Monday, February 13, 2006

Lamy Scribble Mechanical Pencil Review

19 September 2009

Before I started this blog I was a fan of the Pencil Revolution, and I had a couple of submissions published there. One of the first reviews I ever wrote was a review of the Lamy Scribble mechanical pencil which was published on P Revo back in February 2006. Unfortunately the Revolution has since wound down and I guess at some stage it might disappear from the web, so I have decided to repatriate a copy of my review and publish it here on my own blog. My Scribble review was written in Revolutionary style, which is somewhat different to the style of this blog.
So, from Feb 2006

Lamy Scribble Model 185 / 186 Mechanical Pencil Review.

Lamy Scribble mechanical pencils black and palladium
Something about the Lamy Scribble just makes me want to pick it up every time I see it. Perhaps it’s the short, fat, sturdy look reminding me of a child’s favourite pencil or crayon. “Pick me up, and lets have some fun” – that’s what Scribble seems to whisper to my sub-conscious.

Technical data:
Material: Plastic body. Metal end-cap, front cap and pocket clip.
Shape: Round cross-section, 13mm diameter at widest part. 121mm overall length.
Finish: Black plastic body “sandblasted” satin sheen finish. Metal trims either black coated (Model 186) or palladium plated (Model 185).
Core: 0.7mm lead. (A 3.15mm model also available)
Point Type: Retractable metal sleeve.
Mechanism: Push top ratchet.
Top: Capped eraser.
Eraser: Miniature eraser under top button, white (unknown) material, needle attached.
Markings: “LAMY” printed in silver at top of body, “7” (for lead diameter) on top of the top button.
Packaging: Folded card presentation sleeve.
Availability: Readily available worldwide in shops and internet retailers.
Origin: Germany.

Scribble looks short and sturdy, and that’s what it feels like in your hand. The thick, gently tapering body makes it easy to hold anywhere you like – down close to the tip or halfway up the body - and the smooth yet slightly textured sandblast finish lets you get a good solid grip. Add in a reasonable weight, and everything combines to produce that overall look and feel of a no-nonsense, ready for action pencil. Scribble is also very well balanced to just idly twirl around in, or thread through, your fingers whilst contemplating the state of the universe.

The pocket clip is good and springy. It’s also removable for those who don’t like pocket clips. Unfortunately it just doesn’t stick out quite far enough to readily stop the pencil rolling around on your desktop. I always use my Scribble when I am out doing fieldwork. The short length means I can clip it into a small notebook and stash them in my pocket so I always have pencil and paper ready to record those important observations. The thick body helps when things are a bit on the wet side, and the short metal lead holding sleeve tip is retractable so you won’t get that nasty stabbing pain through your trouser pocket!
Like most mechanical pencils, Scribble has a small eraser under the top button. I am always in two minds about these mechanical pencil erasers – they seem like such a good idea and yet are nearly always such a disappointment. Well Scribble sets a new standard. It’s absolutely useless. I will say no more on this subject.Lamy Scribble mechanical pencil tipSo far I haven’t mentioned the lead. That’s the thing with mechanical pencils; if you don’t like the lead then you just get some that you do like. Scribble takes 0.7mm which is thick enough to provide good strength, but still thin enough to provide fine sharp lines. The push top ratchet mechanism is quiet and positive. I haven’t had any problems, but just in case, the eraser comes with a needle to help clear any lead jams.

The finish on the Scribble seems a good quality. The plastic body and metal trims are scratch resistant. Mine have spent a lot of time rolling around in carry cases with other items and they still look as good as new. There are actually two trim colours available – black for the purists and palladium plated for the slightly more up-market look. The small “LAMY” printed in silver at the top of the body adds a touch of distinction.

Lamy advertise the Scribble as “For strong sketches and fine notes. If you like getting your ideas down on paper in a few telling strokes, you’ll love the Lamy scribble”. Well, they’re absolutely right. Whether I’m out wading through a swamp or doing the Sunday morning Sudoku, Scribble is the one for the job.


Steve said...

I love my 3.15mm Lamy Scribble (all black version).
I have Worther Shorty Yellow leads in and use as a highlighter

Anyone know where I can get the 0.7mm all-black 'stealth' version in UK?

Vsys said...

So... I'm at a quandary here. Which one is better: The 0.7 or 3.15 version?

Kiwi-d said...

Vsys - only you can answer that as they are such different lead sizes.
0.7mm (for writing) or 3.15mm (for sketching)which will need to be sharpened, etc.

Vsys said...

Oh, I see. In that case, which one would be more versatile (better for both writing and sketching)? I heard from some other users that the 0.7mm is also pretty good for drawing. On a different note, is it essential that the 3.15 mm is sharpened for use? Also, is the 3.15mm good for writing?

Kiwi-d said...

The lead in a normal wooden pencil is about 2mm, so 3.15 is wider again. Your decision if you want to sharpen it, use it blunt, etc.

daniel said...

I'm currently studying Aerospace Engineering at my University and right now I'm doing alot of maths. I've been looking into these pencils and I really want to try the 3.15mm version. Would this be ok for doing maths? By the looks of it, the 0.7mm sounds like a better option for me.

Kiwi-d said...

3.15 is much wider than a normal wooden pencil lead, like sharpening your lead a lot? Personally I'd say 0.7mm is the way to go.

daniel said...

Though I don't mind, I don't exactly enjoy it. I think I might end up buying a Lamy 2000. I use a 0.5mm Papermate PhD mechanical pencil and a pilot G-2 0.38mm gel pen in my classes at the moment.

daniel said...

Woud you know where I can get replacement lead for the 3.15mm version instead of the lead that lamy sells?

George said...

Sorry I'm very late to comment on this topic. I own both the 3.15 and the 0.7mm versions.

I like the way the 0.7mm writes and that it doesn't need to be sharpen.

The 3.15 is a pain to use as a writing tool. It's like writing with a sharpie. The original lead looses its point immediately after sharpening. Replacement lead has to be ordered online because no store un the city carries this size (I rather use Koh-i-noor 3.2mm). But the way the groves feel in my hand is lovely and I keep it in may desk if only to hold it.

I wish the 0.7mm had the same groves as the 3.15mm

Anonymous said...

I love this pencil.

I use both sizes for sketching. I like them as they are pocket size and will easily fit in my jeans.
The .7 has a tip that sometimes comes loose and I've had to tape it up. This looseness clearly comes from being in my pocket so I don't blame Lamy.

I agree the eraser isn't the best but I'm very pleased it's there and I use it often. I've bought a dozen spare erasers ad am working my way throught them.

The complaint an earlier reviewer had with the 3.15 is fair but it's easily fixed by carrying a small sharpener.

However if I were to choose just one I'd hang onto the .7. In fact I've bought a spare just in case.

The Lamy scribble is by far my favorite mech pencil.


Anonymous said...

After a couple of months, my scribble started to slip the lead back to the inside as i pressure (and i'm not really pushing it!). I use Faber-Castell and Staedtler B Mines. I noticed if i take the lead completely out and put it back the problem goes away for a while, but comes again some days after. Now I ordered HB Lead Mines from Lamy to test if the problem persists. Does anyone know what it could be? Maybe B leads are too "porous"?

Dan Shechter Gelles said...

I am using B2 without any problems.

I would suggest:
1. Make sure the top is screwed tightly
2. Contact Lamy. You can send them your pencil, and they will send you a new one. No questions asked.