I was able to find a pack of these pencils for a rock-bottom price on clearance, so I bit.
You can probably guess that I was waiting for a very long time for the Clearpoint to go on sale. Clearpoint by Papermate is one of the most heavily marketed pencils in the United States. Go into virtually ANY store, and you’ll find them on shelves. Why? Well, they’re cheap to manufacture and the public will buy them!
The fact is they’re cheaply manufactured. I’m an educator and I see more of these pencils broken than whole. Now, teenagers are pretty rough on their stuff. But its a pretty good indication that you get what you pay for and that Papermate pretty much has the public by their ears.
But, I’m going to endeavor to be fair and rating it. I paid two bucks for two pencils, lead and two giant refill erasers. That’s a good deal! Is it worth it for retail cost? As an aficionado, probably not.
So hear we go. The very tip is metal. Everything else is plastic. The pencil is clear except for the top, which is transparent but colored. I have a set with a handsome red and green duo.
The tip is retractable and the pencil is pocket safe. That is a huge bonus. The tip is conical and suitable for writing. This is not a drafting pencil. Certainly not for the cost.
The lead advance mechanism is a side click mechanism. The advance mechanism on the Pentel Twist Erase Click, Pentel Side FX and Quicker Clicker are all better positioned than the click mechanism on the Papermate Clearpoint. The Side FX is the closest, but that doesn’t change the positioning on this one being awkward. 10 clicks advances about 1.0 mm lead, well excessive of the solid Pentel standard of about 0.6mm per 10 clicks. This isn’t an established standard but many people prefer more control over their lead advancement and smaller advancement means control.
The eraser is a “twist erase” extended type that you can turn a little dial on the top and it extends the eraser. This feature is fundamentally flawed. When I erase, the eraser gets sucked up into the pencil. Pentel Twist Erase models do this to some extent. It is very pronounced in this pencil and a very non-functional feature.
The grip is a weird raised plastic ribbing and the plastic of the bottom quarter is a concave surface. Its pretty low quality and seems like it will break off or wear out easily.
The plastic clip is thin and has a particularly thin connecting point with the body of the pencil. I rarely see one of these pencils with any use that has an intact clip.
So, how do we fair?
Writing experience: OK
It wasn’t as bad as I expected, but it definitely has its flaws, predominately in limitations in manufacturing quality. If it doesn’t live through use, it doesn’t matter how it writes.
Does it make the Top Ten? Ha. Ha ha! Ha ha ha aha ha ha hah ha hah ha ha ha.
In all seriousness, I have zero regrets about getting these pencils at this low cost of a dollar a piece, plus lead, plus extra erasers. There isn’t much to complain about for that price. But if your goal is quality, this is not where to look.