Uni KURU TOGA 0.5

Such simple things in life can make it better. The Uni KURU TOGA pencil that I use for the majority of my note taking and free hand sketch work is one just of those simple things. Considering what I paid for it (not a lot) its delivered tremendous value through being reliable, ergonomic and easy to maintain. The fine knurl at the base of the barrel is a good fit between my fingers. It helps me keep control with the lightest of touches from the finger tips letting the hand sit well towards the top of the pencil and letting the fluidity needed for sketching come from the wrist.

The way that the pencil mechanically rotates the lead each time you lift from the page makes sure you don't flatten off one side of the 0.5mm tip - unless you draw a really, really long line or like to draw without lifting off the page - a technique I have not tried since art college. This feature gets mixed reviews on the web but I have always found it to work reliably and its beautifully done. The window on the side of the barrel even lets you witness the tiny movements.

Not all details about the pencil are to my own taste. I do like the choice of materials on the whole. Although the cost of the pencil is (comparatively) low the finishes portray a higher value. I am just not sure about the pocket clip. I am not a fan of pocket clips. If I could slide the pocket clip off the pencil I'd ditch it - but that'd leave behind a groove which would look a bit vacant. The crispness of the 'Japan' stamping in the pocket clip band redeems its value, so too do the fine edges. The plastic cap is another thing that I'd mark down. I'd have preferred it to be the same clear satin anodise effect as the upper half of the barrel rather than a grey plastic. The softer over-mould material which compliments the same detail at the pencil tip is a nice detail though and it makes removing the cap for replacement of leads an easier job.

If you need to get yourself a new mechanical pencil you'd find this pencil from Japan punches well above its price point thanks to a combination of nice detailing, excellent mechanics and good ergonomics where you need it.