Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Reviews and Articles

This page is no longer updated.
For the current List go to the 'List Of Reviews' page.


ABOUT THIS SITE
To find a review or information there is the Lijit Search in the sidebar and Blogger “Search This Site” facility at the top of the page. You can see recent postings in the sidebar, you can use the links and "labels" feature in the sidebar, and this page lists older reviews and information to (hopefully) make it easier to see what products have been reviewed, etc. You can use the hyperlinks to go direct to the article or navigate to the relevant Month-Year from the Archives.

PRODUCT REVIEWSReview Process and Price Ranges – March 2006

Mechanical Pencil Reviews & Articles (Price Range in brackets)

Artline Click-it 7150 - (Economy/Low) June 2006
Beifa MC1002 - (Economy) July 2009
BIC Matic Classic - (Economy) August 2008
Caran d'Ache Ecridor - (High) July 2006
Caran d'Ache Ecridor Artiste Fixpencil - April 2008
Caran d'Ache Fixpencil - (Mid) March 2007
Caran d’Ache Varius Ivanhoe – (Stratospheric) March 2006
Cleo Skribent Der Gessner - (Mid to High) February 2007
Conway Stewart Nippy No 3 - (Vintage) April 2007
Delta Dolcevita Medium - (Stratospheric) November 2007
Eberhard Faber EFAmatic - (Economy) December 2006
Faber-Castell E-Motion - (Mid) April 2006
Faber-Castell Grip 2011 – (Low) February 2006
Faber-Castell Grip Plus - (Low) September 2007
Faber-Castell Gripmatic 1375 - (Low) November 2007
Faber-Castell Propelling Pencil - (Low) June 2009
Faber-Castell TK-Fine Executive - (Low) August 2008
Faber-Castell TK-Fine Vario L - (Low/Medium) October 2007
Franklin-Christoph Paradox Model 08 - (High) May 2008
Inoxcrom 2002 - (Mid?) June 2008
Kaweco Sport - (Low) September 2007
Lamy Accent - (High) July 2009
Lamy Al-Star Graphite – (Mid) January 2006
Lamy Pur - (Mid) May 2008
Lamy Scribble – (Mid) February 2006
Lamy Spirit - (Mid/High) August 2008
Lamy Vivo - (Low) March 2007
Lamy 2000 - (High) October 2006
Manufactum Druckstift Feinstrichmine - (Low/Medium) January 2008
Ohto APS-280E - (Economy/Low) December 2006
Ohto Super Promecha PM-1500S - (Mid) May 2007
Ohto Tasche SP-10T - (Mid) September 2007
Parker Jotter - (Mid) July 2007
Parafernalia Revolution - (Mid / High) April 2006
Parker Duofold Pinstripe SE 2004 - (Stratospheric) February 2008
Parker Duofold Centennial - June 2009
Parker IM - (Low) September 2008
Papermate Auto Advance - (Economy) May 2006
Papermate Pacer Executive - (Low) March 2009
Papermate Technician II - (?) Sept 2006
Papermate Write Bros. - (Economy) November 2008
Pelikan Pura - (High) January 2008
Pelikan Souveran D400 - (High) February 2008
Pelikan Souveran D800 - (High) February 2008
Pelikan Technixx D99 - (Mid) March 2008
Pentel AccuGraph PG1505AD - (Mid) April 2008
Pentel Caplet A105 - (Economy) June 2009
Pentel Classic Deluxe S55 and S57 - (Low) August 2007
Pentel Client AL905 - (Low) September 2008
Pentel Energize PL77 - (Economy/Low) July 2008
Pentel ErgoTwist AL97 - (Low) May 2007
Pentel EZ#2 AX17 - (Economy) August 2006
Pentel Fiesta AX105 - (Economy) April 2006
Pentel Flex Fit II PW35 - (Low) April 2007
Pentel Forte series A57,A67,A77 - June 2008
Pentel Function PC1001 - (?) June 2007
Pentel Graph 1000 PG1005 - (Low/Mid) November 2008
Pentel Graphgear 1000 PG1015 - (Low / Mid) December 2006
Pentel Mini M.V.P. AL17MN - (Economy) August 2007
Pentel Quicker-Clicker PD345 - (Economy/Low) November 2006
Pentel Sharp Kerry P1035 – (Low/Mid) February 2006
Pentel Sharp P205 - (Low) May 2006
Pentel Sharplet-2 A125 - (Economy) February 2009
Pentel Smash Q1005 - (Low) August 2009
Pentel Technica-X PW45 - (Economy) July 2008
Pentel Techniclick PD105T - (Economy) July 2006
Pentel Tradio TRP55 - (Low/Mid) June 2008
Pentel Twist-Erase III QE519 - (Low) Sept 2006
Pilot Birdie - (Low) August 2007
Pilot Clicker - (Low) October 2007
Pilot Dr Grip Ltd - (Low) May 2008
Pilot Rexgrip H-105-SL and Pilot Rexgrip BegreeN HRG-10R - (Economy) June 2007
Pilot Vanishing Point H1005 - (Low) August 2005
Porsche Design P’3130 Micado – (High/Stratospheric) Feb 2006
Retro 51 Tornado - (Mid) June 2006
Rotring Core - (Low/Mid) June 2006
Rotring Trio Pencil - (?) April 2007
Sailor Otehon - (?) May 2007
Sakura SumoGrip - (Low) September 2008
Sensa Carbon Black - (Mid) August 2006
Sheaffer Intrigue - (High) October 2006
Stabilo 's move easyergo - (Low) April 2009
Staedtler Mars Micro 775 - (Low) May 2006
Staedtler graphite 771 - (Low) May 2009
Staedtler graphite 777 – (Economy) March 2006
Staedtler graphite 779 - (Low) May 2006
Staedtler Integrity 9505 - (Low) December 2008
Staedtler Noris 763 - May 2009
Staedtler Triplus Micro 774 - (Economy/Low) Sept 2006
Staedtler 925 25 - (Mid) March 2008
Tombow Cool - (Economy/Low) Sept 2009
Tombow Ocenic - (Low) February 2007
TUL mechanical pencil - (Low) May 2009
Uni Return's - (Low?) July 2007
Uni Shift 1010 - (Low) October 2009
Waterman Hemisphere - (Mid/High) October 2006
Yard-O-Led Deco 34 – (Stratospheric) January 2006
Yard-O-Led Diplomat - (Stratospheric) January 2007
You & Me Jedo 3000 - (Low) February 2009
Zebra Jimnie KRM-100 - (Low) November 2006
Zebra M-301 - (Low) March 2008
Zebra Tect 2way - (Low) January 2009
Zebra T3 - (Low) August 2007

Reviews of Other Items (Multi-pens, erasers, pens, wooden pencils, etc)
Boston Cube Eraser - March 2008
Cross Tech 3 Multi Pen - (Mid) April 2009
Faber-Castell Grip Erasers - May 2007
Faber-Castell PVC-Free 7085-20 Eraser - September 2007
Field Notes Notebook - September 2008
Forest Choice Wooden Pencil - October 2007
Inkredible Eraser - May 208
Lamy CP1 Twin Pen - (Mid/High) August 2006
Papermate PhD Multi Pen - (Low) August 2009
Pelikan BR40 Eraser - Nov 2007
Pentel Hi-Polymer ZES-08 Eraser - July 2008
Pentel Tri Eraser ZE15 - April 2009
Platinum Maki-e Multi Pen - (Mid) April 2007
Platinum Mistake Multi Pencil - May 2008
Rite In The Rain Notebook - July 2008
Rotring Newton Trio Multi Pen - (Mid/High) June 2006
Sanford Tuff Stuff Eraser - April 2008
Schmidt Converter - November 2006
S T Dupont Olympio - (Stratospheric) July 2008
Staedtler Mars Lumograph Wooden Pencil - October 2007
Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser 526 50 - December 2006
Staedtler Rasoplast Eraser - October 2008
The Vespiary Notebook - March 2009
Uni Auto Eraser EH-100P - April 2007

For Reviews of and Information on Leads, click HERE.

ARTICLES

Kotobuki (PENAC) Company - November 2007
Mechanical Pencil Mechanisms – February 2006
Pencils In New Zealand, 2006 - March 2006

35 comments:

Henrik Neble said...

Hi Dave,
I have been reading your blog for some time, and I really enjoyed the lead cup. How about a reweiw of Steadtler´s triplus micro? (it has no rubber grip!) I find that it beats the grip 2011 in comfort and blackness (with the original lead). Staedtler leads seems to be the only BLACK leads I´ve com across being a "ligth" writer.
sincerly yours
Henrik -Denmark

kiwi-d said...

Hello Henrik, great to hear from you. Must be telepathy - just yesterday I was thinking about what pencils to review next and the Triplus was top of the list! It is already sitting in my pencil cup. Even more coincidence todays local newspaper has the cover story of the new Viking exhibition opening at the museum.

Michael said...

Hi Dave,
I know you have some aversion toward rubber-grips, but why not review a particular pencil called Pilot RexGrip 0.5? Personally, I think it's a very good pencil. Although made of plastic, I think it's very solid. There're some interesting features, why don't you check it for yourself?

kiwi-d said...

Hello Michael. Well thanks for the suggestion. I'll put it on my shopping list to import sometime, as I'm sure they aren't available here in NZ.

Steven said...

Hi Dave,

Have you ever tried drafting mechanical pencils such as the Alvin Draftmatic?

kiwi-d said...

Hello Steven
Well yes and no! I guess its a bit of a gray area in some cases whether a pencil is for writing or draughting or both. Alvin aren't around in my part of the world so I've only seen one on the net. But clearly it is a technical draughting pencil, no question on that. But then quite a few of the pencils I have reviewed are technical draughting pencils according to their manufacturer, e.g. Staedtler or Pentel.
The Pentel website divides their pencils into two groups - and in the "automatic drafting pencils" they list 7 pencils, including the Sharp and Graphgear 1000 that I have reviewed.
But overall I think its fair to say I tend toward the writing only or the "multi-putpose" (write & draught) pencils rather than pure draughting only ones like Draftmatic.
If I ever see a Draftmatic I'll be sure to buy it and put it on the list!

Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm a huge fan of your blog and am happy to know there are fellow pencil enthusiasts out there. Currently, I'm frequently using the Staedtler 925 Drafting Mechanical Pencil (0.7mm). I'd love to hear your opinion on it. They can be found at many major retail chains (such as Office Depot - http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=450793&Ntt=steadtler%20drafting%20pencil&uniqueSearchFlag=true&An=text) and Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-Pencil-Drafting-Rubber-STD925WS3/dp/B000EFKBRI/ref=sr_1_4/002-2911002-0871214?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1183848936&sr=8-4). Thanks in advance and keep up the great reviews!

kiwi-d said...

Two answers here

First to Steven - I've now got an Alvin Draftmatic. But I've also already got years of other pencils to review! :)

Second to Anonymous - thanks for liking my blog. I don't have a Staedtler 925, but I very recently got a 925-25 which I think is similar. I'll keep my eyes out for a 925, but as far as I know they aren't imported by Staedtler into NZ, which is a little unusual as they are one of the few that tend to make most of their range available here.

Anonymous said...

Love the site! Would like to see a review of:

> Pentel Forte Pro II (.7mm)which is unavailable in Australia - a great shame as it's a fine pencil.

> Pilot Centre of Gravity (.7mm) also a fine pencil and also not available in Australia.

> Dr Grip .7mm pencil - also not available in Oz.

Benjamin Osborne said...

Hey I am looking for a new mechanical pencil with a retractable tip, as I will keep in my pocket. I was looking at both the Pilot Vanishing Point and the Papermate Apex. I would like to see a review of the Papermate by you, since you would be able to compare to both the Pilot and any other retractable tipped pencils you've used. The pencil I had before was a Staedtler Retro (I believe)I loved the pencil but I have currently lost it :(.

Mike said...

Dave, I enjoyed looking through your site. What economy - low priced mechanical pencil would you recommend for a college student?

kiwi-d said...

Hi Mike
In the economy/low price range there are literally hundreds or thousands to choose from. Its not possible to be precise - rubber grip or not, big eraser or small, side clicker or top clicker, etc etc. Basically anything that seems to suit you from the big players - Pentel, Pilot, Staedtler will be worth a try for a few dollars.

Jake said...

I just bought the Papermate Apex 0.5. Pretty nice. But I don't have much to compare it with. Look forward to a review.

Anonymous said...

Do you plan to review some of the rotring pens like the tikky or the 600? I would love your take on them as im contemplating a purchase.

Anonymous said...

I think the Rotring 600 has long been discontinued, but they're easy enough to find on eBay. Heavy, solid, techie. I always seem to grip at the top of the knurled area, though maybe I don't need the knurled section longer, really.

Cult Pens sell the Tikky and mention it in their "Pencyclopedia". Also comments on the PigPog site.

Anonymous said...

why don't you make a top 10 or larger list. listing your favorite pencils. you could even do it for every price range!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried the Alvin Draf/Tec-Retrac DR05 from Alvin & Company, Inc.? (www.alvinco.com)

Also available from Dick Blick Art Supplies.

MikeR

kiwi-d said...

Hi MikeR. No I haven't tried that Alvin. I have got one model of Alvin, but getting them is difficult down my part of the world. I assume Alvin don't make their own pencils so they probably all exist as slightly different variants under other brandnames, so maybe I have tried it unknowingly :-)

Anonymous said...

Why no review of the Rotring 600 ? (the old style, that is?). You can still get them (as one poster pointed out, on eBay). IMO, easily the best mech pencil ever. Lovely heft from the solid brass body, nice grip, superb build quality.

KAP said...

Dave you should review the Pentel SIDE FX its a great pencil and I think you would like it.

Stuart said...

The Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic seems to be the same pencil as the old Rotring 600 with a plastic body rather than aluminum.

I have one of the old Rotrings in "silver" and also some of the Koh-I-Noors. They are very similar in most respects. (I always assumed they were made by the same company and just given different labels for Rotring and Koh-I-Noor.)

http://www.shopwiki.com/detail/d=Chartpak_Koh-I-Noor_Rapidomatic%C2%AE_Drawing_Pencil_Lead_Holder,_5mm_Lead_Diameter_CHA5635BC/jumpToFirst=t/

Stuart said...

A comment on the Alvin products:

I always found the Alvin products to be inexpensive imitations of professional drafting products.

They are, I suppose, fine for the impoverished student, but I can't see any reason to buy them other than if you can't afford anything better.

Gary said...

There is a Japanese store called Muji. It is very conservative and has a lot of simple but good quality products. They have a section devoted to writing instruments, where you can assemble them as you wish, with various interchangeable parts that they make available. Not only can you make pens, but pencils as well. Their mechanical pencil is of very decent quality. I got a translucent polycarbonate body for mine and it provides good grip while being quite light. The only glaring drawback to the design is that you have to disassemble it to load more lead (rather than just pulling off the cap/eraser as on other pencils), but the reservoir will hold at least 6 leads. There is no eraser either. The lead propeller works well and will even expel lead against gravity. Not bad for just $3.50. :)

Anonymous said...

Stuart - no offense, but you are way off base. If a pencil lasts for 15+ years of (almost) daily use, I'd say it's not an "inexpensive imitation." My Alvin, although I've bent the sleeve a few times and bent it back, and worn the metal grip smooth, still works like a charm. Just bought a brand new one, and it's still made exactly the same as the 15+ year old one. Great pencil, perfect balance; would never buy another brand.

Ben said...

I concur with KAP...the Pentel Side FX is a very nice pencil in my opinion. You may find the fixed lead sleeve irksome (and sometimes painful :P), but otherwise I love the thing.

Phil said...

Hi Dave,

I am an industrial designer, and therefore spend about half my day sketching with a mechanical pencil. about a year ago, after reading your review I bought a Faber Castell Grip-matic and it was briliant! The automatic feed mechanism suits the way I sketch really well. The only problem is that the plastic tip and mechanism wears out quickly, and it wears out it "plunges" as you described in your review. I have two questions for you: 1) apart from the Grip-matic and the Papermate Auto-advance(crap), are there any other (good quality) mechanical pencils with the automatic system on the market? and 2) I have also heard of older metal models such as the Faber Castell Alpha-matic. They are quite rare/expensive now. Have you ever used an oder one?

Thanks for any help you can give me. This is a really confusing issue when searching for info on the internet because (and I have no idea why) so many models have the "matic" in their name without actually being automatic.

Cheers,

Phil

kiwi-d said...

Hello Phil
You are right – matic and automatic is used in a lot of pencils that are not automatic lead feed. Some use automatic as a generic term to mean mechanical pencil, or at least a draughting style mechanical pencil.
I’m not totally sure about this, but I believe the older automatic lead feed mechanisms are a completely different design to the modern automatic feed mechanisms. I imagine “cost reduction” is the rationale for this change in design.
I’m afraid my experience with older mechanisms is very limited so I can’t really advise you, and my experience with modern mechanisms has not been to my liking so again I can’t really advise you. Fat lot of use I am!
I am surprised that you like the automatic lead feed. Do you use it constantly, or only allow it to activate occasionally and thus usually manually advance the lead? Doesn’t the sensation of drag on the paper irritate you, or smear your drawing? But I guess you get used to these things?
I note that automatic advance mechanisms are not really used by Pentel and most of the other big Japanese brands so I kind of think there’s a hint there.
Believe me, I understand the desire to find a better pencil, but since the F-C Grip-matic isn’t scarily expensive, and you get at least 6 months of brilliant use from it then maybe your best to stick with it?

Phil said...

Yep that's pretty much it, but as you said - You can't help but wonder if there might be something else even better (and nicer) out there.

I use the automatic feed constantly. Yes, you get used to the dragging sensation. The plastic tip gets smoother (and flatter) with use too. It's really usefull for me because I draw with 0.5 blue lead which is normally quite fragile. It's nice to be able to do a hard, thin line without breaking it.

anyway, thanks for your advice, and keep up the great blog.

Phil

kiwi-d said...

Ahh yes, blue lead. Now I can see the automatic feed being useful for that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry- back to the Alvin's... as a professional surveyor I have been using the DR05 religiously for field work. Great balance between quality cost and features. Try one out! The tip completely retracts for pocket safety and the clip is fixed to the body so you don't loose it as easily. For only the office the Rotring 600 inspires calculations though!

Great blog! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wiil you be reviewing the Papermate G-Force mechanical pencil at some point in the near future?

kiwi-d said...

Sorry, no, double so because I don't have a G-Force.

Time Waster said...

i bought some G-forces about 3-4 years ago they look nice but are not very fuctional the rubber grip is like a old tire it doesn't serve much fuction.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love this website, it's awesome, so much great info! I found a pencil today that I like and thought you might like to review it. It is a BIC QUANTECH #2 0.7. All metal, retractable and feels pretty good to write with.

Michael

Time Waster said...

KAP said...

Dave you should review the Pentel SIDE FX its a great pencil and I think you would like it.


Yeah I picked some of these up at work they are great I like them better then papermate Clear points they are smoother. I'm not sure if they are better then techniclicks though which I similar in design and size.
Despite the stupid name FX they have a Japanese feel to them.