Friday, June 09, 2006

Guestbook 5

At over 150 comments, the previous guestbook (page 4) was getting rather long so it's time to start a new page. You can find the old one directly below this new one via the older posts link at the bottom of the page. So, here’s the place to leave any general comments, brickbats and bouquets. I won’t promise to answer questions like “What’s the best pencil in the world?”, "Whats the best pencil with features X, Y and Z", but you might get lucky. I don’t generally say much about retailers except as per my posting on the subject – use the sidebar link. I don't repair or sell mechanical pencils, and I don't give valuations. Please use the sidebar links and Lijit search for things like how to refill your pencils, etc. Other than that though, I do like to hear from you, please leave a comment, and I will try to answer or help, or even better some other reader will toss in their 10 cents worth too.


arun said...

I recently bought one rotring 900 side knock pencil. cant find any review any where except this ebay page... dont u think u should have an entry for this nice product?

ebay url:

Kiwi-d said...

I don't have one so can't do a review...feel free to submit a guest review. The 900 is long gone isn't it? So it's NOS?

Anonymous said...

you paid too much, jc.designkunst is known for his prices, way too expensive.
Look here:

that will stay on 35 Euros.


Mike said...

I need help identifying/locating a pencil. I recently found this mechanical pencil and I love it. It's the besr I have ever used, and I have a lot of experience with mechanical pencils.
It used to say enre on the barrel, it is green and almost seems to be made of a bakelite material with a knurled grip. The tip, clip, and eraser cover are all metal and the clip has "Korea" stamped into it. It's a very sturdy pencil and has become my everyday workhorse. If anything ever happened to it, I would want to replace it immediately. Unfortunately I can find no further information about it.
I can provide pictures as well if it would help in identification.

Mike B

Anonymous said...

Pictures can help a lot.


Mike said...

Thanks. Here is a link to the photo on my Flickr account.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thanks for your fantastic website. I use mechanical pencils for 90% of my writing. I had two pentel graph pg305 for years, but one broke, so I finally researched replacements....
I just bought some pentel p205's because they are obviously a classic and have such favourable comments, and I "splashed out" on staedtler 925 25 05 because you rate them so highly. They are both excellent: the p205 is superbly engineered and fantastic value, while the 925 is just a wonderful writing experience and a beautiful item to hold and use. Thank you!
PS. Perhaps you could add a picture of the p205 internals to your review of it? - taking it apart I can see why it is so stable and durable

1962PENCILS said...

@M.W. Beatty
Your pencil is a first edition "Mon Ami Drawing Cap", the pencils currently available no longer have a push button like yours, they have a plain cylindrical one instead which makes the pencil a bit lighter. The green barrel indicates its a .7, at least the one I have is, my .5 is black. I've never heard of enre so probably is a small company which contracted Mon Ami for this item, or it might be an advertising pencil. Btw, it's made of plastic not bakelite, they are quite nice.

You can see the original here:

I hope this will help,

Ninya said...

Hello, I was wondering if you can help me look for a mechanical pencil, I can describe it and give pictures. I just want to know what it is called. I forgot it's brand name. But it can only be: Staedtler, Pentel, Pilot, Faber Castell. It looks like this: It was around $10 in 2008.

Anonymous said...

I am looking for a true automatic mechanical pencil, one that automatically advances the lead. No shaking, no side push button. Does such a thing even exist?

Kiwi-d said...

Stuart - yes they do. On this blog they are referred to as 'auto lead advance' or 'auto advance'. Try Lijit search in the sidebar to find some.

2nd_astronaut said...

Probably I have asked this before...

@all: How do you store your pencils? Most of the boxes I found don't have reasonable prices for my pencils (box more expensive than all stored pencils :-/ ).

Something like that would be nice for a collection in the size of Dave's one... Ok, more seriously, I only found and (better?)

I am tempted to try the latter one, but maybe someone here has better ideas.

Kiwi-d said...

Garrrrrrrrr!!!! That first drawer system is crazy! I'd kill for that. Sorage!!! The bane of my life.

Anonymous said...

One problem with most commercial plastic storage drawers is they are too deep and you have to pull the drawer out too far. I Have some in a landscape format which are much more shallow in depth - much better for displaying pencils. They are hard to find though.

Kiwi-d said...

Hmmm...yes...landscape...thats worth investigating. Hadn't really thought about that before.

nextSibling said...

I use a test-tube rack to store pens and pencils.

Kiwi-d said...

nextSibling - sounds interesting!

srwsb said...

Hi Dave,
I am a big fan of the site and was wondering if I could post a link to your site on mine? - - And I was also wondering if I could do a guest review.

Kiwi-d said...

Hello srwsb. Glad you like the blog. Sure, link away. Always happy to talk guest reviews, you can contact me via the email in my About Me profile in the sidebar.

Unknown said...

Hi, I was wondering if somebody could tell me the identity of this pencil and where I can find one if possible. It is an all metal pencil that looks very similar to the Staedtler 925 25. It is 0.5 millimeter and has a barrel that is slightly thinner than the 925 25. Mainly the difference is that the grip does not have the concentric rings that the Staedtler does and the eraser cap push buttons look different. The Staedtler's has concentric rings and the mystery pencil has an extremely fine diamond cut pattern on the grip and the cap. I am wondering if it is simply an early version of the 925 or something else entirely. The only markings on the pencil are in a language that I don't understand, perhaps German. Any help is much appreciated!

Here is a link to some photos of the pencil at my Flikr account:


Anonymous said...


i was wondering if you will be interested in doing a review for the Pilot H32?

It seems like q popular pencil. :)


Kiwi-d said...

Eplus - maybe - problem is I've already got a very long list of reviews to do.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great information. I have always loved pencils but have never been able to branch out. Turned me onto the kerry and have been going strong ever since. Can't wait to try those ain stein leads... said...

I purchased the Uni ME3-605 .5 Color Pencil with 3 multiple leads in a Japanese stationery store in LA. According to a Google search this pencil is discontinued in the U.S. Can you please recommend an alternative multiple lead pencil (3 or more) that I can use with .5 or .7 leads? Thank you! ~

Judy Prather said...

Hoping you can help me out with a question about the Tombow Zoom 414. When refilling: does the barrel open at the tip? I appreciate your help. Thanks.

Nikira said...

Hi, I got antique German 4 color "Opel-Dienst" pencil, seems like 1.8 mm lead. Can't find color leads, can you, please, give me advice where to get 1.8 mm leads? Somehow I fell in love with old pencils and have bunch of 1900-1950 pencils, but none of them use 1.8 mm. Thank you very much.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Nikira - just double checking - is it 1.18mm or 1.8mm?

Anonymous said...

Can you show us a picture of the pencil, Nikira?

Sublime43 said...

I have a Yard-O-Led Diplomat I purchased new last year. The hole in the tip where the lead emerges is off center, so the metal is thin on one side. The pencil works fine.

Is this normal? Will it cause a problem?

This flaw surprised me in such a high end product.

Kiwi-d said...

Sublime43 - I doubt its likely to cause a problem. I'd suggest you contact YOL direct and discuss with them.

Nikira said...

Posting photos of my Opel 4 color antique pencil, for which I can't find leads so far. "Norma" pencil takes 1.18 mm, but this one different. Please, help.

Anonymous said...

as j. stremikis @ your blog already pointed out Opel is a big car manufacturer in Germany and belongs to General Motors since 1929.
'Opel Dienst' was and sometimes still is a label for specialized repair workshops.

You could like the sign:
I think your pencil is a yard o lead or kohinoor from the thirties.

I looked for 1.8mm color leads and found - surprise, surprise - there are nearly none.
The nearest lead size is 1.4mm by Faber Castell for their e-motion line, easy to find - perhaps they fit.

There are 2mm colored leads from several sources.
How to make their diameter smaller?
Dave already had an idea for customs lead by rolling them down.
That's not so handy.

I see two ways:
first is to shorten the blade of a 2mm-sharpener so that only 0.1mm will be cut off

second makes the same but uses a sharpening machine.
I came across the Dahle 155 (available at e.g.) which is adjustable even to leave the tip untouched. May be that works with a little de-justing.


JohnG said...

I love this site......I hate this site.....ALWAYS ends up costing me money when I visit here....

Kiwi-d said...

Just so long as the love outweighs the hate :-)

Nikira said...

@Rot Ring, thank you very much! I found the same pencil in Berlin, by Ebay seller, mad expensive. He said it takes1.5mm and if sharpen somehow 1.8mm He refused to sell me leads separately, only with pencil. His few pencils not Opel, but same structure.
I ordered few old leads on Ebay, so far none is good, but waiting for Mirado, may be it will be good.
Your ideas sounds good but very hard for me, I can draw, but even that sometimes leaves ink on my face and fingers, so sharpening and rolling sounds scary. But I will try, thank you. Got recently cute sort of telescopic pencil and usual 1.18mm is too small. So have to search for 1.8 more.
Found some European site, may be there something?

Anonymous said...

Heyla Dave! Thank you for the great blog and reviews with such excellent photos. Found your site this morning, which is excellent timing since I'm placing an order to Pentel this evening.

(The Pentel Quicker-Clicker saw me through sketching and schoolwork of middle school, high school, AND college -- that does engender some brand loyalty. Especially since it was the same half-dozen pencils! And maybe five dozen erasers...)

But the times they are a-changing, and last week I finally staged a palace revolt against my new husband's desire to fill every drawer in the house with those horrible disposable Bic things [the ones with wobbly lead and wobblier "erasers" -- I will not let my children (8 and 11) grow up thinking that THAT is what a mechanical pencil ought to be!] ...thus the order to Pentel.

(My children are very excited to be poring over the lists of colors and styles, and that they actually get to choose ONLY the colors they actually want to use in inexpensive models which normally come in multipacks. One loves black and grey, the other loves green, and I love jewel-tones. Keep telling myself to Wait for the Sharp Kerry...but Oh! I wants it my Precious...)

Kiwi-d said...

stormlight811 - "palace revolt" - Viva la Revolution!!

Pilot Lover said...

Regarding the Dave Turns Five Giveaway 1. When will the winners be announced?

Kiwi-d said...

Giveaway 1 states, "This giveaway will remain open for 5 days, after which the winning Him and Her will be chosen at random, and announced here on this post, so check back in to claim your prize." So, not long to go.

Anonymous said...

I have used the Pilot Shaker pencils for 20 years now and am therefore obviously an addict.
I have always considered the H-1010 the best of the best.
It was discontinued for a long time but is back now.
Maybe its worth a look.
The H-245 is only its little brother.

Pedro de Souza said...

Found a PENAC pencil today. model NP-5. pretty cool.. also came across a couple pencils I've never seen b4: the pilot switch and the ohto APS-800. bought an Pentel A5, too. cute pencil.=)
anyway, tried to dig any info about 'em on google, but it was useless... starting to think that BR is the country of obscure pencils.. hahaha
anyone knows anything abt any of these?
as I saw no references or sellers with those pencils on ebay or internet in general, I figured they are, at least, hard to find.
will upload pics soon

Kiwi-d said...

Thanks Pedro
Will look forward to the pictures.

Pedro de Souza said...

well, posted all of them, at last at this album:
any knowledge about any of these, please post a comment =)
Pedro Souza

Anonymous said...

Fellow pencil nerds. Try this idea. Inside the head of your ultrasonic tooth brush are a couple of small strong magnets. They are easily removed. My Sonicare's magnets measure 2mm x 5mm x 10mm. Slip one of these under the document clip and your pencil sticks fast to a metal lamp, refrigerator or file cabinet. The clip is still workable, although slightly impared. Nice way to keep a pencil out of the drawer and off the desk. You'll get plenty of questions. Nerds like questions.

Nikira said...

Hi Dave. I got wonderful Wyvern Smoker's pencil, made in England, can't figure out how to replace the led, do you know? It seems like rotating, moving, but can't fit any, nothing comes out, can't take apart. Do you know the mechanism? Smells like old pipe.

Kiwi-d said...

Smoker's pencil. Do you mean one of those ones with a lighter in the top? Can you post a picture somewhere? I would imagine its a traditional wind around mechanism and new leads are put in through the tip

A lot of the old ones I've come across though have some lead jammed in the grabber, or the mechaism is broken - it just winds round and round but doesn't advance or retract.

Nikira said...

I posted it on my site, please, take a look, I cleared the way, it doesn't have the grabber.

Nikira said...

Hi, David, thank you, no lead inside, seems like round hole. How to find 1mm? I wrote to somebody in England, who sells same pencil, no answer yet. It was popular, I guess, because I saw it being sold over time. Mine doesn't close fully on the back. Eversharp Red Top fits the best but still falling out. Don't know where to look for leads?

Kiwi-d said...

Unfortunately 1mm = great difficulty. Pendemonium sometimes may have them?
I know some people have made their own by rolling down 1.18mm.

Anonymous said...

1.1mm leads:
see also Faber Castell 1mm (0.9)

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Rot Ring
There's some terminology problems here.

Retro 1.1mm is 1.18mm lead, they just only use 1 decimal place and don't round.

F-C 1mm(0.9) is 0.9mm.

Nikira has tried 1.18 and 0.9mm and needs something in between, i.e. a "real" 1mm.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I see.

I think the new tikky 1,0 mm is indeed 1.0 mm

I'll try to get some ...

Kiwi-d said...

Hmmm, my old Tikky 1.0mm is actually 0.9mm.
I seem to recall the ISO standard for drawing says lines are to be 1mm but all the leads are 0.9mm and so some of the (mostly German) pencil and lead manufacturers just "round up" and call it 1mm and therefor it meets the standard.
What it boils down to is for about the past 50 years as far as I can tell 0.9mm and 1mm leads have been the same size irrespective of what they get labelled, hence Rotring and FC labelling their leads things like 1.0(0.9)mm and 0.9(1)mm. I mean there's variation from brand to brand of leads etc but whether your pencil is labelled 0.9 or 1.0 and your leads are labelled as 0.9 or 1.0 they are all interchangeable. What the real size is...who knows? Just like 0.5mm leads vary from 0.49 to 0.57 or so...actually many Japanese 0.5mm leads are actually closer to 0.6mm than they are 0.5mm.

David Reimer said...

Not that you would care, but in the interests of accuracy: in my "entry" for the "DMP @ 5" final giveaway, I wrongly identified my oldest comment. In fact, I first commented (I see) back in May 2008.

There. Record straightened. :) Thanks for these years of happy (mechanical pencil) reading!!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is the best place to ask for a reccomendation, but here goes. I do a lot of journaling and like using my P 207. My only complaint is I like a heavier pencil. I want to upgrade to a real nice pencil. The high end metal pencils really catch my eye but recent experience with a Graphgear 500 is great for the weight, could be heavier up top and longer, but the metal grip doesn't seem to be the best for me. Not really interested in retractable tip because it will stay on my desk. Open to retraction if the tip has zero wobble. P 207 is my every day use pencil. I put a grip on it and a heavier clip for a more substansial feel.
Could someone suggest a heavy weight, longer pencil with a plastic or rubber grip? I "want" an Ohto or Staedthler but I think the looks will out do the performance for me due to the metal grip. So....

Heavy pencil
Rubber grip
Larger grip
Long length
Metal would be cool...Silver or black
Price not too important as It will be my "home" tool.

Also...I notice the .5 pencils seem to use up lead faster. The Graphgear .5 is the only .5 I have. No problem with breakage...just wear down compared to the P 207. Is this my immagination?

Coldbore said...

Hello Dave;
Fantastic Site!
I recieved my first Mechanical pencil by stealing my dad's Pilot H1005 when I was in Elementart School. I loved it so much I later found it again when I was in Highschool and purchased my own ($11.50). I thought at the time how crazy I was for spending 12 bucks on a pencil. At age 39 and 3 kids later my Karma caught up to me. My son decided he would steal this pencil from me and bring it to school. Someone at his school thought it would be better off with him and stole it.
To my horror Pilot does not make the Pilot H1005 Vanishing Point anymore. To make it worse, what was a 12 dollar pencil, is now a 100 bucks on Ebay.
I have a spare but its missing the Chrome Push Button that covers the erasor and it missing the Pocket clip (Kids again).
At age 39 I am changing my life and decided to return to school. I have to aquire 7 University credits and then apply next year. Then hopefully after 5 years after that, I will be a Registered Nurse. A dream first acheived by my wife.
Do you have idea where I can get these parts for my Pilot H1005?

I just ordered 2 Pentel GraphGear 1000 in .3 and .5mm (Hopefully these will be my next wonderpencil) Sure mis my H1005 Pilot

Glad I found your site. You are a pencil GURU!

Kiwi-d said...

Sorry Coldbore, I've no idea about spare parts. I suppose maybe Pilot have some spare bits floating around, couldn't hurt to ask.

Nikira said...

@Rot Ring, I looked at page you suggesting, its only showing, but you can't buy there. Unless you know the other link to Tikki 1.0mm? Person who I asked about this leads told me that will sell me leads only if I buy the pencil, but I already own one.... they mad expensive.

Anonymous said...

Nikira, you should get them everywhere where the new tikky is sold.
Or on ebay: enter this number 230547097522
In which country do you live?

Nikira said...


Nikira said...

@Rot Ring. Agh, just checked, it is not available for USA.

Anonymous said...

In 2005 Rotring stopped shipping their products to the United States.
You can get the leads here:
BUT they say: 0.9 and 1.0mm are the same - what still has to be proved.
By me :D

Nikira said...

Thank you very much, Rot Ring. I will research there, may be I'l find leads for my new Admiral Junior pencil too, old pencil from Europe. :-) It is sad really, one of my favorite pens is Rotring ArtPen, I have for years.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the postings on the Rotrig multi pencil. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to refill the lead. Now I do and I'm monkeying with it now. It's been sitting idle a long time.


Jack Carbone

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I left a comment (answer) a while ago, regarding the identification of a Sheaffer Imperial 'Golden Vintage' limited edition pencil.
I am currently searching for a Sheaffer 'Fashion' pencil with the 'diamond cut' design. Model number 271.
I already own the ballpoint pen, which I bought my late wife, in the 1980's, and I found a brand new matching fountain pen. I just the pencil to complete the set - can anyone help?

Unknown said...

I recently found an 0.5mm pencil, black and very heavy. When I went to pull off the end cap, it kept extending until it turned out it was actually a fourteen inch (38cm) telescoping pointer. The only markings are what appears to be a small 'AJ' logo and the word 'Automatic' on the pocket clip. Does this sound like anything you've seen before?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Dave, Cross introduced .5 in all cross pencils in 1989, Jim M

Travis said...

So I have been looking for a .5mm (possibly drafting type) pencil with a twist eraser on it. I have a pentel twist-erase and love it but the point doesn't retract. Other than that it's great. So if I could get one like the twist erase but with a retractable tip that would be great. Any suggestions?

PointFour said...

Travis, have you looked at the Papermate Apex pencil? It's a "vanishing point" model, which may mean it hasn't got a long enough sleeve if you do drafting, but it does have a twist-out eraser. Dave's review is here:

Travis said...

PointFour, thanks a lot for the suggestion! It looks like what I have been looking for, so as soon as I can find a place to but it, I will. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

> BUT they say: 0.9 and 1.0mm are the same - what still has to be proved.
> By me :D

OK, I did it.
See yourself:


Kiwi-d said...

I can't view the image. Doesn't appear to be set to public view?

Kiwi-d said...

Sorry, my mistake, I can see it.

So, the lead thay call 1.0mm is actually 0.9mm, as said previously. As far as I am aware the only lead that actually measures 1.0mm is an unusual old vintage lead size.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is the link:

Nikira said...

Omg, I love this device! Where can I get it? How it calls?

Anonymous said...

Try ebay;
enter "Digital Caliper".

Nikira said...

Thank you, did. You think this would be good for measuring leads and lead holder opening?

Anonymous said...

For leads the caliper is fine.
For measuring diameters better take something like this
or this
or take appropriate thin metal drills for testing


Anonymous said...

I have a Lamy Accent 4 in 1 with a 7mm pencil. I am an accountant and use it quite a bit. My problem is that at least once a week the pencil jams and it can take anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes to clear the jam with the cleaning rod. Don't understand why I have this problem with a $50+ pencil when my backup plastic Pentel Techniclick has never jammed up once. My old Rotring 3 in 1 lets you unscrew the very end of the pencil which makes clearing some jams much easier. I use HB lead and even have two backup replacement Lamy pencil mechanisms which I ordered when one jam was so bad I could never clear it. Am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Dave, enjoy your blog and reviews.

I recently bought an Alvin Draftmatic .9mm pencil. I like it big-time. I have a question about it.

(1) Do you know the approximate capacity (in number of leads) of the Draftmatic? The reason I ask is that one reviewer on Amazon (in the States) claims the Draftmatic holds only one lead (no misprint). Another reason I ask is that I've added two leads to it since purchasing, and I don't hear the familiar rattling of leads at all. Is there a sort of retainer or clutch that keeps additional leads from rattling?

This is my first mechanical pencil that's up from the P205. So, I need some help if you can offer any. Jack/Youngstown (Ohio)

Unknown said...

Dave, I came across your blog a few weeks ago, and I've been reading nearly every day since. Great website!

I tried your search engine to no avail, but do you have an article which addresses whether a drafting pencil could be used as a general-use pencil or as a pencil to sketch/doodle with?

Many thanks!
Ace (Dallas, TX)

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Ace. The answer to your question is that its entirely a matter of personal choice. Lots of people use drafting pencils as their general use and/or sketching pencil.

Bored_ said...

So I recently bought a Staedler 925-25 and used it for a week or so very happily. I was drawing some maps a while back for a D&D session later that day, and I rested the pencil on my bed, and it rolled off. Of course it landed on the tip,, because why wouldn't it?

It's only slightly bent, but enough o that when I twist it to get the sharp edge, I can see it wiggle a bit.

My question was, do you know where I can get a replacement tip? Maybe you know someone with a mechanical pencil graveyard who'll sell me the tip of a 925-25 .5mm?

Kiwi-d said...

Sorry, thats a no and no from me personally.

Perhaps your local national Staedtler might oblige with a spare part?

Time Waster said...

I have to quit going to office max on my lunch break they must think I'm a pencil pushing weirdo picked up some Twist Erase IIIs today 2 for 9.00 nice pencil never tried em before I like them.

Anonymous said...

Do you recommend any US Websites that sell mechanical pencils Dave?

Kiwi-d said...

Yes, use the sidebar link "Online Retailers"

Anonymous said...

Can you please review the Pentel Side FX? I brought this pencil lately but there is no review online. I am wondering if it's a good pencil too.. Please review this pencil! Thank you!

Aurialis said...

I stumbled across your blog whilst doing a google search for a special pencil and I thought you might be able to help with my dilemma:
I have approximately 50 boxes (100 leads per box) of 2mm Dixon F.T.R. Tracing/reproduction leads. The problem is that I don't have a pencil for them, and I want one with an eraser built into the end. Is there any such thing, or am I looking for a product that doesn't exist?

Ralrara said...

I bought Tombow Orno mechanical pencil few days ago,
and It has really interesting function!!!
I reviewed on my blog. ^

Kiwi-d said...

Aurialis - Plenty of 2mm lead holders and a few 2mm MPs (e.g. Rotring Rapid Pro, Satedtler 925 25 20) are still available. Can't say I can think of one with an eraser though.

Anonymous said...

The Staedtler 900 25 is the only one I know of that has an eraser.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is at least one I know about. The Conté/BIC Criterion. It has a sharpener AND a small green eraser for small corrections.
However, I guess a lead holder is mostly used at home and than the eraser shouldn't be a problem.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you had any recommendations for pencils with fantastic comfort-grips? I claw my pens & pencils, so comfortable grips really go a long way with me.

Perhaps something of a category to explore in the future by chance?

Anonymous said...


I hope that someone might be able to help me find a special kind of mechanical pencil. I need the tip of the pencil (the part that clasps the lead, where you see the lead come out) to have a square cross-section, not a circular cross-section.

Ideally, the pencil would hold 0.2 mm diameter lead, but 0.5 mm would be okay.

Does anyone know of any pencils with a square tip?



Chen said...

I was wondering if you could do a Top 5 or something list of pencils with decent grips. I write to the point where I actually have a callus on the joint of my middle finger, where I usually hold the pencil. Perhaps I'm holding it too hard, but I'd really like to see some reviews or lists of mechanical pencils with decent grips. Thanks!

thelarcher said...

Hey Dave,

I had no idea, even in this age of google, that there existed other people who, like myself, find themselves oddly drawn to the crisp and refreshing delights derived from the use of a mechanical pencil.

I am very much looking forward to perusing the pages of this fine blog.



Anonymous said...

Should I get a sharp Kerry or super promecha for school.

2nd_astronaut said...

take a super promecha for math, physics&chemistry and a kerry for other subjects ;-)

2nd_astronaut said...

There has been a quite useful pencil database at
Now the link is dead :-/
Does anybody know if the database moved to another URL?

Paesnd said...

I wonder if anyone can help me with this. I'm looking for a certain pocket safe mechanical pencil.
It's nothing very special about it so it's mostly my OCD to get to the bottom of finding it --- Here's a link to a picture of aforementioned pencil.

It looks sort of like a more streamlined version of an Ohto Promecha, with a complete matte finish.
Also, as you can see if you reverse the picture vertically, it uses 0,5 mm lead (there might be varying types
of this one as well for other leads, but I'm not sure).

This is all the info I got for now. Any aid with finding this pencil is really appreciated :)

2nd_astronaut said...

@Paesnd, looks like a Ohto Promecha 1000M. For a photo look e.g. here:

2nd_astronaut said...

Bummer, Germs blog (pencils11) was quite quiet for some time and now it seems to be completely gone...

2nd_astronaut said...

Since it is not for me, I dare to write an advertisement:
If you wanna be the next Excalibur king in da hood, it might be worthwile to have a look at Germs account at this well-known auction site.

Jeff Muscatine said...

I have found a nice looking Faber-Castell TK-matic L that is in pieces. I believe that the main spring is missing. If anyone could post a photo of a complete one pulled apart I would be most grateful.

Jeff in California

Susan Cronk said...

I have this old mechanical pencil. It is very plain, six-sided barrel with a rounded top. The tip pulls off to reveal the lead auger and empty barrel cavity. There are no manufacturer markings. These pics aren't very good, but hoping you might be able to tell me something about it. and

Pricepoints said...

I have a very stupid question... my assumption is that the lead hardness selector has no impact on the actual performance or pencil mechanism? I hate to assume :-)
In other words, the display is to remind users with multiple pencils that may use various hardness in different pencils which are which?
Please educate me please :-)


Kiwi-d said...

Hello Randolph.
Your assumptions are correct. The lead hardness indicator does not have any affect on the actual pencil mechanism. It is purely a display to remind the user what lead is in the pencil.

2nd_astronaut said...

Equally "stupid" are the more exotic inscriptions on pencils: "For film", "Non-Repro", ... W/o special leads, nothing unexpected happens with these pencils. Some of the specialities are explained here -- there are more, but I couldn't neither remember nor google. I made a photo of some of those pencils: (the background picture I took from someone's facebook account -- I hope this is ok).
A little late, but at the end of a year often the people are honored, which left us in the gone year. So I remember 2 persons for 2012:

— Sergio Pininfarina (1926-2012) and

— Ferdinand Alexander "Butzi" Porsche (1935-2012) (the book cover shows his father "Ferry" Porsche)

Kiwi-d said...

2nd... what's this?... are you using your Pentels to design an astronaut campanion?

2nd_astronaut said...

Haha, no. it's just a lousy gray print of a photo. I discovered it somewhere on facebook, I don't remember the account name.

But I am sure other pencil geeks will like the photo, too ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Great site. Would you happen to know how long a lead pointer refill cup should last. Say Boston brand.

Unknown said...

I'm a complete amateur about mechanical pencils, and the answer to the question I want to ask is, I'm sure, ludicrously easy and not at all interesting for you, so I hope you won't mind if I ask it anyway.

I have a pretty little pencil marked with an 'M' inside a diamond on the clip, and with a small silver spiral below the clip on the body of the pencil, just above the mid-line. Can you tell me who made it, please?

Thank you in advance. I'm learning a lot reading your blog!
Cat in LA

Richard, England said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your amazing site.

I've used a Faber Castell DS-05 for years and years to write with.

I want to replace it and I've been looking for something with a sliding lead sleeve like the DS-05, but sliding sleeves seem to be really out of fashion!

I bought a TK-Fine 0.5 but I keep busting the lead.

Which brands would you look at for sliding sleeve, mid-price? I want a keeper.

Or would you just go fixed sleeve and buy a thicker grade pencil?

Thanks again for your site, it is quintessentially what the internet is for!

Richard, England.

mrbluenun said...

Hello Dave,

And thank you so much for an unbiased, honest site that is the best of the BEST.

Really interesting for me to find new pencils that can actually be used to write without slipping through my fingers or being uncomfortable, wish I had found you a long time ago!

I cannot understand why anyone would pay hundreds of pounds for a pencil though for craftsmanship one has to pay more that a little I guess. I hate with a vengeance shiny metal heavy slippery writing instruments of any kind and certainly would not pay hundreds for something that was useless just to say I had the latest thing or the most expensive!

Only just found the site 10 minutes ago so will look and look and look until I find a couple I like.

Thank you for the site.

John M

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave

I was just wondering if you knew of any decent to good short mechanical pencils. I am looking for something to match up with my bullet space pen. Cheap would be good but I'd be willing to pay as much as a space pen or maybe a little more.

Thank you

2nd_astronaut said...

Is someone good at vintage pencils still reading here?
I wondering why this auction went so high:
Unfortunately there were only poor pics...

Kiwi-d said...

Hmmmm, certainly seems that the seller got top dollar (or euro) for that lot.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dave,
I'm in Portland Oregon USA where there's a Northwest Regional Pen Round-Up today, at a brewpub no less! I have two Mont Blanc pencils I'll be taking for evaluation. One is 5.75 inches long, 5/16 inch diameter with no clip but a MB star on top. It's loaded with red "lead." The grip is round and smooth. The other is a double-ended marking pencil with no clip, 7.75 inches long, 3/8 inch diameter with blue lead in one end and red in the other. Both are octagonal black hard plastic except the double-ended has a smooth red grip and a smooth blue grip. Both are stamped with "Oppenheimer Casing Co." The double is also stamped "Mont Blanc" and, on the blue end, "Germany." The smaller has "Made in Germany" stamped on the facet opposite the Oppenheimer stamp. A web search shows Oppenheimer Casing Co., founded in Chicago, was a supplier of sausage casings and still exists, at least in Australia. I found the pencils ~20 years ago in a church-operated thrift shop in Portland for, if memory serves, $25 each.

John Gram

Kiwi-d said...

Hi John
Mont Blanc B2B promotional items - interesting.

Unknown said...

Nice web page. I'm a big fan of the Pentel P205, have been using one for 25+ years since college. I just got a new one for work (exciting day).

I also have a Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic .5mm model 5635 and was wondering if you new anything about these pencils. I can't seem to find out much about it.

Just curious.

Thanks again for a great web site.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

Great blog, thanks from this particular reader.

Partly on the back of your review I just bought a caran d'ache ecridor pencil (cubrik) and love it. Had a yard o led before (the basic silver and resin one) but dropped it and damaged the tip so it was a good excuse for a change. I also bought some staedler mars lumograph pencils for sketching so you'll be partly to blame when my family are forced to come up with innovative ways of complimenting some mediocre work!

All the best.

Andrew said...

Hi Dave! I was wondering if you could help me with your mechanical pencil expertise.

This pencil looked a lot like Pentel P205. In fact, I swear it's the same type of material. It had a silver/metal tip that screwed off, a black/dark green/dark red body for color, silver clip and silver clicker. Same quality plastic, if not the same plastic.

The grip part of the pencil was concave, flaring out just a little bit at the part where it connected to the cone part of the pencil.

The unique thing about this pencil was that if you clicked it hard enough, the lead would retract back into the pencil.

I want to buy one just for nostalgia, but I can't find what it was called. I remember the word SHARP being on it, and sort of nailed it down to being one of the Pentel products. Can you help?


E. said...

Hi, Dave! I really like your website (I've being visiting it almost everyday to learn a little more about mechanical pencils, since I have started my collection). Will you make a review about Papermate Precision?

(Sorry for any grammar mistakes, I'm brazilian)

Anonymous said...

I have a mechanical pencil but have lost the screw-on gold tip. I'd like to replace it but cannot find a supplier, Can anyone help?
Bill at Rugby Middle School

Lyn said...

Hey, quick question for you, Dave! I am trying to find a quality mechanical pencil/tablet stylus combo. I really do not want or need a trio (pen) and I would like to have a drafting quality on the pencil side. Have you seen anything like this? FYI, I am an engineering student at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO. Thanks!


goldies106 said...

Hi, Does a vintage telescope propelling mechanical pencil contain a dip pen part anywhere in its construction? I sold one and gentleman claims mine is missing? Thanks

Kiwi-d said...

I've seen some telescoping pencil / dip pen combinations.

Unknown said...

Hey Dave, Awesome Blog!, i'm loving it, i used to work as a Key account manager/ Brand Manager for a writing instruments manufacturer (theres some reviews of two of the brands i used to managed in here) so it hits very dear to what i used to do. Personally i'm more of a pencil collector, to me there a more elegant solution, but thats the thing, the wood case pencils i collect, but Mechanical pencils i use. (and just might start collecting also)

I was wondering if i can request a couple of reviews: the Pilot Shaker, it was very popular when i was studying engineering altho i think there discontinued but still available (i might snag one) and the Staedtler triplus 776, (i'm using that one a lot) and perhaps an eraser war.

Anyways, Keep up the good work

sab said...

Hi all. Just found this blog and have a question.
Have a pental .25 mech pencil....sliver body, fantastic pencil...any idea if leads are still available and if so from where. Have only half a lead left....Help.

Mike Robinson said...

I've sadly mislaid the pencil I've been using for the last 35 years :( and I'm now looking for a replacement. It's just for note taking, diagrams etc. I prefer shorter, fat and stubbier pens with an interesting design. I also prefer moderately thick lead. I've read hundreds of reviews and here's my current favourites:
* Lamy Scribble 0.7
* Lamy 2000 0.7
* Faber-Castell E-Motion 0.7
* Pentel Graph Gear 1000 0.9

My main worry is that I will probably just chew (literally) through a plastic pen. I'm also not convinced about the lead size - a normal HB wooden pencil works fine for me but I just prefer mechanical. Suggestions?

divinejustice said...

What an awesome idea for a blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog
I like to use reviews and other peoples experiences when buying new things I have no clue with

I was surprised to find this but,it helped me pick out a pencil
I got 3 green 1st gen pentel techinclicks for $4 is that a good deal?

Bill L., KS USA said...

Crazy world we live in; so many changes so quickly. It's nice to find a blog that shows attention to quality on something so small yet so important to SOME of us as writing instruments!

I have the same Pentel P225 that I bought in about 1983 and still use it daily. The newer Pentel stuff you find in Office Depot and other mass-merchants is pretty much junk. I keep coming back to the P225. I KNOW there are nicer, more costly pencils out there (I also have a Niji Grip 500 that I wish I could buy several more of -- I'm not taking it out of the house!!) If anyone wants to sell one, let me know. Thanks for your work, Dave.

Bill L., Kansas USA

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

I love pencils, mechanical and otherwise. I use them for writing and hobby gaming; I am not a drafter. I maintain a tactical gaming blog called Tactical Thinking and did a post about my general love of pencils:

This led me to some research on mechanical pencils and your blog. Love it!

I haven't used anything but disposable ones for years. I had a quality Pentel (don't remember the model) in high school and college and gave up on them when I wasn't as responsible as I am now for fear of losing them.

Now that I'm in my late 30s and take much better care of my tools, your blog has encouraged me to start exploring better models. My adventure is detailed here:

I know that you can't get Alvin brand in NZ, but that is what I went with and I give my impressions of the Alvin Draft-Tec Retrac.


Kiwi-d said...

Hi klecser.
Good to hear from you. Alvin are good products, so I'm sure it will serve you well. Have fun with further voyages of graphite discovery. Enjoyed reading your blog posts.

Derek said...

Hello Dave!
I love your blog. I read it whenever I have time, but rarely comment. Anyway, I was wondering if you'd like to check out my new pencil forum. I'd like to know if it's missing anything (besides members) and figured input from a pencil expert or two wouldn't hurt.

Here's the link:

Go ahead and post a link to your blog in the "Links" section if you like it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

I just recently came across your blog. Great resource! Thanks!

I read your Autopoint review. I have been looking for a good 9mm writing pencil and theirs seems like a good option. I have a Retro 51 (before the discontinued it in favor of the 1.1).

While it seems you favor smaller lead sizes, I was wondering if you had any recommendations for good 9mm writing pencils.



Unknown said...

Hi Dave,

Awesome blog! I saw your top 5 list for general pencils. Do you have a preference for pencils in the low to mid range? After spending a day in my engineering courses, my hand hurts!



Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

I have a series of reviews that I've done recently that I thought I'd share here for anyone who might be interested!

Anonymous said...

A new pencil makes my top THREE! Read about it here!

(Also includes links to all of my other reviews.)

Anonymous said...

Pentel Side FX? Yep!

Thomas said...

You might be interested in this:

Anonymous said...

The Staedtler 925 25/35 seems to be on everyone's "must have" lists. I'm not big on knurled metal grips. The 925 is great for people that prefer a different grip!

3rd_astronaut said...

ok, the 925-05 is maybe a compromise solution for people with strange grip taste ;-) But I must insist that the 925-25 is the real thing. Of course 925 85/95 are also perfect for technics aficionados.

Anonymous said...

I don't think people know how much variety there is in Pentel's Twist Erase line!

blueshift said...

I've only got meager collection, but my favorite has to be the Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic 0.5mm. I know they are more known for their woods, but this is possibly one of the best pencils in its price range around - if you can find it.

chief flying owl said...

Hi Dave,
I enjoy your site and share your passion for mechanical pencils. I just got an old Shaeffer Lifetime mechanical pencil, early 20th century. It's silver-plate, nice chevron design for grip, 4 1/2 inches. But the mechanism is very stiff. It's a screw mechanism, advance and retract. You turn whatever the top crown is called, like in old Scripto (which I have a soft spot for -- the translucent colored barrels bring me back to my childhood!). Is there a safe way to lubricate such a pencil? I tried lubricating just the contact area between that crown and the body of the pencil but it did not do the trick. I'm wary of dropping a lubricant down the barrel from the tip, but it's the only way in I can see. The crown does not slip off with even a strong pull and no evidence of an eraser underneath, so it seems permanently attached. Advice?

RN said...

Great site- I can never spend too much time dreaming of pencils I shouldn't buy, but will always desire...

Currently loving my rOtring 800+ 0.5 (Uni Nano-Dia B)... but what eraser to use as a refill? At my desk its a Mars standard blue wrapped eraser, but the mini-dodgy rOtring eraser in the pencil is rubbish compared with the pencil itself. Have I missed your page of erasers-within-mechanical-pencils review?

Someone must produce superior refills?!

Tony Chontong said...

Greetings, David!

This is Tony Chontong. We met quite a few years ago -- probably around ten years ago -- when I bought Zebra mechanical pencils from you in exchange for some stamps. During our conversations, I remember that you taught me the rules of rugby.

Anyway, I was looking at reviews of pencils and a wirecutter article mentioned your name and I thought, "Hey, I know that guy!" Anyway, I just wanted to drop by and say "hi". I hope everything is going well for you!

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Tony
Good to hear from you. Yes I remember. All is good thanks, as it obviously is with you.

Gary near NYC said...

Thank you for restoring your site, Dave -- it has been sorely missed by many, many mechanical pencil enthusiasts. We've frequently lamented the loss on reddit for quite a long time. Hoping you will be keeping it going for a long time to come!