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  I LOVE THIS PENCIL!!! ..., May 2, 2010
By Ely...
I LOVE THIS PENCIL!!!
I am a sketch artist and an amateur aerospace designer and I have never come across a drafting pencil that is even half as good as these. I know that the price tag on it might seem like a bit much, to any beginning artists out there, but if I had a choice between this pencil and its weight in gold, I would be tempted to choose the pencil. More so than the gold.
I bought this model, the Shift 0.9mm Silver barrel with Red Accent, 0.5mm grade-B Uni-ball NanoDia and 0.9mm grade-B Uni-ball Shu Leads, and the E-Knock eraser. I would be more than happy to buy them all again.
The pencils are great, they might seem a bit heavy when you hold them in your hand, but when you start writing/drawing/sketching/drafting you will start noticing a key difference that makes this pencil unique (besides, of course, the Shift locking mechanism, which has yet to fail me, and its aesthetically pleasing design). The single most helpful aspect, as I believe it to be, is the weight distribution of this pencil. If I were to hold this and an X-acto knife in my hands, without looking, I couldn't tell you which one was was so precise, that it could be used to perform open-heart surgery, and which one was the X-acto knife! The majority of this pencil's weight, like a scalpel, is centered around the grip. This means that when you use it, controlling the tip of the pencil will seem like an effortless task because your fingers will naturally support the weight of the grip (where most of the weight is). If this does not make enough sense, please just take my word for it, buy one of these wonderful pencils, and see for your self just how great they are.
Now when it comes to pencil leads, I like to stick with the same brands. So it seemed only fitting for me to buy Uni-ball leads. Out of all the pencil lead brands that I have used [Foray(6/10), Pentel(8/10), Sharp(7.5/10), Ticonderoga(8/10), etc.] no brand has kept its promises as well as Uni-ball has, thus far. The 0.9mm grade-B Shu leads will only break if you intentionally overload them (or if you write like you're trying to kill the page and the desk beneath it!). The 0.5mm grade-B NanoDia leads are also pretty strong, for their size. Both lead types are extremely low wear (each lead lasts a long time before needing to be replaced) and erase very cleanly with the E-Knock, which I will get to next...
When I was looking for a good eraser I wanted to stay with the Uni-ball brand because, in the past, I learned that using one brand of lead and a different brand of eraser had a tendency to make erasing more like smudging. With the E-Knock eraser I never have that problem so long as I am erasing a mark from a Uni-ball lead. I am not currently sure how well the E-Knock erases most other brands (it doesn't erase Ticonderoga lead quite as well as it erases Uni-ball lead, I have not yet experimented with any brands other than those two), but I am fairly sure it can handle at least one or two other mainstream brand names. It erases with wonderful precision, I would recommend buying it with the Shift drafting pencil, because the eraser on the pencil doesn't look like it would last very long.
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