Pen #51.
Pentel Jolt 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil

Well, another mechanical pencil review… I really need to sharpen up (no pun intended) my ideas on pencils and mechanical pencils, since I really don’t have much of a scale to grade them on. While with pens you can compare different types of inks, grips, barrel styles, and mechanics (as well as a host of other things), pencils and mechanical pencils both have one thing in common… Both use lead, which is a medium which speaks differently each and every time you use it… It’s slightly more different in the art realm (I’m a Derwent Sketching/Drawing Pencil man myself and I stick to Koh-i-Noor Woodless Pencils when it comes to colors) , but when it comes down to plain ordinary pencils and mechanical pencils I’m only left with a few options. So, we shall explore these options without further ado (I know I’m prone to ranting)…

This is another one of the fine items I won in contests from Pentel… I was intrigued by the sound of the “shake to advance” pencil, so I thought trying to win one couldn’t hurt… Little did I know that it would be the first contest I’ve won in my almost 20 years on this earth (people jokingly said that it just had to be a pen).

So, I got out the Jolt (I actually got two, one in an orange/white color scheme and one in a blue/black/white scheme) and gave it a try… I depressed the plunger (yes, I was told that that’s the correct term) and began to write with the bit of lead it released. When I ran out, I gave it a pensive, tentative shake… Nothing… So, I shook it a little harder… Ah, there we go. While I was expecting it to only take a slight shake to advance the lead (and it does, slightly), in order to get enough lead to write with in one shake, you have to give it a decent bounce. Still, slightly time-saving when compared to depressing the plunger each time you need more lead.

The Jolt also features a rubber grip, although it seems the designers meant it to be held one way, due to the plastic window on the barrel which reveals the spring mechanism inside. Still, it is rather comfortable to hold, even for a leftie. The design also seems to be contemporary, focusing on sweeping curves and small aesthetic details (such as a small curved ridge just above the grip which you can easily overlook). This pencil seems to just say “Go with the flow”, be it with the shake-advance writing system or the curving design.

Again, I’m no mechanical pencil expert, so if you’ve owned a Jolt, feel free to express your opinions in the comment section below!

5 out of 5 stars

Blue/Black/White and Orange/White Color Schemes

Blue/Black/White and Orange/White Color Schemes

Note: I won one 0.5mm Jolt in a Pentel Twitter contest and I received the second as a bonus from Pentel. My review is not affected in any way by the fact that these items were sent to me free of charge by Pentel of America.