Smooth action, nice LJ sized grip, substantial body, large advancing eraser.

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Review by Jim Bertelson posted 05-31-2011 11:02 PM 3620 views 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Smooth action, nice LJ sized grip, substantial body, large advancing eraser. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Pencils are one of those humble things in the shop, used constantly, abused, cursed, misplaced, and achieve no recognition. Bet they feel unloved.

Well I have been using Pentel automatic pencils for probably 20 years or more. And it came time to replace my aged, goto, automatic pencils. They had been dropped once to many times on the concrete floor. There was one or two generations of the Pentels between my old beaters, and the new fangled ones I just bought. But nothing was very exciting or new. We had a few around the house, but the newer ones never made it to the shop.

So I went shopping, at Office Depot, a logical place for automatic pencils. Had other things to buy there as well. I looked for something resembling the old ones, but couldn’t find anything. Then noticed these Twist Erase ones, in a two pack, with an extra eraser for each pencil. Why not, not much money involved.

Put them in the shop, and immediately forgot about the old ones. These new ones operate smoother, have a big comfortable grip, are made in a substantial fashion, and have the cat’s meow for an eraser…..good erasing action, and as you wear it down, you can advance it with a twist. Fab.

I have two in my home office, two in the shop here, and two in the La Conner, Washington vacation home shop. Wouldn’t be without them.

Haven’t found a downside, and have been using them for over two months, constantly. You can see the sawdust coating the one pictured, with a well used eraser.

Not much else to say. These are the 0.5 mm lead fine pencils that fit in the Incra rulers with the slots. I have plenty of lead, and the eraser with the extra should last a long time.

While I was there, I bought a couple of Pentel Hi-Polymer ZEH10 erasers to use for bigger erasing problems, and they work just like the ones on the pencil….....perfect.

The pencil….one of those things we don’t even think about in the shop… know… the bottle opener. Humble. But absolutely essential….....(-:

.......and I know, I know, I know…...the description might have other connotations, but you know, it fits.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

33 comments so far

View lew's profile


13179 posts in 4614 days

#1 posted 05-31-2011 11:11 PM

These sound like the perfect thing!

My problem would be I’d have to buy them by the gross because my shop is located at the exact geographic center of the Pennsylvania Pencil Triangle (the northeast equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle) where pencils disappear as soon as they leave your hand.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

#2 posted 05-31-2011 11:18 PM

I understand. Sherie, by accident, about 20 some years ago, bought at Costco a box which she assumed contained an automatic pencil. There were 24 or more in there, I can’t remember. They have slowly disappeared over the years. I carefully guarded two in the shop and one in the office.

But Lew, you gotta try these new ones. You won’t lose these, ‘cause they are the greatest.

A cheap treat. Why not. Isn’t Father’s day coming up? Ask for ‘em, folks can buy them at Office Depot. Tell everyone… may end up with a gross…...........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5158 days

#3 posted 05-31-2011 11:54 PM

Nice pencil Jim!
It reminds me about a Scripto pencil I had, you know the kind with the 4” lead. I received it for an attendance award when i was in about 2nd grade. I used it all the way through high school.
I had it quite a few years, even after being married.
It got damaged from going through the washer ringer one day, & that was the end of the poor thing.<(:O{

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3890 days

#4 posted 05-31-2011 11:55 PM

An interesting and thoughtful review, of an often overlooked, underapreciated tool. Thanks.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3933 days

#5 posted 06-01-2011 12:06 AM

I have so much trouble mounting a lead into an automatic pencil that I have given up. My fingers are too fat and my vision is too poor. I’ve reverted to good old fashion wood pencils and the ones I buy from Lee Valley seem to be the best. As an FYI, I now have an electric pencil sharpener in my shop that allows me to keep a fine point on my pencils quite easily.

I’d try an automatic pencil again if I thought I could mount the lead in the pencil. My wife has offered to mount the leads for me, but I’m too independent to accept that kind of assistance.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

#6 posted 06-01-2011 12:07 AM

I remember those Scripto’s. Yup, with the 4 inch lead. They had a hexangle body, didn’t they? Testing my memory. Well my old Pentels lasted probably over 20 years, but the new ones are much better.

60 deg F, 15.6 C at 1400 hrs. Light overcast, light wind. Sherie finally got home from the Kenai quilting retreat, and I have a day off after being on call the last four days. Summer is definitely here. Everything in bloom, including the crabapple tree….....

Have a good one, enjoying my day off…...

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

#7 posted 06-01-2011 12:11 AM

Thanks for stopping by. We stumble by with some real dogs for essential items and don’t even think about it. But this pencil has made my shop life easier. How many times do you use a pencil in the average project. Can’t count ‘em..

Have a good one….

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

#8 posted 06-01-2011 12:13 AM

Haven’t thought about the lead thing…...nowadays….you just throw them in the back end and out they come. I remember the old ones, and the problems. But these new ones are simple. Give it a try Rich. They hold so much lead, multiple lengths, you won’t even think about it.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3944 days

#9 posted 06-01-2011 04:05 PM

I bought some of the Pentel Twist erase in the .07 lead and a bunch of their Quick Dock, both work good
until they disappear and then I resort to my Staedtler 980 with the sharpener where the eraser should be,
I have a big green eraser on the shelf to fix my mistakes, I has occasionally disappeared, but always shows
up again. The only item having more miles/years on it in my shop is my high school set of Post drafting
tools. The lead is thick enough that it does not break easy, and even with my trifocals is easy to replace.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View dustyal's profile


1320 posts in 4333 days

#10 posted 06-01-2011 04:15 PM

I have a couple of these, but they are 0.9 lead… I have a heavy hand and I haven’t snapped the lead off yet. They are robust. I was thinking of going back (Staples in my case) and getting the .5 or .7 lead for lighter lines. Oh, I really didn’t need the eraser… I don’t make mistakes. (yeah, right—half of one is gone already… )

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

#11 posted 06-01-2011 04:29 PM

Gus and Al
The biggest problem I have with the 0.5 lead is breakage, but the flip side is, they work with my fancy Incra rulers. They also make lighter lines. I probably ought to have a 0.9 or 0.7 for the odd ball situation, such as rough wood, where it would help. I don’t mark a lot of crosscut, because of the accurate RAS ruler/fence combo I built, which makes marking unnecessary much of the time. But I have had a bunch of pencil work lately, including marking glue areas.

The big Pentel Hi-Polymer ZEH10 serves the same purpose as your big green eraser, I suspect. I use it a lot as well, and it saves the eraser on the pencil.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4032 days

#12 posted 06-01-2011 05:09 PM


a) I have a couple of different Pentels, and they’re universally excellent writing implements;

b) You might know this one. It’s axiomatic that the PEN is mightier than the sword. In your estimation, how would the PENCIL stack up in a theoretical “no holds barred” match ??


-- -- Neil

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4023 days

#13 posted 06-02-2011 03:02 AM

I assume that is a trick question, and if so, le’me have it….........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View vicrider's profile


179 posts in 3757 days

#14 posted 06-02-2011 08:00 PM

Hi Jim,

I also suffer from weaker eyes and sometimes shaky hands. I moved to the Rockler 2.0 mm pencils but I find them pretty pricey, and the lead breaks very easily. That said, they come with lots of lead and a nifty sharpener/eraser that will put a really fine point on the lead.

Thanks for the advice Jim, I am headed to Office Depot this morning and will give the Pentels a try.


-- vicrider

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4090 days

#15 posted 06-02-2011 09:33 PM

A good in depth review of… a pencil? Whodathunkit?

I guess I have just never given that much thought to mechanical pencils…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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