Second in my series of holiday mini-pencil reviews is the “Mini M.V.P.” AL17MN from Pentel. It’s available in a selection of body colours, but 0.7mm lead size only. Now normally I’m a 0.5mm person, but I actually think 0.7mm might be a better choice for mini-pencils. A few quick notes, a scrap of paper on a imperfect writing surface, you’re in a hurry, a small pencil that isn’t the “perfect” fit in your hand, - all these sort of things combine to suggest to me that a bit of extra strength in your lead might be a good thing, hence 0.7mm rather than 0.5mm.
The Mini MVP looks like a cut-down version of several Pentel pencils, particularly the Pentel Champ AL17. This tends to give it a rather compact, no-nonsense “busy” look in comparison to many other mini-pencils which are often rather smooth or plainly shaped. It’s basically a normal width pencil, just shorter than normal. As such it might not be the greatest at fitting inside your notebook or compendium. The shaped rubber grip is a compound with some “stick”, so it does improve your grip, but from just lying around and a bit of time in a shirt pocket, the grip quickly picked up its fair share of dust and lint. Being black this tended to show, and I didn’t really like the look. Speaking of pockets, like most Pentels the tip is not retractable, so again I wouldn’t class this pencil as (trouser) pocket safe although it’s fine in a shirt pocket. The plastic pocket clip is quite reasonable, for a plastic clip. The pocket clip and top section push fit onto the main body, so possibly over the very long term they might tend to come apart.
This is a push top ratchet mechanism pencil – 10 clicks for 7mm of lead advance. The top cap includes an uncovered small eraser. You pull the eraser out to access the lead refill chamber.
The rubber grip does give you some sense that you are writing with a normal size pencil, but as usual those with very large hands will struggle. I’ve got to admit that something about the Mini MVP just didn’t gel for me. Just not quite right. I think it was a sort of optical illusion, the normal width and “look” of the pencil just didn’t produce the right “feel” in the hand – maybe my eyes were telling my brain to expect "normal", but my hand was saying “it’s just a little shorty”. A clash of messages? But putting that aside, the Mini MVP was definitely easier to hold than the thin mini-pencils like the Pilot Birdie.
- Best Points – The rubber grip for those who like them.
- Not So Good Points – Not entirely pocket safe.
- Price Range – Economy.
Dimensions – Length 110mm, diameter 12mm at widest part of grip section. Balance point - irrelevant.