The Pilot Opt Shaker is a very basic shaker pencil that Pilot offers. How does it stack up?
The Pilot Opt Shaker is not very expensive and that is probably its primary selling point. You get the shaker feature for a very low cost.
Starting in the middle, the Opt Shaker is a thicker than normal pencil made entirely of plastic. I got mine in an attractive starfield design of blue/black with white dots. It’s official name is “Stardust Blue”. As an astronomy feature I will use this pencil during that section of the course. The pencil also comes in a variety of solid and patterned colors, including: Dot Pink, Water Green/Blue, Gray Etched, Carbon Black, Cut Glass, White Stripe, Drawn Black, Metallic Blue, Hammer Tone Silver, Enamel Pink, Stone Pink, Metallic Silver, Harringbone Gray. Self expression is clearly an aspect of this design and color-scheme variety like this is unheard of in the mechanical pencil world.
The top third of the pencil has a spring loaded pocket clip. The clip itself seems pretty sturdy. My guess is that the spring would be prone to break with excessive use. We’ll see! There is a small eraser cap that conceals a small eraser that does not match the S series or the G2 series.
The bottom third has a slightly textured thin rubber grip that terminates in a conical lead sleeve. The shaker mechanism of this pencil is not very precise. With one strong shake I get 5 mm of lead, which is just unacceptable. Of course, at a price of three bucks on Jetpens.com, you get what you pay for. Its far superior to a generic Bic mechanical pencil, but just pales in comparison to precision pencils designed to give the user a great writing or drawing experience.
Pros: Cheap, wide color pallette
Cons: imprecise shaker mechanism, conical lead sleeve, simultaneously strong and weak pocket clip, tiny eraser.
Writing Experience: OK
Price: Cheap (USD 3.30 on Jetpens.com)
It doesn’t make the Top Ten, or an honorable mention, but it’s better than a kick in the teeth.
The Top Ten:
Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: Great, Price: Moderate
2) Pilot S20
Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: Good, Price: Expensive
Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Superb, Features: Good+, Price: Expensive
Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good, Features: Good, Price: Expensive
Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good, Features: Good, Price: Cheap
Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Good, Features: Great, Price: Cheap
Writing Experience: Good, Quality: Good, Features: Good, Price: Cheap
Writing Experience: OK, Quality: Good+, Features: Great, Price: Moderate
Writing Experience: Good, Quality: Good, Features: OK, Price: Moderate
Writing Experience: Good, Quality: Good, Features: Good, Price: Moderate
Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): Pilot S3, Rotring Tikky, Staedtler Triplus Micro 774, Uni Kuru Toga, Zebra M-301
Coming up: Reading Update, Magic: The Gathering Update, Pentel PS315 review, Game Design Update and more!