Published April 19, 2013
Pencil Review: Uni Alpha-Gel Kuru Toga
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Rating: 5/5

Price: $14.13

“Once you buy this mechanical pencil you’ll never want to buy another pencil again.”

Whenever I go to Japan, some of the main things I shop for are pens and pencils because of the amazing variety and quality available there. When I went back a couple years ago a new technology called kurutoga had debuted. Kurutoga is a device developed by Uni that spins the lead slowly inside the pencil as a person writes, which results in the tip of the lead being a perpetual point. Curious to see if it worked, I bought an alpha-gel pencil with the kurutoga technology; it was the best decision ever. With this purchase, gone were my days of inconsistent line widths!

Along with the kurutoga tech, the alpha-gel pencils have a great grip. A squishy gel material that is easy on the fingers covers the area where the user holds the pencil, but it’s not too soft that writing becomes difficult or uncomfortable. The eraser is replaceable, which is great if you run out.

Another favorable feature of the pencil is the variety of lead you can purchase by hardness and darkness, from 6H to 6B. This is good for drawing because it allows an artist to have a choice as to what lead type they can use instead of being limited to whatever 0.5mm lead is standard in the United States. It is tedious, however, to keep changing out the lead if you need to use many different pencils at once, which is a drawback of the fancy mechanical pencil.

Overall, the kurutoga alpha-gel mechanical pencil line is superb. The product is durable and reliable—I have had it for two years now without any problems—and the design is sleek. Although it is a pricey pencil, if you’re willing to spend the $15 it is well worth the investment!

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