* Prices may differ from that shown
BiC Matic Classic is a mechanical pencil produced by BiC. I don't feel it's necessary to go into the history of BiC for the purposes of this review but suffice to say BiC, as a company, are famous for making disposable products such as ball point pens, lighters, razors, etc, and have been for decades.
Each pencil contains 3 Hi-polymer HB 90mm leads and an eraser on the end. You can purchase these pencils 0.7mm lead or 0.5mm lead (there is also a 0.99mm lead but this is not available commonly in the UK).
The pencil is black opaque at both ends with a see through casing throughout the middle. The eraser part is 1cm is length of which 0.5cm is exposed at the eraser end and is 0.6cm at its widest. I mention the length of the eraser as only half of the actual eraser is exposed. Each pencil also has a pocket clip.
The pencil is already loaded with 1 piece of lead so you're ready to start writing straight away, with the 2 extras pieces inside the pencil body. To use the pencil you just press down on the eraser end a few times until enough lead is exposed at the other end for your needs. You need to remove the eraser from it's socket to gain access to the spare leads. Here's where the problem lies. If you've used the eraser enough that it's worn down you will have a nightmare trying to access the spare leads. I know it's only a disposable pencil BUT what is the point of having 2 spare leads if you can't access them over time?
I've used these BiC Matic Classic mechanicals pencils for several years now and find them comfortable to grip and very easy to write with but don't find the eraser to be of a very good quality. I make a lot of notes in my office diary with tentative dates and times so always use a pencil for that but I need to keep a separate eraser to hand because a) the one on the end of the pencil is not very effective and b) I'm worried that I won't be able to access my spare leads if the eraser wears down.
Although BiC Matic Classic is the official name of these pencils they are also referred to as Bicmatic Disposable Mechanical Pencils or Bicmatic Disposable Autopencils.
The price of these pencils can vary depending on where you purchase them from. I tend to purchase these in bulk for office use. They come 12 pencils to a box and the average price is around £4.50 per box. I've seen them at Viking Direct for £5.19 a box (the price goes down if you order 3 or more boxes) and at Staples for £4.99 per box (prices correct at time of writing).
For those of us concerned with the environment; BiC's website clearly states that their products are designed with the environment in mind. The company uses eco-design tools that measure the environmental impact of the products starting from the design phase. BiC states that they offer "simple functional products that contain only what is essential. The lighter a product is and the longer it is used, the less impact it has on the environment." I'd say that's a pretty good summing up of BiC products I have used for over 2 decades. They do last a long time!
I'm happy to rate these mechanical pencils with 4 out of 5 stars. One of its most positive "points" is that I don't have to worry about sharpening my pencils anymore! These beauties NEVER go blunt (erm unless they're out of lead of course)!
NB: If you want to know more about BiC as a company their official website is http://www.bicworld.com/en/homepage/homepage/