Most iPad styluses are bulky. I always hated those. Of course the touchscreen sensor has been optimized for the thickness of a finger and not that of a pencil tip. But eventually clever people started figuring out ways to have the same surface contact area, without blocking the view with a finger-thick stylus. From DIY stylus projects to commercial variants like the Adonit Jot, the GoSmart Stylus, or the pressure-sensitive Hex3 Jaja, the stylus form factor of a thin tip with an attached wider disk of conductive material is now well established. I still wasn’t happy though. My own DIY stylus was too unreliable and flimsy, and I really wanted a stylus that felt as natural as a pencil, and not some strange artsy piece of aluminum.
I was especially fascinated by the GoSmart stylus. It seemed to be the least blocking, and somehow most elegant approach. It started as a Kickstarter campaign. In the Kickstarter intro video, about 2:12 in, there were all the styluses I was dreaming of, lined up as prototypes. That gave me the idea to simply build my own mechanical pencil stylus, using the GoSmart’s exchangeable tips (which can be purchased separately): The mechanical pencil has to have a conductive grip that is in contact with the tip. The Pentel Graphgear 500 0.5 is the perfect choice, fairly cheap and very comfortable to hold: To protect the GoSmart tip, I took the cap off a Y&C Gel Extreme 0.5 pen. It fits the Pentel perfectly. This is my favorite iPad stylus by far. It is precise, lightweight, well balanced, elegant and cheap.