Showing posts with label mechanical pencils. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mechanical pencils. Show all posts

Friday, September 25, 2020

Koh-I-Noor 2mm pencil and lead, 6 color set

2 mm colored lead koh i noor
I wanted to try out some colored pencils for daily business. Mostly to make marks or annotations on documents in a more visible way compared to a regular black pencil. In the past I did not have a very good experience with mechanical pencil colored leads so I tried something else, 2 mm leads. I found the only 2 mm leads in color available locally are the Koh I Noor ones.
They came in a 6 pack that contains a black one, red, blue, brown, yellow and green. The cool thing about them is that Koh-I-Noor also sells a similar pack with 2 mm clutch pencils. The pencils come in the same colors as the leads. Pretty nice.
The leads are made in the Czech Republic and come in a red plastic box with a clear top that has a Koh I Noor logo. The top slides to reveal the leads inside. They are very secure inside but if you only have one clutch pencil and you want to switch leads often grabbing them from the pack is not too easy.
The price is good as with all the Koh I Noor products. I got them for 1.51 EURO or 1.84 USD.
The colors are ok, not very vibrant but not dull. The black is the one I do not like. It feels like a colored pencil instead of a regular lead, plus it could be a bit darker. For example, a Faber Castell 2 mm lead 3B is smoother and produces a darker line.

The brown, blue, green look good and can be used for marking stuff with no problems. The red is a bit dull and not very vibrant but it is ok. The yellow is no surprise here, it can only be used for highlighting, as it is too washed out to write with it.
My favorite colors are the green and blue, followed by the brown and then red.
An erase test showed that they are not too stubborn and can be erased without too many problems. I have put to the test the Rotring Tikky and the Faber Castell Dust Free 187121 erasers. The Faber Castell did a much better job.




Friday, July 3, 2020

Faber Castell TK-FINE 9719 1.0 mm

After a long wait, it came the time to write about my Faber Castell TK - Fine 9719 in size 1.0 mm. I own this mechanical pencil for more than 7 or 8 years. It was my first Faber Castell I have purchased. I chose at the time the TK Fine as it seemed a nice alternative to other more plain mechanical pencils.
tk fine mechanical pencil faber castell
It is not the cheapest but not that expensive after all, it has a few nice features that you see on more expensive pencils.
It is a technical mechanical pencil, and it comes with a fixed retractable tip, which makes it pocket safe. The tip has a little bit of a wobble to it, but it is present in most mechanical pencils that have this feature. It features a lead hardness indicator, a basic and simple way to keep track of the lead that is inside, you rotate the clip. The indicator has the following writings available -, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, 4H. Although because it is such a simple and basic lead indicator, people who use it a lot might get the letters erased by constantly rotating the clip, which is held in place by friction.
The clip has on the side written Germany.
The cap is a very thin barrel which is closed with at one end with a plastic part with ISO coloring to indicate the lead thickness at a glance.
The body is made out of plastic in the classic Faber green. The grip is octagonal while the rest of the barrel is round.

faber castel tk fine 1.0 mm mechanical pencil
This pencil never clicked with me, even though I tried to make it happen.. The grip is slippery and a bit uncomfortable for longer writing sessions for me. This might not be the case for everybody so I will not focus on this too much. My other complaint is about the tolerances on the cap. It is way too lose on it, and there is a high chance of losing it. I have seen multiple TK-FINES around the office with missing cap ends. I bent my end cap at both ends to make it stay in place after I found it a couple of times on the bottom of the backpack.
Another thing that shows low quality in the materials used are the shiny surfaces. The tip, clip, and cap. Over time, even though the pencil sat in storage most of the time they have lost the shine and they look aged, weathered.
tk fine faber castel

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Penac The Pencil

While visiting a new stationery shop close to my home I have spotted an interesting mechanical pencil. Actually, it was The Pencil!
The Pencil by Penac in a blue two-tone body and 0.9 mm lead.

The Pencil is made in Japan and it cost me around 1.5 eur, so it was very affordable.

product code SA2005-03 Made in Japan
The barrel of The Pencil has a triangular shape and it is thick enough that it is comfortable. The edges of the triangular barrel are a lighter shade of blue while the flat parts are a bit darker. The plastic is nice to touch, it has that soft plastic feel to it. The grip on it is great, there is no chance it will slip in the hand, and also it is a comfortable shape. It doesn't bother me at all writing with it for longer periods of time. I am a bit curious how will this soft plastic handle the test of time.
But again, I am talking about The Pencil, not any mechanical pencil, of course, it is comfortable and it caresses your hand every time you pick it up.
Penac The Pencil 0.9 Japan is printed on the barrel in a white silver font.
It has a clean design with no pocket clip, but you don't have to worry about it falling off the table because of its shape.
The front cone is made out of a different plastic, a more standard glossy type. It even features a retractable plastic tip which works just fine. The opposite end of the pencil is a bit extravagant. I say this because it has a cap like most mechanical pencils but this one has a hole in it and no eraser under. Actually, there is nothing under it, as I found out after pulling on it like an idiot. It is just the end piece connected to the interior tube that holds the leads by two clips, and it is non-removable. When I realized this I was a bit upset, because in my head this meant you can only have one lead in the pencil, and no reserves. But with a little bit of clever design on Penac side (once more doubting The Pencil), you can fit multiple leads inside without them spilling out when you turn the pencil upside down. Of course, if you overfill it they will fall eventually but with a few leads, there are no problems.
The end cap with a hole inside is not detachable and is inserted in the lead barrel about 1 cm. The inside of the end cap is a bit smaller compared to the lead barrel and connected with 2 clips, thus creating a little bit of space between the endcap and the lead barrel. If you turn the pencil upside down the leads will get stuck in this space instead of falling through the hole.
 

The design works very well and I really enjoy this "neat" feature as I never use the erasers that come with mechanical pencils.
|A small negative to The Pencil is as you can see all the internal parts are made out of plastic, so the durability of it is questionable.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Sunday Sudoku

Like many others, I found myself with a lot more time on my hands. I have a long list of stuff I would like to do like learn to ride a skateboard, make a bonsai, pick up the guitar again, read 3 books, exercise and others. But for this Sunday I wanted to enjoy the hobby that made me create the blog. As I do not know how to draw and I am not that much into journaling I thought Sudoku is a great way to use my beloved pencils and erasers, exercise the brain and kill some time. All with one stone.
I think I overstretched downloading some "moderate" Sudoku. The first took me about 2 hours and the second more than 3, as I found a mistake almost at the end, which set me back a lot. I tried a 3rd moderate Sudoku but abandoned it after an hour and 3 numbers discovered.
Koh-I-Noor Mephisto Mechanical pencil 0.7 HB
Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth eraser

Friday, February 7, 2020

Mephisto 0.7 Koh-I-Noor Prague souveniers


The second pencil souvenier in line from my recent trip to Prague, is a mechanical pencil named Mephisto.
I will spoil the read saying this is another gem by Koh-I-Noor. I was surprised by how nice the pencil feels and how well it is built.
The pencil features a plastic construction. It is available in different colors, and I chose this incredible dark metallic red color (almost candy apple).

It has a rubberized grip that may not appeal to everybody. Not to mention that the grip seems a bit high and it has an hourglass shape. So you can't really move your fingers too much up or down. It certainly has a sweet spot, it forces you to hold it in the way the designer thought you should hold the pencil.
Besides this, which is not a big deal for me, the rest of the pencil is awesome.

The clip has the name Koh-I-Noor stamped on it. Not too dip, but a nice touch. This is the only place where the name Koh I Noor appears on the pencil. The clips is very solid.

On the barrel, the name Mephisto and lead size are printed in silver lettering. Also, the plastic is color-coded, blue for 0.7 mm lead.

Like most pencils, it has a standard white eraser, covered by a chromed end cap with a hole on top for safety reasons. The endcap slides on and off easily, but not to easy. I did not have any trouble with it falling on its own while in the bag.
The lead is loaded by removing the entire color-coded plastic, along with the eraser and the chromed cap.
The cone tip is stainless or some sort of chromed metal.
It hides a retractable tip that works flawlessly. Either if you hide it or deploy it the action is smooth and does not require any pressure.
And the thing I love the most is the lack of wiggle of the tip. Just after seeing this implementation I can tell the pencil is incredibly well built. Most of the pencils in this price tier and above struggle. Not the end of the world but a definite turn off, especially if you are a stickler like me.

This pencil costs a little more, 113 czk which translates to 4.44 EUR or 4.93 USD.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Mechanical Pencil Koh-I-Noor Versatil 5216, Prague souveniers


As you can remember from my recent post, I have visited Prague and 2 Koh-I-Noor shops. And of course, I had to bring back home a few souvenirs.
The first rabbit out of the bag is a Koh-I-Noor clutch pencil with 2 mm lead, Versatil 5216.
This first picture is not an exact representation of it's looks as it has a paler purple color and not a blueish tone.
The pencil looks very nice in my opinion, not to mention the price was incredible. Just 65 CZK (Czeck Koruna) which equates to 2.55 EUR or 2.84 USD. A real bargain.

The pencil body is a hexagon, painted in a nice purple color with gold lettering on one side. Koh - I Noor Hardmuth Versatil 5216. The printing could be improved as some of the letters are a bit fuzzy. The barrel I think it is made out of aluminum, while the mechanism inside is stainless steel and what looks like copper.
I have to say I am very pleased with the construction, I was expecting a cheap all-plastic no thrills 2 mm clutch pencil. The pencil has an integrated 4 spike sharpener in the push button as most Koh I Noor lead holders, and no pocket clip. It is a very classic design that I like, with a nice touch of modern brought by the colors it comes in.

The grip on the lead is good as the lead will not rotate when you try to sharpen it and will not slide in when you apply vertical pressure on the lead. This is nothing to brag about, as it should be standard, but Koh I Noor had this issue with some variants of this pencil made out of plastic.
 

All in all I am very surprised by this mechanical pencil. Its low price and good quality, the feel in hand is great and the colors it is available in. I love it and I recommend everybody to get one or more of these pencils.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy new year

Happy new year dear friends !!
I wish all a great new year, a better year
full of achievements, full of joy and happiness
Enjoy every minute of the new year along the loved ones


 Pilot 2020 shaking mechanical pencil
still shaking in 2020

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Faber Castell Apollo and Grip


I have recently spotted a new pencil in shops, the Faber Castell Apollo. An alternative to Faber Castell Grip I (which has a sort of triangular grip section opposed to the circular one available on Grip II)
Apollo is a circular body and a triangular grip. I found the Appolo available in 4 colors
(barely visible in the background on the left). Black, dark blue, purple and washed out pink.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Pencils in hotel rooms



Recently I have done a little bit of traveling. Most of the times, in the hotels I come across ballpoints, but there are the occasions when I stumble upon a pencil or mechanical pencil.
This time I was greeted by a Bic mechanical pencil with the branding of the hotel on the clip instead of the BIC logo.
The Bic mechanical pencil came with an extra lead inside.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review Koh-I-Noor Notebook 2 mm mechanical pencil

The Versatil from Koh-I-Noor that I talked about in the post Koh-I-Noor Versatil lead holder from 70s, made me a bit nostalgic about the 2 mm lead holders. And after seeing the Koh-I-Noor Notebook 2 mm pencil, codename 5608, I couldn't help myself and just got one.
The pencil has a very nice design, combining the classic, futuristic looks. I do not know why but the design takes my imagination to the 60s, old small cars with chrome and typewriters. Weird combination..
For me, this was the selling point.
The first thing about the pencil that comes to mind when you have it in hand is "this is soo small". The length of it is a perfect size, I would call it compact. It is long enough to have a good grip on it and it is small enough to fit anywhere. But because the pencil is very thin it contributes to the look. The purpose of this was EDC, no doubt.
Size comparison Koh I Noor Notebook 2 mm and Koh I Noor 5.6 mm

There is a compromise when it comes to ergonomics in the detriment of size. The pencil is fine for short period of writing and for jotting things down, and the knurled grip feels very nice in the hand.  But even for small hands like mine, when I write more, it becomes a bit uncomfortable because it is so thin with around 8 mm in diameter.

So because of its small size and its cool looks, you will be inclined to have it with you all the time.

There are a few things about the Koh I Noor that I do not like, or I would prefer to be better made. The barrel is not attached to the mechanism. I mean that the lead and the clutch rotates freely in the barrel of the pencil. So if you want to sharpen the lead in it you have two options. The first option is to hold it by the lead and rotate it in the sharpener, and the second is to hold it from the advance button which moves along with the clutch mechanism and the lead.
The second complaint is about the clicking mechanism doesn't seem to be sturdy, and mine is rubbing inside between the mechanism and the barrel. I would say this will not last you a lifetime like the old Versatil will.
Koh I Noor has kept the classic 4 tooth sharpener that is hidden in the advance button. It is a nice touch but 2 mm pencils like Rotring 300 have a better sharpening system built in. And talking about the sharpener, it comes loose easily. I found the pencil several times without this little part attached, only my luck made me find it in the bag or on the desk. But take it into consideration that you might loose it.

These negative points destroy a little bit the aura of the pencil and the brand name. I don't want to say it is made cheap but I would prefer that Koh I Noor would put a little more effort into making a better pencil.



If you want to czech more things about Koh I Noor you could start with these posts:
Koh-I-Noor Versatil lead holder from 70s
Koh-I-Noor in Prague

Friday, September 6, 2019

Italic mechanical pencil

I am sure this is not the proper way of presenting this mechanical pencil but for me is a first. I never saw a flat, "italic", mechanical pencil lead.
I guess it is very good for tests where you have to highlight the right answer, or when you pick the lottery numbers
I found this no name pencils on Aliexpress and I am wondering what are the applications for these leads. From what I found out Zebra has a similar mechanical pencil. And at some point in time, Faber Castell had a flat lead holder.
In the picture below with Faber Castell on the lead box (product number 9040), it is marketed as "Flat drawing leads"


Friday, June 7, 2019

Gutberlet manufacturer of mechanical pencils for Rotring and Staedtler?

Fact: In 1995 Gutberlet GmbH acquired the rights to the Kaweco name.
Enter the Gutberlet site and you are welcomed by an outdated, plain looking site of an unknown manufacturer.
If you look at the products you are up for a treat
"Components for pens – technical components – decoration foils / heat-transfer-foils – packaging – OEM-production for pens."

"Push pencil aluminium with 0,3/0,5/0,7 und 0,9mm leads"

rOtring Tikky T (first version)
rOtring Esprit

Staedtler 925 25 03
Staedtler 925 05 and Staedler 925 65

Staedtler and Rotring




All of the images were taken from the Goultberg presentation portfolio link


Related post: kaweco OEM

Friday, February 8, 2019

KOH-I-NOOR 5340 5,6 mm lead holder

koh_i_noor leadholder 5340So here it is, the Koh-I-Noor lead holder 5340 5,6 mm in gold. My initial impression was this thing is a lot bigger than I was expecting. I thought that it would be shorter. It kind of feels like holding a weapon. Big, bulky, all metal.
The design is simple and elegant, the mechanism inside is made out of brass, the outside is made out of aluminum and the barrel is painted goldish, while the rest of the parts are polished bare metal. The barrel is an octagon, and on a side, it is written in black KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH. I guess this is not a subtle pencil so why would the writing on it bee any different.
Inside the mechanism's button, there is a sharpener for the lead. Also because of the thickness of the lead, you can use a regular pencil sharpener.
When you remove the cap, you have access to the lead inside, meaning you can fill or empty the pencil from the back, if the lead is not clamped in the clutch jaws.
The pencil was delivered with a lead, 2HB I think. It is plenty dark and smooth, so the writing experience is nice.
One of the bumps in the road is the consistency of the lead thickness. Some of the leads I bought along with the pencil are a bit too thick and they do not go in or out without persuasion. I have to pull on them or shake the pencil to force them out. And I can see little crumbles of graphite from the friction with the clutch.
After playing with the pencil for a few days I found it's role in my life. I think the designer of the pencil had artists in mind, but I do not draw. Or because of it's intimidating size it could be used for manly things. I read on a blog some time ago you can design a shed with it, and I think the one who did the review was pretty close to its purpose.
My use for it is "Visual Note Taking and Markings".

koh_i_noor leadholder 5340
There is a good variety of leads to use for this pencil. You can use regular lead. I do not know if you can get HB, but the softer lead is just fine. Also, you can use chalk, coal, metallic colors, sepia. 

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.