I recently ordered the Uni-Ball Kuru Toga auto lead rotation mechanical pencil [again, I say “whew”]. If you use mechanical pencils, then you’re familiar with the fact that your .5mm lead can go from writing a very fine line to one that is almost .7mm after doodling away for some time. Rotate the pencil in your hand, and you’re back to writing a fine line. Sort of like “paper sharpening.” This pencil does exactly what its name says it does. As you write, a mechanism in the pen rotates the lead so that there is always a paper-sharpened edge of the lead touching the paper. I’m not an artist, but I can still appreciate a sharp line as I write notes. Genius.

These pencils are available in .3mm and .5mm widths. You can find them, as well as a cute diagram that illustrates how the mechanism works at Jet Pens. The barrels are available in black, blue, pink, silver, green [.5mm only], and orange [.5mm only].

Although there is an eraser, it is very small. According to the refill description [Size ‘S’] it is 4.6mm wide. This isn’t too much of a big deal to me since I use a Pentel Clic Eraser anyway.

The Kuru Toga pencil has a nice feel to it. The barrel itself doesn’t feel too thick or too small. Since there isn’t any type of comfort grip, I can see where I may get hand fatigue after writing with it for a while. However, there are smooth grooves in the barrel to help with grip, but that’s about it.

Another significant feature [to me, at least] is the lack of a retractable tip. Be careful when sticking this pen in a jacket pocket. You just might poke yourself.