I got mine at Staples for $3.99 (my post didn't get much attention).
The lead rotates a tiny bit when the pencil is lifted off the paper. It works surprisingly well, and the .5mm lead is surprisingly durable. Regular lead is fine in this pencil, but I haven't tried it yet.
I prefer the Kuru toga over the Pentel Sharp because I feel the sharp's body is too thin for me. Also, there's a little rubber grip ring on the kuru toga. The lead that comes with these are amazing. Does not break and does not produce a lot of dust so it is very clean. Keeps your writing thin and tidy. I'm sure you can use regular lead with these but results may vary (never tried myself).
I guess I would consider it a little "scratchy" but I like that feeling. It is also much better than the feeling of writing with a dull lead pencil when the lead gets all flat and your lines become very light colored and fat.
man when i was in school ~17 years ago,i was into japanese mechanical pencils. Would have loved to have one like this. Think the most advanced one at the time was able to feed the lead automatically when it got low.
These are my favorite. Simplistic design and really nice feeling when writing. I write really small and these are precise. Used to be into spending a lot of money on pens and pencils, but settled on this for pencils and pilot precise v5 for pens. The other expensive crap is gimmicky and not work it!
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