Monday, March 24, 2008

Staedtler 925 25 Mechanical Pencil Review

Staedtler 925 25 Mechanical Pencil Review

A year or two ago when I was browsing Leadholder, I noticed the Staedtler 925 25, one of the many ‘Made in Japan’ Staedtlers that don’t really seem to make it off-shore. Leadholder made the extremely interesting statement that the 925 25 was the only leadholder model that included thin lead versions (e.g. 0.5mm) and a 2mm lead version in a series that was stylistically the same. To quote Leadholder, “This is the first and only 2mm drafting leadholder I am aware of that is genuinely a member of a set of thin lead mechanical pencils. From the model number to the mechanism, the 2mm version works just like the thin versions…” Sure some other mechanical pencils have a 0.5 and 2.0mm option, but the thin lead MPs are generally ordinary ratchet advance systems whilst the 2mm lead version is a clutch mechanism and there are other obvious stylistic differences between them. Now, that whole concept wasn’t something that I had really thought about before, so obviously the Staedtler 925 25 had to go on the shopping list. But my shopping list’s pretty long, and things can take a while to reach the top, but one day, a parcel arrived in my letter box. Inside was a Staedtler 925 25-05. The parcel appeared to have been sent direct by a retailer I hadn’t ever dealt with, and there was no indication of who it was really from. Eventually some enquiries with the retailer revealed the identity of my anonymous benefactor. It was a very nice surprise gift to receive, and forced to me stop mucking around and get its 2mm sibling, the 925 25-20.

It was then, with considerable anticipation that I got my two Staedtler 925 25’s out for their turn at “review week”.

These pencils certainly look “technical” with their all-metal silvery appearance, diamond cut grip, concentric ring patterns on the grip and the top button, long thin lead sleeve, etc. They look like they mean business.
The diamond cut grip on the 925 25 is very fine, and then has concentric grooves cut into it which add an interesting element to the aesthetics. Certainly there is no way you are going to lose your grip on this pencil, although as always the sensitive skinned might possibly find it a little rough and irritating. Kind of like grasping a pencil wrapped in “nail file”. One very slight negative about this grip is that the grooves in the grip tended to catch on the lip of the holes in my wooden pencil holder.

The weight of the pencil is about what you would expect for an all-metal pencil. The 0.5mm pencil is 17grams whilst the 2mm pencil is 21grams. Obviously the differences in the internal mechanisms, and the lead itself make the 2mm pencil heavier. I am surprised at the difference of 4 grams; I would have guessed a bigger difference as in the hand the 2mm pencil is very noticeably heavier. I don’t have the 0.3mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm versions, but I assume they essentially weigh the same as the 0.5mm. Despite the weight difference, the balance of these two pencils is basically the same, fairly neutral midway balance. Overall though I definitely prefer that little extra weight of the 2mm version.

There is a lead hardness indicator window just above the grip. You unscrew the grip a fraction to loosen the indicator and turn it around to display your chosen lead hardness. I always have an irrational thought of the whole front of the pencil springing off during this process, or working loose later and exploding everywhere, but it hasn’t happened yet. On the 0.5mm pencil the lead indicator has grades B through to 4H, including F, but on the 2mm version it has a very different selection, namely 4B, 2B, B, HB, H, 2H and 4H. This would imply Staedtler see the pencils being used for very different applications. The 0.5mm version indicator is a fairly standard selection for draughting purposes, but the 2mm version is apparently aimed at artists or a mixed market.

Up at the top end of the pencil, we have a fairly standard sort of top button or cap. On the top of it is a very large clear “.5” or “2.0” indicating the lead diameter of the pencil. This is excellent stuff. The printing is even in different colours so there is no doubt about what lead size your particular version is. Not surprisingly this is a push-top ratchet lead mechanism, you push the top button to advance the lead. 10 clicks will get you about 7mm of the 0.5mm lead or 12mm of the 2mm lead. This is a good solid feeling clicky mechanism, but I must say its very strange clicking away and seeing the huge 2mm lead charging out of the tip. On the 0.5mm version, you pull the top button off to reveal a small white eraser. You can pull the eraser out to access the lead refill chamber, and there is a needle attached to the eraser to help in the event of lead jams. You can’t really push the top button back on without activating the lead advance mechanism. Now, things are a little different beneath the top button of the 2mm version. Firstly, there is no eraser - the lead chamber is right there, and there is no room to store a spare lead inside it. The top button does not double as any sort of lead pointer, so users of the 2mm version basically have to carry a separate lead refill and lead pointer – but that’s not anything too unusual for 2mm leadholders. Both versions sometimes had a small rattle when in use which I believe is the top cap rattling inside against the side of the main body, particularly when writing at speed.
The lead sleeve is a fixed 4mm thin pipe on the 0.5mm version, and a rather fatter pipe on the 2mm version – but still fixed and 4mm – so no stylistic difference. Obviously these are not pocket safe, although the 2mm sleeve is so “fat” that its not really in the same pocket-stabbing league as most mechanical pencils. Perhaps the only stylistic difference in these pencils is the tip section, where the general tip section of the 2mm version is a noticeably larger diameter than the 0.5mm version.

The pocket clip is a rather simple plain polished steel clip – strong and functional is about all you can say. The Staedtler logo is stamped into the clip, but it looks a rather generic clip that’s probably a standard buy-in part just stamped for Staedtler or whoever the final brandname customer is.

“Staedtler” and logo, plus the model designation “925 25-xx” and “Japan” are boldly printed on the top half of the body. Overall then, the 925 25 is a good pencil, and I think the rather unusual addition of a 2mm version to the model makes it a pencil that mechanical pencil enthusiasts and collectors should definitely consider adding to their collection. Of course the Japan-only aspect of its distribution means you might have to pay a premium price and shipping, but there are a couple of online retailers who have it.
  • Best Points – Having a lead diameter series inc 2mm in the same model. The grip looks very efficient.
  • Not So Good Points – Not much really – they could have done a little better with the pocket clip. Maybe included a lead pointer with the 2mm version.
  • Price Range – probably Mid because of the limited distribution.
Dimensions – Length 143mm, diameter 9mm at grip section. Balance point about 70mm up from the tip for 0.5mm pencil and 75mm for the 2mm.

Leadholder says, “The history of thick lead leadholders, I think, is nearly closed. In the 1950s there were hundreds of varieties, many of superior quality and with unique features. Now there are few manufacturers still producing them, and even fewer, I'm sure, with any desire to improve them” Sadly, I guess he’s right, but then I like to think that the 925 25-20 shows that the door isn’t fully closed just yet.

Staedtler Japan remains a bit of a mystery to me. So many Japan only products, but some do get exported to the USA and other places. It all smacks of contract manufacturers, complicated distribution contracts with different parties for different countries, etc. A Staedtler, made in Japan, it just seems strange, a struggle to me, torn between two great pencil nations…this Flags of the World seems to fit exactly.

87 comments:

Anonymous said...

like the pencil! which vendor did you get it from and what was the cost? thanks

stephen said...

The 925 25 is a nice pencil. I have the 2.0mm version.

Leadholders as used by artists (mainly with 5.6mm lead) still seem to be alive. I'm not sure the internal mechanics get much investment, but art supply stores do seem to get new models every couple of years. Cretacolor and e+m Holzprodukte both seem to regularly introduce leadholders that I've seen at retailers in Canada.

kiwi-d said...

Anonymous - I don't normally make any statements about retailers, where to buy, etc, other than whats on my "Online Retailers" sidebar link. However, as this pencil isn't readily available in most of the world, I'll say that I got mine from Andreys Pencils, but thats not a recommendation for or against him, a suggestion that his prices are good or anything else, it's just a statement of fact of where I got mine from.

http://stores.ebay.com/ANDREYS-PENCILS

adair said...

I was surprised and a little disappointed by the light weight sensation of this pencil, as I was with the rare and legendary 925-95 version. They look more solid than they feel. The rattle of the top cap, on both the 85 and 95, seems something you would expect on a cheaper, plastic instrument. As it happens, the lowest pencil in the 925 series---the 25--doesn't suffer from this problem at all!

adair said...

Oops--correction! I meant the simple 925, not the 925-25, is the the lowest pencil in the series.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, thank you for perhaps your finest review to date...a really thoughtful and comprehensive job you've done. Boy, I'd sure love to find one of those 2mm beauties in an American big box office supply but it ain't gonna happen.

Barrel Of A Pencil

kiwi-d said...

B.O.A.P - yes it would be great to see the 925 25-20 in general office supply outlets. Its unusual enough that I'm sure it would sell if they could price it right and not gouge us for lead refills as well.
2mm lead refills often seem a rip off as I believe they are just the actual lead thats inside a woodcase pencil, and we all know the price of a reasonable wooden pencil, eg Staedtler Mars Lumograph.

Germ said...

have yet to get one of these. It's on the list, but is still available, so rarer more oddball pencils have been purchased ahead it.
still a very nice pencil, IMO. i also wan one in th eblack, the 925 35 05

Time Waster said...

I curious to how the 2mm would sharpen in a regular lead pointer?
Because the sleeve looks like the same diameter of the lead.

kiwi-d said...

Time Waster - good question. Yes, the sleeve has a thin wall section so the OD is not much more than 2mm. I don't have much experience with 2mm leadholders, and less with lead pointers, but if you clicked a decent length out I'm sure it would go OK in many lead pointers. However, on a normal leadholder the clutch jaws hold the lead very firmly and don't let it rotate whereas I don't think the MP mechanism has as much resistance to rotation of the lead so a lead pointer might cause some problems? Pehaps damage it over time? Don't know, just a thought. Maybe stick to good old sandpaper as a sharpener?

Germ said...

additionally, I may have to get one of those 2mm ones. They look stout, like me. hehehe

Dave Munson said...

Great review. I've ordered one of the 2mm pencils, as I believe it may finally end my struggle between liking 2mm leads and hating most leadholders. Never would have been aware of this if I hadn't seen it on your blog.

kiwi-d said...

Dave Munson - yep, sounds like this one might be "just what the doctor ordered" for you. Let us know what you think once you've received your one and used it.

aussiemike said...

G'day Dave,
Having lost (stolen by a student) my old green-metal barrel Staedtler clutch pencil (used to be my Dad's back in the '50's) I have long searched for a similar pencil. That one was perfect for every occasion!
Your review has convinced me to buy one of these 2mm pencils. As far as you know, is there any place in the USA where I could get one?
I'd appreciate a short note to my email at aussiemike@mac.com and yes, I am an Aussie. I teach at a school in Manhattan, and am looking forward to the day I can return to the Southern hemisphere!

Cheers,

Ausiiemike

Gunther said...

The eBay seller andrey543 offers it for USD 17.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what materials the internals made of? I'm sad when the plastic insides break =(

Anonymous said...

You can also buy it on ebay from:
http://stores.ebay.com.my/Ujuku-Fine-Japanese-Pen-Shop
The item is called:
STAEDTLER REG 0925-25-20

Anonymous said...

i would like you to review the alvin draft matic .9mm.

i have one. as far as writing goes it is great. the lead will not break no matter how brutal i am to it within reason. i use it mostly to mark on wood. so, having a thick led and a cushioned tip are key. the biggest troubles i have with it are that it will not hold more than one lead in the tube and still advance new led into the tip, it is not entirely made of metal (i hate plastic!), and that the hardness indicator is useless as it spins with great ease.

is there anything like it with all its strengths and none of its weakness in .9mm size?

Gunther said...

Anonymous wrote: Is there anything like it with all its strengths and none of its weakness in .9mm size?

I would recommend the Rotring 500 0.9mm (albeit no longer in production). Although it looks almost identical to the Alvin DraftMatic is has a much better production quality (at least to me). Maybe there has also been a 0.9mm version of the all-metal Rotring 600 but I'm not sure.

Humbert said...

I own a 925 25 05 and I think it's great. However, I would love to know about how the adjustable lead hardness/colour works?

Humbert said...

How come Staedtler, a German company sells this pencil only in Japan and not even in Germany?

kiwi-d said...

Hello Humbert
Staedtler offer very different product ranges in various countries around world. It is quite common for many (most) companies to offer a far wider range of products in Japan that the rest of the world. Guess it means that as a nation Japanese people appreciate and are prepared to pay for quality pencils far more than most of us.

The colour of the lead size is permanently printed on the top button so that cannot change. Each lead size has its own colour. You can rotate the hardness window as described in the article.

Gunther said...

As far as I know the different STAEDTLER divisions are almost independent from each other. Although there is some collaboration (e. g. Lumograph cores from Germany for Australian Lumographs, Thailand-made Minervas for Germany etc.) they also have products that are developed and marketed only locally.

Ryan said...

Greetings to everyone,

I reside in Singapore, where it can prove to be challenging to find quality stationary.

Anyway, Staedtler seems to have quite a number of models on the 925 line of mechanical pencils, a pretty confusing way to identify their products. The plain vanilla 925 even has a discontinued thinner version compared to current fatter one. The 925 25 model even has a ball point pen version.

So far I have seen the following online:

925
925 25
925 35
925 55
925 85
925 95

I will be interested to find out how does the 0.5mm versions of 925 25, 925 85 and 925 95 compare with each other in build, handling and performance. Does anyone know where the 925 95-05 might be available?

A belated Merry Christmas and an early happy new years to all of you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a MP newbie and just bought this from the Andreys ebay store (plus a spare pack of leads). It didn't come with any directions so I wondered if you could help. I figured out that pushing the cap causes the lead to advance. Is there a way to retract some if you advance it too far? Thanks, Ron

kiwi-d said...

With most MP's you push and hold the lead advance button down (in this case the top cap) and then you can push or pull the lead out. If the lead sleeve is retractable you can also push it back up into the tip at this time too. However on these MP the sleeve is fixed and not retractable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I pushed the cap down and was able to easily slide the lead back up into the tip. It seems to be holding it securely back inside. I was able to advance it and slide it back in several times so this seems to have solved it. I'm also ordering both Lamy Scribbles based on your reviews. This is a nice site and resource you have put together. Thanks, Ron

jan.hilding@yahoo.no said...

I had this pen since 1975.. before the current name. It is a genious pen... but not to be sold in Norway any more. It is right that the cap tend to loosen, and the rubber packing use to slow lead advance get worn with time.. this happen to all my 2 pens. But still- a genious pen.

Anonymous said...

I just bought this pen today, and I love it. I got it in .9, and plan to get the .7 version as well. Too bad they don't have the 2.0 size, as I really want to see a 2.0 lead on a ratchet mechanism...

cheers,
Nenad

dave deldado said...

I have the 925 and it will not fit in my Staedtler lead pointer that their regular lead holder is made to use. Anybody know of a lead pointer this guy will fit in?

Anonymous said...

Dave, pal. I feel for you. My 927 Staedtler wont either! UN FREAKING REAL. Do you work at a stationary store?

Anonymous said...

I just liked the types of mechanical pencils that were manufactured some 10 years ago from germany it was simply awesome. I still dream to have those types of pencils and would prefer to have them again in the market.I looked everywhere i could to buy them but the model was changed and those ones models i think are not manufactured anymore.

Robert M. said...

I just picked up one of these 2.0mm versions for a bit more than I wanted to pay for it, and then realized that it's only convenient to get Staedtler leads for it locally. Overall I like it a lot, and if I can get some nice smooth and dark HB or B leads, I think I'll be pretty happy. I normally use woodcased pencils (Hi-Uni and CDT), but this seems like a nice alternative for general use. Time will tell if I put it to as much use as I do my 0.5mm Pentel S475 though...I loaded that thing with 2B or 4B Pentel Hi-Poly and it's so smooth, it's smoove.

kiwi-d said...

Mmmmmm, smoove.

I like that.

kevin said...

Any word on which lead pointer works best? One of my co-workers has a Berol Turquoise 17 pointer with different size pencil holders. It works ok but I think the lead is spinning in the clinching mechanism.

Anonymous said...

Hi, For those who still used wood-cased pencils Staedtler also do a nice pencil extender with similar styling to the 925 25 mechanical pencils - similar grip with hardness indicator and eraser. The model number is 900 25. Sadly only available from Japan, although they do appear on ebay.

Wynne and Wes said...

wood cased pencils?
cavemen used those

Henrik said...

Dear Wes and Wynn,
You made me feel like a caveman! I use wooden pencils from time to time and find them to be very versatile for certain tasks. Wooden pencils are still used all over the world and have many followers too. I think your comment was a bit unfair.

Henrik

Wynne and Wes said...

I will admit that that was a rash decision of mine posting that comment. Wood pencils are better than mp's in some tasks because they are foolproof,reliable, and classic in a good way. I publicly apolagize to any follower I could of hurt writing that comment.

Wes

Henrik said...

All right – no offence taken. We all make mistakes – I didn’t get the”Wynne right”, sorry.

Henrik

Wynne and Wes said...

i started my pen review blog with my sister wynne but she has not really helped me out at all. So i am stuck with wynne and wes as my name

Steve D said...

Just picked up the 925 25-20 2.0mm lead holder and 900 25 wood pencil holder at Loft in Tokyo. 1260 yen and 1890 yen, respectively. The lead holder is very nice, but I don't seem to have a lead pointer that works with it yet (none of my Staedtler or Berol ones work as the barrel is too thick) The pencil holder comes with a twist eraser, but only holds 75mm worth of pencil in the barrel, so it really only works with the shortest pencils (110mm or shorter)

manilabae said...

I used a 923 25 05 for about a year
I had to get the lead sleeve replaced 3 times!
Just a fall from a table is enough to bend the sleeve because the pencil is so heavy

Anonymous said...

can anyone suggest a pencil more or less like this one (metal, heavy, not skinny like the Faber TK Vario) but (a) pocket safe and (b) 0.3mm? cheers!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the 925-25-05 is the same as the Staedtler Regulator 0.5 mm drafting pencil available on JetPens.com? www.jetpens.com/product_info.php/products_id/4702? That model number is 925 85-05 but it looks exactly the same.

2nd_astronaut said...

Anonymous from 2009-11-10, there are some 925:
925 xx: black plastic pencil; in production, available worldwide
925 25 xx: this one; in production, available in D and Jp
925 35 xx: same as 25 but in black; out of prod.
925 55 xx: gray plastic, different from 925 xx; out of prod.
925 85 xx: Regulator (adjustable lead increase); in prod.
925 95 xx: also Regulator, but different from 85; out of prod.

Gunther said...

Not so long ago the 925 65 05 has been added.

2nd_astronaut said...

Ah, thanks, Gunther. If I compare it to the 55 in your Mäppchen, the 65 looks very similar (except the color)...

I have got a 925 25 05 and 925 85 05. I prefer the 85 (not because of the Regulator, although the Regulator display is quite fancy), but because of the more comfortable grip. As Dave wrote, the 925 25 touches like a nail file :-/

Ryan said...

What about the 925 65 I found on ebay?

2nd_astronaut said...

Now a new color is available: 925-35N = night blue

http://www.staedtler.co.jp/products/01_writing/07a-mechanical-pencil/image/925-35-05n.gif

Brodie said...

I have the 925-35's in 2.0mm and 0.3mm if dave wants to have a look at em. Also have a couple of other pencils worth a look (Kuru toga premiums and the shift locks)

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Brodie.
Well I might take you up on that offer. Maybe if you send me an email direct - address is on my blogger profile via the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

I was just looking through some of my Aunts stuff and found a Staedtler Mars Technico 48002, has extra led in a tube as well. Very neat.
Andrea

ProfScott1 said...

Hello, Dave,

Your blog is a breath of fresh air! My dissertation begins with notice of the reliability of my old, wooden, yellow pencil when compared to the fancy new, but usually fatally flawed, mechanical pencils. Old wooden yellow wins, hands down!

Nevertheless, after years of experimenting, the Staedtler is my most favorite mechanical pencil.

I enjoyed your blog very much. My concern is the erasers. Do you have guidance on getting replacement erasers for my 925 05, 07, and 9505?

My searches brought stick, electric, and other types of erasers:
http://images.discountofficeitems.com/orig/39a/843/3e90b0551ff16ca115f272dcd2501f17a2.jpg

The Staedtler International site provided images but no way to purchase the 925 series erasers:
http://www.staedtler.com/spare_eraser_77_R55_eng.Staedtler

I appreciate the obvious craftsmanship in Staedtler branded products such as their 925 mechanical pencils. Now, however, I feel somewhat miffed that the erasers are not available at Office Depot, the store of purchase.
Apparently, the USA does not have it; only Japan and China seem to be supplied/suppliers.

I scribe/compose music and am in the throes of a dissertation. I searched for years to find a sturdy, reliable mechanical pencil and believed my "Eureka!" moment was worth the Staedtler price. Now, I really need my pencils to finish some of these daunting tasks.

The idea of finding something comparable is unappealing; however, it might be the only option to exercise my freedom of choice, at this point.

Do other sources for legal purchases exist?

I hope to hear from you or some blog contributors, soon. Bye, for now.

Kiwi-d said...

ProfScott1 - you could try contacting Staedtler USA to see if they supply to any retailer. Other than that...maybe make your own by cutting them out of a Staedtler block eraser?

PointFour said...

ProfScott1, Cult Pens say - http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/Staedtler-graphite-925-Premium-Pencil.html - the Faber-Castell 131556 replacement erasers available here - http://www.cultpens.com/cgi-bin/ss000042.pl?PRODREF=3227&NOLOGIN=1 - are compatible with the Staedtler 925.

Anonymous said...

If anyone's interested, I purchased a 925 05 at a Michael's in New York City. It's pretty light but it happens to be my favorite pencil. It was the last one on the shelf, unfortunately, if not I might have picked up two.

X said...

This looks like a really nice pencil, I think I want the o.5 mm one for school and general usage. I don't draft or anything of the like but it looks like it would be comfortable and a cool thing to have, as me and my friend are always trying to out-pencil each other. (Can I say ut-poencil?) But in all seriousness it does look like a great pencil

Alpha Blogg said...

Can you please post a review of a Staedtler 925?
I recently bought one at a local staples store and it is very similar to the 925 25 but it also has its differences. I like it and would like to know what you think. Mine is black (I think its plastic but I'm not sure) with a black rubberish grip that is longer than this 925 25 and a tip the same as the 925 25.

Kiwi-d said...

Alpha Blogg - I'll try, but I've got a backlog thats months long already. Of course, should you feel you can't wait and would like to do a review yourself, then I'd be happy to publish it as a guest article :-)
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Hanging around this blog, lurking if you will, I got the pencil bug and decided to invest in a nice drafting pencil to do my daily journal writing. This one, 925-25, was tops on the list and moderatly priced, so I took the plunge.

I was surprised at the lighter feel. It looks heavier than it is. I was also surprised at the different feel to the grip when compared to the Pentel Graphgear 500. Much easier on the fingers. I've decided I prefer a rubber grip but this is not bad. Might add some rubber using orthodontic elastics, as suggested some place else on the blog. It is in the early testing stage but it is cool to own a higher end pencil. I may go for some other top rated tools in the future.

Initial observations tell me that the workings of good pencils are similar, it's the feel and bells and whistles that make the difference. I say this because I love using my new P 207s as a school teacher. They work great but look cheap. (I mean inexpensive.) The Stadteler wouldn't last too long if left on my desk.

One thing I discovered today, while teaching, was using a drafting pencil with a document projector is GREAT. A document projector is basically a mounted camera that sends a video feed to a projector. I can sit at my desk and do problems with a great sharp line and a fantastic pointer. I'm using .7mm lead and the lines look like thin, black marker when projected. I can erase as easy as a chalk board too!!! Need some of those click, click eraser things next.


Still looking for a reccomendation for a heavy, pencil with a rubber grip. Any help?

Thanks Dave. The document projector thing was worth the money spent on my newest compulsion.


RPB

Rot Ring said...

@RPB
if the grip has to be rubber like, then take the best: SENSA
first view:
http://www.sensaonline.com/page/pencilJetSet.htm
and then of course here:
http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/2006/08/sensa-carbon-black-mechanical-pencil.html :D

-Arne
:)

Anonymous said...

Just read up on sensa. Thanks for the tip. Not a lot of information out there. Sounds interesting. Need to do some more reasearch. They are expensive!

RPB

Mark said...

This review was excellent and it spurred me to order one of these a couple weeks ago. I received it the other day and I am really liking it a lot. I mainly use it for engineering design diagrams and I prefer 0.5 mm.

Thanks!
Mark

Bobert McBoberton said...

Just bought 2 online, one for me and one for my friend. Hopefully it will be here soon. BTW for the extremely gullible. I'm not ACTUALLY Bobert McBoberton. It's just fun to combine nicknames and their original names. Like Billiam.

Bobert McBoberton said...

They came in the mail today, they're nice. I like the grip especially since my school seems to not have A/C my pencil gets slippery and I can't hold on to it well due to the rubber grips. This pencil seems to be the solution though

Dexter said...

Hiya folks. I, too, am an MP newb and am ready to to buy my first good pencil. My first introduction to them was my friend with his rotring, but I just can't justify $150 for a pencil....at least not yet.... I had pretty much decided on a 925 25 20 until I saw a picture of a 925 35 20. Now, here is my first question.

http://www.myeasypics.com/is.php?i=861525&img=35-09.jpg

Is the 925 35 20 really this color of blue I see in the picture, or is it black like I've read in a number of description/spec pages? Second question - leads - HB, B, 2B, 4B, which one? I will be using the pencil mostly for writing, mainly on shiny pages in, say, a birding field guide book. Last question - anyone dealt with "pixiemall" on ebay? Thanks for your time.

Rot Ring said...

An original rotring 600 (old style) costs about 40 USD on ebay Germany plus some bucks for shipping worlwide.
An example: 170636375656 <- enter this number in ebay's search field

150 US$ are more than crazy.
-Arne
:)

Kiwi-d said...

Dexter - the choice of lead hardness grade is very personal and you will need to experiment and decide what suits you, your paper and your eraser best. Whilst I would normally suggest people start with HB, since you specifically mention "shiny pages" I might be tempted to start with B or 2B.

Dexter said...

Rot Ring - thanks for the info on the 600, definitely worth a reconsider!

Kiwi-d - :) - I figured that lead would become a personal thing. Probably should have worded the question differently. I was just looking for a place to start and your recommendation gives me that. Thanks very much!

Anonymous said...

I obtained the entire 925 25 kit (from 0.3 to 2.0).
Have to say that Staedtler made these less looking like pencils and more looking like precision surgical instruments. Very well-made: There is an o-ring between the shiny conical tip and the knurled grip portion.
Eraser is too small to be of any use, in my opinion. It's fine of Staedtler to have clearing pins integrated as shipping shocks and such, my thin-nozzle 925 25 all came with broken and jammed leads.
Onto the grip... I got meself a Faber-Castell TK-Fine Vario L a bit while ago. With the Vario L, light finger pressure is more secure than heavy pressure. It is exactly the reverse with the 925 25: I need to apply more pressure than with the Vario L to obtain a secure grip, but once the correct amount of pressure is applied, there is no way to lose it. It's pretty much wrapped in sandpaper.
Oh, and also, the 925 35 (black or dark blue one) is apparently a Limited Edition. Grab that if you can.

Anonymous said...

Interesting... After a day of use, I don't know what I'm doing wrong but almost every time I pull off and push back on the tail cap (with lead diameter number), the lead breaks somewhere in the claw mechanism (behind the three grippers). It doesn't break between the claw and the nozzle; I have compared the length of the broken lead. Three Mars Carbon leads were instantly downed. It stopped for now though...
Any ideas? Thanks.

Dexter said...

So I took the plunge and ordered the 925-35-20N from "pixiemall". Just got it! along with a 513-85 double hole lead pointer/sharpener and an assortment of leads. 11 days from Korea to Western Canada, not too bad at all at all! The pencil is a nice navy Blue and its gorgeous! Also, I managed to find a local source ( a drafting supply store thats been around for eons)for this older style packaged 526-50 eraser -

http://cdn.dickblick.com/items/215/00/21500-0000-3ww-l.jpg

is it hard to find? or is it just me? All the regular stationary stores seem to only have the darker blue packaging. Anyways, I digress. The 925-35 is an awesome looking pencil. Can't be happier. Thanks for all the advice folks.

Anonymous said...

Been using the 2.0 one for almost a year. The most perfect general day to day mechanical pencil ever invented. Period. (IMHO)

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a vinatge 2mm pencil (not received yet), apparently 12mm in length. Being my first cluth holder owned, how do I shorten the 2mm to fit into the pencil, without damaging the lead.

Kiwi-d said...

If the stick of lead is too long to fit into your mini pencil just snap it off at an appropriate length. You could score the lead first with a knife so it snaps cleanly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice Kiwi-d, I have the vintage pencil and have been using it today, the 2mm lead in its clutch jaw annoyingly moves up and down with slight pressure, the previous owner advises to use "filler" and not graphite lead, tried looking up filler, didn't find anything really related that can be placed in a pencil. Will "filler" lead help in this vintage pencil, if I find it!

Kiwi-d said...

Sorry, I have no idea what filler is.

Alex said...

I have bought two 925 25 05 (one for a friend).
As this reviews denotes it, it is indeed a flawless mechanical pencil, except for one thing: I must have got a defective one, because mine will break every leads inserted systematically.
I noticed, when I remove the cap, that when a lead is held in the chuck, any slight vibration will break it (sometimes, even letting it still will). It's like if the spring pushing the chuck is too strong and simply breaks the lead.

Sadly, this renders it unusable. Which is a sad thing because writing with it (as long as I didn't had to push the lead) was extremely nice. Really.

Joao said...

Hi Dave,

I bought one from ebay - the 0.5 one.

I was under the impression that it was totally made in alluminium but I find

it's body in ordinary plastic - there is only one part in aluminium.

Is mine a fake one?

João Oliveira

2nd_astronaut said...

Joao, sure you have the 925 25 05 and not 925 05 or 925 65 05? I am too lazy to look for my 925 25 05, but I am quite sure that the body is Aluminium.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Since you come from NZ, if you fancy having a trip, why not go to Hong Kong? Mechanical pencils there are very cheap. I've seen shops that sell this 925 25 in .3, .5, .7 and .9 with just HK$80 (NZ$13, US$10, 6.5 pounds)and there's a huge variety of mechanical pencils. Shame they don't import Pentel GraphGear 1000s to here, but they do have Pentel GraphGear 500s, Pentel Graph 600, Pentel P200 series, Pentel Technica-X, Staedtler 925, 925 25, 925 55, 925 65, triplus 776 (the big brother of the 774), Pilot Super Grip and its relatives... They even have an Alpha Gel version of the Kuru Toga for around HK$50 (NZ$8, 4 pounds, US$6.5). And the food here's delicious too. The government's ***p though.

Ain ('t)

Anonymous said...

I think the reason that the 2.0mm version has a different lead indicator is because those lead grades are the only ones Staedtler is currently offering, not because of a mixed market

Anonymous said...

i love the uni kuru! got one for christmas and the cool thing is that it actually works! no scandals or hoaxes it actually works, the one downside to this is a mechanical pencle like this deserves to have all metal parts that last longer and less cheap plastic, the clear window feel cheap to me for $10 at office depot

Dragutin Jovanovic said...

I like this pencil. It is comfortable when writing.

Anonymous said...

This page is where I learned about this particular mechanical pencil. I bought one, and was very happy with it...for ONE whole semester. Then, during my math final, it just stopped feeding lead. No matter what I did, the lead simply would not advance when I pushed the button. At first I thought it was jammed, took all the lead out and used the built in tool to clear the mechanism but there was no jam to clear. The only thing I can figure is that the clutch failed. I'm particular about my mechanical pencils, I will never buy another Staedtler.

Matthew Demmer said...

I thought I would add my two pence to this article.

I have owned this pencil for around 18 months as an Underground Geologist. Pencils are an integral part of my work. This has held up superbly well in tough conditions - the mechanism still works well. I no longer have an end cap, the plastic housing where the leads are held has degraded and started to split.

My main gripe is the pencils nib. This is approx. 2 mm long and very weak. The pencil has been dropped numerous times and this nib bends extremely easily - obviously preventing any lead feeding through, so after using the in-built cleaning tool (very useful) I have to straighten the nib with pliers very carefully to get the lead to feed again. This has probably happened a few to many times and I now can no longer get the lead to feed through the nib without it breaking. Will I be buying another one? Probably yes, it is difficult to find a robust pencil at this price for the conditions and frequent use it gets in my line of work. Thanks for the review and recommendation.