Sunday, August 12, 2018

Vintage Sale, Lamy Plus More

I have to rationalize my collection which means getting rid of a whole bunch of stuff. In the pages header up above there are Sell/Swap pages where you can see what is going. Make an offer, I am a "motivated" seller and want to do a deal. Ebay is no match for my pricing! :)

Email me direct - address is in the View my complete profile link of 'About Me' in the blog sidebar.

Do me a favour and tell your friends to come shopping too.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

About You

Now that this blog has been going again for a few months I thought I would have a little look at visitor data. I’m always interested in stats about the blog, so here's a little bit of data and comparison with the old days.

April to July 2018.
The Top 10 countries by pageviews

1 = USA (always #1 every week)
2 = France (always #2 every week)
3 = UK
4 = Canada
5 = Russia
6 = Germany
7 = Spain
8 = Australia
9 = Brazil
10 = Italy
The Top 10 account for about 77% of all pageviews.

Others who have made it into the Top 10 for more than one week - El Salvador, Japan, Netherlands, Poland.

Others who have made it into the Top 10 for just one week - Czechia, Georgia, Thailand.

Comparing that to long term stats… where are you Turkey? There used to be lots of Turkish visitors. Also France, number 2 every week, that’s a big difference from the old days. I like France - wine, cheese, rugby... but I'm not blogging in French, so it's a bit surprising. I also note the absence of India, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Cult Pens Double-Knock Mechanical Pencil Review

Cult Pens Double-Knock Mechanical Pencil Review

This mechanical pencil is a house offering of well-known retailer Cult Pens. Despite their company name they often describe themselves as pencil people, and so true to that, back in May 2015, they introduced their own house brand mechanical pencil, the Double-Knock. It is available in 0.5mm and 0.7mm lead sizes. On their website it is model CU43621 so my 0.5mm version is item CU43621-05.
Cult Pens Double-Knock Mechanical Pencil

The only colourway is silver metal, with the main body being a quite glossy satin finish and all other parts being bright shiny plate. Personally I am always a little wary of this sort of colour scheme, I often don’t like the difference in gloss levels of the same base colour, but this pencil carries it off, I think mostly due to the relatively high gloss level of the barrel. The only markings on the pencil are ‘Cult Pencil’ and the lead diameter. There is no country of origin marked on the pencil but the Cult Pens website states it is made in Japan by a contract manufacturer. The pencil is supplied in a small clear plastic carry case.
clear carry case

The Cult Pencil weighs in at 16 grams and in the hand is a little lighter than its all metal construction might suggest, but it is of course made primarily from lightweight aluminium. Another thing is it somehow looks shorter than its actual measurements. There’s some strange magic or optical illusion or something else going on here… or maybe I just need glasses or drink too much?

The grip zone is round knurled metal, just under 9mm diameter. Knurling is of course a classic feature of drafting pencils, but it can be rather aggressive on the fingers, particularly if you are not used to a knurled grip. I would say the knurling on the Cult Pens Pencil is just right, not rough enough to cause short term irritation but rough enough to ensure solid long term grip. Being round, you can of course rotate the pencil at will if that is your practice, but the pocket clip and side button might get in the way if you have large hands.
knurled grip

Now, hold on; just give me a minute to climb up onto my soapbox. The name. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, I really dislike the term ‘double-knock’ that has snuck its way into the English of the writing instrument industry. As I understand it, it is a literal translation from the Japanese, but it’s meaningless in English. How has it ended up being used in preference to elegant meaningful alternatives like ‘vanishing point’? Grrrrr… Okay, climbing back down now. Take a deep breath. Keep calm and carry on.

The vanishing point double knock system is a relatively standard one. The first push of the top button pushes the tip section out of the main body and locks it in place. Thereafter it functions essentially like any other fixed sleeve push top ratchet mechanical pencil. Ten clicks of the mechanism will get you about 6.5mm of lead. When you are finished applying graphite to surfaces you simply push the small button located towards the top of the main body and the spring loaded mechanism will slam the tip section back up inside the body. The lead sleeve is now protected and the pencil is pocket safe. I quite like the push button on the side.

To retract or not to retract?
The lead sleeve is a 4mm long metal pipe so this definitely counts as a drafting pencil, just as its overall looks would suggest. Now, as a vanishing point mechanical pencil there is of course the possibility of tip wobble, and indeed I can confirm there is tip wobble. I would say the amount of wobble is about average, or possibly a fraction more. The amount also seems a little variable and is sometimes also audible. Again that’s not unique, perhaps its temperature related? Personally I don’t find tip wobble a major problem but I know it is a source of annoyance for a significant number of pencil users. I guess I’m just not that precise.

The pocket clip is a simple plain metal one, springy and utilitarian, but not quite as strong as I expected. Under the push top button is the usual small emergency use eraser which also includes a lead cleanout rod, which is always a nice touch.

One unusual thing about this mechanical pencil is that the Cult Pens website details the nine point design brief that lead to its creation. I won’t reprint that here, you can cruise over to their website to read that. Of course it begs the question, “How well does the finished product compare to the design brief?” I won’t say 9 / 9 but it’s not far off it.
Suitable for Walter Gropius?
So, overall, the Cult Pens Double-Knock mechanical pencil is a very good mechanical pencil, and well worth your consideration.

•    Best Points – Vanishing point, good knurled grip.
•    Not So Good Points – Tip wobble will annoy some.
•    Price Range – Mid
•    Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? – No

Dimensions – Length 136 mm extended, diameter 9mm across the grip section. Balance point about 65mm up from the tip.

This mechanical pencil was provided to me free of charge by Cult Pens. Utu, Cult Pens.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Link About

Here's a couple of links I want to share. You may have already read them, but if you haven't then I thoroughly recommend them to you.

Leigh Reyes. My Life As a Verb - Pen Zero.
What is your type of infection and your pencil zero? I've read this blog for 10 years or so... pity I don't like Disqus.

Cult Pens Blog - Mechanical Pencil Innovation
Mechanical pencil innovation. Surely one of the main reasons why we like them.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Winner - Giveaway - Filofax

Right, I said I would choose a small pool of potential winners and the first of those to then contact me wins. Well as suspected there were very few entrants so the pool of potential winners is everyone who commented on the Giveaway-Filofax post before entries closed.

Potential winners, please contact me to claim your prize. My email address is available from 'About Me - View my profile' in the sidebar. If you've got some problem finding or using that email address then leave a comment here on this post and we will figure something out.

***We have a winner****
Sorry 'Sharon from Long Beach', but Dan Goldman has beaten you to the prize cupboard. Better luck next time.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Giveaway - Filofax

Filofax parted ways with Yard-o-Led a few years back, and now its time for me to part with my Filofax Organiser Pencil... but not my Yard-o-Led.

This Filofax mechanical pencil was used carefully for a week or so back in 2009 as part of my review. I promise you though, if I hadn't just told you I'd used it, you would think it was new and unused. So, if you want it, it's yours. But wait! There's more! A free set of steak knives to the first four callers... no wait, sorry, I'm getting confused. But there is actually more. This giveaway has a catch. You have to have a Filofax. This mechanical pencil has to go home to its family. Now it's not that I don't trust you, but I will insist on photographic proof when you receive the pencil - a shot of pencil and Filofax happily hanging out together. I might even post it on this blog.

I hope someone out there uses a Filofax. Tell your friend if you know one who does, otherwise this might be the Giveaway that no one wins. How embarrassing :) Or am I just ignorant and there's still a lot of Filofax Folk out there? I hope there is.

Anyway, if you want to enter just leave a comment on this blog post. A small pool of potential winners will be selected randomly in a weeks time, and the first of those to then contact me wins, so  check back on the 30th. As always if you comment anonymously then leave some identifier in your comment so I can tell one anonymous from another, e.g. "Call me FaxoFreddy" or "I'm Felicity Filofax from Florida."