My Top Ten Mechanical Pencils

I have revised my Top Ten Mechanical Pencils with clarified rating criteria and recent acquisitions in mind.

Of top concern to me in rating pencils from now on is the writing experience.  How comfortable does it feel in my hand?  Is it natural?  Does it feel forced?  Can I write for extended periods of time without getting fatigue from the weight or grip?  I realize that this will be highly personalized and my opinion might vary greatly from another person’s, but it is the most important consideration and weights my impressions the most heavily.

Next, is quality.  Will this pencil last for a long time?  Was it built with quality in mind?  Does it feature solid components?  Is it engineered expressly to be a fine writing instrument or was it thrown together to make a profit?  Is the click mechanism durable and precise?  Is it elegant and classy or is it only functional with limited aesthetics?

Next, features.  Does the pencil have a combination of features that allow for good writing?  A fixed sleeve sacrifices pocket safety, but allows for precise writing.  What is the grip like?  How is it weighted?  How is the pocket clip?  What is the size of the eraser?  Does it have a lead type indicator?

Finally, price.  A great pencil could be too expensive or moderately priced.  An above average pencil might get rated higher due to its affordable price.

So, there it is, writing experience, quality and features, in that order.  Numbers lie.  They are not objective in making a subjective decision.  So, I’ll go with a Great, Good, OK, Bad rating scheme moving forward.  We’ll go with Cheap ($1-10), Moderate ($11-25), and Expensive ($26+) for price categories.

 My Top Ten:

(click on each individual link to get a more detailed review)

1) Pentel Sharp Kerry

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

2) Pilot S20

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

3) Pentel Sharp P205

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

4) Pentel Twist Erase GT

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

5) Rotring Tikky

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

6) Staedtler 925 05

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

7) Pentel Graphgear 1000

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

8) Uni Shift Pipe-lock

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

9) Alvin Draft/Matic

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

10) Alvin DraftTec Retrac

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

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