I decided to group all of the mechanical pencils into one review, along with the Tri-Eraser.
Let's start with the Jolt Automatic Pencil.
I want to put an exclamation point after the word Jolt! for some reason. I think it's because of Jolt! Cola, but it could also be because I think this pencil is awesome. For starters, it's simply a sharp looking pencil. I love the orange accents, and it comes in a few other colors like blue, green, and pink. The Jolt has a nice latex-free grip, and it feels good in my hand, whether just writing or the massive amount of doodling I did with it.
The big selling point of this pencil (for me, at least) is the "Sliding Sleeve Technology" which allows you to write continuously without having to stop and click for more lead. I wrote with it for an extended period and didn't have to stop and click (or shake, but I'll get to that in a minute) for more lead. I press pretty hard with a pencil, but the Jolt held up fine - not one broken lead.
The other cool thing about this pencil (besides being refillable - both lead and eraser) is that you don't have to click the eraser to make the lead come out. You can shake it. It does take two good, hard shakes for the lead to come out - at least it did for me. A gentle shake did nothing to advance the lead, but two hard ones gave me a nice length to get started.
All in all, I really liked this pencil. I would probably prefer the 0.5mm lead, but the 0.7mm wasn't bad to write with. I would use and recommend it to anyone who was looking for a solid mechanical pencil.
Next up, the Twist-Erase Click Mechanical Pencil
I really wanted to like the Click. The pencils come in a variety of nice colors from orange to purple to black, and they feel nice and solid in your hand as you write. I liked the grip, and they didn't rattle too much while writing like a lot of other mechanical pencils do.
They sport an extra long eraser, which is a great feature for anyone who uses mechanical (or regular) pencils. I've always run out of eraser long before I ran out of lead, and to have a pencil that not only has a long eraser to begin with, but allows me to refill it is pretty awesome.
I received all three available lead sizes (0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm) and I was pleased with the crisp lines they all made. I wrote with it for a good amount of time (both writing words and just doodling here and there) and the lead stayed nice and sharp, and my hand didn't cramp up.
So what was the problem? In a word, the Click. These pencils feature a side click to advance the lead. There is no mechanism in the eraser part to advance the lead, you have to use the side click button. I have pretty good sized hands, and the side click made the pencil awkward. Once I turned it a quarter turn and put the button near my thumb, the pencil was fine to use, but it resulted in a lot of stopping and starting as I had to turn the pencil, click to advance the lead, turn the pencil back, and then continue writing. Maybe it's the way I hold my pencil, but I couldn't find a comfortable position to hold the pen and have a finger near and able to operate the side click.
The side click really turned me off for these pencils. I wouldn't buy them, simply because they were too annoying to write with. Your mileage may vary.
And now, last but certainly not least, the Pentel Tri-Eraser.
I loved this eraser from the word Go. No, really. I am a big fan of erasers, and when I saw this one in my Big Box O' Pen Love I just knew I was going to have a good time with it. One word: Awesome. You can really tell that someone put a lot of thought and love into this eraser, because it pretty much blows away every other eraser I've used, hands down.
The Tri-Eraser is triangle shaped, and thus it gives you three sharp points to work with. Sure, you can just set it flat on the paper and go to town, but the three tips give you something other erasers don't - precision. You can get into a tight spot with this eraser and just take out what you don't want, without ruining the rest of your drawing/writing. There's minimal "dust" to wipe away, and it erased even the darkest lines completely, every time.
The triangular shape of the barrel serves two purposes. One, it prevents the eraser from rolling right off the table once you put it down. Anyone who has had to write on an uneven surface and has watched their eraser (or pencil) roll away to oblivion will appreciate that. Second, it gives you a better, more natural grip on the eraser, which makes it easier to use. And it's refillable! What's better than that? If you're not a fan of the black barrel (although I don't know why you wouldn't be), the Tri-Eraser comes in four other colors - green, blue, red, and purple.
The Tri-Eraser gets a big thumbs up from me. I will definitely be putting this bad boy to use in my personal collection.