Friday, April 2, 2010

Uni Alpha Gel: Original

So here goes my first review... It's an amateur review, so bear with me.

Picture courtesy of
Sorry the picture's a bit cropped... T_T

This Uni Alpha Gel is the first series produced by the popular writing instrument company. It is said that the gel can keep an egg from cracking when dropped from five feet above. I'm pretty skeptical about this though... There are six colours of this the grip in this series: pink, green, sky blue, white, orange, and black. This is far different from any other pencils I've used before acquiring this one. In fact, this pencil is the first writing instrument that got me addicted to Japanese stationery.

Around the 7th grade, a lot of kids at school had these kinds of pencils (and the Dr. Grip Ltd.), so I got curious and bought an American version of the Dr. Grip Center of Gravity (also known as G-Spec). Not satisfied, I sought out to find the Alpha Gels, but no luck. Then I went to Japan and bought a few of these beauties and the Dr. Grip G-Spec (which I'll review later), as well as some candies, but I digress.

From the looks of it, the pencil is round and the grip certainly looks squishy to the touch. There's a loop on the top from where you can hang some kind of a pocket clip though. The tip is a plastic-ish sort of metal that while it doesn't look cheap at all, it also has a smaller, lighter-coloured grip near the top of the tip. At the top of the pencil is painted "uni ╬▒gel."

MOVING ON... this pencil has a very squishy, somewhat comfortable grip. The main attraction to this pencil is the squishy grip and the metal barrel. The metal barrel is easy to scratch, which looks unsightly on the pencil. The metal barrel makes this pencil balanced in a way. It's cool to the touch (unless you left it in the oven for too long, along with the meat loaf) if you wanted to switch pencils because the other one was getting too...warm. Yeah, I have that problem and pencils being too warm are always a problem with me.

Now going onto the cons... The grip on this pencil is very susceptible to tearing. There's even a label on the barrel telling you not scratch it, dig your nail through it, etc. This hasn't happened to me though. I take good care of mine. ;D ...Okay, the inside of my pencil has a few tears, but nothing major. It just looks bubbly from the outside. Metal barrel scratches very easily. The cap on the top is very easy to lose. This pencil is also circular, making it susceptible to rolling off the table if given enough force. Other than that the charm loop somewhat stops it from rolling off. It attracts eraser dust and lint easily.

This pencil was about $5-$6 when I bought it, $7.50 at Jetpens. Overall, this is a pretty good pencil. Pretty fragile though. You have to take good care of the grip and the metal barrel.

So as a recap if you didn't want to read all that...

-Squishy grip (claims it stops an egg from cracking at 5ft).
-Metal barrel makes it cool to the touch.
-Metal barrel makes it somewhat balanced.

-Grip very susceptible to tearing.
-Metal barrel is easy to scratch.
-Can roll off the table if given enough force.

Price: $7.50 at Jetpens