I love mechanical pencils. I love wooden pencils. The Ohto Sharp Pencil line tries to get the post of both worlds. It looks like a wooden pencil. It feels like a wooden pencil. But, 0.5mm lead comes out and the ferrule is actually a push button. How well does it actually work?
Place of Manufacture: Japan
Price: $5 (from Japan), $15 (Amazon)
The pencil came in a simple plastic packaging. It opens via a flap on the bottom.
Fit and Finish
The finish on the pencil is superb. The lacquer is smooth and the silver foiling is sharp. The clip fits well and does not wiggle. The eraser cap is of a little concern though. While it is firmly attached, there is wiggle associated with it. I believe this is from the entire mechanism inside not being that sturdy.
I believe that this is essentially a wooden pencil without the graphite with a mechanical pencil mechanism stuck in. The mechanism is not attached on the top except for the eraser cap. The end piece where the clip is attached to seems to only provide place for the clip and offers no other purpose.
I like the form-factor of this pencil, but at the same time, it is its biggest weakness. The pencil feels out of place in the hand, not because it is too short, but because of its diameter. It almost feels like trying to grip a toothpick. I did use it for an entire day of note-taking and found it to be tolerable nearing the end of the day. However, I would definitely recommend a thicker pencil if you want comfort.
However, due to the length and diameter, this pencil is quite useful in many ways. It can easily be slipped into a pencil case or sleeve as a backup pencil as it does not take up that much room. It can also be placed in a shirt pocket without fear of it making a hole as it is not long enough.
As always, this pencil has a specific purpose and it does it well: it is for convenience, not comfort. It is meant for backup use or a gimmick and not a workhorse. In that regard, it works very well. Don’t force it into tasks it shouldn’t handle and you got yourself a nice mini-pencil.