Pentel Orenz Mechanical Pencil Review

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mh9162013

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Inspiration here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/my-favorite-pencils.186573/

I just received my Pentel Orenz 0.3mm mechanical pencil and tried it out briefly. I compared it to my disposal Bics (0.5, 0.7 and 0.9mm versions). Not much to say except the 0.3mm is definitely better suited for drawing fine lines on model rockets. For smaller LPR sized rockets, I think 0.3mm is definitely worth it over 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9mm mechanical pencils.

Yes, a 0.5 or 0.7 mechanical pencil can draw a line that's about as fine as the 0.3mm, but it depends on the angle you're holding the pencil in relation to its wear pattern on the tip. With 0.3mm, it's so thin already, no matter what, you're getting a fine line.

I have a 0.2mm Orenz pencil arriving shortly. If it produces noticeably thinner lines than the 0.3mm without breaking often, then I'll post an update here. Below are a few pics that say the rest.

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I just compared my 0.2mm Orenz to my 0.3mm Orenz last night. The 2mm definitely does make finer lines, but it breaks almost every time I make a mark when I'm actually using it to build a rocket.

If you pay attention to the hieroglyphics on the Japanese language packaging, it shows you to not extend the lead past the steel tube, just write with the tube against the paper in order to avoid breakage. Fine for writing, but if you're marking against a straightedge, it offsets the line by the thickness of the tube, which kind of defeats the purpose of the 0.2mm in the first place.

I find I'm able to write and mark with the 0.3mm lead extended past the tube with far less breakage, so I think it will get used for most things, but the 0.2mm will still be on the workbench for when it seems worth it.

Also, there's a super-good deal on 0.3mm 2B lead on Amazon. It makes notably darker marks than the HB that the Orenz comes pre-loaded with.
 
I just compared my 0.2mm Orenz to my 0.3mm Orenz last night. The 2mm definitely does make finer lines, but it breaks almost every time I make a mark when I'm actually using it to build a rocket.

If you pay attention to the hieroglyphics on the Japanese language packaging, it shows you to not extend the lead past the steel tube, just write with the tube against the paper in order to avoid breakage. Fine for writing, but if you're marking against a straightedge, it offsets the line by the thickness of the tube, which kind of defeats the purpose of the 0.2mm in the first place.

I find I'm able to write and mark with the 0.3mm lead extended past the tube with far less breakage, so I think it will get used for most things, but the 0.2mm will still be on the workbench for when it seems worth it.

Also, there's a super-good deal on 0.3mm 2B lead on Amazon. It makes notably darker marks than the HB that the Orenz comes pre-loaded with.
I'm surprised by how strong the 0.3mm lead is. So far, I haven't broken it at all. Sure, I'm being careful, but I'm not "babying" the pencil or the lead.

I won't be suprised if the 0.2mm lead breaks too often to be useful given my marking habits/style (and what you've said so far). I think it'll come down to how much "babying" it needs and whether it's worth the finer line.
 
So my 0.2mm Orenz arrived today and I tried it out.

Conclusion: It breaks more often, but it's not unmanageable. However, I'll definitely be going through more lead than with the 0.3mm Orenz.

The biggest surprise: I can barely tell the difference between a 0.2mm line and a 0.3mm line. Depending on the tip shape and angle I hold the pencils, I can sometimes tell the difference between the two. But 95% of the time, the lines they produce seem identical to me.

0.3mm is definitely my lead of choice. That being said, I'd gladly use 0.2mm lead if cost wasn't an issue.
 
Here's a comparison of the lines from each lead. Can you tell which lines come from the 0.2mm Orenz and which come from the 0.3mm Orenz?

When drawing the lines with the 0.2mm Orenz, the lead broke about 4 times. When using the 0.3mm Orenz, the lead never broke.

DSC_0001.JPG




Answer: the lines on the left were 0.3mm and the ones on the right were 0.2mm (highlight the blank to the left to reveal the answer).
 
Here's a comparison of the lines from each lead. Can you tell which lines come from the 0.2mm Orenz and which come from the 0.3mm Orenz?

When drawing the lines with the 0.2mm Orenz, the lead broke about 4 times. When using the 0.3mm Orenz, the lead never broke.

View attachment 649945




Answer: the lines on the left were 0.3mm and the ones on the right were 0.2mm (highlight the blank to the left to reveal the answer).
I was correct. Thank you for the detailed review and examples!
 
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