Review – Pentel Twist-Erase Click

When looking at all of the options for mechanical pencils, one will inevitably come to the conclusion at some point that there just has to be a more efficient way to do the things mechanical pencils do. Fortunately, Pentel has you covered with the Pentel Twist-Erase click mechanical pencil, which hopefully is a lot more convenient than all of those other pencils you find around.

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The top of the pencil starts with the eraser, which has a small turning ring around the bottom that can be twisted to extend the eraser as the name implies. The eraser is very long, extending to a least five times its original length. Below that is a tight, functional metal clip that holds well and is held in place by a piece of plastic. On the same lateral space is the information about the pencil, where all necessary information is written in a fairly out-of-the-way manner. Below this is a rather interesting curved breaking point in the pencil which will separate and allow the lead to be inserted. Then we get to the side-mounted click mechanism, which is placed both just above and in place of the rubber grip section.  The button has a few grooves to ease pushing, but is otherwise smooth. The grip section is a thin rubber that does not let ones’ fingers slide but does not give to create something super comfortable. It is functional. Then there is a semi-transparent cone, leading to the thin metal tube that the lead will dispense out of.

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The two main features of the pencil work well. The eraser twisting is easy if not buttery smooth.  The pencil comes with several additional erasers which are just fine for what they are, though they won’t fully remove a hard pencil line. The side-click mechanism is easy to use, and out of the way enough that it doesn’t affect normal writing. The standard lead is HB and is really nothing special. It writes well, without any flaws that stick out. There is no shock absorption, so the lead is more likely to break than in a pencil with such a feature, but that really isn’t an issue. There are a few pieces of lead already in the pencil and it comes with a replacement container.

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Really, if one is looking for a different mechanical pencil, or specifically for a longer eraser or a side advance, on a budget, this is easily the best model. There are really no frills or problems, it just functions as advertised. Sure, there are more expensive models that could do better, but one would have to pay a premium for such items. For the sake of convenience I would definitely look into and consider the Pentel Twist-Erase Click.

Review – Yellow Dollar General HB No.2 Pencils

By: Austin Smith

All right, on to the art-making things. Let’s start with pencils, specifically HB or No.2 pencils. The ones I’m reviewing today are from dollar general and are 10 cents apiece. So they’re the cheap, starting pencil.

The pencils are small and light, roughly 6 and 3/4 inches to start, with about a half inch eraser. The wood is cheap, it’s splintery and rough. The paint is applied poorly, with parts flaking off and wood showing through, but it does its job and the letters are easy enough to read. The eraser is all right, it erases, but not all the way. Usable for sketches and writing. The eraser is hard and sometimes smears the graphite instead of erasing.

But that is all roughly cosmetic. One can get other erasers and the paint does its job. It’s really about the graphite. And that’s hard to screw up. HB’s are a fairly hard pencil, really medium, leaning to the soft end. They’re easy to draw with and give a large amount of control. The lead is not brittle, and stays in its wooden case. The pencil is suitable for sketches and of course writing like its main use in schools.

The wood being cheap makes it difficult to sharpen, making it lean more to one side or the other, the lead is also slightly off center. It’s cheap, but usable.

This pencil is a nice cheap way to sketch. And is useful in creating a draft for a sketch to be inked later. It being cheap it is available but it is also cheap, not the best pencil available. It does its job but it’s nothing spectacular.