Sharpie Liquid Pencil

First, a confession: I’m a pen nerd.

I recently read about Sharpie’s new Liquid Pencil, and was excited about it. A pencil with no leads to break? An erasable writing instrument that becomes permanent after a day or so? It seemed like the perfect pocket pen (er, pencil). Sign me up!

Just over a week ago I saw a two-pack at Officemax and bought it. I’ve been carrying one in place of my usual Pilot G-2, as an experiment.

Sadly, I must report that I’m not impressed. Maybe Sharpie will perfect the technology over time, but this initial version is a dud.

Here’s a sample page using several pens and pencils I have around on my desk.

Contrary to the claims on Sharpie’s blog, the Liquid Pencil writes anything but smoothly. It lays down the graphite unevenly; it’s choppy and inconsistent. It also feels kind of rough on the paper, at least compared to the pens I normally use.

Even the super-cheap Bic Round Stic wrote more smoothly and consistently.

Now let’s talk about erasing. Or rather, not erasing.

The Techniclick using regular graphite erases fairly well. You can sort of see what was written, if you squint at it. The Liquid Pencil, on the other hand, leaves a lot behind. I wrote “Something I regret writing” and then erased. I probably should have added “with” to the end of that sentence.

The pencil-to-ink conversion is also a bit overstated. I have seen claims ranging from one to three days. Okay, I’m willing to accept that there’s a variable or two here: paper type, humidity, etc. But after a week, I’m still able to half-erase what I wrote. Not very “permanent” even compared to a dime-a-dozen ink pen.

Verdict: I’m switching back to the Pilot G-2.