After experiencing the abject failure of the Paper Mate Clearpoint (see the trainwreck review here) that should be embarassed to call itself a pencil, I was reluctant to try anything else with a big bulky eraser that relies on a twisting motion to expose itself. Regardless though, I was willing to give the Pentel Twist Erase III (here on Amazon) a chance.
The Pentel Twist Erase III is a fairly chunky mechanical pencil that manages to maintain a pretty light feel because of its fully plastic body. The only metal to be found is on the clip and the nose cone. This top view of the mechanical pencil shows the large diameter of the lengthy eraser that we will see a little bit more of in a moment.
Instead of loading your lead via the hole at the top of the pencil that is created when you remove the eraser, the Pentel Twist Erase III is loaded via an inner tube that is exposed when you pull it apart. Here you can see though how big these erasers are. The nub with the hole that you see in it is the end of the eraser that goes inside, while the flat top on the other end is the part that you actually use to erase things.
For the most part, the Pentel Twist Erase III is nicely constructed with a comfortable latex-free rubber grip and a light easy to write with weight. The red circles that you see above though are where I have an issue with the pen. Where the metal is folded over at the curved portion of the clip, the edges here are actually pretty rough. Not sharp like they will cut you, but rough like they are uncomfortable to the touch. Not sure why they left these edges unfinished, but its something that should be addressed.
Pentel Twist Erase III Writing Sample:
Overall, everything about the Pentel Twist Erase III mechanical pencil is pretty nice. Its well balanced and the lead mechanism advances nicely with a fairly easy push of the top of the pencil. Personally I’m not a fan of the particular version of HB lead that they come with, which is guaranteed to pass for #2 lead on scanned forms. Its a bit more of a waxy feeling lead when you write with it, which is easy to remedy by loading up your favorite .5mm lead. The eraser was the key concern with me though on these. Unlike the horrid pencil not to be mentioned again that I referenced in the first paragraph of this review, you can actually erase with it, and not have it twist its way back into the body of the pencil. As you can also see in the writing sample above, the eraser handily takes care of even darker markings. Although I’m not a die hard pencil guy, the Pentel Twist Erase III (via Amazon) is probably a good every day workhorse if you need something with a substantial eraser, or you can just stop making so many mistakes and get yourself the most awesome mechanical pencil ever, the Uniball Kuru Toga Roulette (also via Amazon).