Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spoke Design Mechanical Pencil Review

Well it has certainly been a long time between drinks, but here I am, just in time to post one last thing before the year end. I thank Spoke Design for the inspiration to burst into e-print once again.

Spoke Design Mechanical Pencil Review

I was alerted to the Spoke Design mechanical pencil project back in July this year, and a little while ago they very kindly sent me a freebie pencil. I really like the pencil, so here's a few pictures and words on it. I will not go into the detail of the mechanism etc as it is a Pentel Sharp P205 series mechanism fitted into a new aluminium body.
As you can see they sent me a mechanical pencil, notepad and a sticker.

The mechanical pencil is packaged in a printed clear hard plastic tube which also secures the lead sleeve in place so the pencil is held very securely in position.

Lead sleeve inserted into centre hole of tube stopper

The Spoke Pencils self-adhesive label, pictured with the pencil stand or dock, and pencil.

I chose the black pencil because that's a standard colour for me, but frankly it was a mistake. The spoke cut-outs in the body allow you to see the internal lead reservoir tube of the pencil, but it too is black, and so with black on black you loose a great visual effect. Check out the gallery at Spoke Pencils to see what I mean.

Having said that, black is always in fashion, and the Spoke Pencil is a class act.

Note the cut-outs in the body, running down to the flared grip section. Like the body, the grip is hexagonal and smooth, however the flare at the tip of the body helps secure your fingers in place.

Note the single dot at the top of the body. That indicates this is from the first manufacturing run.

The pencil stand or dock is a very nice addition. It has an adhesive pad underneath should you wish to stick it in place, but it holds the pencil upright without difficulty on any flat level surface.

The original Kickstarter project saw nearly 800 pencils manufactured and shipped out. It was a stand alone project and production run so there may or may not be future production runs. I hope they will make more, because it is a good pencil and an interesting design. If Spoke carry on like they have started, then the guys at Porsche Design should keep an eye on their rear-view mirror as one day they might just see a Spoke cruising up behind them.

With that in mind I offer some comments for possible modification of future pencils.
  • This is a great pencil, be proud, put your brand name on it. I would also love to see "USA" on it too.
  • The pencil stand is a great idea and works really well. I wonder though that over time the metal on metal contact with the pencil tip section may lead to some wear on both. Perhaps a plastic insert in the stand is worth considering.
  • The edges of the hexagonal body are just a little sharp for me. Some more rumbling or perhaps some deliberate rounding in the finger grip zone would be in order.
  • In the right light, at the right angle, with good eyesight... boy, I'm being very picky here... you can see some very minor tool marks. A little more rumbling might help.
If Spoke make more pencils, and you don't already have one, then I suggest it is a worthy addition to any collection.
The Spoke Mechanical Pencil - definitely one to help the thought process.


Anonymous said...

Good to have you back. A very nice review - I love the manner in which the text interacts with the backgrounds - "Note the cut-outs in the body, running down to the flared grip section" - I guess it's the pencil you are referring to... :-) Well done, Dave.
regards Henrik

Gunther said...

I am happy to see you are back! Thank you for that detailed review. The SPOKE pencil looks great, and with the P200 mechanism one can't go wrong. I have ordered the aluminium version :-)

pauleibye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2 1/2p said...

Great post Dave, and as Gunther said, anything based on the P200 design can't be anything but good. Their pricing seems to include shipping although the website doesn't actually say. Do you have the weight of the pencil handy and any balance issues?.

Kiwi-d said...

Hello 2 1/2 P, long time since we last spoke... completely unintentional pun there.

Length = 145mm... should be the same as P205
Balance point = approx 75mm up from tip.
Weight = 16 gram

Not as heavy as you might expect from the look of the pencil. Balance feels neutral in the hand.

Gunther said...

2 1/2p: Yes, the price is including shipping.

Jeff said...

Great to see a new post. I saw this during the kickstarter project but held off - now I've gone and ordered one.

Brian @ Spoke gave great customer service - can't wait to get the pencil!

Anonymous said...

I read about the spoke pencil, but was not sure to order one. Thanks Dave for your review (after a long time), this made me order one from Brian:). How is the response of the pencil? Did you try using it with leads 2B or 4B. Any rattling so far?

Cheers,baktasch2007 from Germany.

Kiwi-d said...

Well the mechanism is the Pentel P205 and it fits solidly in the Spoke body so no rattling, etc.

Anonymous said...

Dave, thank you for your review of the spoke pencil!

I have received my spoke pencils today,hats off to Brian for his ingenious design and great customer service. I am looking forward to ordering other bespoke designs from spoke pencils by the end of January!

Folks, get yourself a spoke pencil!


Xaltotun said...

These pens are fantastic. I have developped a small fascination for them, and have bought several. So now, I have the green Kickstarter edition, the black one, the gold one, and the 3/4 polished one (it is very very nice!). Great pencils, will probably last forever!

Gary said...

Wow... what a great pencil! Thanks for this review, Dave. I wouldn't have known about Spoke Design if it weren't for your review.

They're coming out with more colors sometime this month. I'm stuck between going with the 3/4 polished and the blue. ;-)

Vin Pen said...

What a great way to photograph a pencil:) Beauty has been in favor of commercials for the last 100 years, why not just keep using it ... The one with the pencil stand I like the best.