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Pencil Review: Uni Kuru Toga .5mm With Auto Rotate

I remember the dark ages. Back when one had to actually get up, out of the chair, walk across the room and turn a dial on the TV to change channels. In fact, there were two dials, and a switch to choose between them. It was hell.

The miracle of technology has brought us the remote control, electronic tuning, and lots of other conveniences. But it was still the dark ages because even now, when 300 channels isn’t the top end cable package, we still have to manually rotate a pencil while writing to keep the point conical.

That is until the Hi-Uni Kuru Toga .5mm mechanical pencil with auto rotate. This truly inspired device actually rotates the lead 10 degrees or so each time the pencil makes contact with the paper. It does this without making the pencil feel spongy, or making any noise whatsoever. It’s not even expensive, at $16.50 from JetPens.com.

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It’s got a sturdy clip, a comfortable grip, and is neither too heavy nor too light. It comes in black, silver, and a few colors so you could have multiple grades of lead in use. It does not have one of those lead indicator bands to show what lead is in the pencil.

But does it work? Does it really result in a narrower, more consistent line? Yes and no. My experience is that when I’m printing or writing lots of numbers it does a good job. Writing cursive, not as good. The purpose of cursive is to reduce the number of times the pen is lifted from the paper, and it does exactly that. The result with the Kuru Toga is more of a chisel point, unless there are a lot of dotted & crossed letters or punctuation. With softer lead a conical point becomes even harder to maintain. I’m still using it because it does help some, and it’s certainly no worse than a regular pencil. I can still rotate by hand if I like, any autorotation is better than none, and the pencil is comfy to boot.

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