The Pentel Graph 1000 is a mechanical pencil available in several lead sizes: 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm. This is the 0.5mm version. It costs about £13 in the UK and $14 in the USA.
The look and feel is very different to the pencils I usually like. The body is made from plastic and when I first picked it up I hated it. I hated it because it wasn’t what I was expecting, having grown to love metal pencils like the Rotring 600 and Staedtler 925. Once my brain had adjusted I came to appreciate the reassuring solidity provided by the metal grip. The weight of the grip stops the pencil feeling cheap and it makes the barrel well balanced, with most of the weight being near the tip. It falls somewhere between the weight of the Rotring and the lightness of the Staedtler and is just right.
Why am I comparing this pencil to the Rotring and Staedtler? Because this has knocked them off the top of my favourites list. It’s a fantastic pencil.
Back to the grip: it’s metal, as I said, but it has rubber inserts and these are perfect. They don’t rub like many knurled grips but they aren’t squishy like all rubber grips.
Then there’s the step down to the lead tube. It’s precise. It looks great and the lead is held firmly. However, at the opposite end, the button wobbles a little. Just a touch but enough to disappoint each time I notice. It does have a size indicator and a grade indicator, both of which are colour coded depending on the size. (For example, 0.5mm is white and 0.7mm is blue.) Inside there is a small eraser, which works well enough, and is actually very long and so will last a good amount of time.
The clip is easily removable and is fairly standard, that is it say, folded metal, sturdy but not spring loaded.
Why is the Pentel Graph 1000 my favourite mechanical pencil (for now)? It’s incredibly well made (apart from that little wobble at the end, so common in mechanical pencils) and it looks fantastic. More than that, the comfort of the grip and the balance that it provides make this pencil feel like something that was designed to be used, and make using it a joy.
I bought this quite a long time ago using my very own money and have been using it a lot. Pentel recently sent me some free items to review and some of those will be appearing here over the coming months. I just want to be clear that this wasn’t one of them.