Pentel Sharp Kerry Review

The Pentel Sharp Kerry represents one of the most elegant mechanical pencils manufactured today, all for a very reasonable price.  If styling is your thing, this is a pencil for you.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it is also functional as well!

The Pentel Sharp Kerry is modelled after a two-piece classic ballpoint or fountain pen design.  The entire body is smooth and brightly colored except for a textured silver metal piece in the middle.  “Kerry Since 1971” is on one side of the base of the cap and “Pentel 0.5 P1035 Japan” just opposite of it.  The pencil also comes in 0.7 mm lead size.  It comes in many colors, including red (my school color so I went with it), royal blue, gray, pink, black and olive green.  I have my eye on the olive green one. 😉

20141115_093557 20141115_093625 20141115_093633

The Kerry is just a really cool design.  The cap closes over the lead sleeve to make it pocket safe.  The lead sleeve is shorter than a classic drafting pencil.  It clocks in at about half the length of the Pentel Sharp.  With the cap completely off, the pencil can be used as any other, pressing the top to advance lead.  The top of this part of the pencil comes out to reveal the lead loading tube. My pencil comes pre-loaded with six leads: very generous.

The really nifty thing about the design is that you can put the cap on the end of the pencil while the lead sleeve is exposed and still use the pencil fully as intended.  The cap has a plunger that, when combined with the lower half of the pencil, advances the plunger on the lower half.  In addition, the cap plunger comes apart to reveal a standard white plastic drafting eraser that is replaceable.

The grip of the Kerry has no texture unless you choose to hold it “high.”  The pencil is much wider than a standard pencil, mimicking a fountain or ballpoint pen further.  Normally, a textured grip is important to me (to some extent) on a pencil.  The width of the Kerry allows it to be easily gripped without any texturing.  I’ve used it for a good part of this week and have felt comfortable using it for extended periods of time.

The lead advance is pretty standard for a Pentel, with about 6-7 mm released on ten clicks.  I think the click sound and advancement is stronger on the Sharp and GraphGear 500.

The only downside of the Kerry that I’ve found is that the first lead that I used with it suffered some breakage, perhaps in shipment.  This caused small pieces of lead to get stuck in the lead sleeve that had to be pulled out by hand.  I have not encountered this problem since I came to other whole pieces of lead.

The Kerry is very difficult to find in the United States without ordering it online.  It is available from many online retailers, and retails for 22 USD.  So, in addition to all of its perks, it is also very affordable.

The unique design of the Kerry, its elegant look, and solid functionality, make it one of Pentel’s most creative designs.  It has all of the features that I expect from a mechanical pencil and it is easily in my top three.

Update:

Since I first wrote this review, I’ve debuted a new rating scale.  Here is how the Kerry stacks up within my most recent Top Ten and Honorable Mentions as of the end of August 2015:

The Top Ten:

1) Rotring Rapid Pro

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Superb, Features: Good+, Price: Expensive

2) TWSBI Precision

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: Great, Price: Moderate

3) Pentel Sharp Kerry

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: Great, Price: Moderate

4) Pilot S20

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: Good, Price: Expensive

5) Lamy 2000

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: OK, Price: Expensive/Luxury

6) Tombow Zoom 505sh

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good, Features: Good, Price: Expensive

7) Pentel Sharp P20X

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good, Features: OK, Price: Cheap

8) Pentel Twist Erase GT

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good, Features: Great, Price: Cheap

9) Pentel Energize Deluxe

Writing Experience: Good, Quality: Good, Features: Good+, Price: Cheap

10) Lamy Safari

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good+, Features: OK+, Price: Moderate

Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order):

Alvin Draft/Matic, Parker Jotter, Pilot Fure Fure CoronePilot RexGripPilot S3Staedtler Mars micro 775, Staedtler Triplus Micro 774Uni Kuru TogaUni Shift Pipe-lockZebra Delguard

 

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One thought on “Pentel Sharp Kerry Review

  1. Chandon

    It is a very good pencil, and a great design. Amazing to think that the design in nearly 50 years old. The 1960s and 1970s was the great era for the Japanese pocket pens (there are models from Pilot, Platinum and Sailor), and I guess that Pentel was trying to design something that the salaryman could clip in his shirt pocket, and which could be deployed easily. The design has stood up well, and it is a great value pencil.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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