A common complaint about mechanical pencils is the paltry size of the eraser most come with. The Pentel Twist Erase tries to solve this problem in a rather clever way. Does it work? Is the pencil itself any good?
Price: £5.40 (UK)
Lead size options: 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm
Barrel options: Black (both sizes) or blue (0.5mm only)
I’m reviewing the 0.5mm black version of this pencil, which was kindly supplied by Pentel for review purposes. These are my own opinions.
The pencil has a glossy black barrel with Twist-Erase 0.5 written on what looks like a cap (but isn’t). The font used for the printing is one of those jaunty italic ones that always looks like it’s trying to hard to be cool and youthful. There’s a shiny metal conical tip which ends with a tube for the lead. It’s got a little bit of everything – classy barrel, “fun” script, pointy end, conical end, cap that isn’t a cap.
This isn’t the best looking pencil.
The metal clip, too, whilst functional, seems to have been designed with ugliness as a goal. It isn’t helped by the fact that the holes in it have ridges around the edges, as if it wasn’t quite finished properly.
In use, the Pentel Twist-Erase is very pleasant. It’s a nice length and the large rubberised grip makes it comfortable in the hand. The lead deploys reliably. The barrel contains a reasonable amount of lead. It’s a good practical writing pencil.
This pencil is named after its eraser, which is a monster. Here it is fully deployed (which you would never do, but which is done by twisting the bit that looks like a cap but isn’t).
It’s a good eraser (in that it erases without smudging). It’s a very big eraser and it’s replaceable should you ever use it all up. Whilst it’s perfectly possible to compensate for the usual pathetic (or absent) eraser found in most mechanical pencils by, say, using a normal “stand-alone” eraser, it’s surprisingly handy to have it built in. I use this pencil quite a lot, particularly at work, and it’s not because it’s beautiful to look at or a delight to write with. When you can scribble and sketch and erase and not have to think about it in the slightest, it’s a lot of fun and very useful.
This is really is a rather ugly pencil but it’s comfortable, has a clip that works, doesn’t break the lead and has a big useful eraser. I wish that Pentel, or even someone else, would take this eraser mechanism and put it into a better barrel.
Comfortable to hold
Lead deployed effectively
Clip has rough edges
Thank you to Pentel for sending me this pencil to try. These are my own views.