Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Rhodia scRipt Mechanical Pencil Review

Rhodia scRipt Mechanical Pencil Review

Rhodia are well known for their orange covered paper products, and have had their own-brand woodcase pencil for many years so it is no real surprise that one day they decided to introduce a mechanical pencil to their range. I have seen it advertised in black, brown and silver but I am showcasing the scRipt in Rhodia’s signature colour, orange. Now when I say orange, I really mean ORANGE! The sort of orange that would make Dutch folk go crazy. If you are not a fan of orange then look away now and go back to your home page because this blog post will burn your eyes. This pencil was sent to me by Cult Pens without any safety warning but luckily I am not orange-intolerant.
rhodia script mechanical pencil
Rhodia orange, adding some colour to any day
Rhodia write the model name as scRipt and the packaging states the mechanical pencil is made in Japan and has a brushed aluminium body. Somewhat unusually for a Made in Japan mechanical pencil, I cannot find the word “Japan” on the pencil itself. I am certainly not implying anything by that statement, I am just making an observation. The hexagonal body is brushed aluminium so is initially cool to the touch. It is anodised or somehow otherwise coloured orange, and what an orange it is.  It is very deep and vibrant, with a reasonably glossy finish, much deeper and more vibrant than the orange of its packaging and of my Rhodia pads. You can see the brushed aluminium effect on the hexagonal body through the colour. The tip section, top button and pocket clip are however slightly different to the body. They appear more like a painted or lacquer finish, smooth and full gloss with a hint of metallic.
orange rhodia script mechanical pencil
Simple times with Rhodia notepad and pencil
Like many aluminium bodied mechanical pencils the Rhodia scRipt is still relatively lightweight, although at 17grams it is heavier than many of its aluminium brethren. In the hand it feels substantial and the balance is fairly neutral, perhaps slightly towards the tip. The hexagonal body should suit most hands but there is no specific grip section or grip enhancement.

The pocket clip is strong and sturdy, and carries the Rhodia branding. Combined with the hexagonal body this is a no desk roll pencil.
rhodia script top cap
Rhodia scRipt top cap, eraser and lead chamber
The lead advance is a standard push top ratchet system, and ten clicks will advance about 8mm of the 0.5mm lead. The mechanism feels smooth and positive. Up at the top end, there is the usual small emergency use eraser under the top cap and you pull the eraser out to access the lead magazine. Unfortunately though the plastic lead magazine tube is quite loose and wobbly inside the outer metal body and when the top cap is in place there is often an audible metallic rattling as the top cap wobbles around inside the metal body. This is a bit of an annoying let down on an otherwise good quality product. I imagine a bit of tape wrapped around the base of the top button would put an end to the rattle.
rhodia script mechanical pencil sliding sleeve tip retracted
scRipt tip retracted
rhodia sliding sleeve extended
scRipt mechanical pencil sliding sleeve extended
I must admit to a surprise the first time I pushed down on the top button. Out popped a 4mm sliding sleeve. I just automatically expected the scRipt would be a general writing pencil, but Rhodia have obviously tried to cater for the more technically orientated artist as well as the general user. To help reduce lead breakage there is also a lead cushioning system in the tip as well, so the lead will spring back in a millimetre or so under heavy pressure. Of course some don't like cushioning systems, feeling they make things feel squishy and less precise, but I don't usually agree with that view as the amount of pressure required to push the spring back is quite a lot. The retractable sliding sleeve means this is a pocket safe pencil.

Overall then this is a decent mechanical pencil, and if you are a fan of Rhodia notebooks or paper and want a mechanical pencil then the scRipt in orange should be on your list of options.

•    Best Points – ORANGE!
•    Not So Good Points – The rattle
•    Price Range – Mid
•    Does this pencil make it into the Top 5? – No
Dimensions – Length   132mm extended, 9mm across the flats of the hexagonal body section. Balance point about 65mm up from the tip.

Disclaimer: This Rhodia scRipt mechanical pencil was sent to me free of charge by Cult Pens. Thanks Cult Pens.

The Rhodia scRipt orange mechanical pencil is much more orange than Rhodia pad covers, although these images make the pad cover orange look rather light and washed out. My apologies to the marketing folk at Rhodia.

rhodia script orange mechanical pencil


Matthias said...

That's a beautiful orange, I bet it's not only making the Dutch crazy. Thank you for your review.
You mentioned the sliding sleeve. Does it need a lot of force to slide or would it slide back while you write (reducing the need to advance the lead all the time)?

Kiwi-d said...

Yes the sleeve retracts whilst writing, although as usual you can tell "something" is dragging on the paper. Personally it feels better the more perpendicular to the paper that the pencil is held.
I just realized I forgot to mention the lead cushioning so I will amend the review to include that.

Anonymous said...

Does your model have a plastic chuck? I saw a post in Japanese that seemed to say they did (with a picture), but I was relying on Google translate so I couldn’t be sure.

Kiwi-d said...

Yes, plastic clutch.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that’s too bad - that’s a deal-breaker for me at that price. Thanks for checking!

PencilMentis said...

Great review, I love the colour. I’m a big fan of Rhodia paper, so perhaps I’ll get the pencil as well.