The first thing you notice about the Lamy Model 126 Al-Star graphite mechanical pencil is the pocket clip. At first I didn't think it looked all that good, but its grown on me. Its not spring loaded but it still works well enough. The main body of this Al-Star is a shiny "graphite" colour which seems appropriate for a pencil. Overall its a generally pleasing look, apart perhaps for the clear grey tinted grip section - I'm not entirely convinced by that. But its a minor quibble. I really do like the way "LAMY" is imprinted into the barrel.
The Al-Star is a good length and body diameter, but a little lightweight for its size. But hey, its mostly aluminium so what do you expect? The plastic materials seem to be good solid, hard, scratch resistant compounds, as you would expect from Lamy.
Although the body is round in cross-section, the grip section is triangular, but not really triangular enough. The triangle sides are still somewhat rounded, and its fairly easy to end up gripping it across the points of the triangle rather than across the sides. Its a push button top ratchet mechanism and I feel they have missed the chance to put a decent sized eraser under that large button top. Instead its just a normal sized eraser of normal (limited) efficency. The Al-Star takes 0.5mm leads and lead holder sleeve is retractable. It is supplied in an interesting small cardboard package.
- Best Points - The looks.
- Not So Good Points - The triangular grip section.
- Overall Rating - Mixed feelings, I somehow expected more.
- Price Range - Mid
Dimensions - 144mm long, 11mm diameter body. Balance point about 85mm up from tip.