Sometimes the search for cool office supplies leads me down a disappointing path, and unfortunately when it came to trying to find some nice red pencil leads for a mechanical pencil, things just didn’t work out as I had hoped. These Pentel Ain Hi Polymer color pencil leads were purchased from JetPens for about $3.00, so luckily this disappointment didn’t result in much of a hit on my wallet.
Before I get into why I didn’t really like these Pentel Hi Polymer Red Pencil leads, I did want to share one cool thing about them. I really like the case and dispenser itself, it has a pretty cool top that flips open and when you go to shake a lead loose, it comes out individually in this little shoot. This is different from most other mechanical pencil leads because you usually have to flip the top off and fumble around with pulling only one lead out yourself, but this design makes it much easier.
When I started writing with these colored pencil leads using my Uniball Kuru Toga, I was pretty surprised at how light the red was, so I decided Id do what any other person would do, which was press a bit harder. Unfortunately, the pencil leads didn’t cooperate at all and decided to snap when I did that. Now I don’t usually write with such a heavy hand, and even my little bit of extra pressure to get a darker line wasnt THAT hard, yet it still snapped the lead. I experimented with various writing pressures, and for the most part, anything even slightly heavier than normal resulted in a snapped pencil lead. Beyond just breaking more frequently than I would have liked, I was also surprised at how ineffective my trusty eraser was with these colored pencil leads. In the writing sample above, you can see that the line is not completely erased, and I spent a good deal of time (along with a good deal of rubber) trying to get rid of that pesky line to no avail.
Needless to say, I am going to be on a hunt for some good quality colored pencil leads to see if I can find something suitable because these unfortunately didn’t do the trick.