Thursday, September 07, 2006

PAPERMATE TECHNICIAN II MECHANICAL PENCIL REVIEW

A little while ago I received an email from a reader asking if I would accept a guest review of their favourite mechanical pencil. I hadn’t really considered the idea of guest postings, and although I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it, a little bit of variety every now and then is surely a good thing. So, here’s Eric’s review of his favourite pencil. (Dave)

PAPERMATE TECHNICIAN II MECHANICAL PENCIL REVIEW

In this day and age, there are countless automatic pencils out there to choose from - pencils that have textured metal grips and rotating lead degree indicators all the way to pencils that have customizable tension settings for the lead as well as settings for the length of the lead sleeve. The choices, it seems, are truly endless.

The Papermate Technician II 0.5mm pencil is the pencil I use. I am an artist and it's the only pencil I draw with. I really like this pencil. I had been using a Pentel Sharp 0.5mm previously and it was a great pencil. The only thing it lacked was a good eraser - an eraser of substance, and every good pencil artist needs a good eraser. The Technician II is armed with a unique 1-inch twist eraser cartridge. The diameter of the eraser is the perfect size - great for erasing tiny spots on a drawing without ruining the rest of the drawing; or perhaps great for the draftsman using an erasing shield. One thing people may not be aware about mechanical pencils - most of us don’t draw directly on top of the paper - we draw using the side of the lead (at an angle). So for me, my 0.5mm pencil doesn't draw true .5mm lines on a regular basis. I rotate my pencil constantly as I draw with it - creating a chisel point. I use the broad side for shading and tonal work and the sharp tip for fine line details. Also, I only use HB leads. I am a simple guy and the less tools I have to work with the better. I find that I can achieve all needs with 0.5mm HB leads.

The Technician II is a solid yet lightweight mechanical pencil that fits very comfortably in my hand. Perhaps some of this is due to a rubberized grip. Normally I don’t care much for metal/rubber grips. I don’t think you need them all that much. But this particular grip is pleasing.

So, instead of having a wood pencil, metal sharpener, and vinyl eraser at my drawing desk - I have just one item that encompasses ALL of those and it comes with the convenience of never changing length or weight and gives me storage space for 10 extra leads. That particular item is the Papermate Technician II mechanical pencil - the only pencil I draw with.

Papermate Technician II 0.5mm

PROS: 1-inch twist eraser
Rubberized Grip
4mm Fixed Sleeve for Drawing

CONS: Absolutely NONE.

I would like to thank Dave for extending me the opportunity to put in this review. I think this is one of the best, most affordable drawing pencils out there.

ERIC R. FRAZIER
Houston, Texas


Peregrine Falcon - The fastest thing alive.
(All images and artwork by EF)


Footnote: Note there is no pocket clip shown in the photos. Eric mentioned that he removes the chrome pocket clip because of the way he rotates the pencil whilst drawing. Sound familiar? (Dave)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave,
I have one of these in a 0.7 mm. This was the only gauge of lead I could find. I agree with you that this is a fantastically designed pencil. But, I have noticed one flaw. My pencil tends to flex a little in the grip area. It is a nuisance to me, and makes me feel like the barrel could snap at any time. Maybe Papermate should look at a sturdier plastic or switch to steel.

Anonymous said...

I, too, use the Technician II in a 0.7mm for all my work, and as I am retiring soon, I came to your website to buy more for home use. I love the ruberized grip, but mostly the twist erasers ... those other little things never work right after you use up the first one and try to load another. But the twister is wonderful, the best thing since sliced bread. I leave my pocket clip on, and by the way, I have had no trouble with flexing in the grip area.

Anonymous said...

I like this pencil because they dont break every time I turn around.
This pencil has a good feel and is confortable in the hand.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you review a pencil that is out of production and pretty much impossible to get anywhere.

kiwi-d said...

Fair question. In general I do only review current pencils, or ones you can easily get. But that’s only a rule of thumb. I’m sure you can find a review of an old classic car in a current auto magazine. What would you suggest I do about pencils that were in production when I reviewed them but have since been discontinued? Delete the review?

This is a blog about my collection, pencils in general, related stuff, etc. I have done some articles on old stuff. The Technician review was by a guest reviewer. I got an email from a person who liked my blog, liked their pencil and asked if they could write a review of their favourite pencil. I didn’t want to stand in the way of the creative process! I don’t think there’s anything wrong in writing about something that’s out of production. Certainly I’ll be posting stuff on old pencils, etc.

Anonymous said...

What??? It's out of production? I love this pencil. It's all I've used for years now. I once ordered about 20 different kinds of mechanical pencils to find one I liked. The Technician II (0.5 mm) is the pencil for me. Once I found it, I ordered 2 or 3 boxes of a dozen each. I still have an unopened box, so I should be OK for a while yet (and no, they are not for sale). Uhm, my box says Sanford, not Papermate. I don't know what that means, but it sure sounds like the same pencil to me. Nice rubberized grip. Twist-out-to-advance eraser with no stupid separate cover to lose. I design spacecraft and even though we use fancy CAD software, I still "think" on paper with pencil. Yup, this pencil is a classic.

Marie said...

This pencil is NOT out of production. You can get them at Amazon.com.

This is the pencil I use for Sudoku. I load the 5mm with 2B lead for a fine,dark line that doesn't dig in even on glossy magazine paper. The skinny twist-up eraser is great for lots of precision erasing.

Rob said...

Even better is the Papermate pro touch II. I have the 0.9 version that is a little on the thick side, but other sizes are available as well. It is the exact same pencil as the Technician, which I also own, but it features a sturdy metal grip, lead hardness indicator, and has a nice weight to it compared to the lighter technician.

Anonymous said...

It looks like another knock-off of a Pentel p205 with just a few design changes (so as to protect Pentels patent). I was in a stationary store and saw a Sanford Technician II, it's identical to a Pentel p205, except for alittle design difference in the pocket clip. I also seen another p205 knock-off in OfficeMax, they were also identical except they had the OfficeMax brand name on them plus another pocket clip variation which didn't stray from Pentels design too much. These are all basically the same pencil, came out of the same factory, same assembly line, but with just another brand name on them and a design difference that's small enough as to not infringe on Pentels patents.

Anonymous said...

That's odd. I've seen a pencil called the "Sanford technician II", and it's exactly the same as a Staedtler 9505. This looks similar to a Staedtler/Sanford, except it has a different grip and the tip looks very similar to a Pentel P205. But I understand why you like this, I love my Staedtler!

Anonymous said...

Are these for sale? I've been trying to buy some forEVER and can't find them in stores.

Wynne and Wes said...

they probably are online, but no i havent seen the technicion in any stores

Marie said...

Ok. NOW they are out of production. I was able to find some at a Dick Blick store but not on any website. If you are as upset as I am about this, write an impassioned letter to Papermate and maybe they'll bring it back.

Time Waster said...

I found a buncha links including ebay for the Technician

Anonymous said...

Being an engineer and amateur painter, I frequently use pencils even in my casual meetings with client. I have used so many pencils till now but Papermate Technician II 0.7, which I bought from J&R at NYC downtown, is fabulous. I am still using this pencil. Recently I've purchased 0.5 refills for my pencil and wandered through out several websites to know how to reload this pencil.

Anonymous said...

i use an office Max version of the pnetel P205 with 0.05 lead. it feels all scratchy in there everytime i click the top to release lead....any idea why?

JP Shepherd said...

Just found a box of 12 of these for sale on ebay for $20!! So excited! This has been my favorite pencil since 1995! I still have one of my original blue bodied ones back when Sanford made these and the bodies came in blue, black and green. Now they have the Papermate brand on them but it is still called the technician II and is still the same pencil, just a very slightly different pocket clip. I also found a pack of 6 on overstock.com, but it was $17.95 for 6. Besides that they are selling individually for about $7/ea on a couple specialty websites online. Can't wait for my resupply so I can have enough to last me another 15 years!

Marie Ruggirello said...

You can get these pencils now at Overstock.com at 12 for $22.49.

DaltonHawkPaull said...

The papermate/sanford Protouch II is my favorite pencil. Why haven't you reviewed it yet?

David said...

I just came across these in the local Dollar Tree. A pack of 5 for $1. That's right! 20 cents per pencil! THe "value pack" comes with three 0.7 Technician II in black, one 0.5 Technician II in blue, ans one 0.5 Technician in blue.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,
This is now Sept 2014, and I hope that someone can steer me to a supplier of the Sanford/Papermate Technician II. Any reply is appreciated.
My email is "steve@jigglebug.com"
Thanks.