About This Product
With rock-solid build quality and an enticing array of premium features, Platinum's Pro Use 171 Mechanical Pencil is one of the most well-rounded writing instruments in our shop. The finely knurled metal grip is instantly noticeable when you pick up a Pro Use 171 pencil; it's grippy but not rough or irregular, like the metal grips on lesser drafting pencils.
Two Writing Modes
Yes, really. Hold the barrel and twist the grip left and right, and Pro Use 171 pencils switch between two different writing modes. Drafting mode, indicated by a straight line, fixes the lead and sleeve perfectly in place. In drafting mode, Pro Use 171 pencils are as reliable and solid as a wooden pencil, but with the speed and consistency that pros demand.
Comfort mode, indicated by a line with up and down arrowheads, allows the lead to retract slightly into the sleeve when pressure is applied. This is more typical of a mechanical pencil intended for writing, because many people prefer this "cushioned" feel. It's also great for loose sketches and softer paper.
Our favorite feature on this pencil is its adjustable lead sleeve. Different uses require different sleeve lengths, particularly in drafting, where a longer sleeve is useful for drawing lines with a straightedge. For writing, many people prefer a shorter sleeve. And for the benefit of your pocket (and the protection of the sleeve), it's also nice to be able to retract this small metal piece entirely.
But a truly retractable sleeve would be less than solid, and would move the lead inside the pencil, potentially leading to jams and breakage. So instead, Platinum's engineers opted to give Pro Use 171 an adjustable nose cone instead. Twist the cone to cover or reveal the fixed lead sleeve as needed. It's one of those little features we've found ourselves using constantly.
Pro Use 171 also offers a full complement of classic drafting pencil features, like the metal clip, lead hardness indicator, and an eraser under the lead-advance button. It's weighted toward the tip to reduce writing strain.
Each Pro Use 171 comes with a Platinum gift box, as pictured. Made in Japan.