BIC Atlantis Mechanical Pencil Review

The BIC Atlantis, like most BIC products, is available almost anywhere in the economy category.  How does it stack up?

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The Atlantis is a clear attempt by BIC to compete with the likes of the more feature-rich mechanical pencils of its competitors.  It compares to the Pentel Energize Deluxe, the Staedtler Triplus Micro, and any of the modern Faber-Castell mechanical pencils.  All of those have an edge on this pencil, but they also cost considerably more.  The Pilot G2 may be the closest for the same price point.  The Atlantis comes in 0.5 and 0.7 mm and a wide variety of colors, including black, red, blue, pink, purple, lime green, aquamarine.  There are a variety of different combos of those colors.  The one I received looks burgundy to me, but it could just be an off-color impression of the red.  Its hard to tell from images online.

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The tip of the pencil features a retractable conical lead sleeve.  The grip is thin, mostly smooth, and rubberized.  It is my kind of thickness and my kind of security for a grip.  The rest of the barrel is translucent plastic that is the color of the grip.

The lead dispensation yields a mind-boggling 18 mm of lead for ten clicks.  With an established standard for most fans of 6 to 7 mm being the ultimate control standard, this is what verifies a cheap mechanism.  You can’t take the pencil apart, but I’d be shocked to see anything but the lowest end mechanism that will accept a retractable sleeve.

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The top of the pencil features an all metal pocket clip, which is a rarity on a pencil at this price point.  So, there’s a nice perk for ya.  The eraser is small and is has some pitting on mine.  I don’t think that it affects its ability to erase.  I don’t detect a lot of side to side play when I erase, but after one erasing bought the lead had advanced to almost 20 mm!  There is a tiny little eraser cap with a half circle shaped hole in case a child swallows it.

Pros:  Good grip, above average features for an economy pencil (retractable, pocket clip), cost

Cons: Mechanism and eraser

Writing experience: Good (I favor these kinds of grips)

Quality: OK (pocket clip balanced by an inconsistent mechanism that also advance)

Features: Good (retractable sleeve, metal pocket clip)

Cost: Economy (2.50 to 4 USD a piece, usually with extra lead, depending upon the package you buy it in.  Seems like an ok price point at 2.50, but 4 is too much)

Does it make the Top Ten?  No.

Does it make the Honorable Mentions?  I’m tempted, but everything on the list is better.  So, I’m not recommending not trying it out.  Its better than a lot of economy pencils.  I’d take it over the cheapest Pentels and BICs and any Write Dudes Pencil.  The Pilot G2 pencil is better by a hair in total package, and absolutely smashes the Atlantis in cost (nearly half).

The Top Ten:

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) Lamy 2000

Writing Experience: Great, Quality: Great, Features: OK, Price: Expensive/Luxury

6) Tombow Zoom 505sh

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

7) Pentel Sharp P20X

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

8) Pentel Twist Erase GT

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

9) Pentel Energize Deluxe

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

10) Lamy Safari

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

Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order):

Alvin Draft/Matic, Parker Jotter, Pilot Fure Fure CoronePilot RexGripPilot S3Staedtler Mars micro 775, Staedtler Triplus Micro 774, Uni Kuru TogaUni Shift Pipe-lockZebra Delguard

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