Pentel make some wonderful mechanical pencils. The Twist uses the best eraser mechanism there is, the P200 series is one of the best budget pencils and the Graph 1000 has been my top pick for quite some time. Until now.
Price: £12.50 (UK), $16.50 (USA)
Lead size options: 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel options: aluminium with grip and lettering coloured according to lead size
Size: 15cm (6″) long, 9.5mm (0.4″) diameter
Weight: 113g (4oz)
Let’s start at the top and work along. The lead size is marked on the very end: 0.5mm (marked as “.5”) in this case. The GraphGear 1000 comes in five different sizes, each one of which is colour coded. Beneath the end cap is the eraser, which is bigger than some but still small. At least it erases properly.
Next we have the clip and it is wonderful. It’s hinged and spring loaded, meaning it will easily and very securely clip onto just about anything you’d want.
Running alongside the clip is the branding, which is precise and to the point. The barrel itself is a simple aluminium tube.
At the transition between the body and the grip is the lead grade indicator. This runs for 2B to 2H, which is a little limited. At least there’s a blank spot so if you’re using a different lead you don’t have to have the indicator showing something incorrect. There’s nothing worse than that.
The grip is knurled aluminium with soft gel-like protuberances. This combination is very grippy without being at all uncomfortable. It’s very effective and it looks good too.
Finally, but most importantly, there is the tip, which is retractable. It’s extended by pressing the end cap and retracted by pressing the clip. Both actions involve solid and very satisfying clicks. The lead pipe is very stable: not a hint of a wobble or wibble. Deploying it does not extend the lead any further, a second press is needed. This is good because there’s no need to retract the lead itself when you retract the tip. It retracts enough to hide the lead too. If you’ve read many of my previous mechanical pencil reviews you’ll know how happy this makes me. It means the pencil can be safely stored in a pocket or a case but be instantly ready to use and then instantly put away afterwards, without any messing about.
I could (and did) complain about the eraser and the limited grade indicator but they would be small complaints in the context of a pencil that gets everything else absolutely right. The clip, the retractable tip and the grip are all the best I’ve found on a mechanical pencil. The Pentel GraphGear 1000 is almost perfect.
Fantastic retractable tip mechanism
Eraser a little small
You can find some more reviews of the Pentel GraphGear 1000 on Pennaquod.
Thank you very much to Cult Pens for sending me this pen to review. These are my honest opinions.