Review: Pilot Dr. Grip Ace Mechanical Pencil

Review: Pilot Dr. Grip Ace Mechanical Pencil

This is a chunky mechanical pencil.

Designed for comfort, the Dr. Grip Ace can provide great support for longer writing sessions. It also comes in a few color variants, including the pink-and-white that I have with me.

Upon first glance, that seems to be it. However, a closer inspection reveals unique features that separate the Dr. Grip Ace from the competition and provide a layer of practicality that augments the overall user experience.

One of the defining features of this mechanical pencil is the lead-advancement mechanism. The Pilot Dr. Grip Ace features a robust shaker mechanism, where a gentle shake of the pencil extends the lead by a few millimeters.

From an outsider's perspective, shaking a pencil probably looks like you're crazy. But who cares? It's a cool feature with an interesting mechanism. However, I have a few doubts about the practicality of the shaking mechanism. Regardless of how fun it is to advance lead by shaking the body, I can't think of a situation where a shake beats out the traditional click of a mechanical pencil.

One of my favorite additions to the Dr. Grip Ace is the screw-down cap. Generally, mechanical pencil caps can be prone to falling off (especially plastic ones that are lighter weight), so having a way to secure the cap is welcome. It only takes about a quarter of a rotation to unscrew and relock, so the mechanism provides an easy way to access the eraser.

I haven't seen many instruments that use a screw-down eraser cap, so having this available is quite refreshing.

In terms of branding, the pencil is quite minimal. The main mark is at the bottom of the barrel with a print application of their Dr. Grip logo. On the back, there is a subtle Pilot Japan logo as well. I enjoy the look of the branding and find it quite coherent with the overall design language.

The pencil's internals seem to be fairly well-built. Although the mechanical pencil's innards are laced with plastic components, there are a decent amount of metal parts that make the pen feel sturdy. These elements add to the overall perceived quality of the pencil and make me feel happier about this purchase.

One final thing I'd like to mention is the grip. It's huge and feels great to use. There is a soft yet firm rubber grip section that is wide enough to make it feel more like a fountain pen. I like using Pilot Dr. Grip mechanical pencils over thinner options because of this reason. Whereas more traditionally-sized mechanical pencils can sometimes feel cramped for my slightly above-average-sized hands, I can confidently turn to these Dr. Grip mechanical pencils for a comfortable, reliable writing experience.

Nathan Ma

Nathan Ma

Hi! I'm Nathan, and I'm a stationery enthusiast. I've been in love with anything regarding writing and have built up a huge collection that I can now share with others!