I’ve been using mechanical pencils for years – mainly an orange Parker Jotter style one. However, one thing I disliked about the pencil was that the lead wear down and become smooth on one side, and you’d often have to rotate the pencil in order to keep on the sharp side of the lead. The pencil in this review, the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga, does this automatically. Each time the lead hits paper, the lead is rotated, ensuring that your lead is always sharp.
There are varying levels of quality that you can get the Kuru Toga in – I got it in the executive version, as it was only slightly cheaper but looked a lot better. You can also get it in a full plastic model, and one above the executive (that I think is fully metallic). However, this was a good balance for price.
The build was not fully metal – the grip section is made out of metal, and feels really sturdy, however the actual main body of the pen is made out of cheap feeling plastic. This was somewhat of a disappointment – I purchased the pencil expecting it to be fully plastic, however it is not. Despite this, the grip section is really nicely made. It has a small hole in the front so you can see how much your lead has rotated, and the grip is relatively comfortable for long writing periods.
The Uni Ball Kuru Toga rotates the lead every time that the pen hits the page. This, in theory, leads to the edges of the lead being relatively sharp every time your write. If you use high quality lead such as Parker leads, or the lead the pencil comes with (special lead for it which you can also purchase), it works great. The lead is always pretty sharp, and you no longer have thick and light strokes on the page.
Of course, if you use lower quality lead, or softer lead, it won’t have much of an effect. This comes to a feature I would like to see on the pencil – the ability to adjust how much the lead is rotated by. For those who like to draw, or write, with a softer lead, it means that the small amount of rotation the Kuru Toga puts on the lead doesn’t have much of an impact. If you could adjust the amount the lead rotated, the pencil would be great for those who use a softer lead.
However, this can’t be blamed on the pencil – most likely you’ll be using a stronger lead, but I thought it should be something to keep in mind.
The mechanism works really well. Every time the lead hits the paper, it’s rotated slightly. This keeps the lead sharp, and your strokes narrow and solid. Keep in mind that if you write on softer surfaces such as a bed or a thick mouse mat, the pencil may not rotate as it needs a solid surface to ‘detect’ writing.
I write in cursive (I think that’s how you say it), and the pencil works great for me, but for those who don’t join up letters or mainly do maths, you’ll have even greater results with the Kuru Toga, as the lead will have even more chance to rotate.
For those who like to use a mechanical pencil, the Uni Ball Kuru Toga is a must. It makes your writing sharper and clearer, and is incredibly cheap for what it is. The Uni Ball Kuru Toga is another unique invention coming out of Japan.
For under £10, you can’t go wrong with the Uni Ball Kuru Toga. For a well made, unique, and good writing experience, the Kuru Toga is the right way to go for an affordable yet high quality mechanical pencil.