If I had to go back to high school math class again, the Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil is the only pencil I'd take with me. Why? Because it has a twist and turn mechanism that automatically rotates its lead to keep a perfectly sharp point every time you write.

Plusses
It works! Every time you lift the pencil off the paper, the tip rotates a degree or so to keep the lead consistent. The lead never gets dull, brittle or weirdly thick or thin. That consistency keeps your penmanship neat and makes the Kuru Toga the most pen-like pencil there is. And the "diamond infused" lead that comes with the Kuru Toga is stiffer, sturdier and cleaner than the regular variety. The pencil is all plastic, but it feels better than you'd expect because the barrel is slightly thicker and it's little bit heavier than normal pencils.

Minuses
The grip isn't a grip at all—it's a ridged, clear piece of plastic to show off the twist and turn mechanism. Which basically means if you had to write a book report on War & Peace, your fingers would fall off. Also, the metal point of the pencil never fully retracts into the body, so there's always a chance of stabbing yourself in the leg (or worse) if you keep the Kuru Toga in your pocket.

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Uni-Ball KuruToga Mechanical Pencil, $7