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Monday, January 30, 2006

Yard-O-Led Deco 34 Mechanical Pencil Review

Yard-O-Led Deco 34 Mechanical Pencil

The all silver square body and uncommon looks of this mechanical pencil make it stand out from your everyday office pens and pencils.
Twist action top to advance or retract lead. Extra leads stored individually inside the body, 12 x 3 inch leads making the “yard of lead”. It’s a bit of an effort to replace a lead. Each one has to be manually replaced, no automatic loading of a new lead like most pencils. The lead is 1.18mm, very thick by general writing standards of 0.5 and 0.7mm, but by frequently turning the pencil as you write you can keep it fairly sharp. One advantage is 1.18mm leads don’t break easily, but I would prefer a thinner lead.
The pocket clip looks nice but is a bit stiff, particularly compared to modern spring loaded clips.
The long tapering grip section is very good. This pencil really “fits” your hand, whether writing or just holding it loose in your fingers while you use the computer mouse. It has good balance and length. Its great! However, if you have a large hand you may find it a bit on the short side.
There is a nice presentation box, leather pouch and polishing cloth with the pencil. Being silver you have to give it the occasional polish to keep its shine, and the tarnish at bay.
Overall this pencil is excellent. Its not perfect but it feels and looks fantastic. Price to match! All those years of Yard-O-Led history are evident in this pencil.

  • Best Points – Looks, and the way it feels in the hand.
  • Not So Good Points – Lead diameter and replacement procedure
  • Overall Rating - Excellent
  • Price Range - Stratospheric

Dimensions – 126mm long, 8 x 8 mm square body. Balance point about 80mm from tip. Handmade solid sterling silver, “barley” pattern finish.


  1. Hi! Someone just pointed me to your blog, and going back a few entries to this post, I'm seeing a pencil with an exterior very similar to one that I've got, that I'm trying to locate leads for. Would this be a Yard-O-Led pencil?

  2. I'd like to ask how you grip this one so that you find it comfortable. I hold a pencil about 2.5 cm from the tip, at about 40 degrees from vertical. I find the Lamy Scribble and Pelikan D600 just right, but the Y-o-L pencils are nearly impossible because the slippery grip is so thin. I notice that really old pencils tend to be thin like this, so I assume people used to hold them differently.

  3. Hi Wendell. Well you are right in that if you like to hold your pencil at about the 25mm mark this YOL will be quite thin. I hold it at about the 40mm mark where the tapering tip is meeting the body. I normally hold pencils a bit higher than you, so going a bit further again up to 40mm isn't too much of a change.

  4. Hi Dave!

    I am wondering if you own some of those Graf von Faber-Castell silver pencils, they come with 0.7 mm lead. I think Yard-O-Led pencils are really cool, but mostly I use only 0.5 mm and sometimes 0.7 mm leads. So the 1.18 mm is really too much for me.

  5. Hello Louis. I don't think I have any silver GvFC.

  6. Best mechanical pencil ever. I really like the YoL product line = fountain pens and pencils (no ballpoints). I think the Deco 34 is the best.