Friday, June 09, 2006

Guestbook 4

At over 150 comments, the previous guestbook (page 3) was getting rather long so it's time to start a new page. You can find the old one directly below this new one via the older posts link at the bottom of the page. So, here’s the place to leave any general comments, brickbats and bouquets. I won’t promise to answer questions like “What’s the best pencil in the world?”, "Whats the best pencil with features X, Y and Z", but you might get lucky. I don’t generally say much about retailers except as per my posting on the subject – use the sidebar link. I don't repair or sell mechanical pencils, and i don't give valuations. Please use the sidebar links and Lijit search for things like how to refill your pencils, etc. Other than that though, I do like to hear from you, please leave a comment, and I will try to answer or help, or even better some other reader will toss in their 10 cents worth too.

THIS GUESTBOOK PAGE IS NOW CLOSED.



See the sidebar "FAQ's & General" for the current Guestbook.

160 comments:

Wynne and Wes said...

i have a review suggestion,
rotring 600, a durable pencil that many people love

kiwi-d said...

Ahhh, the shame of it all, I don't have a Rotring 600. In fact Rotring are seriously under-represented in my collection. As I understand it the current 600 is several generations down the line from the original and not as well respected as its forebears. Still, maybe one day I'll get one.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Is this Papermate Precision 0.7mm pencil the same as the Rotring Tikki? It certainly looks like it was made from the same mould and looks like a similar grip as the Tikki. It has a metal clutch mechanism. You can find this in all the Staples and Walmart Stores in Canada for about $4. However, it seems that only the 0.7mm pencil is available. Also, I couldn't find this pencil on the Papermate website at this time.

I uploaded some scans of the packaging and pencil to tinypic.com:

http://i28.tinypic.com/sv6i5d.jpg
http://i31.tinypic.com/2jc7waq.jpg
http://i27.tinypic.com/2wqzfie.jpg

Regards,
Jazz

kiwi-d said...

Hi Jazz
Papermate and Rotring are both brands of Sanford so...

Anonymous said...

Hi Kiwi-d

Ah, I understand now. Thanks Kiki-D. There are slight differences, Rotring has a blue area near the top. Perhaps the Rotring fit and finish is better than the Papermate? There's a raised seam on the body on my Papermate.

Other than that it seems a good way to get a Rotring pencil for those who can't find Rotring's at their local store.

Strange it is not on Papermates website.

Jazz

Anonymous said...

Hi Kiwi-d
anyone know if George Richards Elkington (inventor of electoplating) ever made silver mechanical pencils? I have one impressed GRE (C1860S)
Les

kiwi-d said...

I don't know, but Wikipedia says his business partner Josiah Mason was a "pen manufacturer", so...

Guacanator said...

Hey, Kiwi-D! Nice blog.

My question is in regards to the Excalibur. You've mentioned it, and have compared a few other pencils to it. However, I feel it has not been adequetly explained. I've done searched for it, but all I found was people bragging about their collections.

Do you think you could put in a bit of info about it?

Anonymous said...

Hi, would you by any chance know where to find a Zebra M-502 mechanical pencil any where? I've been looking diligently for a while now and I'm starting to lose hope in finding one.

kiwi-d said...

Guacanator - you make a good point. I have forwarded the idea to another person who will hopefully take up the challenge.

Chris Owens said...

Hi Dave, following a read of your reviews I got myself an Ohto Tasche, a Pentel Kerry, and a Pentel Graph 1000. The Tasche is fun, although I wouldn't really want it as my only pencil; the Kerry is excellent; the Graph 1000 is too slim for me (somehow it feels all wrong) but my wife likes it.

I also got a(nother) Rotring Tikky 3, which cost about GBP 3.00. I find it very comfortable and easy to use - nearly as good as something like the Kerry - and easily the best of the low-price pencils I've used (I prefer it to my wife's P205, for example). If you can't find any to review in NZ, I'm sure I could send you one from Blighty (if we can figure out how to get in touch without leaving my email on your blog comments!)

Chris Owens said...

Re: Rotring Tikky, the Papermate Precision in the pics above is exactly like my Rotring Tikky (the Rotring also has a very small raised seam if you look for it). The Rotring Tikky has gone through 3 versions, and the Precision pictured is the current Tikky 3 - I believe the earlier Tikky 2 was similar but with no rubber grip.

kiwi-d said...

Hello Chris. Well glad my reviews have prompted some quality purchases and experimentation. My address is up in the blog header if you ever want to contact me direct. Its been deleted now, but Pencil Box blog had more like 30 versions of the Tikky :-) Although to be fair many of the changes were rather minor. Evolution rather than revolution.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I came across Grand and Toy's fine line mechanical pencil:
http://www.grandtoy.com/sites/corp/ProductDetails.aspx?productCode=99656

Made by Staedtler for Grand & Toy , it is basically the same as the Staedtler except
that G&T pencil is all black with no tip retraction and no rubber grips.
About half the cost of a Staedtler branded pencil. A box of 10 pencils goes for $25.
I picked up a box. I like them, especially the all black look. Also, I'm not
a fan of the rubber grip that Staedtler uses - I like the Tikky3 grip better.
Thumbs up for G&T retaining the cushion tip.

Jazz

kiwi-d said...

Hello Jazz. Interesting link. Where soes it say about the made by Staedtler - on the pencil or the packaging or ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Kiwi-d

It doesn't say it anywhere. Just lay it next to the Staedtler Mars micro 775. They are identical right down to the clutch mechanism (with the exception of the ability to retract). Stamped on the side of the pencil on the part where the clip is anchored - on one side is the word "Germany". I feel confident in saying these were made for Grand and Toy by Staedtler.

I have an older G&T pencil from way back. That pencil was obviously made by Berol for Grand and Toy. (I had the Berol version also, so for me it was obvious.)

Jazz

Anonymous said...

Hi Kiwi-d,

One more comment. It is likely that part of the manufacturing agreement between Staedtler and G&T was that G&T was not to use the Steadtler name anywhere. This is not an unreasonable request. G&T gets a good quality "detuned" Staedtler and Staedtler get a manufacturing contract . The G&T pencils have no logo on the clip or anywhere else - just the G&T logo.

Jazz

Anonymous said...

What is so great about this pencils? i found a box containing one pen and one pencil. The box is marked "pentel excalibur japan". They are colored in gold with black stripes. Are they worth anything?

Anonymous said...

I have a number of old pencils from the 60' and 70' that my father used at work. How can I find what size of lead to buy and where can I get new lead. I have tried the stores and a no. 0.9 was
to small. That was the largest they had. I have no idea what kind of pencils they are. you fill from the top. can you help.

kiwi-d said...

If 0.9mm is too small they are probably 1.18mm which is still commercially available - plenty of online sellers although it is often called 1.1mm or 1.2mm.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have a Mont Blanc Pencil which was given to my mother as a present and was never used so is therefore in mint condition with the original carboard sleave and original pot of refils, its marked with the no 260, i can find no information about it on the interent and if anyone on here will be able to tell me anything about it, i am looking to sell it and was just going to put it on ebay but have no idea what price to put on it.

2nd_astronaut said...

On http://fountainpen.de/old60-70.htm are many informations on Montblancs. But I cannot find a 260 there... My guess is that the pencil is from the 70s (you can compare to the 280 on the page).

Uchenna said...

Hello Dave, I am a student here, and I just wanted to know your name or how I should cite you in my report on mechanical pencils. Thanks again!

kiwi-d said...

Hi Uchenna
Well you certainly get the prize for the surprising email of the day. I'd suggest you cite this blog by its name, web address, and date of retrival which I think is fairly standard practice for citing web information. Good luck with your report - I'd be very happy to see it if you ever wanted to send a copy.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Dave,

First of all: Thank you for maintaining this blog! It is the single best overview and comparison of mechanical pencils on the web (I am not kidding; I have looked far and wide :-) )

I have a plea: Could you note, for the pencils you review, how heavy they are, that is, their weight, and balance point? (so we know if it is a top- or bottom-heavy pencil)? This has great impact on which mechanical pencil people choose, yet no one maintains a registry of this (people just say "light"/"heavy", and without comparison/number, such claims are subjective). Long story follows:

When writing, I apply alot of force. I do not know why; I have done this for as long as I can remember. The problem is that this quickly makes my hand tired, and I feel it is beginning to wear out my wrist and elbow. I feel better when writing with heavy pens and mechanical pencils, as then the force I apply is only spent on moving the pen, while gravity gets to press the lead on the paper.

I am currently on the look-out for the heaviest pens and mechanical pencils around. I had a no-name mechanical pencil (given to me by my friend, who paid 10 DKr (roughly $2)) for it. It was a heavy-duty pencil, metal casing, but plastic pencil. Eventually, it broke beyond repair. I felt it really helped my arm writing with that pencil.

The industry, however, seem to be convinced that "the lighter the pencils are, the better". So searching or asking for heavy mechanical pencils yields nothing.

The only pencils I have found which weigh anything near what my old pencil weighed are the Porche design pencils. Specifically the Micado model. But I tried holding it, and it tended to slip. I might buy it anyway, though.

Since you seem to own the largest collection of mechanical pencils, and are actively reviewing mechanical pencils, I believe you are the only person suitable and capable of giving insight into how heavy mechanical pencils are in general, and which are the heaviest.

In fact, I would be truly delighted to see a review on the heaviest mechanical pencils around :-)

Thanks for hearing my plea! And thank you again for blogging :-)

Cheers,
Willard.

kiwi-d said...

Hi Willard. Well if you are prepared to pay Porsche prices then there are some heavyweights around. Perhaps though you might consider getting a pen turner to custom make you one out of something heavy - lignum vitae. Some might even ebe able to turn metal.
I always put in the balance point on my reviews, down at the very bottom. To be honest I don't want my reviews to turn into a specification sheet so I have tried to keep things to a minimum - length, diameter, balance point. Until recently I haven't had scales at home that could weigh to 1 gram increments but now I do, so I'll consider it.

A*B*RT F*S*EL said...

Dave, I have a very important test coming up, and this is probably being paranoid but I want to have the perfect test taking pencil, perfect eraser, and perfect lead.
How does this sound:
3 Pentel Energize PL77 pencils
Pentel Super Hi Polymer 0.7 Lead(I can't get AIN)
Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser
Any suggestions?

kiwi-d said...

Sounds like a good test-taking set to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, just wanted to say thanks for the effort you put into your reviews, I've only recently realised I am a lead-head and I need more pencils!

I'm trying my luck at getting a question answered ;o)

I carry a really nice noteook everywhere I go, and use it often. I would like to find a good quality, slim pencil to partner with it. I bought some Pilot Birdies after reading your review, and they are very good, but I could go a bit larger than that. I have a couple of Mars Micros and a Pentel P205, but they are a bit too large.

Are you aware of anything in between? Say, 6-8mm in diameter? Length is irrelevant as the book is tall enough for any pencil, but I need it to be slender, good quality and preferably kinda masculine (eg mostly metal) in appearance.

Any ideas?!

Cheers, Neil

kiwi-d said...

Hi Neil
Well 6 - 8mm is a bit slim for me, but here's a couple that spring to mind, which are all reviewed on this blog and should be fairly easy to purchase.
Faber-Castell TK Fine Vario L
Lamy Spirit - probably the one that best fits your list of requirements
Manufactum
Ohto Tasche

Good luck

2nd_Astronaut said...

Maybe also Tombow Zoom 707 or (if you can/want spend more $$) Graf von Faber-castell Slim.

Anonymous said...

http://www.staedtler.com/textsurfer_gel_eng.Staedtler

Just bought two of these high-liters last week. These are designed not to smudge InkJet print and since I use plotters a fair bit I tried them out. Surprising feature... they do not smudge pencil much either… well not as much as the standard ones I had been using. They are a gel like product… like lipstick or chap stick…. So they will on dry out… good thing to as the cap does not fit the top of the high-liter ..so it will surely go missing for me anyway.

KMD Canada

kiwi-d said...

Thanks KMD, I hate when the highlighter smudges pencil.

Anonymous said...

Great site! Regarding Pilot Vanishing Points, I have one and I have a Papermate Apex (made in Japan). The Apex works very much like the Vanishing Point in that the whole front section extends and retracts. It makes me wonder if the same factory that made the Vanishing Point is making the Apex. The Apex is actually a better user with its grip and twist eraser. The Vanishing Point looks much nicer. Sincerely, Jay in Chicagoland, USA

2nd_astronaut said...

Late answer for Willard:
kiwi-d said, that there are some heavy-weights around in upper price ranges. I don't have too many pencils in the higher ranges, but the Caran d'Anche Ivanhoe (a review is on-site) is the heaviest pencil I have (too heavy for my taste, although pencilwise I am not a weight-weenie)...

Broken said...

A question regarding on rotring and broken pencil mechanisms.

Basically, I have a Rotring 600 Series 1 (not retractable), and i recently dropped it on a hard floor. It must have landed on its tip as it was dented. I tried fixing it but ended up breaking the tip altogether. Right now there's no tip, but lead advancement is fine though not usable as the leads break easily without support. I was wondering if anyone know whether which rotring series has a similar bottom part with the rotring 600? Maybe I could replace it with a cheaper alternative?

Thanks =)

Anonymous said...

Last week was making my way back from a hiking trip in a heavily wooded area with a great deal of tree canopy at dusk. I needed to use to use my keychain miniaturized LED flashlight to read my map&compass and record the data on my noted book. Reading the map was fine, however holding the LED, notebook (2”x3” Rhodia) and pencil while writing was tough.

It occurred to me… large manufacturers like Pentel or others may have or are planning to design a pencil with an LED flashlight incorporated. If the LED lens is located at the writing tip of the pencil this would mean that anywhere you are writing you would have light.

Anyone have info or comments?

KMD Canada

Anonymous said...

Hey there, 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

Jim Speakman said...

Hi Folks,

Some years ago, I was given a silver propelling pencil of indeterminate lead size. I have tried 1.2mm lead, but it appears to be just too small.

I noted Dave's information on leads and saw that there were 1.3mm & 1.4mm leads mentioned.

Does anyone know where I could purchase some of these ????

Many thanks

Jim

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I was looking to get some Christmas presents for people and really like those two piece pencils like the Pentel Sharp Kerry and the Ohto Tasche. I was wondering if you could recommend me anymore?
Thanks
Joe

kiwi-d said...

Hello Joe. There aren't a lot of capped pencils, and its pretty hard to go past the Kerry, especially when it comes to presents. So, sorry, no.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, I have An old scheaffer from the late 50's to around early 70's. discription came in several different colors and the only thing it had in common was the pearl typed upper portion and it takes 1.0 lead I have tried 0.9 and it is abit too small was wondering if you know any history on the pencil or if I might get another and oh yes who do you recomend to purchach 1.0 lead.
Hope your holidays are finding you in good haelth, and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
if at all possible can you e-mail me.of your findings elizabeth0768@sbcglobal.net
Reguards
Elizabeth

kiwi-d said...

It could be 1.18mm which is readily available, but I don't know of a source for 1.0mm

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Correction to my earlier post about the Grand and Toy clone of the Staedtler

Link to earlier post:
http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2006/06/guestbook-4.html?showComment=1254780636442#c7298604860130988247

I just found out last night that it does retract full, just like the staedtler. It seems slightly more stiffer to retract. What a pleasant surprise!!! :-)

I never realized this as I had just tried once and just thought that this is why this rebadged staedtler was cheaper. ie: it didn't retract.

Here is the link to the product in question.

http://www.grandtoy.com/sites/corp/ProductDetails.aspx?productCode=99656

Love the blog! Keep up the good work! And I hope Santa got you lots of pencils! :-)

Jazz

Electric pen said...

Would you like to have a look at my pen and pencil blog? www.EPWI.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Can anyne comment on what brands of RED 0.7mm mechnaical pencil leads they have used that
provided good results. I have aways had problems (breaking leads and faimt color on the paper) Some brands that stated RED actally generated PINK on the paper.

Thanks, KMD CANADA

Anonymous said...

Everyting is becoming possible..
http://www.duluthtrading.com/58011.aspx?src=T10WFSHP1

Sam Y. said...

Hi Dave, I am currently a High School student enrolled in a Technical Drawing Class. I'm tired of using crappy pencils and making messy drawings so I want to get a really nice mechanical pencil. I need advice on which pencil to get. I would like it to have a heavy and expensive feeling (mainly metal) and I want it to last (I plan on taking an Architectural Design Course next year). I've been looking at reviews and the jetpens webite and I like the Uni Shift, Pentel Graphgear 1000, and the Ohto Promecha 1500. Which one is the heaviest of the three and which one will be the most durable (more metal)? BTW, I Love This Blog! I use to collect stationary and reading your blog inspires me to continue to collect stationary!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Sam
Sorry, I don’t have a record of the weights so can’t comment.
“I want it to last” – depends on your definition of “last” but all of these have some features that make me worry about real their long term survivability. I’d be tempted to think the Graphgear 1000 will survive longest.
What about the more plain Pentel Graphgear 500, or the Graph 1000?

2nd_Astronaut said...

Hi Sam,
if you want to hear more opinions...

At the moment I write with a Ohto Promecha 1504P (the 0.5 was and is unavailable). The grip section is quite thick, which I don't like thta much. Its weight is good in my opinion (middle heavy, I would say). I can't say sth on durability, but would share kiwi's doubts...

Uni Shift: nice, but the lock mechanism might be a durability prob...

I would throw in some more pencils you might like:

Staedtler 925 25 (if you like really abrasive grips) or 925 85 (if you find one)

Platinum pro-use msd 1000 or 1500 (if you are going to design space ships) -- note to self: get one :-)

Kiwi-d said...

Ahhhh, strange coincidence...just as 2nd_Astronauts comment arrived I was thinking...hmmm, I should suggest Staedtler 925 25 to Sam.

Sam Y. said...

Also, I have a really bad pen spinning habit and I want to have a pencil that has a retractable tip so that if it does fall on the ground or table, the tip won't bend and mess up the pencil. That is why I was looking at the Uni Shift, Ohto Promecha, and the Pentel Graphgear 1000. This is also what I meant by durability :) Now are there any other somewhat heavy metal vanishing point pencils that come to mind?

Kiwi-d said...

Ahhh, you are making life tough for your pencil. Well, at a guess I think Graphgear 1000 would survive floor smashing the most.

Sam Y. said...

Now before I buy my Pentel Graphgear 1000 and Graph 500 on the jetpens website, is it relatively hard to write with the graphgear 1000? I have read about some complaints in which the grip is fairly far back from the tip making it awkward to write normally. I plan to use my pencil for calculus class so I would like to be able to write and draw with the same pencil. When I look at the pictures, the Uni Shift's grip seems like the same distance away from the tip as the mechanical pencil I'm using right now(Pentel Clear Point 0.5 mm). The Graphgear 1000 however, seems like the tip is so far away from the grip and I'm worried that it will be hard to write with. Thanks so much for the quick responses and keep up the great work! This Blog is AMAZING!

Kiwi-d said...

Sam Y.
I only have the Graphgear 500 and 1000 readily to hand. Both are 22mm from the tip to the start of the grip. Thats about all I can say to your questions.

Sam Y. said...

Thanks so much Dave! That information really helps. What really surprises me is that my $2 Papermate ClearPoint 0.5 mm is also 22 mm from the tip and I just found out that it has a 3.5 mm lead sleeve. So when I get a new mechanical pencil for drafting, it won't be too much different from the regular mechanical pencil I am using right now other than the fact that I won't have to buy a new mechanical pencil every couple weeks because the plastic cracks at the top and the eraser piece keeps falling off. Also, a lot of times, the lead keeps on going back into the barrel when I write with the Papermate ClearPoint. Hopefully none of these problems will occur on a $15 pencil!

Kiwi-d said...

Hopefully not, but you are spinning things to death, so...?

Anonymous said...

Greetings Kiwi Dave from the States!

I have just stumbled across your blog over the last couple of months and I think it is great. As a kid I really had a thing for mechanical pencils, a passion that started with finding one on the ground. I couldn’t for the life of me tell you the brand of that first as I don’t remember, however, what I do remember is I no longer had to get up in grade school to sharpen my pencil. And it was made of metal, how cool is that? After that, I made it a point to always have one for schoolwork.

Fast forward (too) many years and now I find myself reigniting my interest in mechanical pencils, due in no small part to this blog. I still have my high school graduation pen and .9mm pencil set, a Cross Century black and gold plated kit, that I use at home, but for work I used only whatever was laying around, usually a disposable pen . Now, I have a small collection of various pencils based on your reviews. So, thanks for reminding me of an old pleasure. In addition, thanks (although more sarcastically this time) for making me start saving up for a Lamy 2000. That review and my subsequent research has me jonesing for one bad! Perhaps when graduate school is finished it will be a fitting reward to splurge on. Who needs a gold ring when you could have a gorgeous high quality pencil!

Thanks for your efforts on this blog!

Murphy

Kiwi-d said...

Hello Murphy
Glad you like my blog, and good to hear your interest has been reignited. Well, I hope the Lamy 2000 will live up to your expectations - maybe you can find a store and try before you buy. But then with your name, surely the luck of the Irish will be with you and the 2000 will be as good as you expect.

28thvoodoo said...

Hello, Dave. I first of all wanted to thank you for such a great blog. Lots of useful information. I was about to buy the Lamy 2000, but then had a couple ideas.

I currently use a Pentel Twist-Erase. But I find that it is a bit too narrow for me. My hands get sore and uncomfortable after a while, but I have found that I am much more comfortable using thicker pencils, like a Sumo.

The problem is, I usually find that most fat pencils like that are lower quality, or in the case of the "Uni-ball Alpha Gel Shaka Shaker Pencil", is only .5mm. But I am looking for a .7mm "nicer" thick pencil under $50.

Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you!

Stefan

Pete said...

Hi,

Just seen your blog.

Have you any advice as to how to remove stuck leads from the internal lead holder of a Yard O Led pencil (vintage hexagonal)?

Here's hoping.

Pete

2nd_Astronaut said...

> Platinum pro-use msd 1000 or 1500 (if you are
> going to design space ships)
> -- note to self: get one :-)

Well, I rembered my self-note and bought an Platinum pro-use 1500.

pro: looks good (very good!), good weight & balance
cons: grip section little too wide & pencil little too short for my taste

Maybe the 1000 is longer, so perhaps I should get it, too ;-)

Kiwi-d said...

So, I guess that means the contract for the space ship design has been signed then? :-)

2nd_astronaut said...

They don't let met on board, because I am only 2nd... So I have to design my own space ship ;-)

2nd_astronaut said...

Just saw the Top 10 of Draughting pencils list... Nice list, but I miss one from Platinum Taiwan:
http://www.platinum.com.tw/mt350.htm

I am not sure, if this one fulfills the definition of a drafting pencil, but I think so...
To stay within the space topic: If you want to design a yedi star ship, you should chose the Pro-use, if you want to design a death star, you should pick the MT-350 :-) At least, that are my associations with the look of these both pencils...

Ktzero3 said...

Hello. Thank you for providing such a useful blog.

I have been a closet mechanical pencil lover for many years. I never thought I could ever find the perfect pencil but after seeing your review of the Rotring Trio pencil I thought that there might be hope after all. For as long as I've remembered I always "settled" for the Paper-Mate PhD.

Unfortunately, Rotring no longer produces pencils and the Trio mechanical pencil retails for 170$ on Ebay. Too hefty of a price tag for me. I noticed that Sanford produces the a version of the Trio called the Essential, but it seems to be designed to be a cheaper plastic budget pencil. I've found that Parker now produces the Executive, a Rotring Quattro in spirit, as well as the Facet, a Rotring Newton in disguise. Is there any chance that you'll review these three pencils in the near future?

That being said, I'm not sure if you're in the business of giving advice but do you by any chance know if my dream pencil exists on the market? I am looking for the following things:
* Thickness similar to Trio/Quattro
* Metal casing
* Solid weight
* Clipless
* Retractable head
* Sizable, usable eraser
* 0.5mm
Optional:
* Comfortable grip
* Well balanced for pen tricks/spinning
* Multiple lead thickness inputs (ala Trio)

Thanks again!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Ktzero3.
Parker, Waterman, Papermate and Rotring are all brands of Sanford. Sanford have rebranded a few Rotring items as Parker as part of their strategy for the Rotring and Parker brands. Parker Facet is the Rotring Newton, etc.
Not sure about yuor dream pencil - the trio function rules out pretty much everything. Maybe someone else will suggest something.

2nd_astronaut said...

Ktzero3,
http://cgi.ebay.com/MULTIMECHANICAL-PENCIL-03-05-07mm-Niji-Made-in-Japan_W0QQitemZ110496112559QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item19ba14dfaf

is the best approximation to your requirements I am aware of...

Atticus Parker said...

@ 2nd_Astronaut

What is the Niji brand like? It looks nice enough.

Kiwi-d said...

@ 2nd_Astronaut
Yep, I agree, MT-350 for your Death Star.

2nd_astronaut said...

@Atticus Parker: Sorry, I don't possess the linked pencil. I considered ordering it some time ago (I think Dave's review of Rotring Trio triggered this; probably the Niji link also stems from there), but I came to the conclusion, that the advantage of having different lead sizes is not important for me (I don't sketch or draft).

John said...

Does anyone know where I can get a Rotring 600 repaired? The sleeve is bent.

2nd_astronaut said...

Probably this has been discussed before:
Has anybody (Non-Japanese) here an account on Japanese Yahoo auctions site and did successfull transactions from there? Just browsed thru this site (once again) and saw so many interesting pencils, e.g., http://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/128987114 or http://page10.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/m70896598 or http://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/128354232 or http://page13.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/r63637222 ... ok I will stop...

Kiwi-d said...

Hi 2nd.
I personally don't Yahoo, but I do know of at least one person who could answer yes to your question, but obviously it's not for me to name them.

2nd_astronaut said...

+++ Nippon Market Watch +++ Nippon Market Watch +++

Some recent winning bids from Yahoo (no, none of these bids were announced by me):

* Pilot Automatic (the 3000 version, not the H-5005) -> 16000Yen
* Mitsubishi Hi-Uni 5-5050 -> 25000Yen
* Pentel Technomatic 0.5 -> 11000Yen

+++ Nippon Market Watch +++ Nippon Market Watch +++

Anonymous said...

Hello,

As a math nerd, It was in college that I discovered the value of the mechanical pencil. I took drawing classes, and Calculus classes on the same day, and I would spend half the time in calculus class sharpening my pencils over and over again. Even more then i would need to in the drawing classes. I was also sick of going through pencils so quickly, just as son as I started to like a pencil, It would be tiny, and I'd have to start on a new one. Then a thought stuck me. Go out and buy one really nice mechanical pencil, in the Art store where i bought my art supplies, and use it for the rest of my life.

That pencil was and still is an Alvin Draft/Matic blue 0.7 mm. It's beat up now, but I hardly ever use any other pencil. My students call it my lucky pencil, and yest I freak out when it's not either in my hand writing something or nerdily displayed in my front pocket.

Could you do a review of this fine pencil?

Kiwi-d said...

Hi anonymous Alvin fan - yes I could do a review, but I'd far rather publish a guest review from you :-)

erikagofton said...

Hello
I am wondering if there is such a thing as coloured lead in particular white for mechanical pencils?

Kiwi-d said...

Coloured leads are easily available from many online art supply and specialist retailers. White though is another matter. At the moment I can only refer you to the comments on Guestbook 2 about white leads.

http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2006/06/guestbook-2.html

Bri said...

Hi,

Great site though viewing it has cost me quite a bit of cash.

Amongst many others I have a Rotring 600 and a staedtler 925 25, both in 2mm. The following all metal pencil from Muji is very similar in quality to those pencils but way cheaper and it also comes with a leadpointer. I wonder who makes them for Muji who have quite a large range of MPs.

http://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?V=1&Sec=13&Sub=54&PID=4137

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Bri - well at least you are spending on the good stuff :-)
A few of those Muji's look familiar.

ZeerBday said...

Great site, I'm new to the Mechanical Pencil world as I have just been given a Pelikan 60 Pencil and I can't find any instructions on how to refill it. Maybe it has a lead jammed - I figured if I needed advice then this has to be the place to start asking.
So here goes - can anyone offer any advice on the Pelikan 60?

Cheers guys and girls

ZS

Ice Bug said...

Hi Dave,
I thought I was bad with 53/54 pencils in my collection. I recently lost one and was searching for it while I came across your website - cool dude! I myself have Steadler, Pentel, Pilot, Zebra, Papermate, Rotring, Faber Castle, Parker, Cross, Tombow, Sanford, BIC, Kohi-Noor, Otto, Conte, Bece and other non-brands in my collection.
Cheers,
Icebug

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,
Quick question.
I recently came into possession of a 1.1mm SKILCRAFT
pencil, I was wondering if there are ANY places that sell 1.1mm lead.

Thanks!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Ice Bug. Good to hear from you...looks like as well as an Ice Bug you have been bitten by the Pencil Bug :-)

Kiwi-d said...

Hello Anonymous - the 1.1mm lead will actually be 1.18mm. If you search for 1.1mm, 1.18mm or 1.2mm lead you should find plenty of online retailers. Those three sizes are the same lead (1.18mm) its just some round it down to 1.1 some up to 1.2 and some use 2 decimal points and say 1.18mm.

rvgolfer said...

How do you load a telescoping pencil? I have a Bates&B found in a garage sale Friday. Thanks.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi rvgolfer - check the sidebar link - "pencil refill instructions"

Louis said...

Hi Dave and everyone else!

I am looking for a nice pencil case to store some of my more expensive pencils. is there any pencil case that you recommend?

The case should be able to take at least 5-10 pencils.

Thanks!

Kiwi-d said...

Louis - personally no, I don't have anything that large. You might try your luck over on The Leaky Pen (see sidebar links) as they are getting into pencil cases. Hmmm...they are still pencil cases even though pens probably dominate the contents.

Louis said...

Thanks Dave! I am gonna take a look there :)

Mydogbarry said...

Dave, I want to get this pencil from JetPens, Do you know if it's any good?
http://www.jetpens.com/product_info.php/cPath/340_859_880/products_id/4754

Kiwi-d said...

Mydogbarry - I don't have it so can't comment, but the Pilot S-series of pencils is generally well thought of. There are some S's in the Top 10 Drafters, etc - see the tabs under the blog header.

Anne said...

I noticed on Rachel Maddow's broadcast last night that she was using a mechanical pencil. Any chance you could ID it?

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Anne. I've never heard of Rachel although Google tells me she is a US radio and TV personality. No US radio down my way :-)
Do you have a link to the pencil / broadcast in question? Or a still frame?

Anonymous said...

To Louis,

try woodbin.ca
Its has a 12 pen leather case which I have bought numerours times for my personal use. Good quality and reasonable price.

Rohit

Anonymous said...

Where can I purchase 1.18 mm lead refills? Thank you....

Louis said...

Thanks Rohit, I'll check that up :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, I need some help. I recently purchased a vintage or antique sterling silver pencil which was labeled by the seller as an architects pencil. It is foursided and has a closed squared off end and has a ruler of 4.5 inches on one of the sided and a pocket clip. I guess the lead must go into the writing end but my jeweler is afraid to take the end of the pen off as it may break? or not go back in? what pencil is this, who might make it and how do I get lead into it and what kind? I appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks.

Kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - sorry, no idea and see the sidebar link "Pencil Refill Instructions".

Time Waster said...

Yeah I was watched Rachel Maddow
Anyway I can't tell what type of pencil she's using from you tube videos the camera is too far away and the rez is low on you tube.

You can see it here though it has a eraser on top looks rubber grip and a clip.
Not sure if it's red white and blue pencil.
It's the same pencil in all the videos

see here at :16 seconds in

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xlqxSRhARU

Anonymous said...

Hey!
I really like your website and the reviews. I found it because I searched for information on some old pencils I got from my great-grandfather. He was a professional land surveyor and construction field engineer before he retired. I learned about the two Norma pencils I got from him. Both of those still work as good as new.

I have a question and I hope you can help me. One of the old Scripto pencils is filled with a weird purplish lead that my dad thinks might be called "indelible lead." I called my grandpop and he said he couldn't remember what kinds of leads were in the pencils but that he did use to use indelible lead in his field books and level books.

This would be so awesome to use lead like this in hiking notes and biking notes. But you can't erase it so forget using it for algebra!

I found out that Scripto used to make lots of cool colors for their pencils including indelible hard and soft leads, and one called dark red that I bet was better than the red we have now. I would love to get some indelible leads for the Scripto pencils if anyone still sells it.

Any help would be thankfully received.

Ricky

Kiwi-d said...

The indelible leads were probably copy leads e.g.
http://www.penciltalk.org/2008/07/the-hidden-life-of-copying-pencils
They were available for mechanical pencils. I'm unaware of any modern source but eBay probably has these vintage leads. You will have to work out the lead size. I certainly recall seeing plenty of vintage red leads on eBay.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kiwi!
Thanks for the reply! I looked on eBay and will have to keep searching there and other places. I was hoping to find a modern supply rather than collectors and antique leads.

Another cool thing is that one of my Norma pencils has yellow and white leads in two of the slots instead of the colors shown in the little slide grooves. I asked my grandpop and he said they were for marking blueprints in the days when they were totally blue with white lines and figures. I never knew this!
Thanks again
Ricky

Time Waster said...

http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=6552


Dave read this =)
I'm sure 1st graders could handle mech pencils.
I can't believe people except for artists I suppose even use regular #2s

rfadream said...

Hi I have a question about "automatic" lead pencils. I have searched everywhere on google but havent been able to really find any solid answers.
Are the Pentel Sharp 205 and the Pentel Graphgear 1000 both "auto advancing" lead pencils like the Faber-Castell Grip Matic 1375?
They both describe themselves as "automatic" mechanical pencils. I'm confused as to whether that is the same as auto advancing lead as you write or not.

Kiwi-d said...

rfadream - unfortunately pencil terminiology is not standardised in any way. The Pentels in question are not auto-advancing, they are just ordinary lead mechanisms. The use of the word automatic by Pentel is completely misleading and confusing, particularly in relation to all their other pencils that are exactly the same but they don't describe as automatic.

Kiwi-d said...

Time Waster - an interesting read...its a different world in school...remember this article?

http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2009/01/short-and-brutal-life.html

Anonymous said...

FWIW:

Don't get stuck:

I have suggested re-purposing cheap pen caps that can fit specific mechanical pencils with non-retractable sleeves in order to provide pocket protection. However, if you can'f find a fit, the "pencil pull" product available at Home Depot and elsewhere fits over many mechanical pencils. Cut off the string and throw away the square holder with the clip. Not the most attractive solution, but it will stay on the pencil and protect your pockets.

Color coded storage:

The large plastic cotton ball canisters available at Target make very good pencil holders that can hold many pencils [or pens]. You need to remove the lid, of course. What's nice about these is that they come in numerous colors with some of these colors corresponding to the color coding for lead sizes used by companies like Pentel. So you can put your 0.5 mm pencils in the black or dark blue canisters, 0.7 mm pencils in the light blue canisters, and 0.9 mm pencils in the yellow canisters, etc. They also have dividers forming two small compartments that can accommodate accessories such as lead packages and erasers.

Bob S.

Anonymous said...

I just got the Tombow Zoom 505shA Mechanical Pencil - 0.5 mm and find it a solid performer. I like a writing implement with a bit more girth than the Pentel Sharp Kerry (of which I have several). This pencil seems to be all metal where the Kerry has some plastic. I have been unable, so far, to find out the proper eraser refill to get for this pencil. Does anyone here know what it is and where I can order it? I am a simple user of these interesting pencils and would like to see a review by someone of actual knowledge of the things!
Bryant

Louis said...

Hi everybody!

I just bought a Platinum Pro-Use 0.5 mm and am having trouble at changing the lead indicator, how do I do it? :P

Dwscamel said...

Hey, I've read this blog for a few months now. I spilled over here from the Fountain Pen Network, and I've gotta say, you're every bit as crazy as the people on those forums. Some of them have over 20 fountain pens, each costing hundreds of dollars, and some just collect vintage ones or just collect inexpensive ones. I found all the discussion engaging, though: the most mundane details about a writing instrument could become a topic, and I think the fact that we were talking about minutiae, not the minutiae itself, is what interested me.

You condense all their neuroticism into one person that is funny, accurate, detailed, and of course obsessed with writing instruments. I like the pencil side; even the cheapest pencil, as you've shown, is refillable, even those Bics that people think are disposable. I love your blog because of your ability to keep things so alive, seemingly out of nowhere - pencils don't receive as much attention or as many searches as pens, and the feedback you get from readers seems relatively short - yet, still, you make it work.

I think your ability to focus on detail and become absorbed in something makes you a happier person, and indeed, I feel the most enjoyment when absorbed in chess . . . it's not what you do, it's how you do it. (This sounds like that book "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihaly Csikzentmihaly.)

I have a Pilot H-325, simple sturdy drafting pencil . . . looking to pick up a Rotring soon. The 600 looks great, doesn't it? The Parafernalia Revolution is also horribly interesting but equally expensive :P. If I had a decent camera I'd review the pencil I have.

Anyway, rock on.

Kiwi-d said...

Crazy...absorbed...obsessed...neurotic...mad...who are you callin' CRAZY?!!?.
Nah, I can understand. Thanks for your compliments and comments.
The 600 is a fine pencil, and the new Rapid Pro. The Revolution is something unique, well worth owning. Hope you keep reading the blog.

Time Waster said...

I read the book flow =) sorta didn't read the whole thing.

Time Waster said...

As soon as DWS camel said he has a H-325 I had to serach for it on ebay.

On ebay some guy has Pilot H-325 pencils for 5.00 for 6 of them picked up 12 of them (I guess he has a few thousand on hand judging from the auction stats) I got them in the mail already since it was only one state away it's a real nice mechanical pencil slated for drafting but it has a above average feel to it.

razide said...

Kiwi-dave,
Great blog but you've really helped put a big hole in my wallet those GraphGear1000 & 500 aren't cheap here in Australia.

I have some PENTECH Drawing-5II 0.5mm mechanical pencils that I "accumulated" some years ago from work. I've never seen them mentioned anywhere and was curious about them.

They look like a plastic knock-off of the Pentel Graph1000 with a chrome clip and without the hardness indicator. The grip area is completely plastic but you can see the hint of a rubber texture moulded into the raised parts.

They are quite nice to hold & write with.
The one I have are black, blue or green plastic with a white washer like insert just infront of the grip area and a white tube at the back which holder the rubber(eraser) and coloured cap.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Razide.
Glad you like the blog. Well as MP fans neither of us can be too unhappy about the lightnes of you wallet :-)
I have heard of Pentech, but never seen much of their stuff. I've just assumed its just another brand of economy range generic type stuff.
http://www.answers.com/topic/pentech-international-inc

Vikram said...

Hi Dave,
I'm a fan of mechanical pencils just like yourself and have been very grateful to finally find someone who loves them just as much as I do. Since I am 16, most of my friends think it is a bit strange to love mechanical pencils so much.
Anyway, I was wondering if I could do a guest review for your site-I have recently traveled to Germany and acquired quite a few MP's. I can review any and all of the following:
FaberCastell TK Fine 9713, 9715, 9717, 9719
Lamy abc 1.4mm
FaberCastell Grip Plus 0.7
Lamy Al-star 0.7mm
Pentel GraphGear 500
Rotring Tikky II 0.7 (made in Germany)
Rotring Tikky Special 0,9 (Made in W. Germany)

(These are all pencils I bought in Germany-not available anywhere around where I am, Chicago.)
It would be a great honor to have a review on your site-that would seal my membership into the mechanical pencil world.

Kiwi-d said...

Hello Vikram
I'm always glad to consider guest articles and reviews. Contact me by email via my profile in the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Think back to the day when you first discovered the beauty of the mechanical pencil. It just happened to me the other day! I was sitting at my desk at work with 4 different mechanical pencils on the desk in front of me, that I had pulled out of the supply cabinet and was suddenly awestruck. Sure, I have seen them all my life, I am 40 years old, but only saw them as a tool. My weapon of choice was the ball point pen. All of a sudden I saw them as functional artwork that you can carry with you everywhere. So I "googled" mechanical pencils and found your great site. I didn't even know that pencil lead came in different sizes. Today I ordered two Pentel Kerry's because they were on your top 5 list. I also picked up a Zebra M-301 at the corner store. I am already trying to justify the need for a Lamy 2000...

2nd_astronaut said...

Maybe interesting for Australian pencil collectors: At epay there are at the moment some Faber-Castell pen display trays. They look quite good to me, but are in Australia...

Kiwi-d said...

Anonymous of 01 August. Sorry I haven't replied before. Welcome aboard and glad to have you on board the mechanical pencil bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

I just found this online today
http://www.uncrate.com/men/gear/office/sharpie-liquid-pencil/
Sharpie liquid pencil. I looked it up on amazon and they say its a mechanical pencil. Apparently it becomes permanent after some time but it can be erased like a pencil beforehand. Do you think this is the mechanical pencil killer?

Kiwi-d said...

"Liquid pencils" of various types have been around a long time and never enjoyed any real success...but who knows.

Anonymous said...

Can you write well with a drafting mechanical pencil or is it mainly for design and diagrams? Im torn between your list of top ten best mechanical pencils and top 10 drafting ones

Kiwi-d said...

Generally the answer is YES. It's basically a matter of personal choice regarding the grip. You can see some pencils are on both lists.

Kiwi-d said...

Hmmm, I mean't the YES to apply to the first part of your question "Can you write well with a drafting mechanical pencil".

Anonymous said...

Hmm well how about the other way around. Can you draft well with a general mechanical pencil or is a drafting more preferred? I was looking at the Kuru Toga (really cool concept) and was thinking if the point would be kind of annoying when drawing lines with a ruler and such.

Kiwi-d said...

Generally the answer is NO, you cannot draft with a general pencil. Drafting pencils are specifically designed to run smoothly along rulers and other such guides, thats the ket attribute that distinuishes them from general pencils. See the article and photo on the My Wiki Page, the link is up in the header block

Anonymous said...

okay thanks! This site has been a HUGE help in buying my next mechanical pencil!

Time Waster said...

One time I went into office max about 3 years ago to pick up some Helix drafting pencils. Some guy commented "Maybe he's into drafting" =) some other guy said "everyone uses auto cad nowadays" =)

Sapphire said...

Thanks Time Waster, now I feel really old. ;-)

Mhmd said...

An amazing blog! I am an amateur sketcher and am renewing my supplies . . . your blog has been a great help!

Since you're the expert I have some questions to ask:

1. different leads from different companies is it the same? i.e. a 2B from company A is it exactly the same shade as a 2B from company Z?? Should I try to get all my lead from a single company? any recommendations?

2. I'm looking for the "ultimate sketching mechanical pencil"! it would typically have the following features:
- non retractable, metal tip
- extendable, thin eraser
- a thin design, with a firm, non-rubber grip
My current preferences are Monami D-153, Sanford technician II and some brand called "fashion/'70" !

Thanks a lot !!

Kiwi-d said...

Mhmd
1 - just like wooden pencils there is no standardisation of lead darkness, hardness, etc from one brand to another. I always suggest Pentel leads.
2 - maybe check the Top 10 lists etc in the header of this blog.

Mhmd said...

Thanks!
1 - Pentel it is! One more question about leads: do certain brands "age" or "fade" less than others like you demonstrated with blue leads?

2 - Pentel P203 is my choice so far . . . I'm still exploring this blog though! any thing like a Pentel P203 with a twist eraser like Sanford technician II would be the perfect pencil . . . haven't found it yet!

Awesome blog!

Kiwi-d said...

Mhmd
1 - graphite leads are basically stable (unlike coloured leads) so "No".

tinium said...

Me too looking for a 0.3mm with a twist eraser, hate carry an extra eraser from place to place!

Anonymous said...

hi, just came across your blog (fortunately) and would appreciate your comment, the pincer on my caran d'ACHE mechanical pencil seems to have suddenly stopped working, the lead is not held, simply feeds right through and out the other end, do you know if this can be repaired and any places in Auckland I could take it to. bought overseas. Thanks

Kiwi-d said...

I don't believe Cd'A are represented in NZ and I don't know of any repair places. I'd suggest you try and contact Cd'A via their website.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your quick reply, will contact the shop I bought it from and see if I can sort it out that way.

Cheers
ps. love your site

Anonymous said...

Dave

I bought a rotring rapid pro- wow not a bad workhorse! Fun too. I have not seen a review on it yet--do you use one?

Thanks--- USA Surfer

Kiwi-d said...

Rapid Pro was a giveaway on this blog a couple of months ago. Reviews are in the pipeline...somewhere ;-)

Anonymous said...

Could you please review the Pentel Champ(AL15A,AL15B,AL15C,AL15V,AL17C,AL17F,AL17K,AL17P,and AL17V)?

Kiwi-d said...

Sorry, no plans to review the Champ any time soon, but I'd be happy to receive a guest review from anybody ;-)

Time Waster said...

http://www.youtube.com/user/pentelmarketing

I found this link on you tube pentel marketing commericals on mech pencils and pens.

Anonymous said...

Request for Pilot NeXtage Pen and Shaker Pacer review please :). http://www.pilotpen.com.au/items.aspx?G=133&P=5021444

Anonymous said...

Is Pentel a good brand?

Anonymous said...

Could you please review Pilot's "The Shaker?"

Kiwi-d said...

Pentel is one of, if not the, best brand.

RMinNJ said...

Your site seems very extensive and complete. I was wondering if you could review a Michaels Fatboy .7mm pencil. Currently I'm writing with one of his gel pens and while the pen seems too wide and heavy sometimes it
writes well with the gel refills. More importantly it
must be the most durable and well built pen I've ever owned...making my Parker and Cross pens seem like pieces of painted brass junk. I would be interested in how a
person such as yourself finds a very wide and heavy pencil such as the FatBoy?

Kiwi-d said...

Hi RMinNJ - sorry but I don't have a FatBoy and no plans to get one at the moment.

Pilot Lover said...

Requesting review for Pilot Dr. Grip Center of Gravity (COG).

Anonymous said...

Where does one find a 4B or darker 1.15mm lead supply? Also looking for a 2mm lead holder with rotational lead advance.

Louis said...

Hi!

Does anyone know what happened to www.pencils.jp? I was gonna shop for some more pencils and the link took me somewhere else :o

Kiwi-d said...

I just checked and pencils.jp was working fine for me.

Louis said...

It works for me now as well, but yesterday it took me to some other Japanese onlinestore that sold other things :P

But now I can buy more pens :D

Anonymous said...

I have a question.

I have recently bought 3 vintage Wahl Eversharp mechanical pencils. Two of them work well but one is blocked with compacted pencil lead near the tip. I have tried to push a paper clip through the hole. I have tried to gently hammer a needle through the hole, but no luck. Is there anything that dissolved pencil leads?

Kiwi-d said...

I don't know of anything to dissolve pencil lead. Hard to imagine pencil lead resisting a steel needle - if it does then I'd suspect its not pencil lead. Just try very slowly digging / gently chipping away with the needle. No pencil lead can possibly be harder than a needle.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a good pocket safe mechanical pencil, mostly for note taking. Can you recommend any? Thanks

PointFour said...

Anonymous, try searching Dave's blog for "pocket safe" using the "SEARCH THIS BLOG" Lijit Search at the top right corner of the main page. Also, look out for Pentel Kerry, Pentel Technica-X, Ohto Tasche, Pilot Vanishing Point, Papermate Apex. If you can accept a "blunt cone" tip or a retractable lead sleeve, your choice is wider and can include e.g. Lamy 2000, Pilot Rocky, Pilot SuperGrip and many others.