I confess, pencils don’t get much use around my home. Most of them go to a friend who works as a professional drafter. But there is one mechanical pencil I like to keep around because, all other things being equal, I like the way it looks.
The Pentel Jolt.
It’s your standard shake-weight pencil, meaning you can extend the lead tip with just a couple of firm shakes. The mechanics feel solid and the retractable tip that protects the lead is a nice touch. The PDE-1 eraser works extremely well and leaves minimal debris. Basically, the Jolt is the same as any other good-quality shaker pencil.
But what really makes it stand out is its personality.
While mechanical pencils usually tend to favour stodgy appearances, the awesome design of the Jolt gives it a modern, fun style the kid in me finds appealing. The bullet-shaped barrel is bright and multi-coloured, topped with a matching uncapped eraser, and offers a clear plastic window through which you can see the brilliant white spring/weight that advances the lead.
Granted, the Jolt looks much less business-like than the classic Pilot Shaker, so it might not appeal to professionals who need pencils, but that should be no problem for casual users who want to spruce up their collection with some next-generation style.
The only two downsides to this pencil for me are these: One, the window is poorly placed right where your fingers go, disrupting your grip. And two, the plastic barrel needs to be beefed up so that it doesn’t feel so light and cheap.
But, for as much as I use it, the Jolt is pretty well suited to my purposes. And I like the little touch it adds to my desk.
You may also be interested in taking a look at what we think are the Top 10 Drafting and Mechanical Pencils.