Friday, April 28, 2006

Lead Size & Hardness

I have been prompted to publish this posting by people finding this blog with searches indicating they are looking for lists of lead diameters that are currently readily available, and some information on lead grades or hardness.

Standard Mechanical Pencil Lead Sizes (diameters) (Currently In Common Use)

Lead sizes are designated by their diameter, in millimetres (mm).

0.3mm / 0.35mm (Usually the same thing, just rounded down to 0.3)
0.5mm (The common fine writing thickness)
0.7mm (Common writing thickness, stronger than 0.5)
0.9mm / 1.0mm (Usually the same)
1.18mm / 1.1mm / 1.15mm / 1.2mm (Usually the same - a whole lot of different rounding values for the same stick of lead!)
2 mm
3.15mm / 3.2mm

Nowadays mechanical pencil lead diameters are all measured in metric. A common writing size is 0.5mm = 0.0197 inches = about 1/50th of an inch. The lead in ordinary wood pencils is usually about 2mm = 0.0787 inches = a little under 1/12th inch.

One problem is that some sizes are frequently rounded up and/or down to another number, without any consistency, so you are sometimes unsure what diameter you really have. Many of them started out as imperial fractions of an inch so the metrication of them also produced rounding. For example 0.3mm lead is usually 0.35mm just rounded down; 1.1mm and 1.2mm are usually 1.18mm rounded down or up, but sometimes 1.1mm is really 1.1mm as distinct from 1.18mm. Sometimes 0.9mm is called 1mm. For example my Rotring Tikky 1.0 takes a 0.9mm lead. Faber-Castell lead refills are marked 1.0(0.9) and 0.35(0.3), but Pentel mark theirs the other way around, 0.3(0.35). Confusing, but in general with these “variable” leads the differences don’t seem to matter as they are all the same thickness or the pencil mechanisms involved can handle the differences.

Lead Grades / Hardness / Darkness

There is no real standardisation of lead hardness or darkness. Leads are often called #1, #2 etc in the USA, but most of the rest of the world uses the "HB" system. H stands for Hardness and B for Black. In the middle there is also an F (for Firm). The more H's in the designation the lighter (and harder) the lead, and the more B's the softer and darker. So HB grade is Hard Black, 6B is extremely soft and dark, 4H is very hard and light. The standard writing grade is usually HB, which is about #2 in the USA. Slightly darker and softer is B, which is about #1. From the softest darkest through to the hardest lightest lead, the range is usually 6B up to B, then HB, F, and H up to 6H, but some manufactureres may go from about 9B through to 10H. As a rough guide, for the USA, #1 = B, #2 = HB, #2 ½ = F, #3 = H and #4 = 2H. But thats variable, one manufacturer marks some of their HB pencils as #2 and some as #2 ½ !?

0.5mm and 0.7mm are unquestionably the most common lead diameters and have a wide range of hardness grades available. Other diameters have considerably less selection of brands and hardness’s. For instance in 0.5mm Pentel offer 12 grades, but only 5 grades in 0.9mm. Most manufacturers offer far fewer grades.

Another point of interest is the change from ceramic to polymer leads. Somewhere in the 1 to 2mm range they usually change. I think it’s safe to say that under 1mm they are all polymer leads, and 2mm and over are all ceramic leads. In between it’s a mixture, but mostly polymer. For instance, I believe that the standard 2mm leads sold by Staedtler and Faber-Castell are just their normal wood pencil ceramic leads (without the wood!). Leads of 2mm and over are usually for use in clutch mechanism pencils – leadholders, clutch pencils, sketch pencils or whatever you prefer to call them.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pentel Fiesta AX105 Mechanical Pencil Review

I first got a Fiesta about 10 years ago, and even though it was from Pentel, I wasn’t initially all that impressed with it. However, for review time it was "put aside that old baggage and look at the Fiesta anew".

The Fiesta comes in a variety of colours and in 3 lead sizes - 0.5mm, 0.7mm and the less common 1.3mm. Mine is a blue 0.5mm, and in fact I’ve never seen the 1.3mm version. The tip is clear plastic, the lower body section is transparent coloured plastic and the upper body section is matching opaque plastic. I like the clear tip section as you can see the little lead holding jaws open and close as you operate the push top ratchet mechanism, but over the long term it does become rather dirty inside with graphite powder. You can unscrew it, but it’s still a bit of a drama to successfully clean it out. With no thin metal sleeve extending from the tip section, this is a pocket safe pencil.

There is a good long grip section on the barrel, with raised ridges to help give a positive grip. The ridges are quite smooth and rounded. I think they do a good job without irritating your fingers, as some more aggressive grip patterns can. There is a reasonably large eraser under the clear cover cap on the end of the pencil. It’s fairly successful at erasing out your writing, but when it is worn right down it can be a little difficult to dig it out and refill the lead chamber beneath. The pocket clip is like most integral moulded clips, better than nothing, but not particularly effective.

I think the thing I initially didn’t like about the Fiesta was that discontinuity between the lower and upper body sections. It sort of reminds me of a lobster leg - perhaps I should have bought the lobster pink one instead of blue? I have grown used to the look over time, but I’m still not really all that happy with it. On the positive side though, the long top section means you can hold onto it to use the eraser, and refill the leads, without activating the lead advance mechanism. The Fiesta weighs about what you would expect, i.e. not a lot, and it’s slightly top-heavy.

One thing I have noticed is that this mechanical pencil is rather temperamental when it comes to 0.5mm lead quality. I have had quite a few lesser grade leads break and jam inside the tip section. Still, if you stick to quality Pentel leads you shouldn’t have that problem!
  • Best Points – The separate upper body section means you can use the eraser without any chance of activating the lead advance.
  • Not So Good Points – A bit sensitive to lead quality, the lobster leg look (but then a lot of people like lobster so…).
  • Price Range – Economy.

Dimensions – Length 148mm, diameter 11mm at grip point. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rubber grips Part 2

There is nothing like putting your opinions up on the web for the world to see, to make you then question your own opinions and think again. Anyone who has read this blog knows I am not keen on pens and pencils with rubber grips. A few readers have suggested I "think again", and since writing my Rubber Grips posting I have felt less and less secure in my aversion to them. Also I am well aware that by avoiding rubber grips I am avoiding a significant percentage of pencils out there, and that despite my aversion, I actually have got quite a few pencils with rubber grips! (Gulp – serious lack of credibility issues here!).

So, for the past month I have been undergoing an intensive programme of “rubber grip re-alignment therapy”. Classical elements of Pavlovian and Systematic Desensitisation. Whenever I have bad thoughts about rubber grips I stick a fork in the nearest electrical outlet socket, that’s 240 volts of “don’t think bad about rubber grips ever again”; and when I imagine something nice about rubber grips I reward myself with a cool healing draught of fine ale. Also there’s the programme of acclimatisation, slowly introducing rubber grips into everyday use - first I visualise being in the same room as a bunch of pencils with rubber grips, then…

But seriously, I have been making an effort to be more open minded and to "think again" about rubber grips. So, coming up will be reviews of a few pencils with rubber grips, working my way up to the much vaunted Sensa, King of the Rubber Grips.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Parafernalia Revolution Mechanical Pencil Review

Parafernalia Revolution Mechanical Pencil Review

If unusual looks and designs are your thing, then Parafernalia from Italy is your sort of writing instrument manufacturer. The Revolution is one of their iconic designs, exhibited at the Modern Art Museum in New York. The Revolution certainly has a very unusual look – those rods, all black except for the metal lead sleeve and the six screws on the ends of the rods, it really does look “modern”, “artistic”, “designer” and all those sort of things.

The main body is three metal rods held together in a triangular shape by four tie plates. This triangular shape means it certainly doesn’t roll around on your desk. You can grip the pencil anywhere you like, although to me it feels best down at the tip where you can feel the central mechanism housing in between the rods. When you are having a bit of idle downtime I like the feel of it threaded through my fingers, “rolling” the triangular shape around, although it does feel unusual. It’s also very interesting to feel the stresses and strains of writing – you can feel the rods and mechanism move under your fingers as you write.

The lead sleeve is not retractable, so this pencil is not pocket safe. It is a 0.5mm lead size, push top ratchet mechanism, and there is no eraser. The pocket clip is a rather thin piece of wire with a rubber knob on the end. It does actually work, but I think it’s a bit more decorative than functional. It really looks a bit flimsy and I would be interested to see a clipless version. The weight is about what you would expect, but again its unusual, it almost feels weightless when writing with it, but it does have weight if you concentrate on it. Perhaps it’s something to do with balance and the weight being concentrated at each end, but probably it’s all just some sort of mental illusion bought on by the whole unusualness of the design.

As usual, I was using the Revolution for a week long review period. As the week went on I started to find that the pencil felt more and more unusual in my fingers, rather than me getting used to it. Also I started to feel that the grip wasn’t really positive enough when I was just holding it in “pause” mode. That’s not writing with it, just pausing for a moment to talk or view a computer screen and the Revolution would slide down in my fingers – something about the rods just encouraged that. You sort of just have to relax your fingers a fraction and it slides. This actually became a bit annoying.

The Revolution comes in a simple cardboard box, but you do get a wooden presentation / desk stand, which is a very nice idea.

Italy is a major industrialised nation with a long tradition of superior artisan craftsmanship and is a true world leader in modern design. I went to the 1988 World Expo in Brisbane, Australia and the Italian Pavilion was a marvel, it just oozed quality and superior design. Now, Parafernalia make much of their design heritage on their website, and emphasise the Revolution as “entirely hand-made with 31 miniaturised metallic components and push mechanism”. Against this background I am truly disappointed in the workmanship of the Revolution. Firstly the four tie plates that hold the rods in place are plastic (not metal) and have tool marks on them, presumably from pliers or something similar when they are being assembled. Secondly the push button top has a slightly bent shaft so it doesn’t sit straight on the top of the pencil. Lastly the wooden presentation stand is just plain shameful. When you open the box that this pencil comes in, the very first thing you see is the large sawn-off end of the wooden presentation stand. They couldn’t even be bothered using a bit of sandpaper to remove the splinters and wood fibres from the groove cuts in the block. To a person like me who has a little bit of sawdust in their veins this is just truly appalling. With this quality of workmanship I would be ashamed to sell this product, and Parafernalia should be to.
  • Best Points – A truly unusual design, interesting feeling the pencil flex as you write.
  • Not So Good Points – Disappointing standard of workmanship
  • Price Range – Mid / High.

Dimensions – Length 141mm, 12mm triangular sides. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Rotring Part 2

I have just come across this statement on the pens4less retail site.

"Rotring has discontinued all of thier (sic) products as of right now. They are going to be coming out with some new styles, but that will not be until the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007."

Seems a strange move to me. Shut yourself down for the best part of a year, and then burst forth again? Well I suppose it will generate lots of interest when (if) they re-appear.

Friday, April 14, 2006

No More Rotring?

"The report of my death was an exaggeration." - Mark Twain, 2 June 1897.

I am rather worried that Rotrings mechanical pencil section won't be able to say that about themselves.

My Rotring Core mechanical pencil arrived in the post yesterday. I have looked at the Core for a long time. Should I buy it or not? It's an unusual design, but its about as "rubber grippy" as you can get. But with Rotring basically withdrawing from the market I felt compelled to get one, simply because choosing to not buy one would no longer be a choice available to me. Other than the fact that they are discontinuing virtually all their writing instruments, I don't really know what's happening with Rotring, so if anyone does, please let me know.

I guess my upcoming reviews of my Rotrings will now be eulogies.

Also on the subject of upcoming reviews - when I look at the list of pencils I have reviewed, I have been ignoring the "economy" and "low" price range pencils, so I'll work on that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Noisy Lead - Lead Composition

In my earlier posting “Wooden Week” I mentioned how loud woodcase pencils were. I received some feedback on this statement that has prompted me to do a little thinking. So just when you thought it was safe, that pencil geek nerdiness could go no further……….

Now I’m no acoustics expert, and I haven’t gone out and hired an expensive sound level meter, oscilloscope and other equipment to conduct this investigation. I am instead relying on my two head mounted listening flaps.

My comment that woodcase leads were noisy was based on writing with the HB grade pencils of Wooden Week in comparison to a couple of mechanical pencils. To my ears there is just no contest, woodcase pencil leads are really noisy, but noise and loudness, good or bad, are subjective things. As Woodchuck commented, “Of course the sound of the pencil is also part of it's charm”. But then there is also a saying about one mans quiet mellow easy listening music being my neighbours deafening punk rock nightmare. So is there any logical reason why mechanical pencil lead should sound different to, and possibly be quieter than woodcase pencil lead? I think the answer is yes.

Mechanical and woodcase pencil leads are not quite the same substance, as they are made from different raw materials. Manufacturers regard the finer details of their lead compositions as trade secrets so this is just general basic level information. Normal pencil lead is a “ceramic” lead - primarily a mixture of graphite, clay and grease/wax. The graphite marks the paper and the clay is the binder that holds the mixture together. This composition does not have the strength to withstand the demands of thin lead mechanical pencils in the typical 0.3 to 0.9mm diameter range. These thin mechanical pencil leads are “polymer” leads - the mixture is graphite (and possibly carbon black) to mark the paper, and a polymer replaces the clay as the binding agent and oil sometimes replaces the grease/wax.

Graphite and Carbon Black are both basically different forms of the same thing, i.e. carbon. “Carbon Black” seems to be used to distinguish very fine carbon black particles from larger “Graphite” particles. I don’t know exactly what type of polymer is used as the binder. Whenever I see “polymer” I immediately think “plastic”, which is what some manufacturers imply with wording like “synthetic resin” or “carbon skeleton”, but one manufacturer is a little more specific, using the wording “high polymer on the base of a natural material” and then talking about carbon fibre strands from a cellulose (plant matter) base. Of course many plastics are made from “natural” materials, like the celluloids (from plant matter) and casein (from milk) as opposed to “unnatural” materials like petrochemicals. I often look at the buttons on an expensive suit and consider how they started out as cows milk. Anyway it doesn’t really matter what the polymer is – the point is that the binder is not clay.

Since woodcase and mechanical pencil leads are not the same substance, it’s obviously possible that they sound different. I could also imagine other factors like the size of the graphite and the clay particles, and their proportions in the mixture having an impact on the sound of the lead. Soft grades like 6B and 4B would sound different to hard grades like 4H. I tested some Staedtler Mars Lumographs in these grades and could hear a big difference. On some smooth papers the 6B & 4B woodcase pencils were silent while the 4H was still quite “scratchy” sounding.

There are also other possible reasons for noise difference. Only a very short length of a mechanical pencil lead is held by the pencil mechanism, and the rest of the lead is enclosed within, but not attached to, the mechanical pencil body. So it’s inside a (possibly) sound insulating container. This arrangement could also limit the pencil body resonating the noise of the lead. On the other hand, woodcase leads are specially bonded to the wood along their entire length so the whole pencil could vibrate and radiate the sound. This would also imply a possible sound change as the pencil was sharpened and got shorter. Also of course how hard you push the lead into the paper could have a volume effect. And then there’s possible volume effects from the type and coarseness of the paper, the desk underneath…..

This is all getting a bit complicated, I’m sure there is a Masters or PhD thesis in all of this! Alatavista and other search engines bring up some serious research involving breaking pencils and leads. It seems ill-treating pencils in the name of science is ethically acceptable. If you are crazy you can check out this foray into the diamagnetic properties of mechanical pencil leads! It actually raises even more questions about quality control and noise variations.

I would like to thank “Steve” and an anonymous correspondent for their thoughts and suggestions on this subject. I think I need to seriously consider the state of my mental health, so I’m off now to watch rugby, gnaw on tough charred half-raw BBQ steak and drink beer - got to try and get rid of that pencil nerd!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Faber-Castell E-Motion Mechanical Pencil Review

Since I started this blog, the Faber-Castell E-Motion has come up a number of times in comments and emails. I have been aware of the E-motion for a long time, but never actually had one, so I decided it was time to change that. At exactly this time, one miraculously appeared in the display cabinet at a local bookstore, so now I own one.

The E-motion comes in a variety of materials and finishes – wood, metal, plastic, animal stripes, etc. Mine is one of the original more traditional variants, the stained maplewood barrel with black plastic end pieces. This is a nice looking pencil; the colours, materials and contoured shape blend well together. The wood finish is smooth, but not highly polished or lacquered so it’s actually a little rough for my personal preference.

It’s a minor point, but the wood barrel on mine isn’t quite round at the front so the black plastic front piece doesn’t quite match the diameter all the way around and in places there is a little lip where they join together.

The pocket clip is very nice indeed, a spring loaded wave design. There is a good size eraser under the end piece, and it erases quite well. Overall this pencil is a little bit lighter than its short sturdy appearance would suggest.

The E-Motion is a screw mechanism mechanical pencil, which is a little unusual these days. You wind the top plastic end piece around to advance or retract the lead. It’s a really smooth mechanism. That’s “Mmmmmm, twisty, smooo-ooth” as Homer would say.

My pencil came in a nice little presentation tin, but there was no documentation at all. I had no idea how to change the lead. The Faber-Castell international website wasn’t much help, but the US site is full of information. Thank goodness for all those US lawyers making sure product information is properly available! Like most screw mechanisms, replacing the lead is a little bit complicated compared to standard ratchet mechanisms where you just simply put more leads into the tube. Spare leads are housed inside the front end-piece and you unscrew it to get them and replace the lead.

The leads themselves are a rather unusual 1.4mm thickness. Very nice smooth dark writing, but this size does mean you are stuck with Faber-Castell for refills, there’s no shopping around. The 1.4mm is bit of a problem for me. It’s just too thick for my everyday office work. I generally use 0.5 or 0.7, and stretch to 1.18 when its Yard-O-Led time, but 1.4 just seems to cross some “thickness threshold”. A lot of my work is on computer print outs and other documents in 6 or 8 point font so 1.4mm is massive compared to them. It’s almost a bit too thick for my general everyday writing to, but to be fair I have spent most of my life thinking 0.7 was a fat line.
So, at the end of the day, I like the E-Motion, but until it’s available in a 0.7 or 0.9mm lead I will keep reaching for my Lamy Scribble.
  • Best Points – The screw mechanism and the wave pocket clip.
  • Not So Good Points – The 1.4mm lead thickness.
  • Price Range – Mid.

Dimensions – Length 125mm, diameter 14mm at widest point. Balance point about 70mm up from the tip.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rules of the Collection

I guess whether the collector knows it or not, every collection has its themes. Actually I really want to call them “rules” rather than “themes”, but that sounds far too strict, so “themes” it is. Even if your theme is just collecting stamps or teaspoons or whatever, that’s the start and over time you often you end up refining the theme to something a bit more specific, so stamps becomes stamps with animals on them, teaspoons becomes antique silver teaspoons, or whatever.

If asked, I say that my collection is mechanical pencils, so what are the main themes of my collection?

Mechanical Pencils - first and foremost my collection is mechanical pencils. OK, lets be honest, that’s not actually true, so it’s really:

  • Mechanical Pencils, and multi-function pen/pencils, plus some ballpoint and rollerball pens, particularly when the model is not available in pencil format. I do have a rule against fountain pens - I do not collect them. Nothing personal against fountain pens, its just I have to draw the line somewhere, and I feel I could be opening a Pandora’s Box if I start including fountain pens, so I force myself away from them.

The Looks - I collect a pencil because I like the way it looks, which might make me a shallow person. Trying to define “the look” that I like is a bit difficult but there are some generalisations

  • Art Deco – I tend to like pencils decorated with geometric shapes, patterns, lines etc. My tastes often seem to fit into the Art Deco category in books on design and art.
  • Unusual Materials and Designs – fairly self explanatory, I tend to like unusual designs.
  • I don’t really like “rubber” grips so tend to not collect pencils with them. Similarly I’m not really a fan of swirling flowing filigree work on pens so I tend to avoid those.
  • I generally prefer “silver” coloured metals to “gold” coloured metals.

Brand - I like to at least have one example of a pencil from all the main manufacturers, just for “completeness”. Also I have an interest in a couple of brands so I tend to collect anything of theirs. Pentel, Lamy and Caran d’Ache would be my current "brands of preference".

Condition – Brand new is best. Good condition is important to me. Obviously if poor condition second-hand is all that’s available then that’s what I am stuck with, but it’s not my preference. This “brand new” theme is one reason why I don’t have a lot of older or antique pencils. I certainly do have some, but my interest is much more in newer contemporary pencils.

Having said all of that, there really is one over-riding rule – I collect something because I want to, but I do try and keep the themes in mind to help stop me going off on an endless spending spree!

Reviews and Articles

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

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

PRODUCT REVIEWSReview Process and Price Ranges – March 2006

Mechanical Pencil Reviews & Articles (Price Range in brackets)

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

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

For Reviews of and Information on Leads, click HERE.


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