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The Old Geezer
Please Excuse My Absence

I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.

I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size due to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.

I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.

So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.

Coming Soon...

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ohto Super Promecha PM-1505P 0.5mm Pencil

I have quite a few drafting pencils, including a Ohto Promecha SP-503M 0.3mm, some simple in design, and some a bit more complex in design. But none of them are as complex as the Ohto Super Promecha PM-1505P. Of course none of them have all the features of the PM-1505P either. Ohto pulled out all the stops in the design of this pencil. The result is one of the most unique drafting pencils available.

Where to start, well, I guess I'll start with a few technical details. The PM-1505P is 152mm long from lead sleeve to push button making it the longest pencil in my collection, taking the spot over from my Pentel Graph 1000 PG1003. The grip is a whopping 11mm in diameter, making it the fattest pencil in my collection, taking the crown from my 2 Mitsubishi uni Kuru Toga pencils. The 12 sided body is about 8mm across the widest flats. The balance point is 81mm from the push button, making the pencil bottom heavy, and it weighs 18.5 grams, coming in second heaviest in my collection being beaten out by my other Ohto.

One of the first things that I do when I get a new pen or pencil is to take it apart. Within the first 10 minutes of receiving the Ohto I had it completely stripped to the bare bones. The PM-1505P breaks down into 13 components/systems: The push button/lead grade indicator - the upper tube w/lead grade indications, the outer tube w/lead grade indicator window, and the lower tube which fits onto the lead reservoir; the removable pocket clip and retaining nut; the upper body; the lower body; the end cap; the tension spring; the grip sleeve; the lead sleeve and tension spring; and the integral clutch assembly/lead length adjustment wheel/lead reservoir. This is the greatest number of user removable components of any automatic pencil that I have seen to date, more than twice as many as the average drafting pencil.

While I am the curious type and a tinker by nature I would suggest that the average user do nothing more than adjusting the various user adjustable parts of the pencil. These happen to be the lead grade indicator, the removable pocket clip, the lead length and the lead sleeve length. The lead grade indicator, which is part of the push button, is, to me, a bit more complicated than it has to be. To move the window to the desired lead grade it is best to remove the push button from the pencil. Grasping both knurled nuts in thumb and forefinger of each hand loosen the nuts by twisting them in opposite directions. Set the lead grade by turning it to the desire grade. Hold it and the top nut together while twisting the bottom nut tight again. Replace the push button.

In order to remove the pocket clip first remove the push button. Grasp the nut above the pocket clip and twist it off. Remove the pocket clip them replace the nut. The pencil can now be rotated in the hand while writing without the pocket clip interfering. This is a feature that I like a lot because I tend to rotate the pencil automatically. With some other pencils with non-removable pocket clips the pocket clip tends to rotate into the web of my hand making writing uncomfortable.

Another feature of the Super Promecha that I like very much is the lead length adjustment feature. With my other Ohto, an SP-503M, I have to be satisfied with the length of lead one click produces, or click it a second time and adjust the length of lead by hand. Two clicks produces too much lead and it breaks easily. But a single click's worth of lead is almost too little! I have a habit of pressing the push button on a pencil to produce more lead when the lead has worn down only about 1/4 to 1/3 the way. When I do this with the SP-503M I get too much lead again. With the PM-1505P I can adjust the lead length from0.2mm a click to 2mm a click. I have mine set to produce a fraction more than 0.2mm a click. It takes 3 to 4 clicks to produce enought lead for me to write with. This way when I press the push button while writing I get only about an extra 1/4 or 1/3 the lead I started with. To adjust the lead length turn the wheel inside the window just above the grip. Turning it to the right shortens the lead length, turning it to the left lengthens the lead length.

The lead sleeve length adjustment on this pencil is an improvement on the previous design. On some earlier designs not only was the maximum length of the lead sleeve adjustable by a wheel in the tip of the pencil the lead sleeve was retractable as well. Someone at Promecha must have realized the redundancy in this for now the 2 adjustments are combined into a single adjustment, a much simpler design. The lead sleeve is actually of a fixed design being attached to the hidden inner workings of the pencil. The end cap, which on other pencils has the lead sleeve attached to it, serves as a housing for the fully enclosed fixed sleeve and clutch assembly. The end cap screws into the hollow grip sleeve and is held under tension by a spring inside the grip sleeve. To adjust the length of the lead sleeve, from 0mm to 4mm, simply turn the grip sleeve, which moves up and down along the bottom portion of the pencil. The spring provides enough tension to keep the grip and end cap in place. Other than to hide the lead sleeve for the purpose of carrying the pencil in the breast pocket I can't see much use for the adjusting lead sleeve length. I keep the lead sleeve set at the maximum 4mm length.

The PM-1505P is an attractive pencil being all silver with black lettering and accents. There are four black rubber or plastic rings spaced about 9.5mm apart just above the lead length adjustment area. Other than aesthetics I can see no reason for them. As an aesthetic accent they look nice though. The grip sleeve is finely knurled and non-biting yet it offers a very good gripping surface. All the knurled nuts are coarsely cut so they provide good gripping surfaces as well. On top of the push button is a black sticker with silver lettering indicating the lead size. The lead grade indications are black against a silver background. On in all a very attractive pencil indeed.

The pencil is mostly made of metal. The only major plastic part that I can see is the lead reservoir and there is no real reason for this even being plastic. In some plastic bodied pencils I've found metal lead reservoirs. But it does not detract from the pencils performance. The exterior parts are made of brushed aluminum. The lead sleeve is made from bright stainless steel. The 3-jawed clutch assembly is all brass. Over all, even as complex as the Super Promecha is it is a very well designed and constructed pencil. I am very impressed with the design and over all quality of this amazing pencil.

The pencil writes as well as any high quality automatic pencil should write. There is no wobble of the lead in the lead sleeve, in fact the fit is so exact I half expect to see lead shavings every time I click out more lead. The over sized grip is surprisingly not too fat, for me at least and the finely cut diamond pattern on the grip is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but very comfortable to the fingers. Being bottom heavy the pencil rests comfortably in my hand and is easy to direct. The weight feels good, it's a solid feeling reminding you that you have something substantial in your hand, something of quality.

So if you can only afford one new automatic pencil this Christmas or if you want a pencil that's customizable to suit your writing style or if you just want an amazing pencil go to JetPens.com and buy yourself an Ohto Super Promecha PM-1505P today. You deserve it.

Many thanks to Jetpens for providing the pencil for this review.


IvaliceResident said...

HOLY COW! I can't believe that I missed this. After reading this I went to JetPens and saw that there are like six Promecha pencils... I thought that there were only two. Oh man, I can't resist buying another, but the fact that I'll probably never use it (due to it's high quality) is holding me back, lol. On another note, when I first got into fine stationery, I saw what looked to be a lot of "imitators" (mostly Pentel's series') to this pencil, but now I realize that they are all high in quality.

Adrian said...

Thank you so much for this review! No other place goes in this much depth (especially concerning dimensions).

Yuki said...

I've been dreaming for these pens! I would love to update from my 1000s collection to this 1505 P collection. :sigh:

The Old Geezer said...

Yes, they are nice pencils! I like the fact that the lead advancement can be adjusted. That's a nice feature.

Wynne and Wes said...

i have heard much about how non reliable the super promecha is, but i want to here the truth from an expert.

"how reliable is th super promecha p series

Anonymous said...

I am trying to use a 0.7mm super promecha PM-1500P on a day to day basis.
Looks and feel great, lots of twiddly bits.......but I have problems
The pencil leads in the barrel will not drop through towards/ into into the front bit. This appears to happen because the tube bit is to tight for the pencil lead.
I put a 0.5mm lead in and it dropped through beautifully so I appear to have faulty pen or there is a design problem,

guillealv said...

great review! i would have never guessed how to adjust the sleeve length... thanks!

also, the four rubber rings fall exactly in the position of your fingers when doing freehand drawing... they are not only decorative :)

TJ@OHTOAmericas said...

I am sorry that I have missed this post in my random reading of OHTO related blogs. The review is beautiful -- well detailed, and honest in the feedback. I am impressed. Please let me address a couple items if I may.

1) As of current, there are 5 versions of the PM-1500P Series with the last number of the 150X indicating the lead size. Lawrence, if you still have yours, can you verify the model is a 0.7mm (PM-1507P)?

2) I see mixed reviews, and honestly, I want to say that the Super Promecha is designed as a Drafting Pencil and while it can be used for an everyday pencil, it is not one that should be shoved into a backpack under college books. In general, if you treat your Super Promecha nicely it will work out great! I have even heard of people accidentally bending it only to have it work perfectly again after a straightening -- though I don't suggest this. :)

3) The 4 rubber rings are done on purpose. -- glad you noticed!