Showing posts with label accessories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accessories. Show all posts

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Rotring polimer leads

When it comes to polymer leads Rotrings are the ones I love. They are average priced but exceptional writers. The leads write very smoothly, and it's hard to emphasize this enough. The best way is to try it yourself if you have not tried them yet. Also, it is rare for them to break. So I give them 10 out of 10.

When rOtring introduced it's first mechanical pencil, of course, it had to come up with the leads for it. So in 1979 when the Tikky was introduced to the public the first polymers from rOtring came to market as well. The leads came in a package that resembled the 2 mm.
In the catalog, rOtring specifies that the leads are resistant to breaking, and they come in size 0.3 / 0.5 / 0.7 and different hardness levels.
As you can see back then rOtring was marketing their sizes differently 0.3 instead of 0.35 nowadays and 1.0 instead of 0.9 nowadays.
As I used rOtrings a little bit later down the line I did not use this first model but I don't remember the early leads to be that resistant as it was not unusual for the pencils to get clogged up. 
rOtring catalog 1980 Romania 

A new design of the lead box was released in the later years. I do not know exactly when the new design was launched to the market but it was before 1990. Most likely the formula changed as well as the package. The leads were not any kind of Polymer but a hi-Polymer.
The new lead boxes contained 16 leads divided evenly into two compartments that. The compartments were independent and each had its own cap, even though the caps were connected to each other.
rOtring catalog 1990
Sometime before 1996 rOtring changed the packaging of the leads again. The big change is the fact that rOtring in this period transitioned from the old labeling of sizes to the modern labeling. I mean that the previous size 0.3 was marketed as 0.3 / 0.35 mm, and the 1.0 changed to 0.9 / 1.0.
In addition to the size, color coding was added to the label. And of course, the number of leads in the package was reduced to 12 pieces instead of the previous 16.
Thee box kept the same design and color.
rOtring catalog 1996

In the early 2000s, a new package was introduced. A more modern design, where you a slide the access door to access the 12 leads that are inside. The dual compartment was forgotten. Also the dual-labeling of the size was dropped in favor of 0.35 mm and 0.9 mm. This is the way rOtring codes the sizes even today.
rOtring catalog 2005
Another change happened in 2008 when rOtring added the Tikky name on the label. Also, the article number was changed. This makes me believe that the product itself suffered a change, or maybe it was just an integration in the Stanford article system.
rOtring catalog 2008

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Tour de France souveniers


If you fancy Le Tour and stationary you can get this yellow pencil case from the official Tour de France webshop. Being the 100th Tour it is even more tempting.
You can keep in it pencils and fountain pens, or if it is not your cup of tea you can store your energy bars, rice cookies, and suncream.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Stabilo HB and 2B lead review


Today I tested a not very popular lead brand, Stabilo. The brand is best known for its highlighters and I would say not so much for pencils and leads.
The price of the lead was pretty good. 1.63 $ or 1.32 Eur for 3 pack of 12 leads. Two of them HB and one 2B. It is cheaper than big brand names in some cases even by half. The lead comes in a classic barrel, that is clear with a little quirk to it and a nice red cap. I like the simple and clean look.
The first thing you notice is the length of 75 mm instead of the standard 60 mm. So not only you have a better price than bigger names you get more lead for your money, 25% more.

I tested the 0.5 mm HB and the 2B. To have a base point I compared the results produced by the Stabilo to Rotring.
The lead writes well, the HB feels a bit hard and a bit scratchy. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
The line is a bit light. It feels a bit harder compared to other HB leads. Compared to the Rotring it feels very hard, but the pro is the ease of erasing it.

After doing the writing test for the HB I used about 0.5 mm of lead.
The good thing is the lead will last a long time, and you will not need to click the advance mechanism so often.
If I compare it to the Rotring HB, Stabilo HB is scratchy, hard, light but it will last longer. Rotring HB is smoother and almost as dark as the Stabilo 2B. At smoothness, Rotring gets a 5 out of 5. But the darkness and the smoothness comes at a cost. To do the same writing test the Rotring used a little over 1 mm of lead. That is more than double if you compare it with Stabilo

The Stabilo 2B is very soft and smooth. It leaves behind a black dark line but wears up quite fast. The same writing test used 4.5 mm of lead. A very significant increase. You will have dark lines on the paper but you will be clicking a lot. The erasing of the lead was very good, no residue was left behind.
But the Rotring 2B did better overall. It was a hint darker but nothing significant or worth worrying about. The smoothness was similar in both brands. But Stabilo needed 4.5 mm to do the same test while Rotring needed only 3 mm.
The Stabilo 2B seems too soft, and this does not translate into extra dark lines. So I would not recommend it, as you will have to do a lot of clicking to write.
There is a definitive gap between Stabilo HB and 2B. HB being a bit too hard and the 2B a bit too soft. If you are not put off by the hardness and scratchiness of the HB, Stabilo offers a very good deal. 75 mm of lead, 12 leads/pack at just 0.44 Eur or 0.54 $.




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




Sunday, August 18, 2013

Slide rule, the computer before computers

Some people forget that not computers put a man on the moon. Before the era of lightning fast calculations made with the aid of computers engineers used slide rulers.



slide rule