First Impressions

I must admit that I hadn’t even heard of this pencil (sorry Pentel) and it has been around for a few years at the time of writing. Pentel very kindly sent me the Pentel Orenz mechanical pencil free of charge to review and was excited when I was told it contained the latest in lead breaking technology. This sounded too good to be true. 

I could not wait for my local ‘posty’ to show up with this so when he did it was like Christmas. I removed the packaging to reveal a very sleek looking pencil and slimmer than what I was expecting. It has a plastic barrel body with a kind of convex curvy lead-sleeve/tip. It is very comfortable, light and looks great. 

pentel orenz review

Watch the promotional ad which is sure to put a smile on your face. Although I did worry at one point about where the pencil might end up. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it…

Specs (from website… https://www.pentel.com/products/orenz-1-click-mechanical-pencil)

  • Click only once to extend the unique Super Sliding Sleeve™ and keep writing until the sleeve fully retracts
  • Lead should not extend past the metal tip – it will write without you actually seeing the lead
  • Unique Super Sliding Sleeve prevents lead from breaking- even very fine 0.2mm and 0.3mm lead
  • Pre-loaded with Pentel® Super Hi-Polymer® “B” lead; never needs sharpening, is super strong and produces a clear dark line. HB lead refills (same as #2 pencil) are available separately
  • Retractable tip to protect pockets and purses
  • Available in 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 0.7mm lead sizes
  • Uses Z2-1N eraser refill
  • Backed by Pentel’s exclusive limited-lifetime warranty

Anti lead breaking mechanism

This is where the pencil really separates from the crowd and unfortunately I feel its function gets misunderstood by users and as a result gets overlooked. But I aim to put this right. The technology truly is ground-breaking, I feel more so than the Kuru Toga Advance. (I’ll fight anyone who disagrees)

The lead sleeve acts as protection for the lead by covering it completely. Sounds weird right? How you use it is really simple… When you first use the pencil or insert a new lead, click it through till the lead shows out the tip then keeping the cap pressed in and gently press the lead against the paper or your finger and push it back in until you can’t see it. Now you can begin writing. 

Pentel Orenz Mechanism

WHen you have finished as normal with a retractable tip, press the cap in and push the whole of the sleeve inside the tip. When you come to write again all you need to begin writing again is 1-click. That’s right, 1-click. The sleeve has also been rounded off so there is no friction so when you do write you can do so without the worry of scratching the paper. I was really skeptical before I tried it out and honestly it works like a dream. 

It even works regardless of the angle you may write or draw at too. At every angle I tried it worked flawlessly every single time. It was smooth and the line was consistent. The other clever thing that happens is when the lead wears down with use, the sleeve slowly retracts with it. I can not believe how good this is. 

Design

The Pentel Orenz looks real nice, granted not as nice as the Pentel Graphgear 1000, nothing does, and won’t stand out in a crowd. It does look sleek with nice hooped grooves going down the ‘grip section’ of the barrel getting closer together towards the tip. 

pentel orenz grip tip

The metal tip is the standout feature in terms of looks on the Orenz, I think it looks great and is really solid. The only extremely minor criticism I have is that it doesn’t stand out. And that’s me being really picky. 

Something to note here is the thought that Pentel have put into lead pipe. Because only the tiniest bit of the lead protrudes from it, they knew they had to minimize the possibility of the pipe scratching the paper, so they curved it. It glides so smoothly across the surface and at any angle. Major hat tip for the designers. 

Performance

This is definitely a precision tool with of course the main benefit of the Pentel Orenz being the anti-lead breaking mechanism. But where this really shines is in the 0.2 size, it’s almost needle thin for those most intricate details and not only that, the lead is protected.

I have been using this pencil on and off for a few weeks for writing and drawing (it performs really really well at both) and it has not snapped once. As it is nice and light you don’t have to work as hard to move it across the paper and can use it for a while before fatigue sets in, if at all. 

The cap has remained nice and snug and have found no problems with the anti lead breaking mechanism as of yet. I have actually dropped it a few times (and clenched each time) and it has still performed well with no noticeable damage anywhere to the looks or tech inside. 

If you do run into an unfortunate situation where the lead becomes wedged in the sleeve (I have not yet) there’s a neat little pin built into the eraser which is easy to get to by removing the cap…

pentel orenz eraser pin

Pros:

  • Nice looking
  • Genius anti lead breaking mechanism
  • Fully retractable
  • Thoughtful design curving the lead pipe for smoothness
  • Good price
  • Comfortable 
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Doesn’t stand out too much in terms of design, not really a con though.

Final thoughts

To be truthful, I love the Orenz. Especially in the black, it looks quite sexy. (not in a weird way) I was a bit apprehensive before I tried it but once I did it blew me away. Pentel have genuinely solved one of, if not the main issue of using a mechanical pencil which is accidentally snapping the leads. So if you are a fan of the 0.2mm this may be a game changer, at no point (hehe) have I snapped a lead yet. 

True to their word the pipe conceals the lead so there is no chance of it snapping, it’s remarkable. And as mentioned earlier I think this is more ground breaking than the Uni Kuru Toga engine, although I love that too. Click here for a more detailed look at how to use the Pentel Orenz.

The Pentel Orenz mechanical pencil has actually broke into my top 5 mechanical pencils for all the reasons I’ve talked about above. If you haven’t tried one you should, if you don’t own one go get one. Since trying for myself they will now be a mainstay in my toolkit although I do have a bit of a soft spot for white mechanical pencils and a bit upset I don’t have a white barrel Orenz. YET.

Have you tried this pencil yet? If not you can buy the Pentel Orenz here and please share your thoughts in the comments below.