Not too long ago, the nice folks from Derwent gave me a heads up about a new product coming out and kindly sent over a sample for review. This is their Derwent Precision Mechancial Pencil in .5mm (via Amazon) that is also available in .7mm. Its a sleek, well constructed mechanical pencil that definitely deserves your attention.
The body and clip of the Derwent Precision Mechanical Pencil are completely made of metal which makes for nice feel in the hand. The plunger that covers the eraser and the slot for filling it up with new lead is also metal. These simple but very noticeable details jumped right out at me when I opened the package, possibly because I was expecting it to be mostly plastic. I really love the clip on this too, while its very springy and can be flexed pretty far, it also seems pretty strong and doesn’t seem to lose its spring. My only small issue looking at the pencil is a personal thing, but I did find the “Derwent Precision” lettering on the side a little more prominent than I usually like to see on items.
Each of the Derwent Precision Mechanical Pencils come with three extra eraser refills, as well as a container of their HB lead. I personally thought 3 erasers was pretty generous, as is the container that has 15 pieces of extra lead in addition to the one piece of lead that comes loaded in the pencil. In the picture above you can see the grey button on the top right that presses down, and locks into place which opens the top of the container to let the lead out. I’m not a person who writes with a lot of pressure, but these leads seemed to hold up pretty well, and the pencil also has a retractable lead sleeve so you can protect the lead when not in use.
I thought it was kind of cool too that once you slide a piece of lead out you can actually depress the button on top to close it and it holds the piece of lead in place right there without actually breaking it. Not sure its a functionally useful thing to do, but as long as you are careful, its nice to be able to keep that one piece out and exposed and ready to go.
So going back to the all metal construction for a moment, I thought it would be good to put that in perspective as compared to another popular mechanical pencil. The Derwent Precision Mechanical Pencil weighs in at .609 ounces.
So for comparison this Uniball Kurutoga mechanical pencil which is mostly made of metal weighs in at .540 ounces. Although it may not seem like a lot, a weight difference of about .07 ounces is definitely noticeable when you pick it up. Although I feel that there is a bias about weight always translating to better quality I do feel that its at least true in the case of the Derwent Mechanical Pencil. At a minimum, its just going to be a bit more durable than some of the all plastic writing tools out there that have a hard time holding up to daily use.
Derwent Precision Mechanical Pencil Writing Sample:
I found the weight, balance, and grip of the Derwent Precision Mechanical Pencil all to exceed my initial expectations from before I even opened the package. On the side of something that is really just a personal preference I do find it slightly on the thin side, but again that is just a personal preference so don’t let that sway you either way if you feel differently. The thing that I really liked though, was the lead itself. I was happy to see that there were no breakages of lead while writing, and beyond that it was incredibly smooth with no random scratchy feelings that I’ve noticed with some lower quality HB leads. Additionally, as you can see above, the erasers also performed nicely. The writing sample was on some very smooth Clairefontaine paper so its less prone to ripping but the eraser thoroughly took off the lead markings with ease and without damage to the paper.
Again, big thanks to the people from Derwent for sending these over to share with you. I’ve not had a chance to check any of the major stores for these, but if you are out doing some shopping, above is the packaging you should be looking for. Otherwise, the Derwent Precision Mechanical Pencil set can easily be picked up here from Amazon.