Designer Toolkit: The Kuru Toga mechanical pencil

A mechanical pencil with a twist

Red Kuru Toga with red lead

Designer Toolkit is a new weekly series on Sketchbook B that will highlight an analog tool that designers should be using.


Why designers will love THE KURU TOGA:

Precise, consistent lines. The Kuru Toga is a Japanese mechanical pencil with a cool trick... the lead rotates every time you pick up the tip of the pencil, keeping the point even and consistent. Great for sketching or taking notes.

Range of thicknesses. Kuru Togas are available in .03, .05 and .07 mm. Pick the line thickness that's perfect for your sketching style. 

Colored lead. Some Kuru Togas come with colored lead to match their body color. I've got a red Kuru Toga with red lead (pictured above) that's great for marking up proofs. 


Things to know:

U.S. vs Japanese models. In U.S. retail channels, you can find a limited selection of Kuru Togas, so you can pick up a basic model at your local Staples. But if you want more options — and trust me, you do — order from a company like Jet Pens and select from a wider variety. 

Disney edition. Love Mickey? You can get Japanese Disney-themed Kuru Togas through Jet Pens. 


How much?

The Uni Kuru Toga starts at about $5. You can find the entire range at Jet Pens.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he apparently talks too much about pens and pencils. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.