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
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.
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
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!!
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
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
For the ultimate in fine lines, I would recommend this lead in a Uni-Ball Kuru
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.
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!