Thursday, October 15, 2009

eMicro Jedo M105

Before the internet, finding and communicating with fellow mechanical pencil collectors was a near impossible task. Over the course of this blog I have had the pleasure of communicating with several Korean pencil-folk. There are quite a few Korean manufacturers and brands of writing instruments, but it seems most are not generally regarded by Koreans as particularly good quality, which surprises me. I think Korean manufactured products generally have a reasonable reputation, that there is some value in “Made in Korea” Sure, it’s not “Made in Japan” or Germany, but it’s better than many.

Micro was one of the larger Korean manufacturers, but they went bankrupt quite a few years ago. However their legacy continues on under the name eMicro. Recently I have been in contact with Kent from South Korea who publishes PenciLog. I asked him a few questions about eMicro, the use of the term Jedo, etc and he accepted the challenge. Putting on his Sherlock Holmes detective hat, he picked up the phone and let his fingers do the walking, making some calls to eMicro and others. The answers were limited, but interesting.

eMicro was founded by former staff of Micro, but there is no legal relationship or continuation between the two. It appears that Korean companies consider the Korean word '제도' and its pronunciation as written in English as 'Jedo' are both proper nouns and thus not copyrightable. Kind of interesting. I wonder if the Japanese consider the English wording “Sharp” (for mechanical pencil) in the same way?

Well, that’s just another little snippet or two of information. Kent also sent me an eMicro Jedo M105 mechanical pencil. I actually already had one of these, purchased a few years ago at Morning Glory. Like the other Koreans I have communicated with, Kent was at pains to point out that the M105 was not highly regarded in Korea, but was common because of its very low price and variable quality.
eMicro Jedo M105 mechanical pencil old and new
I must admit that my original eMicro Jedo M105 mechanical pencil didn’t strike me as that bad. Just another Pentel P205 rip-off. Well, that’s another point. Is it a rip-off or is it a legally licensed copy? I hear both stories.
Pentel P205 and eMicro Jedo M105 mechanical pencils
Moving on, whilst my original M105 seemed reasonable enough, the more recent M105 sent by Kent is a shocker. Clearly eMicro suffer from wildly variable quality, or their quality has declined substantially over the past few years.

Take a look at the pocket clip. The original has some pitting but is otherwise acceptable.
Jedo pocket clips
Jedo pocket clips 2
But look, the recent one has a bent clip!!! Surely this would never make it out of the door at Pentel or Pilot.
Jedo mechanical pencils pocket clips 3
My camera, photographic skills and photo editing software are stretched to the limit, but note the differences in stamping in the pocket clips.
And the wording moulded into the body.
The real shocker though is the part line on the body of newer Jedo M105. The part line is where the two halves of the mould come together. If the two halves of the mould don’t match exactly together or if the edges are a little rounded and worn then you get a noticeable joint, a sharp little ridge of plastic, or in this case a “Yowie, almost cut my finger” type of knife edge of plastic. I’ve mucked around with the photo as much as I can to try and show the sharp part line below. It really is bad. In Japan, surely someone would lose their job over this.
eMicro Jedo M105 mechanical pencil part line
Just a note to finish with. Please don't think I'm picking on Korean brands or anything. No matter how good or bad these Korean pencils are, Korea actually has a pencil industry, which is a lot more than I can say about my homeland!


Anonymous said...

FYI....Pentel is not perfect either. I bought a P205 locally just a few weeks ago and it too had an ever-so-slight mould mismatch running along the length of the pencil just below the silkscreened logo. It's in no way as bad to the point that it's a "knife edge" as the eMicro Jedo that you just reviewed but it's there nevertheless. I can see and feel the ridge of plastic on my P205.

Kent said...

I have checked other five M105's to know if I had sent you the worst one.
The pocket clips of the others are ok. Maybe it's damaged and bent in the envelope (or I mistakenly chose the worst one.)
About the part line, yeah they also tried to cut my finger . :)

Kiwi-d said...

Hello Kent
I did consider the possibility of damage in the post, but from the condition of the parcel, your quality wrapping :-) and most of all the nature of the bend itself, I decided that was not a likely cause.

Germ said...

Yeah, recent piss poor quality control at all levels of industry and in the marketplace is inexcuseable. It is getting really bad.
I know production speeds are super high, but technology is available to increase yield with more, better quality units produced. comes down to cost of the technology and the projected time to recover the capital investment.
Long time for me not posting. My apologies. I will try to do better. Damn Kiwi's....

Germ said...

Almost forgot. The internal of these is likely not to last too long. Think of those junk sakura's.... Tombow LX, HS and LZ are just as bad. Have had an LX and one of my new LZ, neither having ever been used, one half of the clutch (2 piece lead clutch) broke off from the internal lead tube. grr..... should have taken pics, I think.... DOH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hey dave i love your reviews and i was wondering i want to get this pen called the uni ball premir 207 pen if you could do a review on it i would love it thanks

Ralrara said...

Oh.... I hate M105.....
That MP is junk....

Anonymous said...

I have recently found a pencil which appears to be an M105 rebranded for Corporate Express EXP i.e it says "EXP" on the barrel instead of "Jedo M105".
Has anybody had any similar findings?

2nd_astronaut said...

I have found this weird e-Micro pencil on the net (Hexa 10000):
Crazy thing, but probably expensive (usually the number gives the price, so this one will be worth of 100 M105s?).

Anonymous said...

There is another pencil with this look. It's not bad, it's my best pencil- a KOH-I-NOOR office line classic with the exact shape of these two pencils.

Matthias said...

It looks as if Poppin ( ) is selling this pencil in USA ( ). I don't think they sell the Koh-I-Noor mentioned by Anonymous, as it is not available any more - as far as I know.

AURE said...

How ironic!, today July 2018, I just realize that one of my mechanical pencils never broke and it is the oldest one I have, and the one I use the most. I got it more than 10 years ago, 2005 I think. But still good as new after all these years. The brand was printed in the metal body, the print now totally gone over the years. I knew it wasn't any known brand, I bought it because it was affordable and it's made of metal. I wanted something of quality. And surely it was! And still is.

So I did a search for the pencil, sure that I would not find anything about it. And of course, there was absolutely nothing about it, till I found it, just one picture:

Micro 712 executive0.5

So I got the brand, but I couldn't find anything else! Because now is called eMicro an obscure Korean company. Finally I got to this article, and I guess the search is over and done. Thanks for the article, and the info. Much appreciated.

Great pencil and quality, still brand new after a decade of use, and I'm still drawing with it.
I'll be reading your blog for sure too. Greetings!

Marcelo José de Souza said...

Look at this:

2nd_astronaut said...

Another strange e-Micro vintage pencil: Crete 10000. I see Pilot Sprinter, Pentel Smash, for the tip I am unsure ...