The Pentel Smash Q1005 mechanical pencil is one of those mechanical pencils that seems to have a little bit of “status” from being an interesting design and being somewhat hard to obtain in the West. I don’t know where the inspiration for the name Smash comes from, but it was my pencil of the week on the 40th anniversary of those first steps on the moon. Take a look at the Smash Q1005, it kind of looks retro space-rockety, like a mini model of something Flash Gordon or maybe even George Jetson would have flown in.(Clickable for hi-res)
Right, I’m off on a tangent here, but you know when you look back at the technology that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon and back, it’s unbelievably basic and outdated by today’s standards. I am always amazed that there wasn’t a lot more of smash and crash involved in the Apollo program. They flew to the moon and back but they would have been astonished at a handheld programmable calculator, let alone a mobile phone, MP3 player or heavens above, a laptop computer. They timed rocket bursts with the Omega mechanical watches on their wrists. Despite it happening 40 years ago, I’m tempted to think that the Apollo 11 mission is the greatest human technological achievement ever. What else even comes close to the achievement of sending men to walk on the moon? Now, whether you agree with it being the greatest technological achievement or not, just take a moment to reflect - those guys flew to the moon and back on a space-rocket which was designed in the days of drafting pencil and pen. No fancy design and drawing software for those guys, just thousands upon thousands of hand drawn blueprints. The heyday of the leadholder / drafting mechanical pencil and the technical pen. OK, enough of this flying off on a tangent, back to the real subject of this posting.
The Smash Q1005 doesn’t have flashy or attention grabbing looks, rather it’s an understated but aesthetically appealing look. The knobbly grip of the Smash is probably its most visually striking feature, made more apparent by the plain smooth body and neutral greyish colour. Without a separate front tip section or completely different base for the grip section, the Smash tends to look more ‘one-piece construction’ rather than ‘assemblage of multiple components’. The black rubber grip bumps are quite proud of the surface and you certainly feel them under your fingers. I found this a little disconcerting at first, but quickly got used to it. It certainly is a superior grip, although I imagine the rubber bumps would wear over time.The rubber grip bumps also mean the pencil is reasonably anti-roll, but being a round grip zone you can hold the pencil at any place, and rotate at will. The Smash is a mainly plastic mechanical pencil so is relatively lightweight.
The lead sleeve is a fixed non-retractable 4mm long thin metal pipe. The Q1005 Smash mechanical pencil is a drafting mechanical pencil, beware the stabby end!
Up above the grip section is a lead hardness indicator. You unscrew the grip a fraction to allow the window to rotate and expose the appropriate lead grade – 2B to 4H, including F. Up at the top end of the pencil is the push top button which has a concertina type shaft cover, another feature that I find visually appealing. Ten clicks of the mechanism will get you about 5mm of 0.5mm lead. This is on the shorter side of town, definitely allowing for precise dispensing of your lead. On the one hand I admire and like the precision of this lead advancement, but if you are using the Smash mechanical pencil to write with then you will probably be clicking away a lot more than usual. The pocket clip is a small plain matt black metal clip - firm and functional.
The top button pulls off to reveal a small emergency use eraser, but it has a lead clean-out rod attached. The eraser pulls out to allow access to the lead refill magazine.“Smash 0.5 Pentel Q1005 Japan” is printed on the body up towards the top.
It’s quite difficult to see but “05” is moulded into the top of the push top button as well.Just for the record, the close up photos of the concertina push top button make it look a bit unappealing and do it a bit of a disservice - it looks better in real life.
Overall then, this is a mighty fine pencil and deserves its status.
- Best Points – The grip, the retro-rocket looks.
- Not So Good Points – Stabby end.
- Price Range – Low.
- Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? – Phew, now we’ve reached the hard part. Lets take the Top 5 one at a time. Pilot Vanishing Point – safe. Pentel Sharp P205 – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but not safe. Tombow Oceanic – safe. Pentel Graphgear 1000 – not safe. Pentel Flex Fit II PW35 – not safe. Right all three Pentels are up for removal. After careful consideration, the Flex Fit II’s grip keep it safe. So that leaves P205 and Graphgear 1000. By crikey, I can’t decide! To quote myself, The Top 5 is supposed to include “a variety, to having a representative range of pencil types and styles. It’s not the Top Five draughting pencils, or Top Five writing pencils, or...”. The P205 is the only “ordinary” or “normal” type draughting pencil of the 5 so to remove it is a big call. But then basically Smash is an ordinary drafting pencil too. Graphgear 1000 is a vanishing point and a bit flashy and has that document clip, so some unusual features. Gaaahh!, I really can’t believe I’m going to do this, but P205 is out and Smash is in!!!
Dimensions – Length 138mm, diameter 9mm. Balance point about 65mm up from the tip.