Late last year a reader from the USA, ‘Barrel Of A Pencil’ sent me an unusual gift, his nomination for the title of worst mechanical pencil in the world, the Papermate Write Bros. In the end I didn’t agree with his assessment, but we both agreed that it definitely was a piece of P*p#rm*t#!. Stirred by that review, another reader ‘Mindstorm81’ (also known as Peter from Wollongong, Australia) decided that since he really quite liked his particular Papermate he should try and balance the scales, redeem the Papermate name, and so I received a little Christmas present from him, the Papermate Pacer Executive mechanical pencil.
Considering how I ended up with a Pacer Executive I felt sure that it would be a reasonably good pencil, but the question was, just what sort a Christmas experience would it provide? Something to match ‘White Christmas’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ or perhaps instead it would be more akin to Billy Bob’s ‘Bad Santa’ – great fun but leaving you feeling a little dirty the next day?
The Pacer Executive is not listed on the current Papermate USA/International website, and most web searches seem to end up pointing to Australia. I did find a thread on an international discussion board from late 2007 indicating that the Pacer Executive was being phased-out, but from where? If you download the Australian product list from Papermate Australia you will find the Pacer Executive, with item code S18035570 and EAN Barcode 9300627125225. This barcode number is interesting because it is an Australian registered barcode. Perhaps it used to be more widely distributed, but I am tempted to think that the Pacer Executive is now offered only by Sanford Papermate Australia.
Well, lets get on with it, so here we have the Papermate Pacer Executive mechanical pencil.
Stainless steel body with black plastic grip and end section. Although it’s a stainless steel body, this is still quite a lightweight pencil. Quite frankly it looks rather smart and business executive like, and feels pretty good in the hand too.
The grip zone is a one piece moulded section in hard black shiny plastic. Raised rings are the grip enhancement, and overall they work quite well. I’d rate this grip as better then average, but it is a relatively narrow diameter.
The whole cassette pulls easily out of the pencil – just grab the black section above the pocket clip and yank the whole thing out. A new cassette can then simply be pushed back in. The cassette holds 12 leads, and the word “Japan” is one of the markings on the cassette body.The pocket clip is a plain simple piece of steel but quite strong and effective. The Papermate hearts are punched into it. The black plastic clip mount has “Japan” moulded into it.
Final verdict then? This is a nice pencil, and brings credit to the Papermate brand. Definitely closer to ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ than ‘Bad Santa’.
- Best Points – I like the needle sharp look of the lead sleeve. Cassette refills are competitively priced.
- Not So Good Points – Nothing much leaps out at me.
- Price Range – Low.
- Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? – Despite a “positive” review, No.
Dimensions – Length 149mm, diameter 9mm at grip zone. Balance point about 70mm up from the tip.