Pilot The Shaker Mechanical Pencil Review

The Pilot Shaker is an everyday mechanical pencil meant to be used in the workshop. Its shake-based lead advancement system is its main feature, and its robust build quality ensures a long lifespan.

If you work for hours in a workshop marking measurements with a ruler, you need a mechanical pencil with great linework that doesn’t break easily.

Vintage mechanical pencils have a charm of their own, but you can’t really use them every day. After all, those were quite fragile, limiting their usage to mere novelty. You’ll want something sturdier for your daily workplace that will get the job done.

To see if the mechanical pencil stands the test, here’s our Pilot Shaker review.

Pilot The Shaker Mechanical Pencil Review

Pilot the shaker mechanical pencil review
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Design: Shake-Based Lead Advancement

The Shaker is noticeably thicker than other pencils, and while it may initially appear as a con, the thickness lends itself to the pencil’s durability. Blemishes rarely diminish the feel of the pencil, and its usage isn’t limited after extensive use. Even with damage to its barrel and body, the mechanical pencil will remain as functional as ever.

This mechanical pencil’s primary selling point is the shaking mechanism, a contraption that advances the lead once you shake the pencil. Shaking the pencil up and down shifts the internal weight that advances the lead mechanism and only activates when the user intends to. And if you shake vigorously, you can have the pencil advance a larger amount of lead.

But what if you are not exceedingly fond of the Shaker mechanism? Pilot has included a button on the pencil’s rear to advance the lead manually, and the pressing intensity determines how much lead advances or retracts. Moreover, the tip can be retracted into the barrel using lead advancing systems, protecting it from accidental damage when stored.

The Shaker includes a small eraser that is housed inside a small plastic end cap. But, owing to its small size, the cap can be very easy to lose over time.

And if you were left wondering about the pencil’s appearance, there are many options to opt from. The Shaker is available in various solid and patterned colors, including designs such as ‘Stardust Blue’ and ‘Hammer Tone Silver’.

Lastly, the pencil includes a spring-loaded pocket clip, a mechanism that may prove to be flimsier than the rest of the body. That said, you can get good use out of the rugged clip.

Grip: soft, textured and comfortable
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Grip: Soft, Textured And Comfortable

The Shaker features a grip made out of soft rubber that finds its home in the rugged working conditions of a workshop. And this is where the thicker size of the pencil becomes more of an advantage than a liability.

You’ll find it easier to keep a firm grasp on the soft, textured rubber grip when using The Shaker. And even with tired hands, the pencil’s weight will enable you to articulate it well.

Lead type: 0. 5mm
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Lead Type: 0.5mm

The pre-loaded 0.5mm lead in The Shaker functions well enough, providing a smooth and consistent writing feel on all types of paper. Of course, since it isn’t aiming to be a precision pencil, you won’t get a writing experience that can be compared to high-end models. Its lead system lends into the easygoing feel of the pencil, leaning heavily into the casual and daily usage it’s designed for.

That said, a caveat of this pencil is that the lead may become prone to falling out after using it for a long time. 

Price: low
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Price: Low

At its low price point, The Shaker should fit most budgets without compromising functionality. The retractable tip is a feature that is often missing from models in this price range, so this pencil can make for an affordable upgrade, the Staedtler 925, Graphgear 500 and rOtring 300 are also options worth considering in this price point. If you want truly exclusive and special, do checkout our other review on Modern Fuel Mechanical Pencil.

Product Name: Pilot The Shaker H-1010 | Product Brand: Pilot | Body Material: Plastic |Diameter: 11.1mm (Body), 10.8mm (Grip) | Grip Material: Rubber | Lead Size: 0.5mm | Color: Pink, Green/Blue, Black, Gray, Metallic Gray, Silver
Pilot the shaker mechanical pencil final verdict
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Pilot The Shaker Verdict

The Pilot Shaker comes across as a rugged and functional mechanical pencil that will last a long time. Its build quality, lead advancement system, and soft rubber grip has already earned good reviews from users. Moreover, its writing feel remains consistent across its long lifespan.

Though not as precise or comfortable as some of the higher-end pencils, The Shaker is designed to be a workshop pencil. The things that set it back are quite minor and only present themselves on rare occasions. All in all, The Shaker can bridge the gap between high-end precision pencils and pencils meant for everyday use.

Checkout our other review article on rOtring 300 Mechanical Pencil if you are looking for the legendary rOtring quality in one lightweight and affordable pencil.

Anton G.
Anton is a RIBA accredited architect, when he's offline, he spends his time with the sculpta.ba architecture practice or in the MKR.S crafting studio, laser engraving and laser cutting architecture models. In his free time he geeks over taking care of his pencil and mechanical pencil collection.

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