Friday, June 09, 2006

Guestbook 2

At over 150 comments, the old guestbook page was getting rather long so I thought it best to start a new page. You can find the old one directly below this new one.

So, here’s the place to leave any general comments, brickbats and bouquets. I won’t promise to answer all questions like “What’s the best pencil in the world?”, but I might. I don’t generally recommend retailers except as per my posting on the subject – use the sidebar link. Other than that though, I do like to hear from you, please leave a comment, and I will try to answer or help.

THIS GUESTBOOK PAGE IS NOW CLOSED.
See the sidebar "FAQ's & General" for the current Guestbook.

162 comments:

jgodsey said...

I still can't find your email? i keep losing things

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140209050982&

there is something cool on ebay, vintage but cool nonetheless

Hellfyre D said...

I love this blog :) I had an odd question though ... in your experience, do the Staedtler and Sanford leads run the same? I was considering getting some 2mm NPB leads (http://www.bluelinepro.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BL&Product_Code=AR-BP2376-NPB&Category_Code=mec) but, from what I saw, the staedtler ones don't seem to hold a candle to something like Pentel. Many thanks in advance :)

kiwi-d said...

Hello hellfyre d - Hmmm, afraid I can't help you much here. The NPB work on this blog is really mostly guest postings by Glen Mullaly (see the Non-repro Blue sidebar link) and was done with thin leads, not 2mm. He might have some experience with the 2mm leads, but in general I think he's a thin lead guy.

In ordinary graphite, thin leads and 2mm leads are totally different chemical compositions so you can't assume any similarity with 0.5 and 2mm from the same manufacturer. Now, I've got no idea if the same holds for coloured leads. The thickness of 2mm should reduce the strength problems that the thin coloured leads often had. All this is a long winded way of saying I wouldn't be surprised if our thin lead NPB stuff was not representative of 2mm leads. I would assume both Staedtler and Sanford have been making 2mm NPB for many decades, so you'd think they'd probably have got it right by now :-) If you end up with both brands, do let us know which was better.

Sorry I can't be of any real help.

Hellfyre D said...

Many thanks :) I'll try e-mailing Glen and asking him.

stephen said...

Hellfyre, Pentel does make 2mm "non-copy" blue leads - and I don't know if "non-copy" equals "non-print". They are 58mm long (shorter than standard) and meant for Pentel's multi-lead pencils.

The Freeware Pick said...

I'm a pencil newbie, what would you suggest as a pencil?

kiwi-d said...

Freeware - well without any hints on your budget or any likes or dislikes, then I'd say buy anything that catches your eye from Pentel. Then you can progress - I like/dislike rubber grips, small erasers, side clicker, end clicker, retractable tip, contoured grip zone, triangular body, etc etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Great blog men! By the way, some time ago I lost a Rotring pencil and now I'm trying to buy the same model, but I can`t remember which one is it. Do you have any email where I can send you a photo and see if you know which model is? Thanks!

Ezequiel

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - the vast majority of Rotring pencils have been discontinued. Some are still around, and some are being re-released under the Parker or other brand of Sanford. I'm sorry to admit my own Rotring knowledge is shockingly limited, so I wouldn't be much help personally. I think the Tikky's are still around, but other than that...
I'd suggest old eBay and looking at the photos there might be your best bet, unless some other reader volunteers something.

Gunther said...

Anonymous - I have several Rotrings and will try to help you. Just send the photo to schmidt AT stdk DOT de and I'll do my best.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave! Great reviews, as usual. You mentioned before you were going to review the Dr. Grips? They're my favorite line of MP's, with their shaker system. Can you please review them? Thanks!

kiwi-d said...

OK my friend. I do recall saying I would get around to dr Grip, so will do so. Probably about 6 weeks away.

Anonymous said...

D: re: the Caran d’Ache Ecridor Artiste Fixpencil ... your review seemed tepid and uninterested. I've been lusting for this particular pencil, but after reading your review I'm sort unfulfilled. Do you like the pencil? I don't like the idea of having to buy all the trapings that go along with it. Also, isn't there an integrated sharpener?

Rgds, d.

kiwi-d said...

Hello d.
"tepid and uniterested" - well you've certainly got my attention with that :-) I'll try to do better next time :-)

OK, well, actually by my system I don't think I have reviwed it. Note the post header does not include the wording "mechanical pencil review" which all my 'proper' reviews do. Rather this was just some photos and a few words on the pencil. Not meant to be anything anything fancy or a detailed look at it.

As to liking it, well I did put "Woo-hoo" in bold italics towards the start of the piece which I thought indicated "Get a look at this" and a level of general interest and excitement; and the closing paragrapgh starts with "So, a great pencil". But fair enough, I wasn't particularly explicit.

I don't think its available except as part of the set, but I'm not positive about that. Yes there is a sharpener under the top button.

You can read my earlier reviews of Ecridor 0.5 MP (and Fixpencil), which gives a general feel for my thoughts on this pencil. How come you put your comment here in the guestbook rather than on the specific posting comment?

Anonymous said...

Kiwi: I guess I missed the nuances of "mechanical pencil review", and "Woo-hoo". :^) Actually, I put my comments here as it didn't occur to me to put them elsewhere. In any event, when I first saw you posted the Fixpencil ... I went "WOO-HOO" too. :^) CdA Ecridor Chevron initially met none of my criteria (it's metal, it's narrow, etc), but after having written with the BP, it has become my fav. There's something about this pen that just works (comfortable and non-slippery and understated). Hence, I'm now interested in the MP & FP although, I'm not so much a .005 guy. Much thx. d.

kiwi-d said...

Hi d.
Well it's often a pretty fine line between a review and a "non-review other article". I think I did mention the distiction the very first time I did a "non-review", but I can hardly expect anyone to remember that. Then I think I blur the lines by often putting such articles in my "List of Reviews", primarily because I don't have a List of Non-Reviews"? :-)

All too confusing.

My question about why comment here was because it was basically a comment about the Ecridor Artiste so I was surprised it wasn't on the actual Artiste page.

Anyway, as always, thanks for reading and commenting. I will try to move up the scale to at least luke-warm and vaguely interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, whilst scanning your reviews of Pilot products I noticed you have never reviewed the Pilot G2 Mechanical Pencil which goes with Pilot's wildly successful (at least here in the USA) line of G2 gel pens. Actually, in form it looks just like the G2 pen. It is inexpensive but good quality, and get this, it has a retractable metal sleeve. The first click advances the sleeve, additional clicks advance the lead. I believe this model used to be more widely available here than it is now. But you can still order it from Dick Blick, a pack of two for a little over three American dollars.

Barrel Of A Pencil

kiwi-d said...

Hi Barrel
Actually my collection includes very few pencils by Pilot. I don't think I have a G2. Pilot pens are common in my country, but pencils are not. Don't think the G2 is around here.

Just an aside, currently most shops here are running a joint promotion for buying any PEN by Pilot or Uni, so here the same import agent handles both Pilot and Uni / Mitsubishi Pencil.

Pascal said...

Hi,

I have looked at the G2 (one of the low cost Pilots I don't own at this time) and it really looks like the Super Grip, and... concerning the Super Grip, I have to say that the mechanism is exactly the same for the Super Grip, the Super Grip XS, the 2020 (when you press on the cap instead of using the shaker system) and the Dr Grip XS! I could add that the mechanism is... still exactly the same for the Rexgrip (or BeGreen, in fact it is the same mechanical pencil).

I could send all these mechanical pencils to Dave for reviewing them (plus the Pilot Vega, the Pilot Shaker X, and one old Pilot I have bought 20 years ago...), but I really think it would be relatively unuseful, since it's always the same mechanism (I repeat) with different bodies and / or different sizes (except the 2020, the Shaker X and the Vega that are really different from the rest), so... Beside the Clicker, the Vanishing Point and the Rexgrip (I've never seen the Birdie), Dave could test all the Pilots he could find, after a moment he would always test exactly the same model in some way...

Even if the "variety" is interesting, there are not sufficient differences between all these models to justify one review of each model, at least in my opinion.

Maybe the Vega (or the Shaker X ?) could interest Dave (despite the rubber grips, the one of the Vega becoming yellow -or should I write that it appears as if it was "dirty"- with the time), but they remain a kind of exceptions in Pilot's current production.

To say the truth, even if I appreciate more than one of these models for a daily use, this is a kind of permanent recycling, far from what you can find with most of the other brands, and a kind of permanent deception too for a mechanical pencils lover, that really can buy a lot of Pilots before having a chance to find something really "new"... :(

Pascal : Pilot Super Grip, Pilot Super Grip XS, Pilot "2020" (with shaker system), Pilot Vega (one of the exceptions), Pilot Clicker (another exception), Pilot Dr. Grip XS, Pilot Shaker X (a real disaster), Pilot Vanishing Point (thanks to Dave) and... a lot of various mechanical pencils from other brands.

Anonymous said...

I'd have guessed the Pilot G2 was the same as the SuperGrip, too. The SuperGrip is the one Cult Pens like as a really good pencil for the very low price. Dave, you probably wouldn't like it - rubber grip ;) I'm not sure I agree with Pascal entirely though. The Dr. Grip has a "cone tip" instead of an extendible sleeve (one less click when you pick it up in a hurry) and the grip area, though presumably silicone rubber, is fairly stiff and might not upset rubber-haters quite so much. I'm referring to the first Dr.Grip, though. The new "Equilibrium" type hasn't come to the UK. Cult Pens say Pilot UK aren't much interested in pencils. Seems true; no Vanishing Point either. I told them that if they didn't import the Equilibrium, I might end up buying a Lamy 2000. They didn't reply... :/

Pascal said...

Hello Anonymous !

I was talking about the Dr Grip "XS", I have not seen any other model at this time. However, I have read your description and the tip you describe appears to be a kind of exact copy of what you can find on the Pilot Clicker, or the Pilot Vega (with different mechanisms). About the Equilibrium, I have found some pictures on the web, and I have the regret to inform you that it looks like the Pilot Vega in such a way that it's almost the same mechanical pencil (once more), with so few differences that for me, in fact it is... the same item. So I would recommend that you try any model of Lamy instead of the Equilibrium, since the body of the Vega is too wide to make the pen comfortable/efficient, and since the body of the Equilibrium seems to be nearly the same, with just some minor differences (cap diameter and shape, rubber grip section, the colors and so on... I hope that at least, Pilot has "changed" the plastic used for the grip section, since it is a real disaster when a Vega is getting older -kind of translucent plastic, becoming yellow as if it was "dirty", even if you never use the pen...-).

;)

Anonymous said...

Pascal,

I think we're running foul of the marketing technique of giving the same thing different names in different countries, and not importing everything into every country either. E.g., we don't get Pilot Vega pencils in the UK, nor "XS" either as far as I know - but looking at the Vega ballpoint vs. the Dr.Grip pencil on Cult Pens' Web site, I see exactly what you mean. The difference between the Vega and Dr.Grip pens is (I believe) they take different refills... Cult Pens's Dr.Grip page shows the Dr.Grip pencil vs. the Dr.Grip Equilibrium gel pen here: http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/Pilot_Dr_Grip.html
You can see the slight difference in shape. I agree about the translucent rubber: I'd have thought something dark would be much more practical. I've only had a short usage session, but it looks like the Dr.Grip pencil will be comfortable in my hands. What worries me about the Lamy 2000 pencil (apart from the price) is that it looks as though the body tapers too much towards the tip, so I would feel like my fingers were sliding downwards, and compensate by gripping tighter and tighter until it became uncomfortable. On the rare occasions you see a Lamy 2000 pencil in the UK, it's locked in a glass case with eager salespeople hovering, so it's hard to make a relaxed test!

Jake said...

Hey Dave. great blog. wondering if you could review a pencil for me. its not quite a standard pencil, more of a gimmick, but it does write:

http://www.grand-illusions.com/acatalog/Metal_Pen.html

it apparently scrapes small shards of metal to create writing, but is still erasable. pretty cool, huh?

kiwi-d said...

Hello Jake, well that pencil is certainly interesting, but to be honest its not really my thing, so I don't think it will be one I'll purchase and review. But thanks for the suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I love your reviews, and I see that you really prefer the Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser. Well, as you really like Pentel pencils, have you ever tried the Pentel Hi-Polymer Erasers? I love them, basically the only erasers I've ever used since I tried them.

Monica

kiwi-d said...

Hi Monica. Good to hear from you and good question. I have for quite some time now been looking at my Pentel erasers thinking that I really should unwrap them and put them to the test. Surely if Pentel make such superior leads they would make sure their eraser was equally up to the task? So, I guess its time to stop mucking about...watch this space...well in about a month or two :-)

matt said...

Thanks for turning me onto the world of cool mechanical pencils...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2247/2552754900_456eff5e4e.jpg

we even started a flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/807142@N22/pool/

matt

kiwi-d said...

Hello Matt
Some good photos and some good pencils there. keep pencilling :-)

Cynthi said...

Hi Dave,

Do you know where I can purchase the extremely thin .2mm mechanical pencil and the lead for it? My teacher says they have stopped making these. Maybe she means .02mm? It would be for drawing.

Thanks for any thoughts...Cynthia

kiwi-d said...

Cynthi - you might get some 0.2mm lead on eBay or some specialist Japanese site, but I don't know about a pencil. Realistically unless 0.2mm is an absolute must, just stick with 0.3mm which is easy to find and the difference un-noticeable.
Your teacher was correct with 0.2mm. Writing .02mm (or .05mm for 0.5mm) seems a common mistake amongst Americans who are used to inches.
Good lucj with the hunt.

Javier said...

Cynthi - A google search for Pentel PG2-AD will turn up various options depending on where you live.

Marcus said...

You can get this pencil on ebay using this link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320263192614

Anonymous said...

I love this pencil
- www.newsbreaktimes.com

Luke said...

Thanks Dave,
I though I was the only one with a MP addiction! Love to read your reviews. Keep up the good work!

Mike said...

By the way, Dave, congrats on your PageRank of 4.


--
www.newsbreaktimes.com

kiwi-d said...

Hmmmm, this is where I say thanks very much, and now that I've just googled PageRank I sort of know what one is. So, 4 is fairly good then?

Anonymous said...

Dave,
Please tell me how to stop receiving photo advertisements from this blog into my Google sidebar. I do not desire to receive these.

Mike

kiwi-d said...

Hello Mike
Wel I'm surprised and dismayed to find I am some sort of photo ad spammer.

I don't use the Google toolbar, and never heard of Google sidebar - is it the same thing? Never even seen the Google tollbar. I do not have Google AdSense or any other advertising on my blog, so I've got no idea how this is happening. Is it just my blog that does it, or other Google Blogspot blogs too? It must somehow be some auto-feature of the Google sidebar? Accept ads unless you say otherwise?

Anonymous said...

Dave,
You were right- we needed to turn off an option that accepts photos from blogs we have visited. Didn't know it even existed. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Mike

kiwi-d said...

Hi Mike. Thanks for the reply. Glad I'm not a spammer anymore.

SEVENOAKS134 said...

How many pencils actually have caps (eg pentel kerry) ??

kiwi-d said...

Only a very tiny percentage of MPs have caps. Pentel Sharp Kerry, Pentel Tradio, Ohto Tasche, thats all that comes to mind at the moment. Maybe someone else will add some more.

Gunther said...

Tombow has (had?) also some models with a cap, e. g. the Super Pen and the Zoom 505-SH. The Pentel PMG has some kind of cap too but it's more like a tube.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave. As a proud Canuck, I feel I must correct your mis-naming of Expo70 as having taken place in Montreal. Montreal hosted Expo67, Japan played host to Expo70(hence the link to Pentel no doubt)

kiwi-d said...

Howdy Anonymous. Well the article in question is a guest article by Germ, a resident and citizen of the USA, so I get to deflect most of your comment to him. However, I didn't bother to check the facts in his article so you've got me there as ultimately a publisher of faulty information. But I've probably always been that.

Anyway, my apologies, and God Save The Queen.

Germ said...

My apologies as well. Not sure why I was thinking Montreal. Well, it is remedied. Thanx for helping!! Germ

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I'm having trouble sending you an email. I tried davespencilsATxtraDOTcoDOTnz with 'DOT' spelled out and with '.' substituted instead.

Barrel Of A Pencil

kiwi-d said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, thanks, it seems to be working. I just now sent you a note.

Barrel

Tom in Vegas said...

Dave-

Thank you so much for creating a blog that is truly unbiased, professional and reliable. I appreciate your careful wording of everything you write so that you may preserve both your integrity and your objectivity.

Having said that, I would like to ask you what mechanical pencil you recommend for drafting (architecture). I looking for a solid mechanical pencil that isn’t flimsy or easily broken.

Thank you for your time and attention. I know that the response you give will be your opinion.

Blessings,
Tom

Germ said...

Tom in Vegas - If I can butt in, what are your preferences? Do you like a lightweight pencil? heavy? nose heavy? retractable? sliding sleeve? metal or plastic barrel?
But that's winnowing it down really good. :) General purpose, can never go wrong with the Pentel P205. Germ, Pencils 11

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kiwi-d said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
billybob said...

hi dave. i have just found 3 skilcraft mechanical pencils, in my drawer at work. they are mostly black, but have about 1 inch of red plastic at one end, for red lead(.9mm). the other end accepts black lead, same mm. all pencils are out of lead. will it be easy to find .9mm red and black lead for them? they look brand new actually, but have a quality of a vintage pencil, almost like bakelite and not cheap plastic....thanks,,,,bill

i really want to use them!

kiwi-d said...

Hi Billybob - shouldn't be too hard to find 0.9mm red and ordinary graphite leads. Pentel and Autopoint, amongst others, do them. I'm sure there's plenty of online sources.

billybob said...

thanks for the answer kiwi-d,

Andrew said...

Hi, great blog! I was wondering if you had any information about the Pentel Graphlet MP... it caught my attention, but for some reason it's not on the USA Pentel website. Has it been decreasing in popularity? :(

Sue said...

Andrew, I have a pair of old Graphlet pencils PG305 and PG307, I bought them at least 15 years ago. It's a very light weight, plastic with metal tip drafting pencil. I was going to replace them because my cat chewed on them. I'm not sure if they're no longer made or just not brought into the US anymore. It seems they'd have to be imported or purchased on ebay at a premium price. I like the shape of the pencil a lot, just not enough to pay that much.

There's also a Graphlet PG505 etc. that I saw at an internet retailer. Perhaps it's the replacement for the 300 series. It looks similar but adds metal grip area and lead hardness indicator.

I ended up getting Staedler 925s instead because I actually like the rubber grip.

Andrew said...

Sue - I found the Graphlet PG505 model you mentioned on an internet retailer site however it was sold out already. I guess I could always resort to eBay if I get desperate for the pencil -- though I'm not desperate, but there's nothing wrong with adding another Pentel MP to your ever growing collection of MP's.

Jess said...

Hi.

I've never spent more that NZ$5 on a mechanical pencil, but I've been keeping an eye out for a nicer one for a while.

To no avail.

Are there any good stationery shops you know of in the lower North Island?

Thanks.

kiwi-d said...

Hello Jess. Probably best to conduct such a discussion via email rather than blog comment. Send me an email at the gmail address up in the blog header.

Anonymous said...

Saw your review on "Field Notes"... I think you would find Rhodia(France) note books excellent.
Have you heard of them...? I often send to Montreal to have them shipped to me.
High quality..in my humble opinion..
K

kiwi-d said...

Hello K.
Yes, I know of Rhodia, and have one of their long narrow notepads, but not their notebooks or journal type products.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Rhodia Pads and Note Books:

Well David,

I now believe there is a web site for everything in this 'godalmightyworld'.

Just found this while searching the web:

http://rhodiadrive.com/

Keith (Canada)

Anonymous said...

Great blog - have enjoyed reading through it. I like mechanical pencils and own a few although I'm not really a collector - not yet. I came across one recently which really appealed to me but it seems this brand is not that well-known. The pencil is made by Laban and the model is Navio Rosewood. Similar look to the Graf Faber Castell guilloche but priced at about USD55. Like to know what you think.
Cheers
George (Australia)

kiwi-d said...

Hi George
Glad you liked the blog. You are right, Laban is not a particularly common or well-known brand. I have seen them on the net, but not in person. I can't really comment on Laban as I haven't seen them. For me personally I'm not usually that big a fan of wooden bodied MP's so the Navio Rosewood isn't really my style. I note a few respected specialist retailers stock Laban so i guess thats a recommendation of sorts.

peters said...

Dear Dave,
I have been enjoying your reviews etc. since I came across the site about a year ago. I have been using the Pentel Twist Erase 0.5 for about 2 years. It seems to fit my needs - which are essentially drawing rather than writing. At the moment I am filling a small moleskine with pencil drawings about every 2 months. What I need is a self feed lead, a strong clip (the plastic ones tend to break, a large eraser (without protective cap- the first thing you lose when drawing outside) The Twist Erase seems to be the one that works for me - though, as you say in your review, it catches when putting it in your pocket. I know you don't like the eraser but it works well for me because I use it to draw with rather than just remove stuff. The big drawback when drawing is to have to break the flow in order to use your thumb to advance the lead. One of my Japanese students just brought me a PENTEL Side FX from Tokyo. It has yet to have it's real trial run but if the plastic clip is strong enough it might well just eclipse the TWIST ERASE by having that little extra - the side clicker (which I know you tend not to like cos it gets in the way but it does mean you can just keep drawing) We shall see.
Keep up the excellent work.
Best wishes and kindest regards
PeterS

adam crockett said...

Just stumbled across your blog, and I love it! So much info. I admit I haven't read the whole thing, but a quick search turned up nothing on
"white leads". I'm trying to find white mechanical pencil leads, to use in my medium value sketchbook. Have you ever heard of such a thing, or know where to get something like that?

Thanks, Adam
adamcrockett@adamcrockett.com

Stuart said...

Koh-I-Noor still lists colored 2 mm leads and says they come in 6 colors.

http://www.koh-i-noor.cz/en/produkty/tuhy-uhly-kridy-a-pastely/250-jadro-barevne-2

Perhaps that includes white?

They evidently did make leads in white in the past:

http://www.leadholder.com/lead-kin-colored.html#2200i-ejecto-new-colored

Stuart said...

Here's another mention of white leads:

http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/white-lead-mechanical-pencil-from-fons-porter

It looks like these are designed for fabrics, so I dont know if they'd work for you or not.

Peter said...

Hey Dave, just dropping you a line to let you know about my latest acquisitions...

A bookshop I visit occasionally has a back stock of old Lamys, so I picked myself up a Tipo 0.7 in red. I think I have a new main writing pencil, this thing is excellent! Also found those Faber Castell Sleve erasers, so that's going to be the main writing duo when my trade course resumes in mid Feburary.
Same shop, my mother became rather infatuated with a Lamy Safari FP. So there's two... and I had to try one didn't I? I got a Sheaffer Javelin FP at 30% off... Terrible, no?

kiwi-d said...

Hi Peter. Sounds like you scored some good items. Lamys always have some feature of interest.

Peter said...

Ok, help required! My Lamy Tipo has stopped working today. No advance from the tip. It spat some small pieces out that needed help making it out the end of the lead sleeve, and it seems to have grabbed a new peice of lead from the chamber, but no new lead coming out the tip... I'm going to take it back tomorrow and explain, but is there anything that anyone can suggest to try and make this little pencil work?

kiwi-d said...

Hmmm, if the "old lead clearance needle up the spout" doesn't do the trick I'd take it back. I actually had a new Lamy do this to me too and they said it was faulty and gave me a new one.

Peter said...

I've got a new one, but they let me keep the old one too... I get the impression they're trying to get rid of all their old stock. Ah well, I've still ended up with a nice pencil.

Thanks for the advice Dave, you don't want a busted Lamy Tipo do you? :P

Ralrara said...

Hi Dave.
I`m Korean Collecter Ralrara
This is my blog address
ralrara.tistory.com
Your Review is vey nice!!!
please answer to this e-mail
god60700@naver.com

Anonymous said...

Hello. If anyone can tell me where on the net, preferably in the UK, I can buy F grade or HB3 grade leads, 0.7mm, for a Caran dAche pencil, I would be very grateful to hear. Thanks very much! Nita

Kevin said...

I have a heap of MP,s but without exception the clips whether plastic or metal are at best average (Pentel P205) and at worst pathetic (Staedtler Triplus Micro - just falls straight out of your shirt pocket). Whatever happened to spring clips such as on the Lamy CP1,Linea,Logo but on the economy lines. If they can put them on the Zebra Sarasa Clip Gel Pen (superb plastic clip)which is cheap then how about a bit of clip innovation at the economy end of the MP market.

nontimeosedcaveo said...

Nita,
Your best bet for special leads in the UK would be Cult Pens http://www.cultpens.com/ but I don't know if even they have what you're looking for.

Cat said...

I was wondering if you know of a mechanical pencil that writes a true black, not a graphite gray?

kiwi-d said...

Well pencil leads are graphite so the nearest you can get to true black is a really dark soft graphite lead like 4B. The other option is black coloured pencil, but I don't know any MP leads in black.

lsarchitect21 said...

....can anyone help....i am trying to remember the make and model (possibly either Staedtler or Stabilo) of that 'fully' retractable inner sleeve/cylinder mech. pencil.....if i remember correctly, the retracting mechanism/button is beneath the head of the pencil-clip, and is activated by depressing the clip.....there is a long rubber grip over a translucent outer sleeve/cylinder......i believe it was manufactured in the early- to mid- 90s.....any help is much appreciated. thanks!

Anonymous said...

A somewhat esoteric comment but when reading comments about someones writing experience I see mainly things relating to the physical aspects of the pencil. These can include Pressure applied, lead shape, softness or hardness of lead etc. However the number one om my list for experiencing good writing is the Lighting Conditions. With good frontal left (Right for a lefty)slightly upper light (natural or man made)a pencil writes with amazing clarity and crispness and the pencil tip has a different look than in dull light. Even better is that same lighting with your paper at about 20 deg. above the horizontal. This gives a sublime writing experience.Put that same pencil in dull light and the writing experience no matter how good the pencil is much less joyous. I think a good number of people have poor lighting then wonder why the pencil isn't performing. Dave Im only an average Joe - you might like to comment from your professional perspective.

Anonymous said...

I have to chuckle at our American friends when they complain about not being able to find particular pencils, leads etc - they should come down here to the Antipodes then they would have a real reason to complain. Our stationers in Sydney are absolutely hopeless. If you like low end stuff in 0.5 or 0.7 or in the case of leads HB or 2B then you will just struggle by - otherwise forget it.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome blog, very interesting. Please keep this going.

-TW

Matthew R said...

Anonymous in Sydney---I rarely find good pencils at Stationery Shops here in the US. I find them at smaller art stores (usually not chains), and at blueprint shops, which are often called "reprographics" services. One place I've found recently is a local office supply store that delivers to local businesses; again, not a chain. I know they have cool pencils from their website, but they don't have a sales counter---I need to call them to order.

Anonymous said...

Matthew - Our Art Shops only sell 2mm and above clutch pencils - they dont consider smaller size mechanical pencils an ART item. I think overall though from my limited knowledge there are more options for you people stateside. At least you have more online options such as the Pentel store
(Dont ship internationally) and if I buy from Cult Pens in the UK Im up for very high shipping costs.

On another supply matter I had never heard of colored leads for mechanical pencils until reading about them on this site - they are certainly not available from anyone I know of here in Sydney. Can anyone pls tell me differently.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous in Sydney - If you are looking to purchase from Pentel, try contacting their Head Office, email: sales@pentel.com.au
They should be able to find you a local retailer you can purchase from in stock or by special order.

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous but esoteric average Joe - well good point about the lighting. Its not normally something I think too much about except when there isn't enough of it. At the moment I'll just agree with you that the lighting can make a big difference, and give it a bit of thought for the future. Thanks for your cemment.

Anonymous said...

Dave - txs your reply re lighting, that just proves I'm on a different planet.

kiwi-d said...

Hmmm, "Thanks for your cemment?" I really need a spell-checker.
Different planet? That might be a bit far. How about a different country, but we are all on Planet Pencil? :-)

Anonymous said...

Martin Luther King "...Had a dream" and I think I had one today. After months of searching for the less mundane Japanese (and others)mechanical pencils here in Sydney (as commented above) I found myself in the KINOKUNIYA (Japanese) bookstore here in Sydney. It has a huge stationery section brimming with exotic Japanese pens, pencils and general stationery. Gear that I had only dreamed about or seen here and elsewhere online suddenly appeared before my eyes .... could this be really happening, KURU TOGAS, GRAPHGEAR 500 1000, ZEBRAS,TOMBOW Whow!!!Pens including Pentel Sliccis, Hi-Tec-C's, Pilot COLOR ENO. Amazing - how could this be such a well kept secret. That still leaves the German Giants to find - what about a German version of KUNIKUNIYA.
Matthew - there are about 8 of these stores in the States (as you are probably already aware) - but I realise in such a big continent that still may not put you near one.
Also tks to Anonymous for your suggestion - I just may not need it now.

Kevin said...

Question - Does anyone know if the Lamy LOGO mechanical pencil has a fixed sleeve or is it retractable - cant find any site which will tell me either way.

Anonymous said...

hey my name is arvind and i'm from india i want to know what is polymer lead and why are high polymer leads more expensive is the "polymer", plastic?

Rohit said...

Kevin,

Lamy Logo has retractable sleeve.

kiwi-d said...

Hello Arvind. In the blog sidebar there is a link "Lead Composition" under the Lead Information header.

Kevin said...

Rohit - Thanks for your info. I do think the pencil maufacturers have a responsibility to provide good clear information on their products on their websites because all the online dealers just parrot these descriptions and hence consumers purchasing online rely on these clear desriptions. Dave trumpets the "retractacble sleeve safety issue" so it is obviously a significant issue.

Anonymous said...

hi..Becky from Napier,New Zealand
since hi-polymer lead is supposed to contain more binder than regular lead does that mean it is stronger than regular lead but lighter? or is it just a marketing gimmick?

Anonymous said...

hi....Arvind again...sorry i don't pay attention to that link....could you recommend some brands for those replaceable erasers and are there different sizes for that as well

kiwi-d said...

Arvind – sorry, it’s a no re the erasers.

Becky – depends what you mean by “regular” lead. Basically all MP lead is polymer. Some manufacturers call their lead polymer, some hi-polymer, some super hi-polymer. But that terminology is basically all just marketing speak. Some offer more than one quality level so the better one is often called ‘super’ and the normal just ‘hi’, but there is no concept of brand to brand comparison. One brands hi-polymer maybe better than anothers super hi-polymer, etc. Does this answer the question?

Anonymous said...

sorry...i did read that this blog was strictly for lead junkies...thought you could help me...maybe i'll find a "eraser" blog.....great info dude....great blog very rarely does one find a pencil geek!....AWESOMELY AWESOME!...Arvind...

Anonymous said...

Hi Arvind, I gather you are looking for eraser refills for a mechanical pencil...sorry, can't help you there. In case your interest in erasers is general, try:

http://eraserjoy.blogspot.com/

http://web.mac.com/gommemania/Gomme_mania/My_erasers_collection.html

As well, Dave has analyzed a variety of erasers with his usual acumen. You will find his posts about erasers under the heading 'Labels' on the right hand side of the page (scroll down).

Barrel Of A Pencil

Anonymous said...

thanks David,Didn't know you were a fellow Kiwi till I saw your profile,Great blog you got there and some neat stuff abt our beautiful country.Besides where do you live....Auckland?...Christchurch?....wellington..?....just curious...Becky.

kiwi-d said...

Hello Becky.
If you are after lead for "normal" writing purposes then you cannot go past Pentel Ain which is available in many retailers here.

Its a fair way away, but I can see the Sky Tower from where I live. My contact email is up in the blog header if you've got any specific quaetions.

Anonymous said...

what is the difference between the promecha P and the promecha S models besides the see through portion of the tip?

thanks

Faisal said...

My Encridor mechanical pencil eraser cap is very loose and almost falling off from the pencil. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Claes in Lund, Sweden said...

Hi Faisal! I am not sure which model you mean. Is it one of Caran d'Ache's silver models? If so, can you wind a layer (or several layers) of teflon tape to make the inner diameter of the cap somewhat smaller? Teflon tape is what plumbers use to make threads water tight, it is also called "thread tape". Good luck! /Claes

Stuart said...

That see through part of the tip is the difference. It allows the maximum length of the lead tube to be set.

The grip farther back twists in the P and the S to extend or retract the lead tube.

The S allows you to set the maximum length the lead tube can be extended. That way, you can retract the lead tube for carrying the pencil in your pocket, and then quickly extend it to exactly the same length every time.

Anonymous said...

Bounce

Anonymous said...

Bounce

Anonymous said...

Bounce

Anonymous said...

Bounce

Anonymous said...

Further to my question on 10 December 08 regarding the Laban Navio mechanical pencil and your response, I just took delivery of one from Passion4Pens in USA. This pencil is drop dead gorgeous in my opinion. It's 5 1/4" long, 7/16" dia. and weighs 1.3 oz. (37 grams) which was a surprise. Because of the rosewood barrel it looks lighter than it is. 0.7mm lead with a twist action, small eraser under the cap. Looks and feels like a quality instrument. RRP US$80 but I got it for US$51.45. (Passion4Pens price just went up to US$64.05). Picture here http://www.laban.com/popup_image.php?pID=1241&type=jpg
Also just received another MP on my wish list - the Koh-i-noor 5358 clutch with 3.2 mm lead. I'm surprised you don't have any Koh-i-noors on your review list although, like me, being from the Antipodes, it's difficult to find a local supplier. Buying from pictures on the internet rather than seeing merchandise in the flesh first has it's drawbacks. Haven't had a chance to play with the Koh-i-noor much since it just arrived from Andrey in Moscow (US$15). Lovely chunky feel though. Pic here http://cgi.ebay.com.au/KOH-I-NOOR-5358-CN-BLACK-3-2MM-MECHANICAL-PENCIL_W0QQitemZ260315090667QQihZ016QQcategoryZ7284QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

Regards
George (Australia)

kiwi-d said...

Thanks for the info George. Feel like doing a mini or full guest article on your Laban?

Anonymous said...

Dave, are you ever going to get around to reviewing the Pentel Sharplet 11, A125 - you mentioned as long ago as Oct07 that it was on your list. Anyway on the "recommendation" of GERM I bought one - its just a beautiful, simple, slim black stick,(there are other colours but I believe BLACK shows it off the best) lovely balance and a compromise draughting/writing pencil with 2mm fixed sleeve. It reminds me of a poor man's Lamy CP1 Matte Black. Feels as good in the hand as any pencil I own. Great for sketching because I hold the pencil on the smooth part of the body up from the ribbed grip. GREAT VALUE.

kiwi-d said...

Ouch! The truth hurts.
Pentel Sahrplet 2 A125 is now top of the list.

Anonymous said...

Just a general tip for the readers.
If you, like me are infuriated with the gum left behind on the pencil from barcode stickers etc I,ve found that rubbing with a good quality eraser - mars plastic etc brings the foul stuff right off.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the eraser tip! I've been using lighter fluid or acetone.

kiwi-d said...

Thats an interesting tip re the eraser. I'll give it a try.

Henrik said...

Well, Dave has it really been three years? I can't have the birthday go by without saying congratulations.
So thanks for a great blog responsable for my addiction and my quest for the perfect mechanical pencil.
As I always say: keep it up.
Henrik

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for dave - anyone who can put up with this zany community desrves a BIG prize!!

PaddlePressure said...

You're da bomb, Dave!
Three more years!
Three more years!

Anonymous said...

Dave, can you please tell me how you remove/adjust pocket clips that are advertised as removable. I always make a hash of it and either bend the clip or scratch it using long nose pliers. The secret has completely passed me by i'm afraid. Pentel Twist erase is the only one I can manage. Say Pentel p205 as an example.

Anonymous said...

Actually I just tried the removing the clip on the P205 and had no trouble. Forget the question Dave, - I'll just go back to sleep now.ZZZZZZZ

kiwi-d said...

Hello Anonymous. Well, I'm happy to help, but you have surprised me with taking P205 as an example - I checked the Pentel USA website and couldn't see any mention of the pocket clip being removable or adjustable. Where do you see it advertised as removable? Certainly you can remove it, but that's not the point at this stage.

Anonymous said...

Dave, - Thanks your response.
probably was a poor example - my assumption was that all clips that are just sprung steel that have no attachment to the body of the pencil other than the tension of the steel were removable/adjustable - ie if it is moveable it is REemoveable. As it seems I'm wrong in this assumption the case is rested. Dave, this is the danger of running a site where there is a variety of levels of expertise - dumb comments like mine. BUT now I have the correct answer - its onwards and upwards.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

The reason I was so keen to remove the clip on my Pentel Sharplet - 2 was to replicate as close as possible the feel and balance of a wooden pencil while sketching and this comes the closest so far with a straight cylindrical stick, (clip removed) 8mm dia. same as a wooden pencil and all the advantages of a MP. I did note your review of the Staedtler Graphite 777 which artists/sketchers are using but I found it so feather light I could'nt feel it in my hand. I feel the Sharplet2 is the better of the two.
OK subject closed.

Anonymous said...

Hi , this maybe quite random, but we're interested in finding out a little more about the small gold ringtop pencil, we have a lovely example that is stamped 'gold filled' and 'made in England' but it also has another stamp on the top saying 'henry balfour co ltd' which we believe to be a scottish engineering firm, just wondered if this has any relevance to a maker or is it simply an engraving? Our pencil looks very similar to the one you have pictured and is boxed in the typical 1950's style we think?

Stuart said...

On removing goo from labels:

I'll have to try using an eraser. I've used lighter fluid or a citrus solvent in the past, but the eraser is probably a lot gentler on plastic.

kiwi-d said...

Hello Anonymous. Small ringtop pencils made from gold filled metal by a variety of manufacturers were quite common through the early to mid 1900's. I don't know of balfour as a maker, but who knows? I assume the "gold filled" and "made in england" are clearly related in their positioning to each other, etc and thus if "balfour" is not equally related then I'm sure it is just a customer engraving as you suggest.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
While searching in Google for Kuru Toga, I came across a site that copied and pasted your complete article in their site (probably more - I just noticed one), which I think its not cool specially because they are calcedar (pencils.com)

You may not know this, but by copying your content aside of the copyright issues, they may endup ranking higher in google than you the original writer and owner of the content (right now they are right after you).

I have had this happened to me before and what I have done to resolve this was to first email the individual and ask them to remove my content from their site, if they dont respond then email the individual cc the abuse department of their ISP, and have not gone further, that got their attention and promptly removed the content, but I believe you can also file a DMCA notice to get them to remove the content.

Great site, lots of content and I am a fan, now wanting to discover the Uni and modo pencils.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I have an old Cross pencil that belonged to my grandfather. It is the kind that you twist the cap and the lead comes down. I recently tried to load a new piece of lead, which I did by getting a spare from the barrel and loading it through the tip of the pencil. But, the pencil is not longer working properly. I can twist the led down, but when I twist counterclockwise to retract the lead, it doesn't move. I simply push it back into the pencil with my finger, but I used to be able to twist it both down and up...did I do something wrong?

Thanks for any help!

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - thanks for the comment about pencils.com They are actually feeding my and other sites by RSS rather than doing a direct copy and paste. I'm thinking on it.

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous with the Cross - when you say twist do you mean round and round like a screw feed or do you mean just a half turn and it clicks out some lead and the cap springs back? I'm assuming the first, in which case it sounds like the new stick of lead is not held properly on the end of the push rod. I'm not familiar with Cross, but a common problem with the old mechanisms is that there is still a broken off piece of lead in the lead holder on the rod so the new piece can't fit in and it just sits in the pencil, being pushed out but not pulled back inside like you describe. Advance the lead mechanism as far as you can and check the lead holder if you can see it.

kiwi-d said...

Anonymoue with Cross - also have you checked my refill instructions page? Use the link in the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dave and everyone.

I just found your site. Thanks for the help on hardness/lightness and softness/darkness of pencil leads and what the letters and numbers mean. Hmmm. Now which one do I want? I noticed that darker, softer leads can be nice and dark but can smear, whereas lighter, harder leads can be too light to show up well (especially now that my eyes are older).

I had a mechanical pencil once with just the right weight and just the right lead in an accounting class when we used to do our worksheets with paper and pencil. I think the lead was either 2B or HB. I bought about five of those pencils, and I used them to the bone, because I could never find replacements. I grieved for years, even until today, for those great pencils. They all eventually became inoperable, as they were not very expensive, but I could not part with them.

Well, luckily I did keep them, because tonight I searched for them on line by the number on the pencil, and I am thrilled to say that I just found my pencils again! They were called the Pentel QE405, and now they have shown up on the Pentel site as the Twist-Erase Frost, QE405Fx (where the F is for Frost and the x is a variable for the color). Frost seems to be another name for transluscent.

This is an absolutely great automatic pencil! At least for me. Very inexpensive, thin but not skeletal, lightweight and very balanced with no heavy "comfort" padding to weigh it down, and it holds quite a few leads inside the barrel. The pencil comes in both 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm. A simple click advances the lead, and a simple twist raises a huge eraser that quickly becomes indispensable.

I am just delighted and am ordering a bunch. I came to your site to figure out what leads I want to use for my great new pencils. Thanks again for your great chart.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cross Anonymous, Dave is correct. It could be that a small stub from the old lead is preventing the rod from making proper contact with the new lead, but another thing to try if you don't find a stub is feed the new lead into the end as you have done and retract it so that only about 1/16th of an inch is visible. Then you press the tip of the pencil forcefully against a hard surface and this secures the new lead to the rod.

Barrel Of A Pencil

Karen said...

Dave, et al,

Thanks for the information/advice about my grandfather's pencil. I think you are probably right about the led being stuck in the barrel, but in trying to fix it, I think I've messed it up even more. I tried to force the lead in to dislodge the left over piece, and now I can't get it to retract at all! I'm going to take it home and work on it tonight...hopefully I'll be able to un-jam it and get back to writing!

Thanks again, I really like your website/blog!
Anonymous Cross (aka Karen)

Anonymous said...

Dave, Uni Shift pipe lock could be another KURU TOGA - nudge nudge!!

kiwi-d said...

Uni Shift is already on my shopping wishlist, but it may take some time.

Kevin said...

Bought a Zebra Nu Spiral 0.5 mechanical pencil today. Spiral fluting on clear "cut glass" looking barrel. Jewel like coloured barrels are also available. Very interesting sights through to the innards caused by sighting through the spirals.When you grip the pencil the right hand flute (looking toward the pencil tip)of the spiral fits snugly against your inner index finger near the base knuckle. The grip is a gel grip as per Pilot Dr. Grip. Too thick for me at 12mm at narrowest part. It is a writing pencil but does have an elongated 3mm conical sleeve (not a drafting sleeve) at the end of a standard chrome cone. Small eraser with removable chrome cap. Small plastic clip. Any other features I cannot glean from Japanese packaging. I also changed the lead to a Pentel Hi-Polymer which has a bit more life than the Zebra lead. Ther may be something more to this spiral technology that I haven't so far discovered, because the price AUD16.20(US10.50)indicates such. Pass mark only mainly for the interesting looks of the spiral. Cursing myself that I didn't buy another Pentel Graph600 for the same price.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if anyone else has been using the Steadtler 771 graphite pencil?
Has 1.3mm HB lead, with push button advance, large triangular shape, with bumble bee colouring (Noris) and large extendable eraser. I use it for layout sketching. Very good alternative to the FC e-motion, and much cheaper. If you get a chance Dave maybe worth while to review?
Chris (Kiwi living in Switzerland)

Gunther said...

I have the graphite 771 and I am very happy with it - highly recommended! (I have written a short review in German).

Kevin said...

Another vote for the Graphite 771.

kiwi-d said...

Oi! You lot trying to gang up on me? OK, well I'll put it somewhere close to the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

Recently (31 Jan) I posted a comment about removal of bar code/price sticker residue from pencils using an eraser. I have had continued success with this method using a Staedtler Rasoplast eraser but it probably only works with the milder easy remove stickers. I would be interested to hear any comments on your experience if you have tried this method. This is an aspect of retailing that really bugs me!! particularly the older style stickers that some retailers still insist on using.

kiwi-d said...

Hi Anonymous
Well clearly a few folk have read and noted your comment, as did I. Like you, it bugs me. I have not yet had an opportunity to test your method. In the past I have used a citrus based solvent which works well although you have to give it a good clean up afterwards to remove the citrus residue. Next time I have accumulated enough pennies to buy a pencil, if it has a nasty sticker I will definitely be trying your eraser trick.
Thanks again for your comment.
Whilst you are defintely welcome to leave comments as "Anonymous", if you are likely to make a few comments, might I suggest you consider using a nom de plume in your comments whilst remaining under the Anonymous setting in the comment system.

Anonymous said...

Noted

Tuppencehapenny

bored-agitated said...

I read your lead showdown, and I was wondering, does the winner, the pentel Ain lead, squeak?

I used to be a regular mechanical pencil user (went between the techniclick and the EZ#2, preferred the aesthetics of the latter, but the former broke my lead less often), but the constant squeaking of the lead on the paper drove me nuts. I used some pentel hi-polymer lead, .7 because of my heavy hand. Anyway, I converted back to wood case pencils, the papermate mirados are my favorite, because they don't squeak and instead produce a gentle scratching sound. Also, the pencils I use, the papermates, write so softly (smoothly?) that I couldn't possibly imagine writing with anything else.

However, after going through a phase where I wrote with big, bold pens and pencils (1mm or bigger), I now favor the tinier points. I recently switched my pens from 1.0 to a set of .18, .25 and .3 depending on the occasion. Because of my change in taste, I became irritated at the fact that wood case pencils don't hold a really sharp point for long. So I want to switch back to mechanical pencils, but fear the squeaking it may bring.

any recommendations?

also, I'm not sure how I'll fare with the .5mm leads I intend to buy, I used to snap anything smaller than .7 easily. Can I train myself with some patience?

Claes in Lund, Sweden said...

@ bored: Well, you could also switch to another kind of paper, i.e. a less squeaky one. /Claes

Henrik said...

@ bored also:-)
that's odd, I remember Dave once wrote something on this topic - he found woodcased pencil leads to be squeaky Take a look here: davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2006/04/noisy-lead-lead-composition.html

Regards Henrik

kiwi-d said...

Hi Bored-Agitated. Well any squeaking leads I’ve had have usually been caused by the pencil rather than the lead. Perhaps try a draughting pencil like the Pentel P205. Lead breakage is affected by how hard you push and the angle at which you hold the pencil to the paper. So less hand pressure and holding the pencil closer to perpendicular should reduce lead breakage. But I think its going to be trial and error for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I'm hoping some can answer a question regarding mechanical pencils and standardized tests. In the States, there is a standardized test called the ACT. The test company specifies that no mechanical pencils be used on the test, only soft #2 pencils. I'm wondering is this just because they're concerned with the cheating possibilities that mechanical pencils offer, or is their scanning equipment unable to read mechanical pencil lead, even if it's #2? If the kid uses number two lead and marks heavy and dark, can the machine really tell that the lead came from a mechanical? Thanks to anyone who can shed some light on the topic.

Gary said...

Hi Dave,

I recently stumbled upon your website when I got to the point where I realized I have a small mechanical pencil collection going (I'm really into fountain pens mostly). It was the fault of the Japanese. Back in the 70's and 80's, their companies like Pilot, Pentel, etc., made some highly crafted mechanical pencils out of very durable materials (like stainless steel). I started using a rather striking black striped steel mechanical pencil and I really like it. Not only for how well it works, but for how it looks. It's intriguing to see the Japanese still bent on perfecting the mechanical pencil, in this age of electronic word processing and communication.

Here's a sample of MP's I own:
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t154/MYU701/pens/Pilot/Pilot_MP_comparison-length.jpg

They look similar to your black striped vintage Pentel MP. I wonder if they are very much the same in terms of craftsmanship.

I'm not serious MP collector, but I'm amazed at what some vintage models are fetching on "that auction site" these days. I saw one vintage mechanical pencil mint in box fetch over $250! That seems so absurd to me, that two people could perceive such a value.

Anyway, keep up the great work on this website. It has become such a fine source of information about mechanical pencils. Btw, if you haven't seen it yet, try the Muji mechanical pencil. They are quite inexpensive but very well made.

Cheers,
~Gary

kiwi-d said...

Welcome Gary.
Those are some mighty nice looking Pilots you have got there. That's very interesting about Muji, thanks for the further information about them on your other comment.

Black Lead Nate said...

Hi Dave. I was just wondering, aren't Pilot common in your part of the world? Coz I noticed you don't have a lot of Pilot pencils in your list of reviews.

Hi Gary, the Pilot pencils you have are really really nice. What model are they?

Nate

kiwi-d said...

Hi Nate. No, Pilot pencils are not common down this way. Plenty of their pens are readily available, but very few pencils. The local import agnecy obviously doesn't see a market for them.

Gary said...

Thanks for the compliments. :-) Back in the 1970's, Pilot made a series of stainless steel black striped writing instruments. Their most popular was the Custom fountain pen. Teamed along with it was a black striped steel mechanical pencil and ballpoint. There were a few variations made in the MP design over time. In one, you see a black rectangle with the raised Pilot logo and lead size inside it. This was label theme also used on the MYU 500BS fountain pen (all steel integrated nib). Apparently Pilot never emblazoned a model number on them, so I have no idea what it is. They're very hard to find today. The workmanship is very good, with everything precisely machined. However, they are very thin, so they don't make for comfortable long term writing. I mostly appreciate them for their aesthetics, but they also function flawlessly.

Black Lead Nate said...

Hi Gary, thanks for the info. Makes me wanna hunt for one myself. :)

Dave, Pentel over here is what Pilot is over there. The only Pentel that's common here is the Techniclick and Fiesta. I think the current selection of Pentel is more interesting than Pilot's.

Gary said...

Interesting how you're in the Philippines, Nate, and Dave is in New Zealand (same latitude region on the globe), yet you've got a different brand mix in your local markets. At least the Internet enables access to pretty much every brand, with some variations in cost. I wouldn't have been able to have most of the pens and pencils in my collection if it weren't for access to private Japanese sellers, or people who have direct contacts in Japan.

For a long while, Pentel seemed to be a 2nd rate brand for the general public in the USA, behind Pilot. And that may just be due to the range of marketing for that brand. The selection always seemed to be their lower tier when glancing at the shelves in office supply stores. I've come to discover that Pentel made some serious pencils for the professional even back in the 70's, but probably limited to specific markets. And now that I've been able to peruse websites like this and some on-line stores, it's clear Pentel is making some top notch MP's today. :-)

Gary said...

Whoops... I meant longitude! ;-)

animatorgeek said...

Regarding white mechanical pencil lead, I had also found the one meant for fabric. I haven't tried it but I may yet.

I have, however, found white mechanical pencil lead meant for paper. It's part of the Sakura Sumogrip line, but it only seems to be sold in England. There's no mention of while lead on the Sakura USA web site, and I've only found this product mentioned with prices in pounds. Just do a google search for Sakura "white lead".