Friday, July 22, 2011

Pentel QE407 Mechanical Pencil

A while back, I won a giveaway from Derek's Pens and Pencils, and in that giveaway was this little gem. This is the Pentel QE407, and from what I have found online, it is a discontinued item from the 90s. This leads me to believe this might have come from George, at My Supply Room, but I am merely speculating at this point. Looking on eBay, it looks like this pencil typically sells for about $8.00 U.S., which is a bit steep for a plastic mechanical, but it is also not being made anymore.

There are several things that I love about this pencil, including:
  • The look of the the pencil is sheer retro greatness. It has 70s styling, and the minimalistic design grabbed me as soon as I first saw it. 
  • The barrel holds quite a few leads. I am not a fan of replacing leads often; I spent plenty of time maintaining my fountain pens, so I don't want to mess with fragile sticks of graphite more than I need to. 
  • The eraser is the biggest available eraser on any mechanical pencil I have seen, except for a few other Pentel products, such as the Twist Erase line. Some of you may have seen the retractable Pentel Clic Eraser (model ZE22, et al.), and the QE407 essentially has a large portion of one of those equipped, just ready to erase all day - it is by no means an emergency eraser. I cannot bring myself to use emergency erasers because it is such a silly thing to have to buy more of. 
  • The size of lead on this is .7 - nearly all of my mechanical/drafting pencils are .5, so it is nice to have something a bit thicker. I actually had a pack of .7 leads in my stash (I have no idea where they came from), so it was nice to be able to put them in something. Apparently there was also a QE405 (.5mm), but that is no longer being produced either, at least according to what I have read.

(Full segment of the eraser - just twist the barrel in the middle to reveal more!)

So, while it may be fairly expensive as a discontinued item, it is comfortable, looks cool, holds a ton of lead, has a large eraser, and just plain gets the job done. The only two faults, if any, are the cost and the fixed sleeve, being that I prefer a retractable sleeve for pocket safety. 

In looking for more information on this pencil, I was able to find a Pentel QE405 Fan Page, so go check it out! 


  1. They still make them under the Twist Erase III brand and you can get erasers for all generations of the pencil

  2. It's great that they are still making something similar to the original, especially since the eraser is universal for the style of pencil. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Hi EP, thanks for the shout-out. I actually bought a couple of boxes of these pens on closeout from a discount website that sells discontinued stuff. Sorta similar to Overstock but they have daily deals.

    Like you, I prefer a sliding sleeve so that it's pocket friendly but it's a nice pencil to keep on my desk and jot things down quickly with. I have a bunch of the 0.5s if you'd like one as well, let me know.

  4. Sorry... I meant to say pencils, not pens. :)

  5. Very cool that you acquired so many of these things. I keep mine at work, and the .7mm size is great for the cheaper notebooks that they provide (.5 would probably rip them up, and I typically keep all of my notebooks at home).

    As for the .5, we should line up a trade some time. I'm still eager to see if you hate the Private Reserve Fast Drying Ultra Black as much as I did.

  6. It seems to feather on everything I use it with and turned my Parker 51 into a wet faucet. It's nice for using on those shiny receipts though, so I don't mind taking it with me on the go to sign receipts with since it dries so quickly compared to other inks on those things. I haven't had a chance to try it yet on Rhodia paper, but I would assume it would probably do well on it. I plan to try it in some of my misbehaving/skipping pens when I get a chance to see if it helps in any way since it seems to flow so much.

  7. Well if anyone is still looking for these pencils i have them in stock. I sell them by the dozen for 9.99 shipped which is a bargain. Here is my ebay storefront link.

  8. With mechanical pencil like that with simplicity, No one would ever steal it from me. I've tried to use many types of mechanical pencils like fancy ones, metals and etc. but they all end up being stolen.