Thursday, November 02, 2006

Zebra Jimnie KRM-100 Mechanical Pencil Review

Zebra Jimnie KRM-100 Mechanical Pencil Review

To be honest I’ve never really paid much attention to Zebra’s products. In my part of the world only a small number of their pens and other products, including 2 cheaper models of mechanical pencils, are readily available. I had a few packs of their refill leads because their pencils are usually sold as a set including a pack of refill leads, and so I included them in The Lead Cup. To my surprise they performed quite credibly, so I thought I’d better take another look at their mechanical pencils.

The Zebra Jimnie KRM-100 is a fairly standard looking plastic mechanical pencil. It’s a simple colour scheme, basically a black rubber grip and the rest of the body is dark grey tinted transparent plastic. It’s a lightweight pencil, as you would expect with such construction. The pocket clip is an integral moulding and it’s reasonably functional.

The black rubber grip has a definite ‘rubber’ feel to it, and you know how I’m not very keen on that. The compound is a medium hardness so there is a bit of give under normal finger pressure. Putting on my objective reviewer hat, I will admit that this rubber does improve the grip properties versus normal plastic.

There is a small eraser under the somewhat unusual bullet shaped top cap. The cap reminds me of a robot head from those B-grade 1950’s science fiction films. It sort of has ventilation slits in it, and looks like it’s a two-piece construction with a clear base or body and a tinted U-piece insert. The eraser itself is a rubber compound, and as usual I’m a bit disappointed in it. You can’t put the cap back on without activating the lead advance mechanism.

The lead advance mechanism is a standard push-top ratchet. It has a very good solid positive feel to it when you push the top cap. The 4mm metal slightly conical lead sleeve is fully retractable so its pocket safe. Its also a sliding sleeve so will retract whilst writing as the lead wears down. However I wouldn’t recommend that, as it has a terribly scratchy feel across the paper. Push the top cap and advance the lead straight away!

  • Best Points – The rubber grip is good, and for some reason I really like the robot head top cap.
  • Not So Good Points – Nothing much considering the price range, except for those like me who aren’t really rubber grip people.
  • Price Range – Low, but you usually get a pack of Drafix lead refills as well so its quite a good deal.

Dimensions – Length 146mm, diameter 9mm across rubber grip. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.

Note: I haven’t seen one, but if you search the web for Zebra Jimnie you basically get the Jimnie Clip which appears to be a similar model but with a document or binder clip. Perhaps the Jimnie has been re-designed and mine is an out-dated variant, even though it’s still on sale down-under?


Unknown said...

I've used a cousin of this pencil, the Zebra Tapli, and I've found it to be a nice, cheap, and comfortable pencil for day to day use. My main complaint is the mostly decorative eraser. It seems like both this and the Jimnie have been dropped leaving only the Jimnie Clip and their new triangular Kendo series.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

You should try reviewing one of the Zebra Airfit models, as well as a Faber-Castell Grip-Matic 1077 (I think)!

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite pencil. Unfortunately it just broke last week and I tried looking around for it and was unable to find it at any local stores. So I went online and bought it, and they sent me the wrong kind (they put the picture next to the wrong description.) In short, I recommend this pencil, because it has a really nice feel to it and it's really light. And Dave, I'd be really really really grateful if you'd help me get this pencil. Maybe I can buy some from you? Anyway, please email me at for any help. Cheers mate!

Anonymous said...

This is my fav pencil too. I think they discontinued it as its no longer on their site and I can't find it in stores anywhere. Only online in the UK and there is no way I'll pay $20 shipping for a $2 pencil. =(

Anonymous said...

Can't find any review on Zebra Z-909 or Z-907 mechanical pencil? Hope you can accomodate my request. Can you tell me which mechanical pencil is the most durable?

Anonymous said...

could you do a review of the zebra Zgrip?even though you hate rubber grips?


ps great site!!!

Kiwi-d said...

lefty - sorry, no, I don't have a Z grip.

Anonymous said...

well if you ever come across a Z grip or a pentel twist erase click in the future, they are both good pencils in my opinion...


Anonymous said...

Please make a review of the Zebra z-905 its a nice pencil.

Anonymous said...

Will this wunderbar-blog ever see a normal life again?

Over 99,500 Hits in the past 30 days say:
Dave, go for it!


Hisham said...

4 years on. Today I have found a couple of Zebra Taplis. They are good. Very little wobble and I do like them pointy cone tips instead of stubbier ones on most other general writing MP in their price range. I do buy decent MPs at low price to give away to kids, usually after filling them with better leads. Paid dirt cheap for two due to them being old stock. Came with a tube of 2B leads that perform decent for something that came from that era. Rubber grip still tight and firm I hope these two will get some use when they can find a new home.