I’ve posted quite a few reviews of mechanical pencils over the last few months. In many of them, I bemoan the lack of a pencil with all of my ideal features. Well, I’ve found it.
Pentel Twist Erase GT Review
Stores in the US have featured the Pentel Twist Erase III for quite some time now. I’m not a huge fan of it. I have it in 0.9 mm, which isn’t my ideal lead width. Even if I had it in my favorite size, 0.5 mm, I still would not consider it in my top ten. I don’t find the grip very comfortable, despite its thickness and it has a fixed (albeit solid) lead sleeve. What I like about the TE III is that it has that massive twist-up eraser, which is great for people like me who like to have a lot of eraser without setting the instrument down.
The Twist Erase GT fixes all of the problems of the TE III with a very affordable package. It isn’t exactly my ideal pencil that I can imagine, but it comes as close as one can get in the current market.
-Retractable tip with straight lead sleeve
A close pencil to this is the Staedtler Triplus Micro, which is a good pencil in of itself. The retractable tip on the Triplus Micro is conical, not straight. The tip does seem a tad flimsy on this pencil, reminding me of the limitations of the Skilcraft Fidelity, but it being retractable is important here. Pocket safe is pocket safe.
I talked about this above. Big erasers are important to me. This eraser also seems to be very stable, which is uncommon for most pencils, especially cheap ones. They tend to be very wobbly and advance the lead when not desired. The GT doesn’t do that.
The grip is a rubber “mat” design with thin strips of plastic protruding from the body. I guess its hard for me to explain. You can see it in the picture. This is much more comfortable for me than a standard metal drafting pencil grip or the fat kiddy grip of the TE III.
Very nice to look at for a pencil of its cost.
-Solid pocket clip
Its a little too grippy for my tastes, but not flimsy at all. I can’t imagine it breaking.
-Price is right
Depending on the package you get it in, the pencil is just a little over two dollars a piece. They come in packs of three, sometimes with accoutrement (extra erasers/lead) and sometimes without. I got three on sale for five dollars total.
The GT really only has three notable cons for me: the lead sleeve is a tad wobbily, the click action is not as satisfying as a dedicated drafting pencil (it is loosey goosey) and the whole body is made up of a cheap plastic. Not as cheap as the cheapest mechanical pencils, to be sure, but clearly in the “daily use” category, not the “functionally or aesthetically beautiful” categories.
The pros have huge advantages over the cons and this one is going into my top three. It is the top of the “daily writing” category, in my mind.
Here are my top ten, of what I have reviewed so far, linked to their reviews:
3) Pentel Twist Erase GT (The Kerry’s elegance and the P205’s engineered simplicity win out)
7) Zebra M301
Other pencils I am interested in include the Pentel Smash, UNI Shift, Rotring Tikky (rebranded as Papermate Precision in the US, without the red ring) and the Ohto Promecha 1000 series. I probably won’t be investing in these any time soon, especially with finding the pencils in my current top five. I’ll be investigating them over the long term though!