Several years ago the Mitsubishi Pencil Company introduced the first Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil under the Uni-ball brand name. It was what has come to be known as the Standard Model. Since the Standard Model was introduced the company has introduced the High Grade and later the Roulette as well as a host of other models and colors in 3 lead sizes. The pencils revolutionary "Kuru Toga" or Auto Rotation Engine has made the Kuru Toga line of pencils very popular across the world. But up until a couple of years ago this line of pencils was only available in the US from online retailers.
I first saw this pencil at my local Wal Mart last year yet the copyright date for the pencil is 2013. So it's my guess that the pencil has been out since then. So I'm running par for the course by blogging about a pencil that everyone else has already blogged about. What can I say? I'm an old Geezer after all. And Old Geezers are often slow do to our advanced years. Anyway as you can see by the pic below that the pencil is offered in America by the Sanford Brands division of Newell Rubbermaid. Sanford Brands is the soul distributor of Mitsubishi Uni and Uni-Ball products in North America.
The pencil in the Starter Set is different than the Standard Model that can be had on-line, though this too can be found on-line. The pencil itself differs only in it's look. However the Starter Set comes with a pack of 12 leads designed just for the Kuru Toga pencils and 2 erasers. This set is (was)* exclusive to the US. For a better (and much quicker) description of the entire Kuru Toga Line, follow this link.
The Starters Set also is unique in price. The Standard model alone sells for around $7.00 to $8.00 depending on where you buy it. The Starter Set sells for between $5.00 and $6.00, again depending on where you buy it. For me this is by far the best value in the Kuru Toga line in either the 0.5 mm version, like mine, or the 0.7 mm version. For those of you who use the erasers that come with mechanical pencils the 2 extra erasers are a nice bonus. As far as the leads is concerned, well I can not speak to how good it is because I have no real way of testing pencils leads. But the package has this to read...
So you are on your own when it comes to your choice of lead to use. But I've always had success with Pentel's Super Polymer leads. It would be interesting to know who Mitsubishi considers the maker of "... the leading lead".
If you discount the rubber ring at the metal tip of the pencil then the grip diameter is approximately 9 mm. Count the rubber ring and it's 10 mm. Your choice. The rest of the pencil is approximately 9 mm in diameter. The pencil is approximately 141 mm long and weighs approximately 9.6 grams. The entire tip of the pencil measures approximately 22 mm and the grip... Well if I use the silver ring on the Standard Model as the end of the grip them the grip is approximately 28 mm long. If I use the back of the first ring on the grip then it is approximately 15 mm long. Take your pick. The balance point is approximately 71 mm from the tip of the pencil. Yawn, so much for the stats.
You can purchase the Starter set from Wal Mart and probably from other retail outlets as well as on line at jetpens.com where you can purchase the entire line of Uni Kuru Toka pencils.
On a personal note, I use a Roulette model in 0.5 mm as my every day pencil and could not be happier with my choice.
Notes: * Before the invention of the Internet and the World Wide Web I can see the usefulness of making a product aimed at a specific group or country. And to some degree it still has merit. Retail brick and mortar stores have to have something to sell after all. But when some "sold only in (you name the country)" items can be bought from online retailers based in many different countries, the idea makes less and less since every day.