Milan PL1 Touch Mechanical Pencil Review

The Milan PL1 Touch is an economy pencil manufactured by Milan of Spain.  It packs a surprising array of features for a pencil of this cost!

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I was walking through a local, privately-owned craft store in my area and came across the Milan PL1 Touch.  I bought one at 2.50, brought it home, wrote with it, and liked it so much that I decided to get some other colors!  It also comes in green, my favorite color, but they were all out of those.

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The PL1 Touch is made of plastic that has a slightly tacky feel to it.  The body of the pencil has textured lines and the grip section is smooth.

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The PL1 Touch is pocket safe.  It sports a retractable sleeve.  I wouldn’t say that this is an uncommon feature on an economy pencil.  It is hard to find in combination with an extendable eraser.  I think that consideration of the total package is what is most noteworthy for economy pencils.  The click test yields 8-10 mm on 10 clicks.  Not exactly a pinnacle of click control, but that’s more consistent than most economy pencils.

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As mentioned above and shown in the first photo, the PL1 Touch sports an extendable plastic white eraser.  It’s not the best or worst medium out there.  The mechanism does wobble a bit when you erase and it does suffer from the common eraser retraction problem that many twist erasers suffer from.  The pocket clip is flimsy, yet flexible and I’m not sure how it would hold up if clipped to something.  My gut says it won’t.  In addition, the bar code printed on the clip is pretty unattractive and ruins the aesthetics a bit.

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To refill the pencil, just pull off the entire top assembly.

How does it rate?

Writing Experience:  Good (Grip is a bit fat for my tastes, but the slightly tacky plastic aides in gripping the smooth surface.)

Quality: OK+ (Not the worst I’ve seen, especially compared to the cheap BIC and Papermate pencils out there.  Pocket clip is particularly flimsy.  The pencil can’t be disassembled to check the mechanism, but I can’t imagine it being anything but cheap.)

Features:  Great (Pocket safe, twist eraser, what’s not to like?)

Pros:  Retractable sleeve, extendable eraser, cheap, good to write with

Cons: Weak pocket clip, economy construction

It doesn’t make the Top Ten, but I do think it deserves an Honorable Mention!  I feel pretty confident replacing the UNI Shift Pipe-lock with this pencil.  That may seem strange, but the total package here is stronger than the total package of the UNI Shift Pipe-lock.  The UNI suffers from a low quality eraser mechanism and a wobbly lead sleeve for one that is retractable.  It’s time to move it out of the honorifics, methinks.

Alvin Draft/Matic, Milan PL1 Touch, Parker Jotter, Pentel Energize DeluxePentel Quicker Clicker (vintage),  Pilot RexGripStaedtler Mars micro 775Tombow Zoom 505shUni Kuru TogaUni Shift Pipe-lockZebra Delguard

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