What to do about the sharp pointy end of the mechanical pencil? That’s a problem that has long exercised the minds of the designers and users of mechanical pencils. Many just ignore it and have a fixed sharp tip. Others protect the sharp end by having sliding retractable lead sleeves, or caps, or double action vanishing points, or extendable protective over-sleeves, or…well the list goes on. The subject of this review, Mitsubishi Pencil Co’s Uni Shift 1010 mechanical pencil uses something akin to a vanishing point mechanism to protect the lead sleeve when it is not in use.
When retracted (storage or carry mode), the Uni Shift looks like this.
When in carry mode, the push top button does not operate so you cannot accidently advance any lead. The lead sleeve is retracted back in carry mode, but it’s tip is only just inside the front section, and if you had recently advanced the lead then it can be left protruding out the end of the front section. This is not a major problem, but it does mean it can potentially mark the inside of whatever you put your Shift into, and to be honest, I am slightly disappointed Uni didn’t eliminate this matter by having the sleeve retract just a fraction further back.
The pocket clip is a rather plain but springy and functional chromed metal.
Overall then the Uni Shift is a very nice mechanical pencil and worth having in a collection.
- Best Points – The Shift mechanism makes an interesting change.
- Not So Good Points – Not properly locking the mechanism.
- Price Range – Low.
- Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? - No.