The Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500A is the Pentacle of my Platinum Pro Use collection. With the gifting of this pencil I now own all 4 Platinum Pro Use Drafting pencils, in 0.3 mm. I have only blogged (so far) about the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1000A. As I get back into the swing of things I will review the other 2, which are on the lower end of Platinum's line.
I was struck by the pencils odd hypodermicesk look it has about it. In that I mean that it has a rather bulbous grip that suddenly and sharply becomes the tip and lead sleeve! The gradual narrowing of the body at the pocket clip does nothing to belie this mental image! Neither does it's lack of stature! Yes my readers, the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500A is a shorty! At 128 mm it falls shot of it's cousins stature of 143.3 mm! It is also larger in girth being 11 mm in diameter at the widest point on the grip. It's also heavier than the MSD-1000A, coming in a t21.9 grams compared to the MSD-1000A's mere 16.1 grams. The chubby pencil's balance point (from lead sleeve) is 62 mm making it 4 mm's top heavy, but you'd never know it! There! I've gotten the stats out of the way! Important as they may be, they are still stats and still boring (well, to some they're boring).
While being fat and stubby (honestly, it's the shortest drafting pencil in my collection) it is far from being ugly! In fact, I find the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500A rather attractive. If you take a real good look at the MSD-1500A, I man an in depth look, then you see the true beauty of the design. First, like the other high end Platinum, the MSD-1000A this pencil has had quite a bit of thought put into it. It's form is really elegant and sensual! It's not only pleasing to the eye but to the touch as well. The anodized satin finish is high tech and a pleasure for the fingers and hand. Unlike many drafting pencils it has no rough edges or sharp corners. Nothing to cause an unpleasant sensation to the skin. I just keep running my fingers over the surface as I'm typing!
Despite the almost teflonest surface the MSD-1500A is surprisingly easy to hold mostly due to the design of the grip. It has 8 rings that are approximately 4 mm apart. The base of each ring (pointing downward) is larger than the top. This gives the appearance of trapezoidal rings stacked atop one another. The edges are nicely curved and for me the grip provides a surprising nice surface to hold onto! The slimming of the upper body at the pocket clip has a unique function in that the curve falls right at the web of my hand and helps nestle the pencil in my hand thus keeping it in place while I write. Due to it's light weight (it is made mostly of aluminum, not brass) and it's near center-of-pencil balance point the MSD-1500A is a pleasure to hold and to write or draw with.
The Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500A breaks down into 8 separate components/sub assemblies. The are (A) the tip/lead sleeve, (B) the lead indicator ring, (C) the grip/clutch assembly/lead reservoir, (D) the main body sleeve, (E) the pocket clip, (F) the pocket clip retainer, (G) the eraser and (H) the push button. The tip/lead sleeve unscrews and the lead grade indicator slips off it. The push button is removed then the upper body sleeve can be unscrewed and removed. The pocket clip retainer can be unscrewed and the pocket clip removed and the eraser can be removed. In order to fill the lead reservoir simply remove the push button and the eraser. In order to clear a lead jam it is necessary to remove the tip and the lead grade indicator ring, which can easily be lost as it is a simple ring with indication notch. It is not threaded.
However, the MSD-1500A DOES NOT come with a clean out rod! This is one of my pet peeves and it, to me, is a mar on an otherwise excellent pencil. I'm also not a fan of the erasers that come with drafting pencils. Originally the first mechanical drafting pencils did not come with an eraser at all! However there is a solution to both problems. JetPens.com sells erasers for the MSD-1500A and they sell some thing unique in the world of drafting pencils. Pilot makes 3 different packets of 5 erasers for some of their pencils that also contain 2 stand alone clean out rods. One for 0.3 mm to 0.4 mm and one for 0.5 mm to 0.9mm lead sizes. The HERFS-10 set contains 5 erasers that will fit the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500A as well as the 2 aforementioned clean out rods. This is a better buy in my opinion. For detailed instructions on how to clear a lead jam from the tip of a drafting pencil see the link "All Jammed Up" at the top left of this blog.
One feature of the MSD-1500A is it's uniquely designed and placed Lead Grade Indicator. The LGI is located on the tip of the pencil. The grades are impressed on the body of the tip and the open base of a triangular notch in the LGI ring is set to the lead grade being used. The LGI is not easily set with fingers such as mine while trying to screw the tip back on the pencil while holding the notch base on the lead grade in use. So what I ended up having to do is use a wooden toothpick as a sort of pry tool. By placing it in the "V" shaped notch in the LGI ring at an angle perpendicular to the pencil, I maneuvered the notch into position above the selected lead grade. To me this is a minor annoyance but it does detract from the pencils overall grade. But then again, how often does one change the grade of lead one uses?
Let's see, have I missed anything? Oh yeah! It takes only 2 pushes of the button to advance enough lead to write/draw with which is nice. The mechanism is a little noisy and has a definite metallic sound. The lead reservoir is cavernous but like most mechanical pencils of it's type the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500Afeeds best with a half dozen pieces of lead or fewer. The pencil is available in one color/finish, satin Aluminum and 3 lead sizes, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm. It and all the linked items in this review are available from out friends at JetPens.com.
Over all I am impressed with the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500A. It is a unique, good looking design, attractively finished, well designed and constructed. The 2 issues I have with the pencil are minor and do not detract from the pencils over all appeal. In fact, I believe that the pencil would make a fine addition to any collection of fine mechanical/drafting pencils. It would also be an excellent choice as a writing/drawing instrument. So if you are in the market for a high end, but not terribly expensive mechanical/drafting pencil then you should consider the Platinum Pro Use MSD-1500 series of pencils. Thanks for reading.