The Pentel Twist-Erase seems to have a bit of a following amongst people who like a big eraser on their pencil, so I thought I’d better get one and check it out for myself. Like most Pentels, the Twist-Erase comes in a wide selection of colours and lead sizes. Mine is dark blue, 0.9mm lead, the QE519-C to be exact. And if we are being exact, then Pentels website calls it the Twist-Erase III, so I guess there has been some product development over the years.
The Twist-Erase is a fairly substantial looking pencil, although there’s nothing startling about how it looks. Plain dark blue one-colour scheme with chrome tip and pocket-clip. “Twist-Erase 0.9” and other details are printed in silver at the top of the body. Weight-wise it’s a bit lighter than I anticipated.
The pocket-clip is a strong stiff metal clip. There are three holes punched out of it for decoration. Something about it just makes me suspect it’s a generic buy-in rather than a specific Pentel item. This could well be complete rubbish, but somehow that thought just occurs to me whenever I look at it. The tip section is chrome with a 3mm fixed lead sleeve suitable for draughting, but the sleeve isn’t retractable, so it’s not a pocket safe pencil.
This is a push top ratchet mechanism pencil. The whole top section is the push-top to activate the mechanism, rather than just a button on top. The whole section also pulls off to give access to the lead magazine. The top section is secured to the main body by push-fitting back onto the plastic lead tube. Now I always harbour a few doubts about that concept so I’d welcome any comments from long time users.
The rubber grip is very slightly contoured with a small flare out at the base to help keep your fingers in the right place. It’s a reasonably firm compound but there is a very small amount of ‘give’ under the fingers. It is a fairly ‘grippy’ material that does improve your grip, and it’s a reasonably wide diameter at the grip section so that also helps.
I must say that I don’t use 0.9mm lead very often. Writing with it was definitely somewhat smoother than with my usual 0.5 or 0.7mm. A long time back I had a comment about thicker leads lasting longer than thin leads. I wasn’t particularly sure about that whole thickness vs life expectancy thing so I have done a few writing tests with this 0.9 vs 0.5mm leads and I now agree, 0.9 lasts an awful lot longer. A lot more words per piece of lead.
Onto the main event, the eraser. Well it’s certainly a super size eraser, and you twist the top section around to extend it out. It’s a smooth twist action, and it only advances a short amount with each turn. The eraser appears to be a rubber compound. As much as I love Pentel, I’ve always thought their erasers were their weak point, and it’s the same here. The eraser rubs out reasonably well, but leaves a lot of messy waste. It doesn’t twist up into strands. I just feel that a PVC eraser would be better, like Staedtler or Faber-Castell, better erasing power and less mess. I certainly became less impressed with the eraser as time went by - size isn’t everything! You replace the eraser by simply push-fitting it into its holder - it’s the Pentel E10 jumbo eraser, roughly Ø7mm by 30mm usable length (c ¼ x 1 ¼ inches).
- Best Points – Well you certainly get plenty of eraser.
- Not So Good Points – Not pocket safe. Because of the eraser, I could see this being a pencil that some would want to carry around as their everyday writing / sketching pencil, and not being pocket safe could be a point against that.
- Price Range – Low.
Dimensions – Length 136mm, diameter 11mm at widest part of grip section. Balance point about 70mm up from the tip.