When is small too small? I am a big fan of 0.3 mm drafting pencils and I own a few! I like the very thin line that the lead produces, albeit at a cost - lead breakage! So in order to use a 03. mm pencil I have had to train myself to write with a light hand. If, like now, I use some other lead size, like a 0.5 mm lead sized pencil, such as the Kuru Toga Rouletta, then I have to retrain my self when I go back to a 0.3 mm lead size! I like the Kuru Toga because I can use a pencil with the stronger 0.5 mm lead size yet get a near 0.3 mm line. Lately I have been using a 0.3 mm Kuru Toga because it produces a sum 0.3 mm line! But lead breakage is still a problem.
Then comes the Pentel Graph PG2 0.2 mm Drafting Pencil. No, it's not a typo! Not 2 mm but 0.2 mm! Now that's a thin line (for a pencil)! The pencils has been around for a while, since the late 70's, but I didn't notice it until a few years ago. With my propensity for thin line lead pencils had I known of it's existence back then, I would have had several by now! Or would!?
The lead grade indicator has 2 readings, HB and B and that's all the lead grades the 0.2 mm currently comes in! Oddly enough the lead is also made by Pentel. The Pentel Graph PG2 may be the only 0.2mm pencil made! A quick search of the Internet provided some proof of my claim as the only 0.2 mm pencil that came up was indeed the Pentel Garph PG2! And there may be good reason for this!
But before I get into this lets dive into some stats! Now who doesn't like to read about the stats of a fine drafting pencil (not a word out of you, Tommy Turquoise)? All the mumblers tossed out at this point have been rounded to the nearest whole digit. The PG2 is approximately 146 mm long making it of average length. it is approximately 8 mm in diameter making it a slim pencil. It's balance point is approximately 68 mm from the tip making it a little top heavy but you'd hardly notice and it weighs approximately 10 grams making it a feather weight! It almost feels like there is nothing in my hand!
The grip area of the pencil is a set of concentric close set rings approximately 14 mm long. They are smooth to the touch, probably rounded instead of square, providing a good non-slip grip with out a sharp bite. The chromed metal pocket grip appear to be of the same type if not the same one used on the P200 series Pentel drafting pencils. The good grip area along with the light weight and good balance would make the PG2 easy to control and fatigue free, except for one fact. More on that later.
The construction of the PG2 is as what would be expected from Pentel, a leader in the world of fine and affordable drafting pencils. It's solid, well made and easily torn down. The body is plastic, along with the lead reservoir retainer/ lead grade indicator body and clean out rod handle. The pocket clip, tip of the pencil, entire clutch and lead reservoir assembly and the but stock are metal.
The pencil can be torn down into 7 major pieces/ submersibles. The body and removable pocket clip, the tip, the clutch/reservoir assembly, the clutch/reservoir retainer/lead indicator body, the lead indicator window, the clean out rod and holder/push button assembly and the tail stock.
The PG2 is a sliding sleeve retracts with the lead as it is used up, but only about 1/2 the distance to the base of the tip. In my humble opinion the pencil would have been better if the sliding sleeve would have retracted all the way to the tip! This would have given the pencil a little more versatility.
Now at the beginning of this review I ask the question, "When is small too small?" The answer to that question, in this bloggerss mind, is when small become impracticable. To me a 0.2 mm lead size is impracticable, which is maybe why there is only one pencil made in that lead size. An extremely light hand must be used in conjunction with a slow, fluid writing style in order to prevent lead breakage. But a light hand, even with HB lead, produces a light line. This lightness combined with sheer 0.2 mm line width makes the writing/drawing produced with such a fine width extremely hard to discern by many people. Even with the sliding sleeve the instrument is impracticable because the tip of the lead sleeve contacting the paper scratches and drags and one day will wear out.
While I do not recommend this pencil to anyone with out who does not have the lightest of hands and the keenest eyesight, does not mean that I don't like the pencil! I do like it. I like it's looks, light weight, balance, etc. I just don't like using it. A softer lead, like grade 'B' would be more practical, offering a dark line with less lead breakage.
Bottom line, for all practical purposes the Pentel PG2 is not for every one and certainly not for every day use. It even has limited use as a drafting pencil. It is however an elegant and beautiful pencil and it looks good in my pencil case.