Reviews Written by jus...

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Uni Kuru Toga Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil - 0.5 mm - Black Body - UNI M54501P.24
  This pencil is intriguing,..., December 3, 2013
This pencil is intriguing, that's for sure.

The tradeoff for the kuru-toga feature is a pencil that feels "loose" in your hand, like you have less control over the lead.

The Kuru-Toga engine works as advertised, albeit with some caveats:
-- Don't use a lead that's too soft (H or harder works best)
-- Don't hold the pencil with too much departure from vertical.

On the latter point, it's simply that the mechanism requires a certain amount of pressure to operate. If you have a light touch and hold the pencil low to the paper, the mechanism won't activate. But if you hold it closer to vertical (as the Japanese do!), or use a heavier touch, it activates just fine and works as advertised.

Overall the pencil feels cheap, but good enough for daily use. I think I prefer the precision feel of my Staedlers overall, but I'd buy another KuruToga compared to other cheap pencils.
Lamy Fountain Pen Nib - Black Finish - Medium - LAMY LZ50BK-M
  Butter smooth! The smoothness..., June 5, 2011
Butter smooth! The smoothness change compared to the original EF on my Safari was remarkable. It's much wetter, though. While that makes it much smoother, it also means it's more picky on some papers. Cheaper papers will feather more readily.
Lamy Calligraphy Pen Nib - 1.5 mm - LAMY LZ50-1.5
  Works very well on my..., June 5, 2011
Works very well on my Joy with J. Herbin Perle Noire ink. It's more challenging to use than a round nib, but the appearance is very cool. I want to try the 1.9mm now!
Lamy Joy Calligraphy Fountain Pen - 1.5 mm Nib Width - Black Body - LAMY L15-1.5
  For the price, it's amazing...., June 5, 2011
For the price, it's amazing. While it is a little weird that they made it so much longer than a Safari, much of the basic layout is pure Safari/All-Star/Vista. In fact, everything from the barrel threads forward is basically Safari. Balance is good, nib is SMOOTH. This is my first italic nib, so I was seeing occasionally some skipping when I first started a letter. Then I realized that I wasn't holding it square to the paper (and the nib wasn't centered on the feed).
This pen's nib really made my writing much more legible when I write cursive. I have terrible writing and every bit helps. Feed/Flow is excellent with J. Herbin Perle Noire ink. I tried this nib on my Safari loaded with Bay State Blue, and it was awesome on that, too. I want to get all the Lamy nibs now! This pen is a killer, killer bargain at the JetPens price. Converter included!!
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen - Extra Fine Nib - Blue Body - LAMY L14EF
  Wonderful pen. The EF..., May 13, 2011
Wonderful pen. The EF point is a little "dry" in the writing, and hasn't really broken in yet. I'm using Nooder's Bay State Blue (the bluest blue I have ever seen) and it seems to feed very well.

The pen is very sensitive to the kind of paper. If you use it on a high quality paper, it is super smooth and wonderful (it's a dream on a Rhodia dotpad). On cheap paper, it is very scratchy and seems to feed very differently. I think EF nibs are more demanding of paper finish, while a F or M nib wouldn't be so picky.
Uni Hi-Uni Hi-Density Pencil Lead - 0.3 mm - 2H - UNI UHU033002H
  Not a lot of love is..., February 7, 2011
Not a lot of love is given to a 2H lead, but this is remarkably smooth for a 2H. First, it is very break resistant (in a cheapish plastic Staedtler 925).

It's capable of some very fine lines, so it's perfect for super-small writing (compact notes, for example). With harder leads, the less tooth the paper has, the better. For notes like in a Bible or other book with similarly high quality paper, it's excellent.

It's also very erasable, so if you are doing a preliminary sketch, it's a good choice.

For the ultimate in fine lines, I would recommend this lead in a Uni-Ball Kuru Toga pencil.
Pentel Stein Enhanced Silica Pencil Lead - 0.5 mm - 4H - PENTEL C275-4H
  Ok, it's a 4H. So if..., February 5, 2011
Ok, it's a 4H. So if you bought this lead expecting to get a discount at the next county fair, you will be disappointed:)

Seriously, though this is a hard lead that is remarkably strong. One common complaint against hard leads is that once they wear to a chisel point, the sharp point can grab the paper and cause lead breakage.

Well, this stuff is strong enough that it's more likely to tear the paper than to break. Newsprint or similarly cheap paper is a bad idea, as this lead isn't the right tool for that.

It's not very dark (which is why you buy this lead), but it is remarkably less scratchy than I expected. Heretofore, the hardest lead I had regularly used was a Mars 2H in 2mm.

I would say this lead is about as smooth as the Mars 2H--not nearly as scratchy as a 4H has a right to be.

Also, it is a 4H, so it wears like iron. This one tube will probably be willed to my kids.

All in all, pretty impressive for an uber-hard 0.5mm lead.
Staedtler Silver Series 2 mm Lead Holder - STAEDTLER 92525-20
  Finally got mine. It's..., February 5, 2011
Finally got mine. It's sweet! It really changes the feel of working with 2mm lead, giving the sturdiness and precision that even well-made plastic lead holders seem not to deliver.

No problems with anything coming loose. The quality of the grip area is phenomenal-- it's really much smoother than it looks. It's very high friction, but the pattern is cut shallow enough that it doesn't seem to dig into your skin and cause pain.

The only downside to this thing is that it made me want another one-- this time in that cool new dark blue color!

I see it at pixiemall, can't Jetpens get it?
Uni Mitsubishi Lead Holder Refill - 2 mm - H - Pack of 6 - UNI ULNH
  These were the last Uni..., February 5, 2011
These were the last Uni 2mm leads I tried. This grade may be H according to Uni, but it\'s blacker like most other makes HBs or Fs.

It\'s still rather smooth. For example, compare it to a Mars 2H from Staedtler, and you\'d swear they were 4 or 5 grade apart, rather than one-- the Mars is *much* less smooth than the Uni.

For general writing and note-taking, it\'s the best 2mm lead I have found. It\'s still dark enough to be useful, but last a long time between re-sharpenings.

I\'m using this in a Staedtler 925 25 20, which is not sharpener-friendly, so I tend to part a little harder grade in that unit.

To echo \"betolung\", these Uni leads really are fantastic value. The compare favorably (or better) to leads much more expensive.
Uni Mitsubishi Lead Holder Refill - 2 mm - B - Pack of 6 - UNI ULNB
  Awesome lead-- once you..., December 30, 2010
Awesome lead-- once you sample the Uni Ball leads, it's hard to settle for anything else. They seem darker in each grade than other leads I have experienced (disclaimer: not much experience)
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