Being all-plastic, the 771 isn’t a heavy pencil, despite its size. The first thing I noticed about the 771 when I picked it up was the size of the grip. It is a triangular bodied pencil, and in the grip zone the sides of the triangle are about 15mm long. Now that’s big. To be honest, too big for me. Here are a few shots showing the 771 and a couple of average size Pentels.
The grip itself is black rubber with grooves moulded into it. Its shape is tapering as it transitions from the triangular body down to the round tip section. The rubber compound is quite hard but does have some grip to it, so overall it does improve the grip.I personally found the grip tended to fit better in my fingers when the pencil was sloped down at a low angle to the paper, rather than a more upright stance. Of course holding it at a low angle accentuates the chisel point worn on the lead, and being triangular you have limited options for rotating the pencil in your grip. These are further limited by the large pocket clip getting in the way a bit. The pocket clip is plastic and reasonably functional, although it might not last that long at school.
The large chucky body also meant it was generally too large for me to comfortably hold in my fingers whilst doing something else like punching a few keys on a calculator or keyboard. Of course, for children and learner writers my comments about the body size maybe irrelevant.
The 771 uses 1.3mm lead which is obviously tailored for the child writer - large enough diameter to give it plenty of strength, but thin enough so that it doesn’t need sharpening for their general writing purposes.There is a small short metal lead sleeve, which is retractable for pocket safety. I quite liked the lead. Claimed as HB grade, it was nice and smooth and dark, and I would not have thought twice if it was claimed as B rather than HB.The lead advance is a standard push top ratchet mechanism. Ten clicks will get you about 8mm of lead. The mechanism has a good positive feel.
At the top end of the pencil is a large twist out eraser. The collar of the eraser cartridge is a red rubber compound and quite grippy, which is good. The eraser twists out and back in smoothly and easily. Mine certainly got a good workout in a few meetings – twisting the eraser in and out certainly helps time pass, and isn’t noisy. The eraser is about 7mm diameter with 28mm of useable length. It is a PVC-free compound and erases quite well.You pull the whole eraser cartridge out of the body to access the lead refill chamber.The only obvious markings on the pencil are the large Staedtler name and logo on the pocket clip. The stick on barcode and ID label includes the wording “Made in Japan”.
Overall then, not a bad pencil, just not really one for me personally.
- Best Points – the twist out eraser.
- Not So Good Points – nothing I care to reiterate.
- Price Range – Low.
- Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? - No.
Dimensions – Length 142mm, body sides 15mm. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.