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I found a pack of these pens in WHSmiths, I believe, a couple of years ago. I bought them as normal pencils had the tendency of breaking their leads in my pencil case and wither making them unusable without sharpening or dull - this is especially an issue when trying to draw graphs and diagrams for Physics experiments. The pens themselves are built fairly well in comparison to others in their price range, however I felt that the rubber/eraser on the top of the pen could easily be knocked off as it felt a little unstable. You shoud not expect these to be anywhere nears as well uilt as some of the luxury mechanical pencils on the market as they are just plasticy instead of metal. I do not particularly like using these pencils and most have been sat in my pencil holder since purchasing them as I find them difficult to use. The lead inside is very thin indeed and all too easily breaks when writing or drawing, this means that I must pump out moe of the lead to continue my work. This issue is made worse by the broken shards then colouring the paper at the point they broke over. Trouble also comes when the lead will not appear out of the pen. No matter how much you pump, sometimes the lead will just refuse to appear. This has happened in 2 out of the 3 pencils I had in my set, 1 appears to not have this problem yet though.
I don't know if you'll agree with me, but one of the things I miss about being a kid is being able to write with a pencil all the time. I love writing in pencil, but as a grown-up it's often not practical. Whilst rummaging around the stationery cupboard at work I found some brightly-coloured Bic pencils and decided to snaffle one. I've been using it for all my notes for several weeks now and it's probably one of the better mechanical pencils I've ever used. There are all kinds of problems that can occur with clutch pencils. There's those where the lead constantly snaps, those where the lead disappears back up the barrel so you can't write anything, and those that do both! I've always liked Bic writing products as I find them to be simple and functional which is pretty much what you need in what is essentially a tool. These pencils take standard-sized lead (0.7mm), and what's more the lead FITS the pencil properly, so it will not vanish when you press down on the page, nor will it snap easily. It is easy to set a short length of lead with which to write, which is obviously more sturdy. I've often found that you need to have a long length of lead in order to keep it from slipping back into the barrel, which snaps straight away. I also find the leads to last quite a long time. I make a lot of notes daily and rarely have to click more lead down, and after the initial new-lead scratchy stage it writes very smoothly without snagging the page. It does smudge slightly, but most pencils will do that and it's certainly better than writing with a standard pencil. The pencil has an eraser which, unfortunately, isn't that great. It tends to smudge and unless you are rubbing a large area out (eg a whole word) it would be difficult to do a clean job. I'd say that would mainly be a problem if you were using the pencil to do a lot of calculations or designs/plans, as it's not very precise. As far as comfort goes, I do prefer using a square-barrelled pencil as opposed to round, as I just find it easier to hold and be accurate with. So why Ecolutions? Well Bic have a launched a (reasonably) new range of stationery which is made from completely recycled products. I like the idea as it is a pretty easy way to be green, as you have to write so you may as well buy recycled products. It looks in no way any different from a regular mechanical pencil, in fact the only reason I noticed it was any different was the word Ecolutions on the clip which sparked some research and this review. Although I found it difficult to find a price for single/small packs of these pencils, they do seem to run a little higher than regular mechanical pencils and other Bic products at around 50p each. I would still buy these over other products providing that I wouldn't have to buy a huge amount. I say that because I feel that buying a pack of lead and refilling the pencil would be far better than buying a huge pack, especially as they have already gone out of their way to recycle it, so it seems silly to buy loads to use disposably! Overall I find these pencils to be very practical and do everything they're supposed to. I like the idea of buying an alternative to an everyday product that is recycled, and I'll definitely purchase Bic pencils in future, Ecolutions if possible.