Uniball is one of the largest stationery companies based out of Japan and they make my favourite gel pens, which are great writers, cost effective and easy to find. The Kuru toga is one of their mechanical pencils in their line which I picked up when I was in Japan a little while back.
Unlike your standard mechanical pencil, the novelty with the Kuru toga is that it turns the pencil lead around as you use it, so that the lead wears out evenly. Why bother you ask? Well, it provides a more even wear pattern on the lead, so that your writing is even throughout the page. Also, by wearing the lead evenly, it prevents a sharp point being generated which is more prone to snapping and breaking.
The mechanism works but rotating the lead around when you lift your pencil up and place it back down again. So you can imagine that this become more even when used with writing instead of cursive. The rotation is subtle enough that I haven’t really noticed it working when using it, so its not distracting, based on my experience so far.
The rest of the pencil is pretty standard for a mechanical pencil. Its lightweight and comfortable to use for longer writing periods. I don’t use erasers attached to pencils that often, so I can’t comment on how well this one works. The good thing about the Kuru Toga is that its available for a lot of pencil lead widths, so if you prefer something other than the standard 0.5mm, you’re in luck. The pencil body comes in this plastic, cheaper option, but can also be found in a fancier aluminium version if you prefer.
For me, the rotational aspects of the Kuru toga shows enough benefit to be more than a gimmick. When using it, I’ve noticed that the lead remains smoother and more even in use. Its probably less noticeable for me as my normal handwriting is cursive I think the rotation doesn’t happen as often as someone who might print instead. The Kuru toga seems like its more readily available in Australia now, compared to when I picked this up years ago. If you’re into pencils and mechanical pencils at that, its definitely worth checking out!
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