I love pencils as much as I love fountain pens and I usually carry one with me. Since it’s inconvenient to sharpen pencils while I am outside, I always bring a mechanical pencil. Among them all, I like Tombow Mono Graph the most.
Tombow Mono Graph Mechanical Pencil 0.5 mm
Let’s start with a story.
Not so long ago, I used to study Chinese for 3 hours every day. That required a lot of writing and I filled at least a dozen of working books with traditional Chinese characters. Every little mistake would mean lower grade and Taiwanese teachers can be harsh. So, the best way to practice and write finals were pencils.
Look at some examples:
More down to earth example would be 蘿蔔 which means a radish. Just about 30 strokes.
For that purpose Uni Kuru Toga is unbeatable. The mechanism was probably designed for that – many short strokes keep the lead sharp. The same mechanism doesn’t work as well with Latin alphabet. The way I write doesn’t give enough up and down movement necessary to rotate the lead, plus it requires writing with pressure which I hate. That’s why the Tombow Mono Graph is my number one mechanical pencil (unless I have to write something in Chinese…)
The pencil is simple, yet the design is remarkable. I really like the blue-white-black motif on the barrel and overall quality. It’s great. Also, the body is transparent and it’s interesting to see how the inner mechanism works.
There are 2 things which make Tombow Mono special: the shaking mechanism and the eraser.
To get the lead out you can either shake the pencil or press the clip down. Both ways work great. I find that at home I prefer to shake it and while I am outside I stick to the more traditional way. I don’t want to look like an idiot, shaking my pencil in the middle of the classroom.
The eraser is probably the best you will ever find on a mechanical pencil. It’s the same material as Tombow’s standard erasers and they all work great. It’s bigger and longer than most typical erasers found on mechanical pencils, And finally, the eraser is retractable and easily swappable – you will never again lose that cap.
Downsides? For some, the fixed lead sleeve might be a problem. I wouldn’t carry it in my pocket. Otherwise is as good as mechanical pencil can get