I got my Sharpie liquid pencil via UPS today. That’s right, I wrote “liquid pencil.” It’s a new technology for mechanical pencils that replaces those little leads with a liquid reservoir like ink pens. No more little leads to break or lose. No more sharp edges on the nub to rip your paper after the lead breaks. And while the pencil is fully erasable at first, after 24-72 hours the pencil sets and is no longer erasable.
So, why isn’t this like erasable pens, you ask? I had those as a kid too and they seemed like such a good idea. Unfortunately, as a lefty the erasable pens had the fatal flaw that as the side of my hand rubbed along the page in the wake of my pen, it turned all my writing into a big blue smudge. The side of my hand became a blue smear. The liquid pencil doesn’t have that problem. Rub all day long and the pencil writing stays on the page.
One of the big challenges for any pencil is the newspaper’s crossword. I like the neatness of pen, but I’m not perfect and often make mistakes. Erasing the pencil is convenient, but the mechanical pencil’s eraser often left a gray blotch in the letter’s place and now nothing could be written there and be legible. But as the short video below shows, you can erase and rewrite no problem.
The pencil feels more like a rollerball pen than a pencil when writing, but sure enough it’s a pencil. It has all the advantages of both without the disadvantages of either. (I suspect the liquid pencil would not be acceptable for legal documents, but that’s a negligible problem.) I really like it and will be adding it to my handwriting arsenal.