Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Uni-Ball Kuru Toga

I've not got much time to blog just now but I wanted to post quickly about my new mechanical pencil, a Uni-Ball Kuru Toga which I got recently from Cult Pens. (More technical info about this pencil at that site, but also here and here.) This one is finished in a smart azure blue (one of seven colours Cult Pens sell). I haven't used a mechanical pencil for some time - my Pentel P205 is gathering dust - but this may make me change my mind. The lead is good and dark, even for a 0.5mm width, and the proprietary mechanism inside prevents it from becoming chisel-shaped because it rotates the lead 9° with every contact with the paper. I used this to take notes during a conference with our auditors last week and it worked reliably and of course, never needed sharpening, just an occasional press of the button to advance the lead. I've also been using it in the office to take the copious notes I often have to write.

The Kuru Toga's rotating lead mechanism is, of course, this pencil's main selling point and they display it for all to see under a transparent window section so you can watch it turn as you write. I'm not so convinced by this, and would rather have a sleek, all-blue barrel, but that is a minor point. Eventually other lead widths should become available, but I understand that there are engineering issues to overcome before a 0.7mm model comes out, but if one does I will certainly get one. It would be wonderful to see a 0.9mm and a 0.3mm to complement the 0.5mm.

I don't think this will replace any of my wood-cased pencils as I like them too much, but for pencil writing on the move, this seems to be a fine candidate, and at the price Uni-Ball wants for it in the UK, it is a bargain. The price at Cult Pens is £5.60 and even my local stationers' has this for £5.99. Buy the whole collection - I may well do myself.


  1. Our local Sainsbury's is selling the Kuru Toga for £4.99. I think they only started selling it very recently. Unfortunately they took all the nice pencils away, now they only have one type of wood-cased pencil left: their own rebranded no-name pencil. To compensate for the lack of pencils they have lots of different rollerballs in all sorts of intense colours. I don't think I will buy stationery there any time soon...

  2. I got one a couple of days ago at Rymans for £4.99 but they only have black.
    I must say I wasn't convinced about the rotating lead until I actually tried it now I'm hooked.
    Does anyone know where I could get the high grade model?

  3. I have only seen the high-grade model on sale at Jetpens. Hopefully Cult Pens will come through on this model too. Congratulations to Uni-Ball for this model -