You might ask yourself, “Less didn’t you learn your lesson from the AmazonBasics fountain pen?” I did, but I ordered these on the same day. The fountain pen was much easier to review since well, it was not great. The pencil on the other hand was more difficult. Why? Because it’s unusually good. No really.
Okay first off let’s talk about looks. It’s okay in the looks department. It’s plain silver with blue accent (red if you go with 0.7mm) and a simple rolled clip, with the Basics logo in right hand orientation. It’s minimalist in looks. And really, not bad. But it does have a feeling of being a knock off of another brand, and I do wonder who manufactured it for Amazon, because it’s made in Japan, and for other reasons that I’ll harp on in a moment.
Breaking it down, it’s mostly metal with a plastic sleeve inside. The entire body of the pencil is aluminum and steel. The bit of plastic inside is what holds the leads. Everything screws securely together. The cap covers a nugget of eraser that is useless in size. I’m disappointed that they didn’t include a lead clearing wire in the eraser end, but you can’t have it all. The cap is nice enough with a rolled end that is open. If you lose the eraser you’ll end up dealing with your leads spilling out.
One of the reasons I want to know who made the pencil for Amazon are those leads. I’m not usually a fan of HB leads, usually they are trash and I replace them with NanoDia leads in B grade. Not these, oh now, sign me up for a tube of these AmazonBasics HB leads. Buttery smooth without that plasticy feeling of some leads. These are better than the NanoDia HB leads and look dark. They feel smooth too. So nice.
The pencil has a retracting pipe and a double nock. I won’t lie, I was very confused at first. I kept clicking the nock to see how much lead was deployed and kept retracting the nock. I only discovered the extremely gentle second nock for lead deployment when fidgeting with the pencil. The first click exposes the pipe and a small amount of lead. The next click pushes out about 1mm of lead, and every click after gives you another mm of lead. Perfect. To retract the pencil, you click the nock fully again while pushing the lead into the pipe. The tip then retracts. Easy.
I found the weight of this pencil to be perfect. The balance is slightly toward the front of the pencil, which I find to be very comfortable, it is a subtle shift in weight that I really appreciate.
I also really appreciate the packaging. Unlike the fountain pen this pencil is sent in the usual AmazonBasics cardboard box with clever slots to hold the item. The pencil is in a simple plastic sleeve in the box. With the exception of the plastic sleeve the rest of the packaging can go into cardboard recycling.
Overall I found this to be a perfectly enjoyable mechanical pencil with features not usually found on one so inexpensive. It’s surprisingly well built and the double nock and retractable pipe make this an excellent choice for someone looking for a gift for a kid or a pencil to toss into a bag for everyday use. At $9 bucks it’s money well spent. Now if they made it in matte black it’d be killer.
This was purchased with Ko-Fi money. I didn’t waste your money this time. This was a good purchase. I did include affiliate links in this review. If you purchase through them I will get some money, usually a few cents, that I will use to buy coffee and to continue running the blog. The money goes towards purchasing more items for review and paying for hosting fees and other stuff.