The Kaweco Sketch Up line is a range of clutch pencils available in a variety of finishes, mostly taking 5.6mm lead. (Some take 2mm lead.) There are two kinds, one with a grip section (costing around £30 in the UK) and one without (costing about £27). Here I’m reviewing an aluminium pencil with a grip and a brass one without.
They are a similar size and (octagonal) shape to the Kaweco Sport range. The clip that fits the Sports also fits these. (The previous version of the Sketch Up was a different shape and the clips don’t fit those.)
Both versions are solidly built and fairly weighty. The best word for describing these pencils is chunky.
The push button end releases the clutch mechanism and doubles as a lead pointer when unscrewed. It works well as a pointer and the mechanism grips the lead very firmly. The only problem I have is that because the pointer and the business end (nose) both screw into the barrel they’ll often work loose a little and, although this could be my incompetence, I always seem to start by unscrewing them even more before working out which way to turn each part to tighten it all up.
That is a little annoying, I can’t pretend otherwise, but the brass version in particular has such much old-school charm that I am prepared to forgive it. The patina mine’s developed over the three or four months I’ve been using it is delicious. I’m biased, I know, because I absolutely love brass pens, but what can I say? It’s gorgeous and I love it. (As well as using it for drawing, my children and I have played umpteen games of hangman with this pencil. This is especially entertaining with an 8-year old who spells phonetically.)
The supplied lead is pretty good. Nice and smooth and dark without being too waxy.
The aluminium grip pencil is more comfortable to hold, due to the extra centimetre or so and, of course, the grip itself. Despite this perfectly sensible reason to choose the aluminium grip I myself prefer the brass one because, well, it’s brass. (And also the simpler lines appeal to me more.)
Kaweco sent me these two pencils to review and to keep. I’ve not let that influence my views, which have come from using the brass version day in day out for quite a long time. I don’t need two of these pencils though so I’m giving the aluminium one away to one lucky reader. (No-one is going to take the brass one away from me. Not ever.) To have a chance of winning, in the comments tell me about a game you play with your children or played with your parents when you were a child. A game you are or were fond of. The closing date is 9am GMT Sunday 31st May. You can only enter once. You can enter anywhere in the world but I won’t be held responsible for dodgy postal services or customs charges. I’ll use random.org to pick the winner.