The Uni Toga Roulette Mechanical Pencil has been around for a decent amount of time. With the number of mechanical pencils on the market, this one has managed to fly largely under the radar, going unnoticed by many people. The Roulette is a revamped version of the original Kuru Toga, with the added knurling setting it apart from its predecessor.
The Roulette has a thick, sturdy body that seems to be made of both metal and durable plastic that can withstand the test of time and frequent use and abuse. It has a distinct knurled section by the pencil tip, which improves the ease of which a user can hold the pencil and feels nice in the hand. Its knurled section is made of metal, while the body of the pencil is made of plastic that has been expertly painted and finished to mimic the same metal that the knurling is made from.
In addition, each end of the pencil features a rubber ring that prevents the pencil from rolling and sliding on uneven surfaces such as drafting tables or podiums. The best part about that is that it prevents the pencil from falling off of surfaces and having its lead get broken.
The pencil’s flexible metal clip is easy to detach and put back into place, staying strong once fastened. On the side of the pencil is the company’s name in a fancy font that is appealing to the eye thanks to its combination of bold and soft, flowery letting. Overall, the appearance of the pencil is promising. So, how well does it work?
Well, getting into the reason why the pencil is called the Roulette, one specialised internal feature is what sets the pencil apart from the others on the market. This feature is the lead rotation mechanism; it’s designed to rotate the pencil lead each time the user puts pressure on its tip. The goal here is to keep the lead rounded and even all the way around, avoiding uneven angles and awkward lead shapes. It can be observed in action through the small viewing window on the base of the pencil. Admittedly, this is a pretty cool feature because without it it’s hard to tell that the pencil is doing anything spectacular.
One user claimed that while the viewing window is a nice addition to the feature, the feature itself is a great idea that yields minimal noticeable results. This isn’t to say that the pencil is bad by any means – the user in question states that it writes smoothly and is easy to use- but that when put into action, the promised results of this mechanism aren’t obvious.
The rotation mechanism doesn’t work when the user is writing cursive, as a steady amount of pressure is applied. This means that the lead doesn’t have a chance to rotate until after the user finishes an entire word, which is likely to mean that it’s not the ideal pencil for drafting or writing love letters in cursive. It is, however, ideal for taking notes, doodling, and jotting down grocery lists.
Using the pencil, this user also found that its eraser is quite small when compared to standard pencil erasers. This isn’t a major factor but is something worth noting for users who plan to use this pencil a lot – especially seeing as how the product doesn’t come with any replacement erasers.
Continuing with the eraser, another minor complaint was that the eraser cap was easy to remove. It’s good to have an eraser cap that comes off with ease, but this user felt that it came off too easily, dislodging itself in his pocket or coming off when he tried to grab the pencil, leaving him holding only the eraser cap. This being said, many mechanical pencils don’t have eraser caps, so the fact that the Roulette does is definitely another small bonus worth noting.
In terms of price, the Roulette is somewhat on the more expensive side. It averages roughly $7 per unit (depending on where you purchase it from, of course). Even still, the cost is kept within an accessible range due to the mixing of metal and plastic for the pencil’s construction.
Between its stylish, minimalist design and durable build, the pencil has a certain amount of appeal to it – even before its performance is factored in. Once the performance is added into the equation, it’s safe to say that recommending this pencil would be justified so long as the user is aware of its very minor drawbacks.