Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pentel Graph 1000 PG1005 Mechanical Pencil Review

Pentel Graph 1000 PG1005 Mechanical Pencil Review

Strictly speaking, this pencils full title is ‘Graph 1000 For Pro’, rather than just ‘Graph 1000’, and don’t confuse it with the somewhat similarly named ‘Graphgear 1000’. The Graph 1000 has been around a fair while and is something of a classic. Well, at least in my mind. Having said that, I note that the Graph 1000 is not on the Pentel USA website, but is still on their Pentel Store shopping website, where the text states it is available in 0.5 and 0.7mm lead diameters but then the purchase selections are 0.3 and 0.5mm. I love a well coordinated and maintained website.

At one time or another, in one country or another, the Graph 1000 has been available in 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9mm lead diameters. For the purposes of this review I used a PG1005, that’s the 0.5mm lead version.

I like the looks of my PG1005. A serious no nonsense technical look that says this is the tool of a competent professional designer, yet with those long lean straight lines and black satin sheen finish it is equally at home in a business boardroom meeting. Classic style. A pencil for all situations. In the hand the Graph 1000 is quite lightweight and neutral feeling.

The lead sleeve is a fixed 4mm fixed pipe - eminently suitable for draughting but particularly pocket-unsafe. The lead seems very securely held and precisely positioned within the lead sleeve, with little to no play between the lead and pipe. The lead advance mechanism is a standard push top ratchet. Ten clicks will get you about 5.5mm of the 0.5mm lead.

The lead diameter of your particular pencil is indicated on the top of the push top button. This could be useful for those who have a selection of Graph 1000’s in different lead diameters all sitting together in a pencil cup.

The top button is also a lead hardness indicator. You simply twist it around until the window shows the desired grade. It’s a simple friction click-fit sort of system keeping the window in place. Nice and positive positioning. The lead grades available for display are B, HB, F, H, 2H and 3H. As you would expect, there is a small eraser under the top button. It is also equipped with a lead clearance rod. You remove the eraser to access the lead refill chamber. I did not notice any annoying squeaks or rattles when using my pencil.The grip zone of the Graph 1000 consists essentially of a round metal pipe section with rubber inserts. The rubber inserts are rectangular with rounded ends, about 10mm long x 2mm wide. The insert sticks though to be slightly raised above the surrounding surface. When I say slightly I mean about 0.1 – 0.2mm. There are six inserts spaced evenly around the circumference of the grip, and three rows of inserts up the body. It is all black on black so a little hard to show photographically but I’ve mucked around with the photo below so hope you will get the idea.We all know rubber grips are not my favourite but this one is an attempt to give the best of worlds - a rubber grip that isn’t too rubbery. It does work reasonably well, although I would suggest a little less distance between the rubber inserts might be an improvement. Seven or perhaps eight inserts spaced around the circumference rather than six.

I have seen some very worn inserts on well used Graph 1000’s. There was a time when it was stocked in the stationery cupboard at my work. You can feel the rubber inserts under your finger and may find yourself rotating the pencil to keep the inserts beneath or between your fingers according to your personal preference. For me personally it also makes me a little more aware of how tightly I am gripping the pencil.

The pocket clip is quite small and unobtrusive, but is a good and sturdy.Printed onto the upper barrel area is “GRAPH 1000 For Pro 0.5, Pentel PG1005 Japan”. I am always in favour of such clear full markings – no problems identifying your pencil make, model, etc. Convenient for people with hundreds of pencils!Overall then this is an excellent pencil and a worthy addition to any collection.
  • Best Points – A good overall package, the styling.
  • Not So Good Points – Not many, not pocket safe.
  • Price Range – Low/Mid.
  • Does This Pencil Make It Into The Top 5? – A contender, but No.

Dimensions – Length 146mm, diameter 9mm at grip section. Balance point about 70mm up from the tip.

Pentel Graph 1000 Limited

Recently Pentel released the Graph 1000 Limited in a selection of different coloured bodies with the grip section being silver metal (sand-blasted aluminium?) with coloured rubber inserts, and the tip section and pocket clip being chrome. Up above I said that the black version was a classic style, so the Limited appears to be an attempt at another section of the fashion market.

A different type of cool?Somehow I suspect the Graph 1000 Limited is actually a Special Edition rather than a Limited Edition in normal writing instrument parlance. The term Limited Edition usually means a limited number of items will be produced, whereas a Special Edition usually means the item will be produced for a limited period of time without any quantity limit.


Anonymous said...

I don't want to lose my head here Dave, but how did you get my picture! Anyone know what's for supper?

Well worth the wait my friend!

Barrel Of A Pencil

Anonymous said...

Barrel Of A Pencil - Which one are you?
Hirsute, gingery and fond of roast chicken.
Hirsute, dark and brooding.
Non-hirsute and leggy.

Germ said...

Nice review, David. Excellent pencil. For writing comfort, it is in my top 15. You need all of them, though.


looks nice, eh?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous, glad you asked! Think Wolfman Meets The Bride Of Frankenstein or better yet, since Dave's Mechanical Pencils is a pencil blog afterall, think:




Barrel Of A Pencil

B2-kun said...

Very nice thorough review of the Graph 1000. This mechanical pencil is my current overall favorite for sketching in the 0.5 mm category for its balanced weight and comfortable feel. The non-pocket safe aspect is not an issue for me since I carry it in a aluminum pencil case along with my GraphGear 1000 pencils. As for the "Limited edition" statement, with the "Google Translate" feature I was able to glean from this Korean website that the total production of limited Graph 1000 was 50,000 units divided in two sizes (0.3 and 0.5 mm) and the five colors (black, white, red, blue, and silver). Thus if their sources are accurate, there are 5,000 units of each size and color version available worldwide.


Andrey's Pencils E-bay listings also display "Was makes only 5000 items of each kind Made in Japan" perhaps confirming the limited nature of the color versions of the Graph 1000

Anonymous said...

Have you tried the Pentel e-Sharp? It is my favorite cheap pencil, and very similar to the Pentel Energize you liked.

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks for the production quantity information. Obviously I had not noticed that myself, and thus I stand corrected. The Limited is indeed a Limited Edition.

Doh! Once again I make a fool of myself for all the world to see :-)

. said...

Great review. I've had my PG1007 for something like 15 years. I bought it as an industrial design student, and it serves me to this day in my role as a web designer. It's something of a treasured possession.

Anonymous said...

In a straight contest between the PG1003 and the P203, its the P203 by a nose but SO So close!!. This pencil is a stealth machine and so much easier to handle than say a Pilot S10 - the PG1003 blends in with your hand, the Pilot S10 dominates your hand.

2 1/2p

Anonymous said...

Do you know where I can buy a Pentel Smash mechanical pencil in a color other than black?


Jack Chambers said...

I read that the graph 1000 limited had a worldwide release of 5000. Read it here:


Which i guess would by why its limited and not special. Anyhow, great blog, inspired a few buys.


Selic said...

Hi. I'm korean ^^. Review is Good. I write about graph 1000. Is this blog not trackback system?


Kiwi-d said...

Hello Selic. Unfortunately Blogger does not have an in-built trackback system.

Anonymous said...

Been looking at the site and thought I'd go to the Korean site mentioned here (see above)....

I know this is OT so I apologize, but google has flagged it as an attack site with auto downloads happening when you visit.. These files/viruses may have been placed there by a visitor and the owner may not know about it, but I've chosen to skip the site and would encourage others search (google, et. al.) the site before visiting. No one needs those kinds of problems..