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Speaking of mechanical pencils, the Uni Kuru Toga has a nifty little clutch mechanism that rotates the lead a small amount each time it touches the writing surface. This rotation promotes uniform wearing of the pencil lead, and prevents getting the dreaded slanted lead surface, or chisel point, that can either break or give you increasingly wide lines. The rotating pencil lead maintains a sharper point with correspondingly narrower line widths. If you’re scribing a line against a straight or curved edge, you’re not likely to be lifting the pencil and retouching the surface, so the rotation advantages won’t apply in this case (unless, of course, you make a dashed line). In typical writing applications, however, it works very well, and it’s neat to watch the rotation mechanism in action when you touch the paper.

The Uni Kuru Toga is available for $7 (both 0.3mm and 0.5mm).

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