Thursday, December 27, 2018

Review of the Otho Conception mechanical pencil

Merry Christmas to everyone, even if it is a bit late. This is a late Christmas special post featuring the very interesting looking OHTO Conception 0.3.  To be honest I meant to write it for some time now but got distracted with work, life, and laziness. I meant to write it just before Christmas but I have lent the camera so I couldn’t take the needed pictures.
Excuses aside I want to review the Conception mechanical pencil which I have mentioned about in a previous post. Tanks to Matthias from Bleistift blog, Dave from Dave's mechanical pencils and
Brad from The Pen Addict.
This pencil was reviewed by Mathias from Bleistift.com some time ago, so please check his post and the youtube video.
I have seen them at that time but can’t remember the conclusion so this will be my view on the mechanical pencil. It will be interesting to see after, how each views the same product.
First of all the color, which I find it to be very nice. It could be seen as a bit feminine, but I think it works for everyone. It is an all metal body, with the barrel a light pale purple, a midsection with a darker violet. The grip is a mat finish gray that has a bit of tactile feel to it and it has enough grip. The rest of the pencil: tip, clip, and pusher are glossy gray.
The pencil has very subtle markings, OTO and Conception along with lead size, that is written in a color that is close to the barrel color and in a small font. It gives the pencil a clean look and technical feel.
This pencil has 2 very interesting features that make it a bit unique. The first thing that you notice are 4 holes in the side of the barrel that show you how much the lead advances. Yes, you can control it. So if you ever felt the traditional mechanical pencil doesn’t got this right you can opt for the Conception. At the maximum setting, the lead will advance 15 mm after 10 clicks and the minimum setting will offer 4 mm of lead for 10 clicks. A huge difference, and of course you can set it any ware between this 2 values.
The second unique feature of this mechanical pencil is the fact you can have a fixed sleeve or a retractable sleeve. By screwing the barrel to the grip you make it a fixed sleeve, that is very good for technical work, and precision lines. While for general writing you might prefer to have a sliding sleeve, so you will click the advance mechanism a lot fewer times. This makes the pencil pocket safe because the sleeve slides all the way in.

The clip and the eraser are good and I do not have complaints about them. One thing that is reminiscent of older pencils is a pointy tip imbedded in the eraser for unclogging the pencil. Rotring has dropped this after the first generation of Tikky, so I do know how to feel about it. Is the pencil not reliable enough and the manufacturer knows you will get into trouble? or is it there just to give you comfort and ease of mind in case something goes wrong? Take it the way you want, I am a bit skeptical.

One thing I have not talked about is the lead size. The pencil in my possession is a 0.3 m lead. It is the first one for me.
I don’t know how to feel about it at this moment, as I have not used it enough. Lately, I am incline to use 0.7 mm more often than the 0.5. I think this is because I rarely need the pencil to do detailed work and mostly I use it for notes. Engineer or not computers are used for the real work stuff while paper and pencils are mostly used to put down some thoughts, ideas and notes.
The fine point is a very different experience even compared to the 0.5 mm, and it offers a lot of control and precision. In the end this lead size to me seams to be a more specialized thing, making it less practical. I mean it is very good for detailed work and taking small notes in a limited space, for example, a book, but will not be very good for writing as you will frequently need to click the advance mechanism. Having a fine point makes it more fragile and having a sliding sleeve will make your lead break fewer times or not at all.
So in my opinion the purpose of the sliding sleeve in this pencil is more for protection, and not for long writing sessions. 

The pencil offers a very nice feel in hand, for me is a great fit. One thing that I would change is the transition from the barrel to the grip section. It should have been better grinded to make a smoother transition.
One other thing I would like to mention is the screwing mechanism that makes the sleeve fixed or slide and the click of the lead advance. You can feel the spring that offers resistance and it is not smooth or quiet. It is not too bad, but I feel there is room for improvement.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

10 $ or less

If you ever wondered what would 10 $ buy you, stationary related, wonder no more:
Here are a few ideas

For the South Park fans, here are some Cartman quotes on the side of pencils
You can buy them here


If you enjoy the good attitude and hard-working spirit of Sponge Bob you can go for the eraser set, that includes figurines of Mr. Krabs and Patrick as well.
Eraser set

And where better to put the pencils and erasers you just purchased, if not in a gross fish like pencil case. I guess you could keep it between real fish for a few days just to offer the realistic feel, smell wise. It also looks really spacy
Fish pencil case