When The Product Isn’t What You Expected

Some of the hardest reviews to write are the products that don’t work, or don’t work for me. Sadly, the Metacil ($10.25, available in multiple color options) (which is a horrible name for a product so I should have known better) is just such a product.

When I purchased the Metacil, I didn’t read the fine print. I thought it was a mechanical pencil with a leather pencil cap. It turns out, its actually one of those metal pencil-like pencils where the tip cannot be sharpened. Its just scratching metal onto paper in order to use it.

So, I decided to try to figure out what the description on the back of the package says.

Here’s what Google Translate came up with:

“What is metal pencil?
The lead is made of a special lead containing graphite and metal, which causes extremely little wear on the lead, allowing you to continue writing for long periods of time without chipping.

  • Hands don’t get dirty easily
  • Can be erased with an eraser
  • Not easily smeared with water or water-based markers
  • There is no need to cut back, and your concentration continues.
  • Depending on the type of eraser, it may be difficult to erase.

Writable distance: Approximately 16km
Density: Equivalent to 2H pencil (compared to our company)
*Darkness varies depending on the type of paper.

please note

  • The cap does not necessarily prevent the core from breaking. It’s not a thing.
  • Pencil sharpener (manual and electric) Do not use it. It may cause damage or malfunction.
  • The tip may break or chip due to being dropped or writing with excessive pressure. This may occur. In that case, please stop using it.
  • There are some types of paper that cannot be written on, such as printed paper and coated paper.
  • Please do not use it for anything other than writing or drawing.
  • Please be careful as the tip is sharp. Do not disassemble or modify. Doing so may cause damage.
  • Do not place it in direct sunlight, fire, or high temperatures.
  • Please keep out of reach of children to prevent them from accidentally putting it in their mouth or licking it.”

I really liked the look of the leather pencil cap and may be the one thing I will keep  using even after this review. Its a snug fit on this pencil and makes me wonder why more people aren’t making fabric caps like this.

Now, let’s talk about how this “pencil” writes. Pretty much, it doesn’t. And it’s scratchy. I had to apply an excess of pressure just to get this to write in the above sample. And its really light.

I pressed even harder and this was as dark as I could get the marks. And erasing is out of the question so what is the point?

So, to say I was frustrated is an understatement. I have used one of those mark-marking, non-graphite pencils in the past and they are always a disappointment. Why do companies keep trying to reinvent the pencil?

I am glad, at least, I got the pencil cap.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I assumed the Metacil was more of a silverpoint / metal stylus concept, than a pencil concept.

    I’ve suggested it on the r/pencils subreddit to someone who was looking for a very durable pencil-like tool, but the use-case is so tiny for something like this. At least as a pencil.

    Makes me curious how it’d work on a gessoed ground.

    1. I think the worst part is that the darn thing is described as NOT being very durable so it’s one best use case is lost as well. Sigh.

  2. Metacil sounds like an unpalatable health supplement. Sorry the “pencil” was such a bummer. But the cap I do like. Could the W-AD geniuses come up something similar, maybe made out of really thick paper?

  3. I’ve tried different brand ones we got into our store… my confession?
    Don’t waste your money..lol

    1. Yep. People ask for them and when they try them they realize that the compromise isn’t worth it. Just use an actual pencil.

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