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post #451 of 458

If you're referring to this - http://www.amazon.com/Zebras-Stainless-Mechanical-Pencil-54010/dp/B001CRS4EY

 

 Zebra's M-301 Stainless Steel Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm Black Dozen (54010)

So it's 20 for a 12-pack, which seems about right. That's $1-2 for one, which is the usual going price online (rather $3-4 is the retail markup and is more of a rip).

post #452 of 458
Oh doh. Missed the word "Dozen"
post #453 of 458

But when you think about it though, you can get 12 of these babies for $20. In comparison, there are a ton of plasticky (but well-designed) pencils over $20. But I'm not a metal-over-plastic snob - sometimes plastic works to the design's advantage in terms of weight - plus there are a ton of metal-bodied pencils well above $20 that doesn't quite do it like the Zebra does. Really just a testiment to the glory of the M-301.

 

We might need to start a M-301 Fan Club, I've been using it for the past 30 minutes nonstop because of all this M-301 talk. M-301 M-301 M-301.

post #454 of 458

I've used a Japan import UNI Kuru-Toga roulette for the last 6 months in school and it has been leaps and bounds better than anything else. I just love how it always has a sharp tip.

 

For anyone who hasn't tried the kuru-toga and it's rotating lead I highly recommend everyone to get the cheaper plastic model just to try it out then if you like it the roulette or High-Grade models are usually under $15.

 

here is the plastic starter model: http://www.amazon.com/uni-ball-KuruToga-Mechanical-Starter-1751934/dp/B0026ICM1E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392168133&sr=8-2&keywords=kuru+toga

 

Now you can get the roulette model from US stores so they are cheaper here is the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/Uni-Roulette-Rotation-Mechanical-Pencil/dp/B004OHNTVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392168206&sr=8-1&keywords=kuru+toga

post #455 of 458

The Ohto Tasche - looks extremely cool, but apparently not the best build.

 

 

Lead-economical pencils (ones that use the sticks of lead down to the last mm) - I know about the Platinum OLEeNu...

 

 

...But anyone have any experience with these yet?

The rubber grip might have turned off a multitude of the rabid anti-rubber crusade though (which is ridiculous, safety comes first kids, always wear a rubber).

I'm sure I'll get an assortment of flaming PMs and emails from that comment alone though.

post #456 of 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj1001 View Post
 

I've used a Japan import UNI Kuru-Toga roulette for the last 6 months in school and it has been leaps and bounds better than anything else. I just love how it always has a sharp tip.

 

For anyone who hasn't tried the kuru-toga and it's rotating lead I highly recommend everyone to get the cheaper plastic model just to try it out then if you like it the roulette or High-Grade models are usually under $15.

 

here is the plastic starter model: http://www.amazon.com/uni-ball-KuruToga-Mechanical-Starter-1751934/dp/B0026ICM1E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392168133&sr=8-2&keywords=kuru+toga

 

Now you can get the roulette model from US stores so they are cheaper here is the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/Uni-Roulette-Rotation-Mechanical-Pencil/dp/B004OHNTVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392168206&sr=8-1&keywords=kuru+toga

I have a slight problem with the 'rabid' Kuru Toga followers - most of them seem to be either FP aficionado with little pencil experience and a whole lot of flex nib bias, or just people first getting into pencils. Not a knock on you though, it's just that the reviews and popularity of these on JetPens and the community at large seem to eclipse any chance of other pencils getting a chance to shine (like the OLEeNu pencils I linked above that seem to be just as ingenious as the Kuru Toga in that it solves a problem a lot of us pencil nuts have been aware of).

 

There's also the fact that the pencil is not for many, as some would put it - the pencil perfected.

 

The biggest takeaway is that the tip has a ton of give, by design, in order for the mechanism to work. Even for those not requiring drafting precision, it really takes away from the overall feel.

 

Not to mention, the mechanism itself. Yes, it works, it works rather nicely - but only when you have it at a particular angle. For those of us that hold their instruments very close to 90 degrees out of habit, the sharpening doesn't really help a lot. Plus, with those of us that hold the pencil at a very shallow angle (I'd imagine sketchers like me primarily though an auto-sharpening mechanism isn't exactly what sketchers look for in the first place - probably a bunch of other writers though) the mechanism also falls short. With cursive/pencil-draggy writers, it's ever so worse because the mechanism just isn't beign activiated at all.

 

Now I like the Kuru Toga (I mean the name itself wins a ton of cookie points by itself), despite all of that. The regular 0.7mm version is one of my everyday carries. And heck, I've got them all at this point, another of the Alpha Gel version should be coming in soon, and I'm looking at the rubber-gripped version in my cart as we speak.

 

But for pencil/pen users, 50% of the whole experience is in the feel of the writing experience. And I have to say that the Kuru-Toga will never have a solid enough experience for me to dub it as the ultimate pencil - something that people seem to flat out enjoy doing at this point.

 

And this is less of a critcism, and more of a wishlist thing - the Roulette and the High Grade could do with a little more weight up top. That's primarily personal preference though and I won't use it to detract anything regarding the pencil. Hopefully one day they'll go with a thicker ABS plastic or some sort of metal on a higher-end variant of the Kuru. Uni seems adverse to that though - the Uni Shift does the same thing with the body and has that weight problem, which is why I probably enjoy the Ohto 1000P a bit more as a twist-to-retract mechanism MP.

post #457 of 458

Anyone here enjoy woodcase pencils? I just cracked a Rhodia one in my bag :P

post #458 of 458

I like one of Uni's fatter alpha-gel pencils much more than anything from the kuru toga line.

 

I keep falling in & out of love with wooden pencils. Much of this stems from my demands: I want the feel of a pencil but darkness and fluidity to approach pen as much as possible (BP/RB/gel). I also write with a very light hand, and hate the feeling of a dull pencil on paper.

 

On a good day, and if I can find the right kind of paper, even some 2B pencils may be adequately dark. On days like these I prefer thick, triangular learner's pencils from german brands like the Lyra Groove.

 

I've got the Hi-Uni and Mono100 in 6B form, plus the Palomino Blackwing. The Hi-Uni is darkest... but while all three are clearly premium pencils, breaking graphite in a very elegant way, I think I just might like the MP's inherent "sharpness" a little more...which is slightly tempered when you use a soft lead like 4B, for a lovely combination.

 

In fact I've seen some bloggers claim the way 4B leads wear down is almost like a natural kuru toga mechanism...not that I've noticed, lol :tongue_smile:

 

So, my favorite MP lead is Pilot's geox graphite 4B, because it's possibly the darkest MP lead on earth. Even outside the "G" line, Pilot leads are softer and darker than comparable Pentel or Uni nano dia's.

 

For MP hardware my tastes are really maverick: I couldn't get myself to like most of the models highly regarded by enthusiasts. But I love the alpha gel I mentioned; I found the Rotring 300 & 500 meh, but really like one of the most-average, late-model Tikky's that people abhor.

 

Also, Muji's polycarbonate body feels totally hideous with a gel refill (quality control is terrible), but improves so much with an MP mechanism installed. I've fallen out of love with Muji on the whole, but this is one product I can still enjoy.

 

Thanks for reading :P

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