Sunday, November 22, 2009

2000 and Scribble

I don’t usually write direct comparisons of mechanical pencils in the “Mechanical Pencil A v Mechanical Pencil B” style, but quite a few people ask those sort of questions, so I have decided to do this comparison of two mechanical pencils that are always close at hand when I have something to write.

Lamy 2000 compared to Lamy Sribble. Note that I am comparing 2000 to the Scribble 0.7mm mechanical pencil which has several differences to the Scribble 3.15mm clutch pencil.

The 2000 is a long tapering classic minimalist style mechanical pencil. Scribble is somewhat more unusually shaped. This photo hopefully demonstrates the difference in length and width between the two.

Weighing in at 19g, 2000 is 138mm long by 12mm diameter whilst Scribble weighs in at 25g and is 120mm long by 14mm diameter. Not surprisingly this difference in weight and dimension produces a substantially different feel in the hand.

2000 looks and feels long, slender, lightweight and precise versus the short, solid, robust, chunky heavyweight Scribble.

2000 has a brushed surface finish which gives a very pleasing tactile experience in the hand. This finish provides good grip and over the long term some patina from use may build up. Scribble has a lightly sandblasted type finish which also gives reasonable grip but doesn’t feel as interesting to the fingers.

2000 has a fixed conical sleeve. It is still a reasonably fine diameter at the point and I would describe it as only semi-pocket safe. On the other hand Scribble has a short retractable metal pipe sleeve. When retracted Scribble is considerably more pocket safe than 2000.

Both are normal push top button ratchet advance mechanisms, but they produce an unusually long length of lead. Ten clicks on 2000 will get you a whopping great 11mm of 0.5mm lead. On the other hand ten clicks on Scribble will get you 9mm of 0.7mm lead - that’s actually still quite a bit, despite being a shorter advance than 2000. Some recent comments on this blog have noted lead breakage problems with 2000. I definitely agree that 2000 takes some getting used to, and until you do so, you may have lead breakage problems. I personally believe most of the problems are associated with the unusual length of lead advanced by the mechanism. When you first start writing, two clicks of 0.5mm lead is way too much and you will probably snap it. You also need to get used to allowing the lead to wear right down before advancing another length. Lead breakages will also be reduced if you adopt a fairly upright stance when writing, and use superior quality leads. If you are happy writing with either 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead, and want a 2000, then I’d definitely recommend you choose the 0.7mm for improved resistance to breakages.

The black coating on the push top button of my Scribble has worn and scratched over the years through wear against the main body.
Both have small erasers under the top cap, and neither are worth further mention. Both also have clean out rods under the eraser which is nice little extra.

Both have strong functional metal pocket clips.

Both these mechanical pencils are great things, but Lamy clearly intend these two mechanical pencils to occupy different niches - 2000 is a 'fine writing instrument' and all that implies. Scribble is no lesser a testament to Lamys design ethic, but it is a note-taker, a jotter, a sketcher.

Further reading from this blog:-
Lamy 2000 Mechanical Pencil Review
The Life of 2000
Lamy Scribble Mechanical Pencil Review
A Day In The Life Of Scribble


Max said...

Thanks Dave! A comparison of two of my favourite pencils!!
One note: the 2000 holds a LOT of spare leads. The Scribble only holds a few.


B2-kun said...

Nice informative review. Almost tempts me to go out and get a 0.7 Scribble, but I am already quite content with my 3.15 mm version. Out of all my MP sizes, 0.7 mm is probably the one I use the least after the 0.9 mm.

Stephen said...

Hmm, why do I have the urge to give all of my mechanical pencils ten clicks?

A very interesting hypothesis about the lead breakage. Thanks for sharing it with us.

che pablo said...

Hi Dave,
Your recent posts are the worst temptations. In no way do I need another mechanical pencil. But, the 2000 is a classic with fantastic lines and amazing refinement. Continuing the lines of the pencil with a conical frustum instead of cylinder has great visual appeal. Then there is the ATX which has similar lines but with a rotating lead advance mechanism meaning easier use while writing. It seems that I will still be stuck in my "Lamy 2000 --> Cross ATX --> I don't need another pencil-->Lamy 2000" loop for a bit longer but you almost convinced me to splurge.

BTW, it seems that the body of Lamy 2000 holds up well. The fiberglass reinforced plastic always worried me.

Thanks for the post.

kiwi-d said...

Hi Che Pablo
Well I hope you stop your head-spin soon :-)
I think the 2000 body is definitely towards the bullet-proof end of the spectrum. I've read of inky people dropping it off tall buildings, running over it in their car, etc and no damage apart from some minor scratching.

che pablo said...

So, I am happy to report that I caved and bought the 2000 and it's near perfect. If I said perfect then I would have to stop reading this blog because there would be nothing left to learn. ;-) It looks great, vanishes in your hand during use (meaning great grip, weight, and balance), and is solidly built with a metal lead tube.

Maybe I should say it's the perfect drawing mechanical pencil. It's light weight combined with a ~2B lead allows light strokes to be made routinely but darker strokes made with greater pressure. With heavier pencils you pull back the pencil to make lighter strokes and push down to make darker strokes. Having the default be a light stroke is much more helpful than I thought it would be.

For the same reason, it may not be an ideal writing pencil for some since one has to press to make darker lines. I know that some like heavier pens for this reason. For myself, it doesn't make much of a difference.

So, thanks for the tip and I'll keep fooling myself that it's not perfect so that I can keep reading.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Che Pablo
Glad to have you as another member of the 2000 fanclub :-)

barron said...

Hi, I have a scribble 0.7mm and I am loving every moment with it!
The thing that works for me is the detachable holder so that i can comfortably turn the pencil to the sharp edge of the lead while writing.
And the feel of the pen in your hand is so great.
I simply love it!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi barron - welcome to the scribble fan club.