PaperMate Precision Mechanical Pencil Non-Review

Non-review?  What are you talking about?  Back when I reviewed the Rotring Tikky in January, I alluded to the fact that Sanford reapplied the design of the Tikky to their new “Precision” line.  But, without a Precision in my hand for comparison, I couldn’t say definitively at that time if they were the same pencil.  Seven months later, its time to answer that question!

A quick reminder of the corporate monopoly structure:  Newell/Rubbermaid owns Sanford.  Sanford owns Papermate, Rotring, Parker and Sharpie.  They also distribute Uni products in the US.  When Sanford acquired Rotring, they kept the Tikky line as a Rotring product.  But they also took the design, removed the red ring (boo!!!), and re-purposed it as a PaperMate “Precision” pencil for distribution in the US.

As part of a recent Amazon order, they offered me a Precision set for 4.50 (9 MSRP).  I had been thinking about the set for a long time, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a risk on a pencil of a brand that has a reputation for crappiness.  At that price point, I bit.

wpid-20150708_205210.jpg

Sorry its blurry.  I already opened the package and the purpose of this pic was just to show what the pack looks like.  You get two pencils, 12 leads and four extra erasers.  The package says that the pencils are made in China, the leads in Japan, and the erasers in Taiwan.  I got my Tikkys out for comparison.  Off we go!

wpid-20150708_205318.jpgNotice the ring in the middle of the pencil where they just don’t paint it red in the Precision.

wpid-20150708_205324.jpg

They are the EXACT same pencil.  Everything is identical except for the colors and the red ring missing on the Precision.  I wrote with both and there is no discernable difference.  I took the eraser out of a Tikky and switched it with the Precision eraser and they were perfect fits for each other.  The extra Precision erasers fit in my Tikky models.

Pros of the Precision:  A classic pencil styling available at almost any retail store in the US.

Cons of the Precision: A sad corporate bastardization of a classic mid-low end pencil.

If you don’t have any Tikkys and you can’t obtain them, definitely consider the Precision.  Rotring still sells Tikkys, essentially the same pencil, but in a wider variety of lead sizes and colors.  I think Pentel’s P20X series is a better overall bet for this style.  Its basically a style-focused pencil for collectors. Tikkys look cool. This one is all about price point.  You can get Tikkys online for 5.50.  So, you decide if the PaperMate set is worth it at its MSRP of 9 dollars.  For 4.50 it was definitely worth it for me.

Update:  Since getting this set a week ago, one of the pencil’s mechanisms broke within one page of writing. My Rotring Tikky’s are still going strong.  So, quality seems to have suffered under Sanford.  Pity.

The Top Ten and Honorable Mentions:

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) Tombow Zoom 505sh

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

6) Pentel Sharp P20X

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

7) Pentel Twist Erase GT

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

8) Tombow Mono Graph Shaker

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

9) Uni Shift Pipe-lock

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

10) Alvin Draft/Matic

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

Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order):  Pilot RexGripPilot S3Staedtler Triplus Micro 774, Uni Kuru Toga, Zebra Delguard

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s