Monday, June 18, 2018

Barunson 2.0 Multi Sharp Mechanical Pencil Review

Barunson 2.0 Multi – 2B Sharp Mechanical Pencil Review

This pencil was sent to me 9 years ago by my friend Kent from Korea. I suppose anyone who has a collection of something has a few guilty items in their collection. You know, a couple of items that they really shouldn’t like, but they do. Well, this Barunson mechanical pencil is one of mine. I really like it, but it’s not a particularly good pencil.

Online searches show this Barunson pencil is usually sold as a combo pack deal of two or three different colourways of the pencil along with a mixed pack of coloured leads. This seems to imply Barunson are aiming at the arts and crafts market. Searching online also seems to only bring up this one pencil so perhaps it is the only one they market under their brand. My Korean friend tells me that Barunson were a reasonably significant stationery company in the school and childrens market segment but in 2014 they sold their stationery business to a small company called Barunson Plus. Barunson Plus have themselves been in financial difficulty for quite a long time and have been applied to the courts for various protections. Apparently because of the rapidly declining younger demographics within the Korean population many commercial sectors such as dairy products, paediatric medicines and stationery are facing very difficult market conditions in Korea. Wikipedia even states

“In fact, the speed of aging in Korea is unprecedented in human history…”

Firstly then, I quite like the way it looks. A long slim lightweight white plastic body with silver and chrome trims. I don’t have many white pencils so perhaps that’s part of its attraction for me. The pocket clip is very sturdy and, like the body, seems of very good quality.

The body is round but the grip section is triangular. It’s ridiculous. The flat sections of the grip which your fingers make the main contact with are smooth and the rounded corners of the triangle which you don’t touch have grooves on them. Surely it should be the other way around?

The lead advance is a standard push top ratchet. Ten clicks will advance 11mm of lead. Having said that, the mechanism isn’t totally reliable, and very occasionally a click will not advance any lead.

When writing you should not hold the pencil too vertical and/or push too hard as the clutch system is not very strong and the lead will slide back up into the tip if too much pressure is applied. A few economy grade pencils have similar problems, e.g. the BIC Matic Classic.

The tip of the pencil is a short fixed sleeve but being plastic to suit 2mm lead this means it is fairly blunt so is basically pocket safe.

Being a 2mm lead mechanical pencil it does not hold any spare leads inside the pencil body. You pull the push top button off to insert a new lead. Not too surprisingly there is no eraser under the top button. On the other hand there is a lead sharpener inside the push top button. It is fairly vicious and one of those styles that can leave a long thin shaft projecting out from the conical tip.

Like many 2mm pencils the Barunson has a lead hardness indicator, a simple twist ring to show the grade, with grades HB through to 4B available.

The adhesive label on the body includes the word “China” so that must be the country of manufacture.

This mechanical pencil is a mixed bag. The actual body moulding and pocket clip seem of very good quality, the design seems aesthetically pleasing but functionally questionable (grip section, sharpener) and the mechanism is definitely questionable. Still, somehow, I like it, and am glad to have it in my collection.

•    Best Points – Looks. Good external body build.
•    Not So Good Points – Grip section, weak lead clutch.
•    Price Range – Low (when you divide the pack price up)
•    Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? – No way.

Dimensions – Length 150 mm, diameter 9mm across main body. Balance point about 80mm up from the tip.


Anonymous said...

I got one of those branded BRW, a company from Brazil that imports office supplies from China and I once saw these while browsing aliexpress.

The blades in the sharpener of mine eventually somehow shifted inside within 3 days and the result was that after sharpening the tips of the lead would have a small tear shape, that would soon break as it made contact with the paper resulting in a double-line - rendering it fairly useless.

After a week it met the garbage bin, but I had the same weird experience - it was lightweight and the body felt solid, while the grip was annoying. Also, the grade indicator moved way too easily.

In all it made ma frustrated that it was a couple details and a bit better quality control from being a good product.

Pibe said...

Dave, there are hundreds of sellers from China selling this pencil in Ebay, branded "Baile"

If you search for "pencil 2.0mm" you will be submerged by offers of this pencil

Here's a couple of examples:

I've been using a few of these and I find they are good enough for my needs. I like particularly their extreme lightness.


Kiwi-d said...

Oh yes, I assumed the Chinese manufacturer sells it to numerous brand holders and under their own house brand as well.

Time Waster said...

Yeah you might want to sharpen something like this on either sandpaper or use a file I have a Alvin Pencil file that works for any type of pencil they no longer make them but I requested they make them again but the Drafting scene isn't really out there anymore but the comic book traditional art people still use them leadholders and the like.

Anonymous said...

Tenho umas cinco dessas e são muito legais. A qualidade é excelente. O visual é esplêndido.

kiwi-d said...

Google translate says the above comment is in Portuguese and translates to English as

"I have about five of these and they're really cool. The quality is excellent. The look is splendid."