Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pentel Techniclick PD105T Mechanical Pencil Review

Pentel Techniclick PD105T Mechanical Pencil Review

The Pentel Techniclick comes in a small selection of colours and 0.5 or 0.7mm lead thicknesses. There are also another couple of Techniclick variants with different grips etc but they are separate pencils in their own right, so are not discussed any further here. My Techniclick is the green 0.5mm model, PD105T.

The body is clear plastic with a tinted end section. It is round in cross section with a flattened area on one side where the “clicker button” is. The clear plastic has good optical clarity, without flow lines or flaws, exactly the sort of quality moulding you would expect from Pentel. These guys really do know a thing or two about injection moulding.

The tinted top section pulls off to get at the eraser, and to refill the lead chamber. I am a little dubious about how long the friction fit of the top section onto the body will last as it will get a lot of use over time. The pocket clip is part of the top section, and one of the better plastic moulded clips around. Being a separate section has allowed them to get some extra clip pressure onto the main body. The eraser is the standard mid-size Pentel rubber eraser.

With that side clicker button this is obviously a button ratchet mechanism. As expected the button uses angled wedges to activate the lead advance mechanism. Now I am not generally a fan of side button pencils. In this case the button is fairly small and conveniently positioned for fast easy activation while writing, but when I’m just idly holding the pencil in my hand, the buttons right there under my fingers, just asking to be pushed. (Mmmmm button - must push!) The button has a good firm but easy action to it.

There is a 3mm metal lead sleeve so this pencil is suitable for draughting, but it’s not retractable for pocket safety. The grip section is a series of smooth shallow ribs, reasonably effective and comfortable.

Like most, but not all Pentels, this one is made in Japan. The barcode label on the body peeled off easily in one go and didn’t leave any of that annoying sticky residue behind. More evidence of Pentels attention to detail. Overall a good economy price range mechanical pencil.
  • Best Points – Good plastic pocket clip and interesting optical effects as you rotate the pencil around.
  • Not So Good Points – Not pocket safe. Personally I’m not that much a fan of the side button clickers.
  • Price Range – Economy.

Dimensions – Length 148mm, diameter 10mm. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.


This is my little Japanese theme thing. The Pentel Techniclick in front of NZ's Mt Taranaki, which was the stand in for Mt Fuji, in those parts of the Tom Cruise movie "The Last Samurai" filmed in NZ .

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used Techniclick pencils for a few years as an engineering student. I prefer side advance mechanical pencils, and this one was great. Always sharp, and it never jammed on me, which is one less thing to worry about during exams. Plus, they're pretty. ^_^ I'd still be using mine if I hadn't lost it. :(

Pentel guarantees its pencils for life. If it breaks, you can send it in and get a replacement.

Steve said...

IMO the con listed, unable to retract the lead, is not an issue. Just hold the advance button down and gently press the lead. It will retract without damaging the point.

I like the side advance (it's less distracting and quicker that the normal end mechanism).

The see through chamber is good for confirming that the lead has reached the end.

IMO one of the finest pencils ever made, yet one of the cheapest. Truly remarkable.

kiwi-d said...

Hi Steve
Thanks for your comments. Just one thing, my con listed is the metal lead sleeve not being retractable, rather then the actual lead itself. Sorry for not making that totally clear.

nate said...

I have spent well over $100 on mechanical pencils in my 3 years as an engineering student. they get used constantly.

i've NEVER had a mechanical pencil last more than a month , usually a week or so. THIS PENCIL IS THE BEST MONEY CAN BUY. i found this page specifically searching for the pd105. you go spent $4.50 on 2 pencils that are garbage .. i've been using my one pd105 for 2 years!!! common issues with other pencils:
1.hold very little lead
2.tip breaks easily or is not even attached in a way that it will stay
3.after a month, when writing, the lead will push back up into the pencil just from force of writing
etc etc. this pencil has none of that. best pencil ever made.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, would I be correct in assuming that your dubiety concerning the durability of the friction fit of the top onto the body has to do with the insufficient length of the flange mating with the (equally insufficient) female end? I'm guessing that the male end is the pencil body and the female end is the top. I too have reservations about side-click advance mechanisms, but it does seem that the pluses of this econo-pencil far outweigh the minuses, and that I dropped the ball in not picking up one of these when they were available for a dollar at the dollar store. Doh! Like you, I was attracted to the jewel-like finish of this well-made MP.

Barrel Of A Pencil

kiwi-d said...

Barrel - basically yes re friction fit. The (female) top section push fits onto the body and I worry that over time constantly taking the top off and back on to get at the eraser, refill leads, "playing" with it at meetings, etc will wear the friction fit out and the top will no longer be secure. Still, only long term use can determine the validity of my concern.

Anonymous said...

you guys should try the PD305T. It is basically the same model ,but with a rubber grip and metal pocket clip.

Stuart said...

I really wish that companies wouldn't ruin perfectly good pen and pencil designs by putting rubber grips on them.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about this pacer - What is the mysterious groove used for on the very top of the clear plastic lid? It's about the size and shape that fits the edge of a coin in it.
This is really bugging me! So if anyone knows, please reply to this comment. Thanks!

kiwi-d said...

Interesting question. It looks to me like the plastic mould injection point is in the middle of that groove and thus I suspect the groove was put there purely for manufacturing purposes - it somehow makes it faster / easier to mould.

Kevin said...

Great pencil perfect in every way EXCEPT the dreaded stiff removal and replacement of the clip to get at the eraser. By the way the close relation of this pencil the PD305T is twice the price for a metal clip and a rubber grip. Stick to the PD105T.

Techniclick said...

This is without a doubt my favorite mechanical pencil. I first found one of these pencils when I was in junior high, and I am still using it over eight years later. The Techniclick line seems to be have been successful for Pentel due to the fact that they have continued it through several incarnations. In its original form, as described above, the Techniclick had the identification code PD105T/PD107T and came in seven forms.
0.5mm:
PD105TA black
PD105TC blue
PD105TD green
PD105TP pink
0.7mm:
PD107TC blue
PD107TD green
PD107TV violet

The original Techniclick is also available from the Pentel website for custom printing for advertising purposes. These custom versions are ID'ed the same way as the above seven but have the addition of "I" added to the end, ie. PD105TAI, PD107TVI ...

In its last original incarnation, the Techniclick seems to have been available in some countries as a solid color instead of the normal clear plastic with colored cap and button:
PD105RDA silver
PD105RDC blue
PD105RDD green
PD105RDP pink
-all of which are 0.5mm lead as evidenced by the 5 in the ID. There is also a ball point click pin that looks just like the original Techniclick with the ID BK221 A,C,D,or P.

Techniclick said...

Several years ago, the second generation of Techniclicks came out. These carried the ID PD235T and PD237T. The only real change to the design was the addition of a rubber grip to replace the original plastic groove grip. I personally like the original plastic groove.

At some later time, the Techniclick G came out (ID PD305T and PD307T). Compared to the original Techniclick, the TG had a rubber grip like the second generation and a metal pocket clip instead of plastic. It comes in five forms:
0.5mm:
PD305TA black
PD305TB red
PD305TC blue
0.7mm:
PD307TD green
PD307TV violetSeveral years ago, the second generation of Techniclicks came out. These carried the ID PD235T and PD237T. The only real change to the design was the addition of a rubber grip to replace the original plastic groove grip. I personally like the original plastic groove.

At some later time, the Techniclick G came out (ID PD305T and PD307T). Compared to the original Techniclick, the TG had a rubber grip like the second generation and a metal pocket clip instead of plastic. It comes in five forms:
0.5mm:
PD305TA black
PD305TB red
PD305TC blue
0.7mm:
PD307TD green
PD307TV violetSeveral years ago, the second generation of Techniclicks came out. These carried the ID PD235T and PD237T. The only real change to the design was the addition of a rubber grip to replace the original plastic groove grip. I personally like the original plastic groove.

At some later time, the Techniclick G came out (ID PD305T and PD307T). Compared to the original Techniclick, the TG had a rubber grip like the second generation and a metal pocket clip instead of plastic. It comes in five forms:
0.5mm:
PD305TA black
PD305TB red
PD305TC blue
0.7mm:
PD307TD green
PD307TV violet

Techniclick said...

Lastly, we come to the current generation of Techniclicks, the Techniclick T3 for the third generation. The T3 is basically the second generation only instead of having a clear plastic body it is colored plastic with a design on it. It retains the second generation's rubber grip (unfortunately). There are six variations:
0.5mm:
PD245A black
PD245C blue
PD245P pink
0.7mm:
PD247A black
PD247C blue
PD247V violet
Of interest, unlike all previous members of the Techniclick family, the ID for these pencils does not end with "T" to signify that it is a Techniclick.

If you are attempting to collect the whole Techniclick family (as I am trying to do), there are over 24 different pencils not including the custom printed Techniclicks which could make the number of different Techniclicks basically endless. There are also the Techniclick pens that look like Techniclicks. As you can probably tell, I am a Techniclick fanatic. My pencil of choice will always be a PD105T.

LONG LIVE TECHNICLICK!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that valuable information Techniclick. I too am a fan of these pencils but these days I do find them a tad too wide and they are a very difficult pencil to store as part of a collection - they seem to slip and slide everywhere. I dont know whether anyone else has noticed this - when I use the PD105T the lead it came with I assume is Pentel Hi-Polymer - it has a lovely crisp note on the paper. When I use the upmarket PD305T I think the lead used must be either Super Polymer or AIN because the note on the paper is smooth with little feedback. I tend to like the crisp note lead with my less expensive pencils like Techniclick and Sharplet-2 but I like the smoother leads (AIN) with pencils like the Graphgear1000 and Graph600. Any takers on this?

I did make a comment a while back about how the angle of light hitting the tip of the pencil can make or break a writing experience. No-one (other than Dave) took the bait on this and sometimes I feel I'm the only person out here who has any interest in these aspects of pencildom. I just feel it extends the usual subject matter and therefore it is worthwile even if no-one responds. I'm willing to stick my head up even if I'm wrong - thats OK.

2 1/2p

Techniclick said...

I have to agree with you Anonymous above. The most important part of any mechanical pencil is the tip. I have numerous attractive pencils that feel good when writing but have a horrible tip. A bad tip can result in broken lead and can block your view of what you are writing. That's why I love the Techniclick: it has a great tip that is clear. As for your comment about lead, I have only recently started to appreciate the subtle differences in lead and am not yet qualified to respond to your comment.

LONG LIVE PD105T!

Time Waster said...

Yeah the tip makes all the difference reason why I like the Sharp Kerry Quicker Clickers w/ non rubber grip and the P205.

Just ordered some of these never tried em before but opted for the original grooves one.

a nobud said...

Does anyone here know where you can get the original Techniclicks (w/o the rubber grip) in the US?

Anonymous said...

The local "99 Cent Stores" were selling these by the boatload in the Metro Phoenix Arizona area until recently. These were sold in a package of 3, but I don't remember the price :) These were the transparent blue, pinkish purple, and green models. I don't remember the lead size, however.

A while back Albertsons was selling these if I recall. Maybe I need another GB of memory.

Bob S.

Anonymous said...

The Frys Grocery Stores (local branch of Krogers) in Phoenix have been clearing the T3 in packages of 2 for $2 in 0.5 mm lead sizes. Colors were blue and black.

In reference to my comment above, the 99 Cent Stores were selling 0.7 mm lead size versions and they may still be selling them, i.e., the original models in the colors described above.

Bob S.

Anonymous said...

Over the weekend, the 99 cent store near PV Mall in Phoenix had lots of packages of Techniclicks including 0.5 and 0.7 Techniclick G models. The colors included greens, blacks, blues, and what could have been reds or pinks. They come packaged in pairs -- green 0.7 pairs, black/blue 0.5 pairs, red or pink/blue 0.5 pairs. They had some 0.7 razzle-dazzles as well.

BTW, the G caps can fit on any of the other models so you can mix and match to put a metal clip on any other model you have.

Bob S.

Anonymous said...

I have had my Techniclick pencils for years, same model (actually, I have three different models, but the model you mentioned is the one I write with for the most part.)

Nowadays I can't even find them. I'm glad I stocked up - I can't imagine using the T3! It seems like every time they "update" the Techniclick it gets cheaper.

anikotevet said...

And my comment (probably the comment before this) I wasn't trying to do anonymously, but for some reason it can't verify me.

http://anikotevet.livejournal.com

I... actually have a picture of my Techniclick obsession. My family knows I always appreciate them for my birthday, and I have to guard them from people at work taking them - my oldest techniclicks (the ones with caps and the most used ones) are three years old and get used pretty heavily. When I was in high school I broke and lost a few caps - I used to stick my fingers under them frequently and pushed them up - so that was sort of my fault.

Kiwi-d said...

Yep, that photo sure shows you have more than your fair share of Techniclicks.

anikotevet said...

Sorry to reply again - but yes, and I blame my dad in good humor. He has his one-and-only mechanical pencils - different brand - but I never liked it because I was always accidentally pressing the lead button.

But I was mostly replying to say "Really, I've never noticed my caps to lose friction or start not fitting properly." Since mostly I use one pencil and keep the others to lend to people when the situation arises (I work with kids) - I thought I'd throw in that I've never been given reason to doubt that the cap won't last.

I'd agree about the pocket thing - I've been stabbed a few times with them when they were in my pocket - but in retrospect carrying pens or pencils in pant pockets isn't exactly great form anyway - at least, not in my field.

Anonymous said...

You can get the originals at pentelstore.com. I can't live without this pencil!

Anonymous said...

A theory about another role for the groove in the cap:

The groove facilitates holes for an air passage on either side for safety should the cap get swallowed by a young child. I believe this has been discussed elsewhere on the blog concerning other pencil/pen cap designs. I only noticed the holes in the Tecniclick's cap recently.

Bob S. in Phoenix, AZ

Anonymous said...

There is one group who are BIG fans of side click buttons (and good size erasers) -- students taking exams! The Pentel Techniclick and QuickerClicker are both great pencils, and use the same type eraser; I usually just leave the caps off. Haven't tried the Staedtler graphite 762 which looks interesting, too.

John Z.

Anonymous said...

I just got this pencil, and it is not really what I expected.
Whenever, my lead ran out, the small piece of lead left would remain stuck in the pencil. The only way for me to get it out was by pushing another lead into it through the hole. This would cause the small lead to go into the pencil and it would now be stuck in the one shaped thing. I have heaps of small pieces of lead in there, and it is impossible to get out because you cant't open up the pacer.
Also since it is clear, it goes dirty easily and you can clearly see it.
I do not recommend this mechanical pencil to anyone.