The Pro-Use II has an unusual design. Most mechanical pencils are slender. This one is of more cuddly proportions. How does it shape up?
I was able to get this pen at a discount thanks to Cult Pens’ support of the site. These are my own honest opinions.
Price: $25 (USA) £15.50 (UK)
Lead size options: 0.3, 0.5, 0.7mm
Barrel options: matt silver coloured aluminium
Size: 1.2cm diameter, 12.9cm long
The pencil does the essentials well. The lead is held firmly with no lateral movement of the sleeve or of the lead within the sleeve. There’s a grade indicator near the tip that goes from 3B to 3H, including F. This ring is a different colour according the the lead size. The size is also marked on the knock and on the barrel.
Under the knock is the usual small eraser. It does, at least, erase.
The aluminium (I assume) barrel is silver in colour and just has “Pro-Use 05 Platinum Japan” written on it. It’s simple and plain almost the fonts are perhaps lacking in subtlety.
The folded metal clip is reasonably strong but, being folded metal, is always vulnerable to being bent out of shape. It’s removable (and thus could be easily bent back into shape if necessary).
The grip area is a little fatter than usual and instead of the knurling found on many pencils has ridges, like sand dunes. I find this to be very comfortable. It’s easy to hold and provides a enough grip to prevent slipping without being irritating.
The diameter of the rest of the barrel further improves comfort, at least for me, although only slightly. It’s really more about the look of the pen. I think it makes it look a little less serious than your traditionally shaped mechanical pencil. That’s no bad thing, particularly as the Pro-Use II performance is still excellent.
The shape of this pencil definitely improves comfort, particularly the grip, yet performance is still fantastic. This is, currently, the mechanical pencil I reach for first.
Comfortable and effective grip
Simple clean looks
Lead held firmly
Slightly weak clip