After I became an adult, I did not use mechanical pencils well. I usually use a ballpoint pen for notes, and a fountain pen for important signatures. Perhaps it is because the prejudice that mechanical pencil is a student’s writing instrument is in my mind.
But after abandoning that prejudice, mechanical pencil is a good writing instrument in many ways. It doesn’t dry out like a fountain pen, and it’s cheaper to maintain than a ballpoint pen because it only needs to refill mechanical pencil leads. Above all, the distinctive feeling of writing on paper is attractive.
I searched several reviews on the internet to find a satisfactory mechanical pencil. The most important criterion was a mechanical pencil with a lid. When I was a student, I carried a pencil case, but now I am old enough to carry such a pencil case. I had to be able to carry a mechanical pencil lightly. To do that, it had to have a lid to protect the nib, the most vulnerable part.
There were several candidates of interest. Pentel’s Kerry was the most representative of lidded mechanical pencils. It is a long-life model that was released in 1971 and is going to be 50 years old. In the sense that it can be used like a fountain pen, it has the nickname Fountain CIL. And the Zoom 505 from Tombow didn’t have as much recognition as the Pentel Kerry, but it was a good product.
However, there was a mechanical pencil that caught the eye behind them, a model called Tasche from Ohto. Ohto is said to be the Apple of writing instruments, and according to its reputation, it has a very simple design. It was small and light.
Among Ohto’s Tasche models, I liked the silver and bought it online. However, the day after the order was placed, a dealer contacted me and said Ohto Tasche’s silver product was not in stock. And since the model itself has been discontinued, it is probably not available elsewhere. I actually tried two more purchases, but they all returned the same answers.
Unfortunately, I started looking for mechanical pencil reviews on the Internet, vaguely hoping that something similar to Ohto Tasche would be somewhere else. Then I discovered an aluminum pocket mechanical pencil from MUJI. It wasn’t officially released in Korea, so there weren’t many users. But obviously it was a mechanical pencil that best met the conditions I was looking for.
And one more thing I learned later. That fact let me put the MUJI aluminum pocket mechanical pencil into the Amazon shopping cart without any delay. This product was manufactured and sold by MUJI with Ohto’s ODM. For reference, unlike OEM, ODM refers to a case where a manufacturer is dedicated to both development and production. The product development and manufacturing ability is good but ODM is adopted when there is a lack of brand power or sales network. In contrast, for OEMs, manufacturers are only responsible for manufacturing. The MUJI aluminum pocket mechanical pencil can be said to have undergone ODM because Ohto borrows only the MUJI brand. In summary, the MUJI aluminum pocket mechanical pencil is basically the same product as Ohto Tasche. Rather, there is a better point. This is because all the miscellaneous logos that were previously on Ohto Tasche disappeared while selling at MUJI, and only a neat aluminum exterior remained.
There is a lid to protect the mechanical pencil tip. When the lid is closed, the length is about 10cm, and when the lid is opened and inserted back, it is about 14cm long. The longer back part is a hollow lid, so when writing, it becomes a structure close to the low center of gravity. The weight is 9g. Mechanical pencil lead is 0.5mm in size.
There was almost no shaking of the mechanical pencil tip at the time of writing. However, it was a shame that the pen lid was slightly shaken with the pen lid attached backward. There is a small eraser inside the rear lid and no cleaner pins.
Almost all parts are made of aluminum, except for rubber packing for securing clips and lids behind. It is very light and simple. Like other products from MUJI, it is also completely brandless.
The biggest advantage is the presence of a lid to protect the pen tip. However, the pen lid is so thin that it may deform if excessive force is applied.
The domestic list price in Japan is 1,000 yen. It sells for about $ 10 on Amazon. At the current exchange rate (USD 1 = KRW 1,162.33), shipping to Korea can be purchased at a price of just over 10,000 won from 20,000 won.
Users who need a light mechanical pencil with a lid for the purpose of carrying it at all times should consider buying it. In particular, it can be a satisfactory choice for users who prefer simple designs. It is not suitable for users who handle rough writing instruments.
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