Monday, September 17, 2007

Ohto Tasche SP-10T Mechanical Pencil Review

Ohto Tasche SP-10T Mechanical Pencil Review

All good things must come to end. Just like my holiday finished, this is the last of my holiday mini-pencil reviews. The End - but I have saved the best for last.

The Ohto Tasche SP-10T is a great pencil. First off, it looks great. With the cap on for storage, it looks compact and “useful”. Small, but not too small. Mine is a glossy dark blue colour and the strategically positioned chrome trims combine with the blue and the overall shape to produce a really great look. Opened up, with the cap posted and ready for writing it looks equally good. Stylish but purely functional.

Closed up, the Tasche is small enough to fit in most compendiums or pocketbooks. The cap system means it is totally pocket safe, and the tip is protected from any accidental damage. The pocket clip is spring loaded and is a good solid piece, not much chance of accidentally coming off whatever you clipped it to.

The Tasche has a 3mm fixed lead sleeve. Combined with 0.5mm lead size, it’s actually useable as a technical draughting pencil. Equally though it’s suitable for general writing. The grip area has no special grip enhancements. Like the rest of the pencil it is metal, but the grip section is finished with a lustrous but non-glossy finish to slightly enhance the grip characteristics. However, it’s still essentially a plain metal body so the grip will never get an “excellent” rating.

The end-cap on the body is a chrome plated screw in cap. You unscrew it to expose a small eraser, and pull the eraser to access the lead refill magazine. This is all a little bit time consuming. The eraser is definitely emergency use only. I can see the end cap rolling around the floor of the train to Brussels or the flight to LA if you were using the eraser regularly on your travels. The end-cap also has a black rubber o-ring set into it. When you post the cap onto the body to get ready to write, the o-ring guides the cap onto body and holds it there. I really the like the pneumatic, compressed air feeling as you slide the cap on or off the body. It’s like my own little piston toy – a silly, secret, little something for the engineers amongst us. Once posted, the cap is free to spin around on the body, which sometimes I like, and other times I don’t. You can actually use the pencil with the cap unposted, but in that case it is definitely a short pencil.
The lead advance mechanism is an ordinary push top ratchet mechanism. 10 clicks advances 7mm of lead. Putting the cap back on the tip to close up for the day generally activates the lead advance mechanism unless you are careful. This always annoys me. Now, I must tell the truth and say that I had a problem with the mechanism of my Tasche. The lead stopped advancing. I have a shockingly poor success rate at disassembling my pencils, they never seem to work as well after I have opened them up for “investigation”. So these days I resist temptation and only pull them apart when absolutely necessary. In this case the “lead retainer” had come loose in the tip and I managed to push it back home into position and everything was once again as it should be, so that made me feel happy.

  • Best Points – Looks good, like the cap system.
  • Not So Good Points – I would feel “picky” to list anything of consequence here.
  • Price Range – Mid.

Dimensions – With cap on front in storage position = 107mm long. With cap posted on top for writing = 139mm long. With the cap left off (unposted) = 104mm. Diameter = 8mm at grip. Balance point about 75mm up from the tip with cap posted on top for writing.

My final comment - I thoroughly recommend Ohto Tasche to you all, it is a worthy competitor to Pentel Sharp Kerry.

Good bye to Australia. Same time, same place, next year. (Maybe)


Anonymous said...

I want one!!!! Where does one get it?


Kiwi-d said...

Here's 3 places to try -, or

Anonymous said...

I just got mine in. I'm a little disappointed--there's about 1/16" of free play before the lead advance mechanism starts. To me, it gives the pencil a sloppy feel that's at odds with the sophisticated appearance.

I like my old Pentel 5 better. (It looks just like the Kerry, but has a big "5" on the cap instead of "Kerry".

adrien said...

quote-->"In this case the “lead retainer” had come loose in the tip and I managed to push it back home into position and everything was once again as it should be, so that made me feel happy."
question : I just purchased an Otho Tasche, and I might have the same problem.. I don't get what you mean by pushing the "lead retainer" back.

Kiwi-d said...

The lead retainer is a little rubber o-ring or moulded piece that is right down in the tip just before the lead sleeve (metal guide pipe). It is the last thing that actually grips the lead. If you unscrew the tip you might see the lead retainer is stuck on the stick of lead rather than staying stuck in the tip section. If that’s the case take it off the lead and carefully push it home back in the tip.

adrien said...

thank you for your swift answer!
unfortunately I doubt this is the problem, the lead retainer was in deed stuck on the lead, but even with that fixed, the lead doesn't advance anymore, I guess I'll have to send it back to the seller (
thanks anyway, and keep on the good work, it's a nice place you have here.
Adrien )

Anonymous said...

Dave, in the list of "Labels" on the right of your blog, you list the major manufacturers - but not Ohto. Please could you add them, or at least a "miscellaneous" category for the less common makes?

Kiwi-d said...

Hello Anonymous. Well thanks for the suggestion and interest in this blog, but I think an Ohto label would only have 3 entries against it so it seems a bit of a waste. The Lijit search box will bring up all 3 straight away, and if you use the List of Reviews sidebar link then the Ohto pencils I've reviewed are in that list. Hope that helps.
Tell you what, I'll meet you half-way - if I do another Ohto's then I'll defintely add a label then.

2nd_astronaut said...

Some days ago I got a Tasche. I like the format, it really fits in a Tasche. But I have to say I was disappointed, that the cap is not arrested anyhow while in writing position: the turning of the cap is ok, but I don't like the feeling of loosing the cap during writing. Here the Kerry has the better solution for me.

I tought about other capped pencils, but I think there are not so many: there is the Tombow Variable (rare), the Tombow 505 (also rare) and I saw a nice Pilot on ebay (#320409738922), which was too expensive though.

Kiwi-d said...

Ummm....what's a (non-Ohto) Tasche?

2nd_astronaut said...

the German word for bag ;-)

2nd_astronaut said...

Today my 3rd capped pencil has arrived: a Tombow Zoom 505. It is heavier, larger and thicker than my other 2 pencils with a cap (P. Kerry and O. Tasche). Because it's larger, one can use it with posted cap and without cap. As I said, I don't like the loose feeling of the posted cap on the Ohto; on the Zoom it is better, but still the Kerry has the best solution for this.

I am indifferent on the look of the Tombow: its shiny surface and the thickness reminds me of a lip gloss or something like that... The push knob, however, is brilliant: it's flat, rounded and of the same surface as the pencil body -- very nice.

The grip feels good, but the pencil is little too thick for my taste.

PS: Not really a problem, but after two uses the lettering on my Tasche already disappeared -- only "JAPAN" is left....

jef said...

I've been looking for a small mechanical pencil to use in conjunction with the small Moleskine notebooks -- something that easily fits into a pocket without being bulky.
This review helped me find the SP-10T, which I actually received as a Christmas gift this year. It's replacing a Lamy Agenda, which is a nice pencil except for 2 things. 1) Only 0.7mm lead size and 2) the exposed lead sleeve that is a constant worry of scratching something or stabbing me :)

Your review is pretty much on the mark, especially the lead advance when putting the cap back on. However, since my primary requirement is small, the fact that the lead sleeve is not exposed means that I can live with that minor annoyance. The only thing I think I miss having is a needle - it would be a nice addition.

Overall, it's a great pencil. And Dave, you have a great blog. Many thanks!

Pat Ann said...

I bought a pink Ohto Tasch from Jetpens a few years ago and it too stopped pushing the graphite through. Thanks to your informative blog post, I just fixed it!
I now added your blog to my RSS feed.
Looking forward to many a pencil post from you!

My Best Regards

~Pat Ann~