I recently had a little excursion to the local Office Depot which requires a pass through the pen and pencil department no matter why I went in originally. One of the items I found was the Ticonderoga Sensematic Mechanical Pencil. It came on a blister card as a set of two. It claims to be an auto-advancing so I had to see it worked.
The pencil contains 0.7mm HB #2 lead and is encased in a metallic silver body with a green metal ferrule and black eraser. It has a classic hexagonal shape of a traditional wood pencil. The logo lettering is stamped in a green to match the ferrule and the ferrule has the classic yellow stripes painted. It looks quite similar to a regular wood pencil though its actually a plastic body. I admit that if it hadn’t been such a handsome pencil I probably wouldn’t have purchased it.
What was not made quite clear on the packaging is that inside the pencil is a tube of spare leads. When you unscrew the pencil at the eraser ferrule you can pull out the lead tube. There is a cap at the base end which will reveal the leads. Only one lead can be added to the pencil as a time so this little tube is useful for being able to carry a few spares easily.
The way the pencil lead works is that everytime you lift the pencil a tiny bit more lead is made available. I played with the pencil on and off all week at work trying to see it if ever showed no lead or too much lead but it didn’t. I did find it a little odd that only a fraction of the lead was sticking out of the plastic tip — more like a rollerball pen tip than a traditional mechanical pencil but as long as you don’t write or sketch at a severe angle, it never really presented a problem.
I did figure out that you could trick the pencil into giving a longer bit of lead by pushing the conical tip up towards the pencil body a couple times. It does not keep the longer length though. It seems to like to be a stubby little plastic tip.
The black eraser works well. I wrote “Eraser works” next to the “Eraser works?” question and there is almost no evidence of the word at all so yes, the eraser works well.
I tend to prefer a 0.5mm pencil lead but this works fine and if you prefer the wider lead, this might be a great option. I also would have preferred a wood casing to a plastic casing for the nice smell and the less likelihood of melting or cracking in severe weather but all-in-all I find it pleasing. It looks good, it does write without having to click or advance and the super-short lead exposure is particularly good for people who are heavy writers. The extra leads make it a reusable tool too.
($3.49 for pack of two)