Pentel Graphgear 1000 PG1015 Mechanical Pencil Review“That’s a pretty strange looking pencil” was the first thing I thought when I saw the Pentel Graphgear 1000. Actually its almost a little bit science fiction sort of looking with that metallic body, big clip and grip section.
So first off, how does that grip section feel? It’s a fine diamond cut surface with little elliptical rubber inserts. Obviously this is an attempt to try and get the best of both worlds, and I’m pleased to say it’s reasonably successful. It doesn’t feel like an ordinary rubber grip, yet still has a bit of softness about it when you are holding the pencil.
Then there is that massive pocket clip. Actually they call it a document clip, a reference to how you can clip it to a thick sheaf of papers. It is a powerful spring loaded clip that will grasp about 15 sheets. Pentel advertise this pencil in their drafting section rather than general section. To me the document clip implies a general office or writing type pencil, but the name, the look and the features are very draughting or graphic art orientated, so perhaps they are aiming for a sort of cross-over pencil; general office and technical work?
This is a vanishing point type pencil, with a push top ratchet lead advance mechanism. Similar to a ballpoint pen, pushing the top button first pushes out the tip section with its 4mm lead sleeve. Further operation of the top button advances the lead like a normal push top ratchet pencil. The mechanism only advances a very short length of lead each time. Once out, the sleeve is a fixed sleeve, but operating the document clip automatically retracts the tip section for pocket safety and to stop the sleeve getting bent as it’s carried around. It’s a very serious ‘wham slam’ spring loaded retraction system! Actually I wasn’t totally happy with this vanishing point mechanism. There is a very slight amount of movement in it, and particularly when you first start to write I felt like it was catching on the paper with the first tiny little wobble. Also with the tip extended, the grip is a fair way back along the pencil so it might not suit those who like to hold their pencil right down close to the tip.
There is a small eraser under the top button. I suppose it’s better than nothing, but not that much. Occasional use only! There is a lead hardness degree indicator just at the top of the grip section. You can select to display 2B through to 2H. You have to unscrew the very front of the tip section just a little, which loosens the grip section so you can rotate it around to show the desired hardness grade in the window.
My Graphgear 1000 is 0.5mm, but there are also 0.3, 0.7 and 0.9mm options, distinguished by different coloured rubber inserts in the grip section. The main section of the body is aluminium tube, but it’s got an unusual roughened but shiny surface finish. Printed in black on the body is “GRAPHGEAR 1000 Pentel PG1015 Japan 6C .5” so you get the full story! Overall I would say this mechanical pencil is built to last, to give you many years of solid reliable performance, but I’m not sure I would recommend it as a general writing pencil. I think it’s more suited to being a technical pencil that also does a bit of general office work.
- Best Points – The vanishing point, the unusual looks and the document clip if you are the type who likes to clip your pencil to a folder of notes as you walk to a meeting.
- Not So Good Points – The very short lead advance is a bit annoying when you have a lot of writing to do.
- Price Range – Low / Mid.