Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Pentel Orenz Nero Mechanical Pencil

Pentel’s Orenz Nero is a technical marvel and one of the coolest mechanical pencils sold today. It is an auto-advancing, anti-breaking pencil with a cool aesthetic and great build quality. Despite all this, the Orenz Nero does have some issues that are worth knowing about before you invest in one.

Orenz Nero Design

Another interesting quirk of the Orenz Nero is that it’s not made of metal, despite feeling like it is. Pentel says it’s made of a “plastic metal blend” which seems to have some of the warmth of plastic but more of the weight of metal. Functionally the material works quite well, but it’s a bit confusing when you use the pencil since you can never quite tell what you are holding.

The Orenz anti-breaking lead technology allows for super slim 0.2 mm and 0.3 mm lead diameters. This is possible because the lead is never designed to extent more than the barest fraction past the lead sleeve (aka the pipe). This system looks odd — it looks like no lead is extended — but works rather well. The only problem with this is that the pipe can sometimes contact the page which is not a good writing experience and can even damage the paper.

Later on, in early 2021, the Orenz Nero was released in 0.5 mm (model number PP3005-A). This pencil is available now, though it’s still harder to find than the other two ¬†sizes.

The naming of the pencil is amusing but overthought: not only is the pencil all black (black being “nero” in Italian) but Nero is Orenz spelled backwards without the “z.” Pentel typically prints the name as “orenznero” to make the palindrome as obvious as possible.

The lead advance system is different than that of the standard Pentel Orenz, which requires pushing when you need more. With the Nero you only push the top button to extend the pipe or retract it, the lead advance itself as you lift the tip and push it back down between letters.

Pentel Orenz Nero Review

There is a lot of love here but despite all the technology this is not a great writing pencil. It lacks the lead-spinning technology of something like the Kuru Toga so the lead can get rather sharp at the tip. When coupling this would a skinny lead, you can have a very scratchy writing experience, especially with the 0.2 mm model. I’d recommend getting the 0.3 mm model if you do want an Orenz Nero.

The pencil is comfortable to use and of course it looks great. The grip has a plastic-y feeling which is nice but doesn’t compare to pencils like the Kuru Toga Roulette and similarly high-end models. It’s nice but not ideal given the price.

Pentel Orenz Nero Mechanical Pencil Information

Street Price Check Price
Manufacturer Pentel
Pencil Models0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm
Barrel ColorBlack
Barrel MaterialPlastic-Metal Hybrid
Body Diameter (mm) 9.7 mm
Grip Color Black
Grip Material Plastic
Knurled Grip? No
Grip Diameter (mm) 9.7 mm
Body ShapeOctagonal
Capped or Retractable Retractable
Lead Advance StyleAutomatic, Top Button
Lead Color Graphite
Lead Size (Diameter) 0.2 mm, 0.3 mm
Similar To:
Eraser Refillable?Yes
Clip MaterialMetal
Length Retracted (cm)14.0 cm
Body Length60.2
Weight16 grams
Pipe ColorSilver
Tip MaterialMetal
Tip Replaceable?No
Pipe TypeSliding
Lead Pipe Length2.6 mm
Pipe Retractable?Yes
Cleaning Rod?Yes