Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tombow Onbook Mechanical Pencil Review

Tombow Onbook Mechanical Pencil Review

This is a different sort of review, more pictorial rather than text. This time I’m letting my camera do the talking, rather than my fingers.

The Tombow Onbook is currently available as a ballpoint pen and as a mechanical pencil. I will of course be confining myself to the Onbook mechanical pencil, which has a style number of SH-OBxx.

Designed to clip to and fit snugly down the spine of a notebook, hence the name Onbook.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil

Of course it also fits nicely to the cover of a book too.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil

A somewhat suggestive end on the top cap.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil end cap

Long straight slim lay-flat smooth lines are a necessity for a pencil designed primarily to be clipped to books.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil

Note the unusual cross-section of the body. About 1/3rd of the circumference is pushed in to make a concave section to assist in fitting snugly to whatever it is clipped to.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil body shape
The unusual body cross section does make for an unusual writing experience. It’s fine for a few notes and other short term use but this is not really a pencil for writing a novel with.

I imagine Onbook would be entirely suitable for bookies. The sleeve is retractable for pocket safety.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil

tombow onbook mechanical pencil

The pocket clip is a strong steel clip, firmly sprung against the body.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil pocket clip
Note how the pocket clip is attached at the very top of push top button so the pencil won’t stick out up past the top of the book it’s clipped to. This does mean there is a risk of the main body inadvertently detaching from your book at some inconvenient time, but the top button is very firmly press fitted to the main body so the risk is minimal. Well at least while the pencil is reasonably new.

Very small eraser under the push top button. Lead refill chamber beneath the eraser as usual.
tombow onbook mechanical pencil eraser and lead refill

• Price Range – Low/Mid.
• Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? - No.

Dimensions – Length 137mm, diameter 8mm before part of it got squashed in.

The Tombow Onbook mechanical pencils featured in this review were gifts from Cult Pens.


Unknown said...

Sometimes, Dave, the photos you choose outshine any pencil.

Photo #4, for instance.

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks R.E.
#4 is a bit of a classic...particularly because I recall an incident when on holiday at the beach, a certain teenage relative had forgotten her hair-straightener...

Anonymous said...

The notebook in the first photo is Midori MD Notebook?

Kiwi-d said...

Yes, Midori MD it is. Well spotted. I intend to do a review or post on it, but at the rate I'm going it will April next year :-)

memm said...

Thanks for this post. Is the Onbook comfortable to grip / write with?

Kiwi-d said...

I think the word for the grip is "different". It's not uncomfortable, and perfectly fine for short term use, but if you were someone who gripped your pebcil really tightly then it might not be the best. Also of course I don't think I'd recommend it for long term use - a few notes, etc = yes, but writing a novel = no.

Dwscamel said...

Love the photographs, neutral about the pencils.

Michael J Corry said...

Dave, I beg to differ. The word is 'uncomfortable', unless by 'a few notes' you mean nothing longer than 'Dentist 3.30' in a diary.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Sapphire. Well I guess you find it more uncomfortable than me but that's fair enough, the comfort level of something like this pencil is totally subjective and wildly variable.

PointFour said...

What pencil *would* you recommend for writing a novel?

Kiwi-d said...

Depends. Whats the novel about? Murder mystery, spy thriller, historical fiction????

Michael J Corry said...

Now there's an idea. What pencil goes with what?
I see Hercule Poirot or Peter Wimsey with a Yard-O-Led so a whodunnit would have be written with one.
Lamy Spirit for steampunk?

Kiwi-d said...

Caran d'Ache Varius Ivanhoe for medieval tales of knights, dragons and maidens.
Ohto Tasche for a spy thriller? Of course Q would have modified it with camera, poison gas, bullets, etc.

PointFour said...

Don't forget that some thrillers are so up-to-the-minute (Michael Marshall, Stieg Larsson) that they'd naturally need the latest hi-tec pencil to do them justice. Platinum OLEeNU? Uni Kuru Toga?