Pilot Automac E500

Anyone have thoughts on this? Despite it being the only full-automatic that pilot has produced as far as I know, there seems to be very little discussion on it. Also, does it have a cap like the ATS-3000? All the pictures I have seen are uncapped.


There are 2 versions of this pencil—the E500 and then a lesser piece (HAE-250R) that’s included in the 1988 Pilot catalog, page 7.

The lesser model was released in both white and black, and there were 2 versions (different tip designs, probably for automatic reliability). The 1988 catalog version has a silver lead sleeve, but I’ve never seen one of these for sale; instead, I’ve only seen both white and black specimens with black lead sleeves (similar to the E500).

Finally, the E500 does not appear in the 1988 catalog, so I’m not sure when it appeared in the Pilot lineup. But yes, it did come with a cap.


This catalog is great. Can a copy of it be saved in the Docs area?

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I don’t have any of those, but there are reports that the mechanism is not very stable. So caution is recommended at auctions.


Isn’t the whole body made of some plastic material? I remember having read a while back that the nose portion is prone to cracking.


Wow… awesome…

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Nice! Are these your photos? Do you know what are those small round pellets to the left of the spring on the top photo?


Oh yes, I didn’t see them when I looked at the photos. Usually if you see roller bearings rollers rolling around you know you disassembled too far :innocent:


Just curious- when you say full automatic what does they mean in context of the E500?

I ask because I know there are the Automac and S30. But by fully automatic are you saying once you consume an entire lead stick, it loads the new one without needing to knock?

Yes, by full automatic I am referring to pencils that write continuously and auto-load lead with one knock like the Micromatic, Kuru Toga Dive, and QX-05. Very few pencils have this design, and out of these few I have found the least info on the E500, and was wondering why that was.


Interesting. Thank you. I did not realize the Dive did this as well.

The Faber Castell Porsche Design Classic line with the lead pipe is also a full auto with no way to knock. The subsequent update with the alpha-matic style cone tip became knockable as I think it’s just too finicky for normal peeps.


There is no official definition for fully automatic pencils, but as @Pencildom stated, they are pencils that you don’t have to knock again after the initial knock - the auto feed mechanism will keep feeding the lead. Usually, the pencils I’ve seen labelled as fully automatic do not have a knock mechanism at all - just an auto feed tip. I’ve not heard of the KT Dive being classified as one, though I suppose you could say any auto feed mechanical pencil is “fully” automatic. The way I like to make the distinction is fully automatic = auto feed only and automatic = auto feed + knock.

Same here, but it will be cool if it does. I have not tested that (yet).
Maybe when they were talking about “no knock” with the Dive is that neat feature where the lead is always ready when you remove the cap, therefore not having to knock it initially?

Yes the KT Dive is pretty unique in that aspect - no knock is needed. Just uncap and start writing.

While I’ll never have the courage to dismantle an Automac E500 to the (an)atomical level achieved by @tfhs , allow me to add a couple of personal thoughts and technical decorations to this thread.

The Automac E500 is a fully automatic pencil, as it has been correctly said almost everywhere, and in this respect is very similar to e.g. the Steadtler Micromatic, but… since we are talking about the peak of Japanese craftsmanship, you’ll be perhaps not surprised by discovering that it has yet another ace up its sleeve.

In the instructions leaflet, one can read that in order to get rid of very short pieces of lead blocking the advance of a newer piece, it is possible to briefly trigger the lead advance by gently retracting the plastic rim which sits just above and around the writing tip, and which is typically unused in normal conditions — you can spot the “thing” I’m referring to in tfhs’ first picture, it’s the pointy black bit in the middle column of the tray, close to the bottom of the photo.

So, in a very broad sense, the Automac E500 is indeed equipped with a hidden and not very much advertised sort of FF-matic mechanism (which I use whenever I feel that the lead is scarce on the writing end, and I need a bit more meat for the paper to chew on).

Which brings me to the next item in my list: the pencil is actually amazing. Words fail me if I try to convey its somber, majestic beauty. Every bit of it speaks of greatness, care, loudness, boldness, yet also modesty, understatement, precision, and — let me say it — class (in a genuinely non-ironic way).

Stated otherwise, if the Emperor of Japan had to be given an MP, that would be the Automac E500.

It’s slightly bulkier than a typical MP, but it does not feel fat; its writing tip might not look as sharp and edge-cutting as some of its peers, but boy it’s effective; the center of gravity is not as tip-focussing as one might expect, and still it manages to keep the body in a magical balance which simply suits the hand.

There are pencils which might not deserve their fame, and others which sit on the top of Mount Olympus for a reason: in this second category, for me at least, the Tombow Zoom V472 “Titan”, the Automac E500, the Uchida Drawing Sharp D, the Pentel Mechanica, the Faber-Castell Alpha-Matic series, and (but I still have to acquire them) the Pentel QX and the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni 5050 UniCarbo FF-Matic might be the very ultimate bosses.





Greetings, pudding-pudding; welcome to Knockology. I presume since you responded to my earlier message that was written in English, you are using a page translation function. I used the Google default translator for your reply. These translators are a bit tricky, when crossing the divide between Western alphabet lettered words and Asian word symbols. I learned that for English to Japanese, it is important to avoid contractions. Word choice is also important for the best chance of understandable translation. I hope my phrasing translates well.

Your writing was translated as “I can only speak Japanese, so I will write in Japanese. The six small balls work together to control the advancement of the sleeve in cooperation with the tapered surface. wedge effect.” I am understanding this well. Thank you very much for the explanation. We would call the balls “ball bearings,” as this is a precise application of reducing friction between two hard surfaces. When you say “advancement of the sleeve,” is this the internal metal sleeve that helps advance the lead core? Or is it a different purpose?
Thank you.