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Get The Lead Out

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8 replies to this topic

#1 MYU

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 21:49

I've been circling back to mechanical pencils and really enjoying them. I seem to be more "doodle inspired" with one than anything else. Ballpoints are permanent, fountain pen ink is limited, and lead is just so easily to reload.

 

I know very little about pencil leads... only that there's different compositions of lead/graphite and range from butter soft to rock hard, from pin point thinness to massive thickness of a cotton swab.

 

So what are some of the best value brands out there to buy?  And what is a good hardness level that resists breakage but still gives enough softness for artistic flair?  :)


[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


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#2 NinthSphere

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 22:12

These two JetPens articles are my usual suggested reading on the subject.

 

https://www.jetpens....ss-grade/pt/475

https://www.jetpens....mparison/pt/887



#3 bearcat1

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 23:06

I like the Rotring 600 from jetpens with HB lead.

 

https://www.jetpens....er-Body/pd/6436


Edited by bearcat1, 25 February 2017 - 23:07.


#4 flatline

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Posted 25 February 2017 - 23:33

A week's worth of reading about pencils and pencil leads will be less productive than 5 minutes of experimenting with actual pencils and pencil leads.

 

My recommendation is to purchase an inexpensive mechanical pencil in each of the lead sizes that you're curious about and then use them. Pay attention to what you like and dislike about each of the lead sizes. Once you've identified which lead sizes you like, then decide if you like the pencils that you have in those sizes. If you do, then you're done. If you have complaints, then look for another pencil that you think you might like better.

 

The thing about pencils (and pens, for that matter) is that whether you like them is dependent on lots of things, several of which are difficult to evaluate unless you're actually holding the pencil in your hand. Fortunately, you can buy several pencils for the price of an entry level fountain pen.

 

--flatline



#5 Outta Ink

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 04:03

A week's worth of reading about pencils and pencil leads will be less productive than 5 minutes of experimenting with actual pencils and pencil leads.

 

My recommendation is to purchase an inexpensive mechanical pencil in each of the lead sizes that you're curious about and then use them. Pay attention to what you like and dislike about each of the lead sizes. Once you've identified which lead sizes you like, then decide if you like the pencils that you have in those sizes. If you do, then you're done. If you have complaints, then look for another pencil that you think you might like better.

 

The thing about pencils (and pens, for that matter) is that whether you like them is dependent on lots of things, several of which are difficult to evaluate unless you're actually holding the pencil in your hand. Fortunately, you can buy several pencils for the price of an entry level fountain pen.

 

--flatline

 

That's what I did and finalized on the .9mm lead pencils.  I now have a collection of mostly vintage .9mm pencils with a few 1.18mm ones.  I also have several varieties of .9mm lead and I enjoy the different hardness varieties--even some indelible lead.  I often sign forms and credit card receipts in pencil--who wants to erase your signature on most everyday documents?  



#6 MYU

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 04:15

Thanks for the JetPens links, NinthSphere & bearcat. :)

 

A week's worth of reading about pencils and pencil leads will be less productive than 5 minutes of experimenting with actual pencils and pencil leads.

 

My recommendation is to purchase an inexpensive mechanical pencil in each of the lead sizes that you're curious about and then use them. Pay attention to what you like and dislike about each of the lead sizes. Once you've identified which lead sizes you like, then decide if you like the pencils that you have in those sizes. If you do, then you're done. If you have complaints, then look for another pencil that you think you might like better.

 

The thing about pencils (and pens, for that matter) is that whether you like them is dependent on lots of things, several of which are difficult to evaluate unless you're actually holding the pencil in your hand. Fortunately, you can buy several pencils for the price of an entry level fountain pen.

 

--flatline

 

I actually have a huge number of 0.5mm mechanical pencils, with some 0.7mm, 0.9mm, a 1.1mm, and a 0.3mm.  I presume they have the most common lead installed.  Just a few seem to have slightly softer types.  I guess what would probably be a good idea is to put a little label on each pencil I'm using to test the lead so I can keep track (I have only a few that have selectors to indicate the lead).


[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#7 NinthSphere

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 05:45

I use HB in everything, for writing or sketching. Uni Nano Dia in the 0.5s, Autopoint in the 0.9s, & Retro 51 for the 1.1s. I've never conquered shading though, so I wouldn't know where to start with that.



#8 Mike 59

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:54

Hi,  I've found over many years of pencil use, that they only write as I want when in (Euro) 2B/3B/4B softness, obviously the paper type makes a great deal of difference too. 



#9 nigelg

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 11:20

Oh thanks folks, thats just great. What with FP's, nibs, inks, paper, shaving stuff and now pencils and leads - another slippery slope to slide down.

I think I'll just stick to gardening. Oh, errr, wait...............

:D


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Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That's why it's called the present





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