The Pentel Sharplet-2 is a classic Pentel low-end drafting pencil that has been around for decades. I’ll be reviewing the two vintage Sharplet-2’s that I have.
Sharplet-2’s come in 0.5 (A125, black), 0.7 (A127, blue), and 0.9 (A129, barf yellow) mm variants. Mine are both vintage and come in 0.5 and 0.7. I got my A127 in it’s original packaging.
These pencils are economy drafting pencils, being about half the price or less of the Pentel Sharp P20X. Hence, Sharplet. Ya know, like eaglet. You sacrifice some features for your Sharplet-2. Most notably, the clutch is plastic. The entire body of the pencil is smaller and a lighter plastic. The eraser cap is also plastic. Finally, the lead sleeve is halved at 2 mm, compared to the standard 4 mm drafting sleeve of the P20X. If the P20X is the pinnacle of efficient and sturdy design by an engineer, the Sharplet-2 is the clear logical cost-cutting of a down-sizing engineer.
The mechanism of the Sharplet-2, being flimsier than the P20X, is subject to more problems. My A125 works just fine, but my A127 seemed to suffer from advancement issues right out of the box. Unscrewing the tip showed that a rubber guide was loose on the inside. This is a vintage pencil that was shipped, but my gut tells me that another cost cutting measure on the Sharplet is less quality control. The click test yielded about 5 mm on my A125, and 2 mm (?) on my A127 after ten clicks. So, clearly something is wrong with my A127.
The grip is a very fine texturing of the plastic near the lead sleeve. It doesn’t give much graspability. For someone like me, with small hands, this isn’t a problem. I can imagine the Sharplet-2 being a nightmare for anyone with large hands.
Pentel advertises the pocket clip on the Sharplet-2 as being “adjustable”, which I think just means that you can slide it up or down the barrel or remove it. I imagine that this was an amazing feature decades ago. The eraser cover is plastic and is friction docked. I do like the fact that is a little easier to remove than the one on a P20X.
These are vintage Sharplet-2’s as evidenced by the vintage green plastic erasers that Pentel pencils used to have. Modern Sharplet-2’s have the white plastic erasers. You get about half as long of a Z2-1 eraser with a Sharplet-2 as you do on the P20X. Half the cost means half of everything!
How does it stack up?
Writing experience: OK+ (I like light pencils, but it being light is pretty much it’s only notable writing feature.)
Quality: OK+ (A plastic clutch is disappointing on a Pentel, but it’s certainly slightly better than most economy pencils.)
Features: OK (No, a removable pocket clip isn’t really a “feature” worth writing home about.)
Cost: Cheap (about 2.50 USD for singles at office supply online stores. Boxes available from Amazon for about 20 USD for 12 pencils.)
Pros: Lightweight, vintage models have green plastic Z2-1’s if you’re into that
Cons: plastic clutch, unreliable mechanism compared to most Pentels, ribbing on grip not really that graspable, mechanism on my A127 had issues right of the package
This is a nostalgia piece for most people, I think. It’s overall lower quality, especially for a Pentel pencil doesn’t warrant inclusion in the Top Ten or as an Honorable Mention.