Review – OHTO Sharp Pencil APS-350ES

I like tiny, pocket-sized things. Especially writing utensils, like the Fisher Space Pen Stowaway, the cheap touch screen styluses, and now the subject of this review, the OHTO mini Sharp Pencil. All of these happen to be the same size. So the OHTO is cool both in that it matches many other small items you can buy, but it also might be the smallest mechanical pencil I have ever seen, being a little over 4 inches long and less than 3/16ths of an inch in diameter. But at that size will it still work well? Let’s take a look.


The design is meant to mimic a wooden pencil. The outside of the pencil is actually made of wood and has a hexagonal design. Mine is in green, with silver printed information on one facet. The tip is sharpened like a wood pencil until about halfway when it is replaced by a metal cone that leads to a very short lead pipe. On the back there is a clip that is a separate piece of metal bent around and friction fit. Beyond that is the click mechanism that is really only usable when the eraser holder is installed. The eraser holder is quite a simple piece of metal that keeps the lead in the feeder, depresses the click mechanism, and holds a very small eraser. The wire-thin piece of metal attaching this piece to the body seems rather flimsy and easy to remove, but I have had no problems with it shaking loose: it simply doesn’t have enough mass. Likewise I have encountered no problems with the quality of any of the components.


The lead seems to be HB. I don’t have the package (which is rather understated and nice by the way) with me so I don’t know what it is exactly, but I have no complaints. It writes well, and can be sufficiently dark. The eraser also works surprisingly well for its size, with very little being used to rub away quite a bit, but I wouldn’t say it’s a great eraser. The click mechanism is satisfying and the lead is held very securely in place when one is using the pencil. The clip is also very good for the size, easily holding it in place while not damaging anything.

In the end, for on-the-go sketching or writing I would certainly recommend this product. I also wouldn’t recommend it at all for stationary or desk-related activities. It is very small, and while that makes it portable, it isn’t the most comfortable of writing implements. It will hold up very well in a bag or a pocket, and it looks quite neat in my opinion. I’d just say be careful of the back end being knocked loose and stock up on some extra erasers and lead (it only comes with one of each) as one will likely run through them pretty quickly.

Simple Packing

I’m sitting here right now about to get ready to leave on a trip, with a post I’m supposed to write, and two ideas written on a piece of paper in front of me that have been knocking around for a while.

I’m going to have to get up earlier than usual in the morning to get ready and leave for the trip, and at the time it is currently I don’t think I have the time to properly research and give my other topics their due space. So I’m going to write about packing because it’s on my mind.

I’ve never really needed to pack much. It would take me a little bit of the night before a two week trip to pack for said trip when I was younger and needed less things. It would still probably take me very little time, mainly a set or two of clothes and my EDC (everyday carry) bag to go on almost any trip today.

Unfortunately, I have recently taken to both packing in the morning and needing to take more things to “keep up” with work. I inevitably rarely use said things, but I take them and am paranoid about leaving many of them (these are mainly notebooks and computer accessories). These two things lead me to being needlessly worried on my trips.

So I started two procedures that I hope to finally fully flesh out this trip. Having a Travel Checklist (which my parents do) and having most of my things in pre-prepared bags. For instance I use my EDC bag every day and taking it along is no real problem. I also use a travel toiletries bag in my bathroom to keep things organized and it is very simple to just zip it up and take it with me.

Having pre-defined bags like that (or say, my computer case that has slots that I use for only certain accessories) has helped me quite a bit in getting ready in the past, but the human brain is a forgetful thing. And my brain in particular worries quite a bit about the things that I forget. This is where the checklist comes in. I have so many other checklists in my life I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make a packing one (maybe because in the morning when I was getting ready it was too much {and I did make one when I was moving, but that’s a bit different}).

Adding a packing checklist to my simple taking bags that I have specifically integrated into my life so I can both use them everyday and take them on trips is the perfect way to round out the system. And it allows for me to add things to the list that aren’t already in my bags and might not need to be taken (like say, camping equipment) and it makes the whole system much more flexible.

So that’s what I’ll be doing for this trip; if it works, this post might be the end of it, if it doesn’t, I will be making an update. I’ll see how it goes.

Table Topics Chit Chat 57 #113-114


  1. If you could spend a Saturday morning watching any cartoon what would it be?
  2. When you travel do you most enjoy dining, sightseeing, or people watching?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

  1. Animaniacs without a doubt.
  2. I don’t really enjoy anything about traveling, so I’ll say people watching because I think I like that one best.