A 0.9 mm lead mechanical pencil is perhaps the pencil with the strongest lead that you can use for writing without any need to sharpen the lead. I have been looking for a 0.9 mm pencil in Calcutta in which I can use B or 2B softer lead for darker impressions. However, I have found neither the 0.9mm mechanical pencil nor the 0.9 mm lead refills in my locality and even a little beyond.
But on searching the amazon.in site, I have found a Korean brand of mechanical pencil named JEDO M105 at a very affordable price. I have also got 0.9 mm lead refills manufactured by MICRO, Korea from the same seller. I discovered that both the pencil and the leads are produced by the same Korean Company.
Jedo 0.9 mm mechanical pencils are available in four colours: black, green, blue and yellow. Their yellow version is more orange than yellow. The pencils have thin plastic barrels that gradually taper towards the tip. There is a metal sleeve at the end of the tip. The pencil has ridges where you would grip it and this facilitates easy gripping. The tip, the clip and the eraser cap that needs to be pushed to advance the lead are made of steel. On removing the cap I found a thin, cylindrical, blue rather flimsy eraser. If you use a mechanical pencil at home, it is always better to use a separate eraser. The stainless steel clip will securely attach your pencil to your chest pocket, very unlike what I have seen with most other cheaper mechanical pencils.
The finish of the JEDO M105 isn’t perfect, but it performs its function adequately. The lead is sturdy and will not break easily. This is better than 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm leads in that respect. Considering its price, JEDO M105 is a good buy especially because it may not be very easy for you to find 0.9 mm mechanical pencils and lead refills here in India.
You can also buy Micro Touch-Line 0.9 mm leads which come in plastic dispensers. Five such containers, each carrying 126 leads, can be bought for Rs.125 plus delivery charges. The leads are of fine quality.
Compared to this Korean brand, I have used much superior mechanical pencils made in Japan. Those Japanese pencils are almost equally affordable here in India. But I haven’t found the 0.9mm variety there. I recommend JEDO M105 mechanical pencils to those who haven’t found 0.9 mm pencils in a retail shop. These are ideal instruments for writing on very inexpensive paper and that way you save a lot of money. It is a decent buy!
I have been using mechanical pencils for writing for the last couple of years. I have brought products made by Kokuyo Camlin, ITC and Luxor and have seen quite a few made by Faber Castell’s Indian division. A cursory glance at these Indian products will tell you that the Indian stationery products manufacturers do not take the adult and mature users of pen and pencils very seriously. Or else it is difficult to explain why all these mechanical pencils are made of cheap plastic and their very appearance and the choice of colours seem so puerile. The sheer fragility of these writing instruments makes it clear that companies that produce them do not want them to last more than a few months. They are intended to be lost or left behind in your college or office! I used to buy those Indian mechanical pencils for Rs. 10 or Rs. 25 apiece.
It was such a relief then when I found Uni-ball’s (a brand name of Japan’s Mitsubishi Pencil Co.) Indian website uniball.in from where they sell all kinds of stationery products. Uni-ball’s mechanical pencil, sold under the name Shalaku, costs Rs. 50 per pencil. The very appearance of the pencil will make you feel that here is a writing instrument meant for the adults! Shalaku comes in six body colours: pink, red, black, light green, light blue and blue and in two versions: M5 228 for 0.5 mm leads and M7 228 for 0.7 mm leads. In my view the black pencil is the handsomest of them all. I prefer the 0.7 mm leads for everyday use but pick your choice according to your own preference.
Shalaku mechanical pencil has a contoured plastic barrel and a metallic tip. The barrel is partly transparent, so you can observe the mechanism that works inside. The grip area is the fattest. The lead advancement mechanism is at the front. Shalaku has convenient side-click mechanism for advancing the lead which obviates the need of going back to the bottom tip to click and advance the lead. When you write continuously, you won’t have to stop writing even for a split second to advance the lead. Although I rarely use the erasers that come with mechanical pencils, Uni-ball’s Shalaku has a large, replaceable eraser covered with a plastic cap.
The pencil comes with Uni-ball’s Nano Dia leads that are strong and smooth. What I like most about Uni-ball’s Shalaku is how it feels in my hand. The pencil has a nice balance and its shape and grip is just perfect for long hours of writing. It will not tire your hands and, for this reason, the slightly higher cost is justified. After all, you do not buy a mechanical pencil every day and used with care, these should last a long time. Try it and you will not want to go back to the cheaper Indian brands.
Uni-ball Shalaku can be yours for only Rs. 50 from uniball.in. A tube of 12 leads cost only Rs. 35 and is available from the same site. If you use your pencils a lot, I am sure you’ll never regret this purchase. If it is difficult for you to get lead refills from Uni-ball, you can use Camel Hi-Par 0.7 mm B leads that are readily available from retailers in India in these Uni-ball Shalaku pencils. I have personally used Camel 0.7 mm B Hi-Par leads in Uni-ball’s pencils, both Shalaku 0.7 and Kuru Toga 0.7, without any problem.
An afterthought: I have already mentioned that Uni-ball Shalaku mechanical pencil has a large eraser. These are as large or even larger than the pink erasers that you find attached to your yellow wood pencils. So if you don’t like to use a separate eraser, you may consider buying Uni-ball Shalaku just for this feature!
Do you use mechanical pencils for writing or drawing? Please use the Comments feature below to tell us about your preferred brand of mechanical pencils.