I won’t leave you in suspense – this Autopoint pencil is just…okay. That said, I may have bought the wrong version for myself. Hindsight being 20/20, I now think I should have purchased the thinner All-American Standard instead of this Jumbo version if an Autopoint pencil was to have the best chance of winning me over. Additionally, even if I was not overly impressed by the Jumbo, the Autopoint brand offers a few features I like in a mechanical pencil to make grabbing an All-American Standard worthwhile.
Let me start with the negatives. The build quality is solid but the pencil does have a cheap feel to it. I don’t know how to explain it other to say that while the pencil has never broke down on me, its lack of heft and plastic feel gives me the impression that failure is never too far away. This may be an unfair criticism of the pencil, but that’s the feeling I get when I pick up the All-American Jumbo. The other factor of the pencil that does not work for me has to do with form. Specifically, the tapering from the main barrel to the tip of the pencil is weirdly long and I’m not quite sure where to grab it. With most mechanical pencils, the distance from the bottom of the main barrel to the tip of the metal post where the graphite extends is around 1.5 to 2 centimeters. With the Autopoint, there is 2.5+ cm of pencil between the bottom of the main barrel and the tip of the post. This results, for me, in the pencil having an odd balance because I’m never quite sure where to hold it. Part of the problem is the fact that the All-American Jumbo is somewhat wider for a mechanical pencil and so the tapering from body to tip seems all the more awkward. I’m guessing/hoping that the thinner All-American Standard may not feel as awkward in this regard.
Now onto a few features I do like about the pencil. First, I like mechanical pencils that use a twist action to extend the graphite. I don’t know, maybe I’m overly picky, but I like the analog/twist approach to graphite extension over the click/digital mechanism. Sometimes you need just a bit more or just a bit less graphite showing and analog twist action gives you that small amount of adjustment. I also like the gray color of the eraser and the fact that it’s decently sized without being comically huge. We all know that for most mechanical pencils, a functioning eraser is just a rumor. The Autopoint’s eraser is actually worth a damn and works well.
Lastly, I won’t put this in the pro or con category, but the refilling process for the Autopoint is unusual. You have to pull off the tip, unscrew a metal plunger thing and insert the graphite. Because of this unusual set up, you are likely better off using the graphite refills supplied by Autopoint but I suspect other 0.9 mm refills would work fine after a bit of trimming.
All in all, it’s an okay pencil but there would be several other pencils I reach for before grabbing the All-American Jumbo. Nonetheless, I think I’ll give the standard size All-American a try and consider picking up some colored 0.9 refills for my Jumbo for those occasions when a mechanical pencil with colored refills is helpful.
(My own money was spent on the stuff in this post so it is probably a fairly honest assessment of said stuff.)