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  1. Bought this German USUS mechanical 4 colour pencil. Its a twist action pencil and is in pretty good working condition. The balance of the pencil is nice and the build is sturdy. Apart from these very general reflections the internet is not throwing up sufficient information about USUS. Desperately want to know its lead diameter (1.1 mm?) and where can I buy colour leads? Also how to clean broken leads from the holders which are quite narrow. Thanks in advance...
  2. Just found a stash of old leads hidden in a drawer, among them there are a couple of late '80s or early '90's Sheaffer 0.9mm leads that have "F15" as the only identification. They come is blue plastic containers with a yellow cap. I would like to know if anyone here has any clue as to the grade they could be? They are pretty firm and write somewhere between a 2H or 4H grade (depending on which brand you compare them to). Thanks in advance!
  3. I recently acquired a Yard-O-Led Perfecta Victorian pencil, presumably new old stock from the Filofax days when Yard-O-Led products were more widely distributed in the United States. It came with the 12 extra leads already in their holding tubes. Some of the extra leads slide out easily, but others are firmly stuck in their tubes. Does anyone know a way to dislodge them without surgery? Vigorous shaking hasn’t worked. It isn’t really such a big deal, but why not "go the whole one yard" if possible?
  4. Howdy All, I just noticed Pilot came out with their "Mogulair" mechanical pencil (who picked that name?) It seems the Mogulair dropped (in the U.S. anyway) early in 2017. This thing is obviously trying to one-up the Zebra DelGuard pencil. Both the Mogulair and Delguard pencils have similar spring-cushioned tip mechanisms to reduce lead breakage, but the Mogulair adds a weighted Shaker (or Knock) mechanism to advance the lead. The shaker seems to be the only big difference. The added shaker in the Mogulair can be a plus or a minus depending on how you feel about it (I don't care for them). Now we need someone to marry the spring cushioned tips on the Mogulair and/or DelGuard pencils with the self-sharpening, self-ejecting mechanism in the Uni Kuru-Toga * U.S. availability at my post time on 20 May 2017: In the U.S. I see Tokyo Pen Shop in Iowa is carrying the Mogulair for $8.30, which seems kind of pricey for what I'm seeing so-far (plasticky school pencil-ish). I have a black/chrome Zebra DelGuard standard, the build is mostly plastic but it looks and feels better than that. Tokyo Pen Shop sells the DelGuard standard for $7.00, $1.30 cheaper than the Mogulair, but still pretty high. (Note, there are higher-quality versions of the DelGuard such as the LX and the clipless ER.) At Tokyo Pen Shop basic U.S. shipping is free with orders over $25. Jetpens in California is not carrying the Pilot Mogulair yet. Jetpens sells the Zebra DelGuard standard for $7.50 (as usual, Jetpens is the highest in price). At Jetpens basic U.S. shipping is free with orders over $25. JStationary in Massachusetts is not carrying the Mogulair yet. JStationary sells the DelGuard standard for $5.95. At JStationary basic U.S. shipping is free with orders over $20. Amazon returned nothing on a search for Mogulair. Amazon shows low prices for the DelGuard standard at between $4.50 and $5.50 plus shipping/eligible for free shipping. But to me it seems like $5.50 is the safe low-price for the DelGuard standard on Amazon. I'm tired of fighting with ebay. [Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post.] * Links: - Pilot Japan has a whole Web site up (in Japanese) dedicated to the Mogulair. The pictures are nice, and there are some animations: http://mogulair.jp/ - Pilot Mogulair for sale at Tokyo Pen Shop: https://www.tokyopenshop.com/pilot-mogulair-p-1435.html - Tokyo Pen Shop's YouTube intro to the Pilot Mogulair (English): - An annoying Japanese kid demonstrates how the Mogulair's spring mechanism works on YouTube. (At-least I think he's demonstrating how it works, I don't speak Japanese.) Jump to 12:30 to see the relevant portion. I suggest you turn the sound off (even if you speak Japanese). Have Fun, David
  5. Hi, I got this pencil some time ago, and until now still haven't been able to identify it... At first I thought this was a Pilot Birdie, but I can't find another Birdie that looks like this online, and it does have several major differences from the typical Birdie. The most obvious being the size and grip rings. I don't actually have a Birdie, but from the pics I've seen, this seems to be thicker and longer too, but still smaller than the usual pencil, as seen compared to a TK-Matic. It has an all metal construction, including the lead reservoir. I don't know about the chucks though, because the front end cap seems to be non-removable, is this the case with Birdies too? The lead sleeve is very short and is fixed. These machined grip rings are something I've never seen on Birdie, and so is the clip, which is very solid and seems to be made out of 3 separate pieces, and of a more heavily brushed stainless steel. They are supposed to be new, but somehow I think they seem to look kinda old? Any info would be much appreciated , since the seller said that he has lost the packaging. Though he did say they come in one of those multi packs, so no separate box for each pencil. There are no markings whatsoever on the pencil other than "Pilot 0.5 Japan"
  6. 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?
  7. Hi, I recently found this up for sale in a local online marketplace, and I can't help wondering the make of the mechanical pencil. I'm quite interested in it, but it'd be much better when I actually know what I'm buying. http://s9.postimg.org/fl56so3hb/258580410_1_644x461_1set_stainless_boxy_parker_j.jpg Sorry for the picture quality, but this seller really does provide only the most vague of description and pics. I've dealt with him before and he was good, and I'm quite sure they're brand-name stationery. The vague description only mentioned that it might be Japanese? It also said Boxy, but from what I know Boxy is just a product line of Mitsubishi Pencil and does not include pencils or pens like these. The button of the pencil looks somewhat like the GraphGear 1000's and it seems to have a rubber grip? While at it, an ID of the ballpoint would be nice too. Thanks
  8. Ladies and gentlemen I am a newbie when it comes to this, so please anything helps. What I know: I believe it is a century series It is a mechanical pencil It had above the clip, "1/20 gold filled" and "made in USA" words It has a little plastic piece attached to clip that says "18 karat gold filled" The cross logo is in italic letters on the clip The owners book had a few references to a SelecTip Any help in regards to date, or any other information would be greatly appreciated
  9. I have a Cross 18 karat gold filled pencil, photos attached. I do know that Cross is in cursive on the clip. It says made in USA at top of pencil, and it also has 1/20 gold filled engraved across the top as well. Could anyone please help me identify the model, year, and anything else. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated guys and gals.
  10. On The Cap: Rolled Gold Made In England On The Barrel Above Clip Band: Whetham London Is Whetham The name of the company that made the pencil? In the cartouche is COLFIX I believe that is an advertiser Any help with identification appreciated
  11. I have a very old Kaweco nose drive pencil. I believe if is from the 1920's. It is very large, measuring 6 3/4 inches in length and the barrel is three sided.On one side is a faded imprint that reads: KAWECO. The barrel is red and cap and nose are white. I bought it from a seller a few years ago who won a storage locker auction in Lancaster, California.There were scores and scores of old German pencils up for grabs, I bought a lot of them. Does anyone have any information on this gem Thank you, Michael Little Phoenix, Arizona
  12. Hello everyone, I am an engineer that uses mechanical pencils both for general writing and drafting. I had three MPs: TWSBI Precision (0.5mm fixed sleeve), Staedtler 925-25-05 and Alvin DM05. Unfortunately both the 925 and DM05 are out of service (lost one, broke one). So there comes the time that I will purchase another mechanical pencil. I like my TWSBI's hefty weight, sturdy build and full metal construction, but with a balance point at ~73mm from the tip, it feels tail-heavy. The Alvin got the balance right for me (~62mm from the tip), but I can pick up a tad roughness in the grip area. It also not quite as solid or heavy as the TWSBI. The diameter of the grip of Staedtler is the largest among the three, which I found the most comfortable, but everything else is kind of in the middle. Just wonder if there is a mechanical pencil that combine the pros of all three? I don't really mind what type of tip the pencil comes, be it retractable sleeve, fixed sleeve or vanishing point, because I put them in a bag. But I personally like a solid feeling without any "play" so fixed might be a plus. What is on my shopping list: 1. Rotring 600: very good reputation, but how it compared to TWSBI? I also heard there are several different versions with some better than others. 2. Uni Kuru Toga Roulette: some people complain about the slight "give", others don't. Not sure what I will feel. But as an engineer I really appreciate those innovations and thoughts behind simple objects. Might give a try. 3. Rotring Rapid Pro and Lamy Scribble: at almost 40 USD, they are just too pricey for me. But I will leave the options open nonetheless. 4. (anything else should be there?) Any thoughts are welcomed and greatly appreciated. Sebastian Edit: Preferred mechanism: push top ratchet, metal for durability Preferred lead size: 0.5 or 0.7 mm. (But never tried 0.3 mm before...)
  13. Can somebody ID this rOtring mechanical pencil? Found it when I was going through some old stuff. Don't remember where or when I got it. Markings are : "rOtring", "Germany" and "0.7". When you click it lightly, the pencil lead advances. When you click it harder, the lead sleeve retracts/extends. Does anybody know how it was(is) called? And from when to when it was made? Can't seem to find it on the timelinethingy on the rOtring website. http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb269/Blastmaster1972/Tijdelijk/IMG_1200-rotr-ed_zpsbqmf3lvn.jpg http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb269/Blastmaster1972/Tijdelijk/IMG_1201-rotr-ed_zpsb3ct5itz.jpg http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb269/Blastmaster1972/Tijdelijk/IMG_1204-rotr-ed_zpshidc5aho.jpg The lead sleeve retracts: http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb269/Blastmaster1972/Tijdelijk/IMG_1206-rotr-ed_zpswk5ezuvq.jpg http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb269/Blastmaster1972/Tijdelijk/IMG_1208-rotr-ed_zpsqv4vksa7.jpg Thanks in advance. Kind regards, Jos
  14. Greetings! The lead for one of my 1.18 mm lead Caran D'Ache Hexagonal series pencils slides into the pencil while I am writing. I have tried different types of 1.18 mm lead (HB, B, 2B, electrographic (my favorite as it is dark and similar to 2B lead in its softness)) but each slides into the pencil as I write. If I did not own several other 1.18 mm Caran D'Ache pencils (two of the Hexagonal series, two of the Ecridor series), three (3) 1.18 mm Pelikan pencils, five (5) 1.18 mm Montblanc pencils, and an assortment of other 1.18 mm pencils including Wasp pencils and Scripto pencils then I might believe that it is a problem with pencils taking 1.18 mm leads. However, that is not the case: the leads for NONE of my other 1.18 mm pencils slide back into the pencils. So, only this one 1.18 mm lead Caran D'Ache Hexagonal series pencil has this problem. This pencil has the same type lead-advance system as current Caran D'Ache Hexagonal series pencils -- push button. So, that stated (for clarity), does anyone have a solution for this problem? I like the pencil a lot due to its lead size and its lovely inlaid lacquer but having the lead slide back into the pencil is irritating. Since I have not had this problem with any other pencils (and I own a lot of pencils taking various lead sizes -- 1.18 mm lead pencils mentioned above, 0.9 mm lead pencils, 0.7 mm lead pencils, and 0.5 mm lead pencils) and since I have tried using leads of various hardness, makes, and ages, I believe that there may be a problem with the pencil mechanism. Again, I use the same types of 1.18 mm leads in my other 1.18 mm lead pencils, and none of these pencils have such a problem -- the lead does not slide back into the pencil and stays as placed for solid writing for all of my other 1.18 mm lead pencils. I have tried to clean off the "teeth" that hold the lead at the end of the pencil but that has not helped. I do not want to damage the pencil mechanism by attempting to dismantle it without some guidance/information. Has anyone had such a problem with a 1.18 mm lead pencil? Have you been able to correct the problem? How did you correct the problem? Thank you for your consideration. Happy New Year! : )
  15. Back when I was in elementary school and writing utensils were scratchy, skippy, clotty, and lived in communal cups in everybody's kitchen or classroom, I bought a handful of pens and pencils at a garage sale for 50 cents of my own money. I don't remember what interested me about them, and most eventually made their way to the household receptacle. But there was one pencil. My first love. It took a while for her to capture my attention, but once she did we were inseparable. We did every assignment together. I carried her with me everywhere. She was the first pencil that was more than just a means to an end. She was an utter joy to write with, and I'm sure inspired me to do just that little bit extra on every assignment. It was a tragic day when I lost her. She fell out of my notebook while getting out of a car one day, and despite much searching once I realized it, was never to be seen again. I spent years trying to replace her. Every time I went in to a stationery store I'd try out every pencil, and while a few were adequate replacements, none were ever quite the same. I've never (that I know of) seen the same pencil for sale or in use. But now there is the internet! And crowds of people who understand my quest. If anybody can point me in any helpful direction I would be very grateful. I've searched the search engines and online shops, but with my sketchy memory this has proven futile. She was a smallish, shortish burgandy mechanical pencil with a metal clip and tip. I wish I remembered more about what she looked like because this might be a much easier search if I did. The rough look was similar to the Pentel p200 series. Plastic barrel, textured grip, small eraser that would have been under a cap (the cap was long gone). There were words stamped, but I don't remember whether they were on the clip or barrel or both. Unfortunately I don't remember what they were either. The biggest feature, and the one that utterly captured me was the cushioned lead. I'd never imagined such a thing and for years I thought it might have been a unique happy defect because no other pencil seemed to have it. It made for such a beautiful, smooth writing experience to have that little bit of spring. It has always seemed to me that it was a softer, more responsive spring than any of the other cushioned lead pencils I've found to date (though that might just be my nostalgia and wishful thinking). I bought her in the mid 90s. Thank you all for reading this, and thank you for any leads you can offer (no pun intended...) Akugluk
  16. Hello, to be wholly honest I know literally nothing about fountain pens (and given my handwriting and tendency to write in all capitals, that might be for the best), but I am relatively interested in mechanical pencils and this was the first writing implement forum I came across. I am currently a mechanical engineering student, and even though most of what we do is on a computer, I prefer to take my notes and do what few paper drawings I do with a mechanical pencil rather than a Ticonderoga, possibly from laziness and not wanted to get up and sharpen it, but also because I do find the whole experience more satisfactory and more clean/precise. Since high school I have used purchased-new Pentel P207 (for drawing) and Pentel P209 (for writing, I perhaps press too hard and 0.9 lead rarely breaks on me), which as far as I know are made in Japan and fairly well respected. I was mostly satisfied with them, especially finding them preferable to the five-for-a-dollar plastic papermate pencils a student usually ends up with. But the pocket clip easily dislodges and the chrome (nickel?) plating on the cap wears down to the brass as I grip rather low. Today, while thift shopping, I found a rather old set of "KOH-I-NOOR RAPIDOMATIC RAPIDOGRAPH Drawing Pencils" in 0.5 mm lead. While there were only eight left in what was a pack of a dozen, they were in unused condition and, judging by the packaging, made in Japan in the mid-1980s. They look far more substantial than the Pentels I have, and even though they're in a smaller size than I normally use the dispensation is precise enough that I can let out a very short tip that won't easily break. In any case, the box was $4.99 so not precisely a big risk. I was wondering if anyone here knows more about these pencils, or has had experience with them? Should I keep them all, or try for resale?
  17. While they last we have a few closeout Pelikan pens and mechanical pencils on special at 60% Off retail: Pelikan Celebry D570 Mechanical PencilsRetail: $140.00Sale: $56.00 Pelikan Celebry D565 Mechanical PencilsRetail: $145.00Sale: $58.00 Pelikan Celebry R580 Rollerball PensRetail: $200.00Sale: $80.00 Pelikan Celebry D580 Mechanical PencilsRetail: $205.00Sale: $82.00 Pelikan Epoch Nut Wood D364 Mechanical PencilsRetail: $340.00Sale: $136.00 Pelikan Souveran K625 Ballpoint PensRetail: $700.00Sale: $280.00 Pelikan Souveran D625 Mechanical PencilsRetail: $700.00Sale: $280.00
  18. In the new red gold series of Montblanc, the LeGrand mechanical pencil misses. There is only the tiny Classique MP and that doesn't match the red gold 149. Should one look for a replating service on a gold LeGrand MP or are there other solutions possible?
  19. Hello guys! Maybe it was already discussed, but I was not able to find it... Which mine size is used for Pelikan 350 mechanical pencil? Is it 1.18mm? Does anyone produce them these days? Will some more common size fit the pencil? Thanks, Mislav
  20. Hi all, During my teenage years, I've used my mother's TK-Matic. I didn't know it was an iconic pencil at that time, I just loved to write and draw with it. However, one day it either fell out of my hands, or some other thing happened, but the result was, that the pencil didn't work anymore. I've grown up, more than a decade passed. Right now I draw a lot as a part of my job - I'm doing technical designs. I use a Faber Castell TK-Fine Vario mostly, but it just doesn't feel as good. So, I've decided, I'd like to fix that old pencil. I still have it. What's the symptom? Upon pressure, the lead just slides back, like there was nothing to hold it. What did I try so far? I opened and reassembled it multiple times. Sometimes I even tried to reassemble it in different ways. I tried to lead a lead across when its inner workings were outside. It works. Outside, the mechanics hold the lead just fine (pushing it with my thumb), but once put back in, it has the same issue. Nothing seems to be broken, or - according to my best knowledge - missing. I guess it has something to do with the TK-Matic's ability to "automatically" push the lead out as you write, that fails somehow and instead of using the force of pressuring against paper to bring out the lead micron by micron, it just lets the lead pass back a little. I've made sure the lead size is correct (0.5, it was always 0.5 and it's written on it). Are there any ideas on how could it be fixed? Is there any kind of guide how does it look "correctly" from the inside? I really loved that pencil. Thank you very much in advance.
  21. I found this pencil a while ago. Having never seen a Rotring till now, I thought the design was very distinctive. What do you think? Does it look like a clone? http://i.imgur.com/pU7aFk5.jpg The sticker says M&G AMP37201. The body is about 14cm long (the above grid is in 1/2 inches), completely metal, very solid and has good heft. http://i.imgur.com/z1ch03K.jpg Nice knurled grip: http://i.imgur.com/9fJrKsi.jpg Lead size "indicator" (doesn't do anything) and removable clip: http://i.imgur.com/6UQUA54.jpg http://i.imgur.com/my4xD4J.jpg http://i.imgur.com/RUHBKJn.jpg It's a nice writer, but I've got no clue how it compares to an actual Rotring. My best mechanical pencil experience is still this old Papermate Clearpoint, aged around ~7 years: http://i.imgur.com/5GgeCNx.jpg
  22. Tadeusz

    Doric Mechanical Pencil

    Hello, I have been to an antique mall in my area today, and I discovered a cluster of writing instruments. I wasn't able to really look at everything as I was really pressed for time, but I did glimpse a Wahl Eversharp Doric pencil in green. It is one of the models with a little gold medallion above the clip. My question is: If I were to buy this pencil, how much could I reasonably expect to sell it for ? I do not have a Doric, and do not foresee the funds appearing to acquire one, so why would I need the pencil!? Also, I would not want to remove a pencil from the market that someone else could be using to complete a set. I will be able to return to the antiques mall tomorrow to check it out, maybe even buy it. They also had a Parker 21 (with matching pencil) in a Parker 51 box, and maybe some other pens, I was only able to get a glimpse inside the case before rushing off. Hopefully my ramblings are at least slightly understandable. Thanks
  23. Greetings everyone, this is my first review, so any feedback would be appreciated! Apologies in advance for the not-so-great photos.. It’s all I can do with an iPhone and powerpoint.. I thought this would be a wonderful forum to place this in, since there are so many TWSBI fans here, and hopefully some of you may also be very interested in high quality mechanical pencils. Probably like many of you, I’ve been fascinated by mechanical pencils since grade school. I still remember when my elementary school friend Kurt brought a Pentel Quicker-Clicker to 4th grade and I was, of course, impressed. And extremely jealous. Since then, I’ve gone through a fair number of mechanical pencils, using them primarily for high school / college / grad school problem sets (math, physics, then primarily organic chemistry), which as many of you probably know, requires a sh*t ton of writing, drawing , erasing, re-writing, re-drawing, re-erasing, coffee, falling asleep in the library, waking up disoriented and realizing you’re still in the library, and then continuing on with the problem sets. Please note, I am not an architect, engineer, or artist, so although I do have an affinity for drafting mechanical pencils, this review is more geared towards the generalist, non-professional, pencil user. Pre-First Impressions: Let’s start with why I chose the TWSBI pencil. I’d actually never heard of the brand until I started getting into fountain pens and started checking out FPN and all of Brian Goulet’s videos. Most other mechanical pencil brands I’m familiar with, but once I started looking at TWSBI for fountain pens, I was just curious about whether they are as consistent and successful with their pencils as they are with their pens, i.e., make a high quality product that is of excellent value for the price. Other than Brian’s excellent video reviews and introductions and the fairly sparse descriptions seen on the TWSBI website, I couldn’t find anything substantial about this pencil using Google. I looked at the wonderful and informative Dave’s mechanical pencil site and still couldn’t find anything. SO I thought it looks cool, TWSBI has apparently been in the business of making pencils for other companies for years (per their website), so let me check it out. Lastly, I didn’t just want to just become another Rotring 600 fanboy. I wanted something that none of the other nerds in the library have seen before. This time I was going to be Kurt from fourth grade. The pencil I purchased from Gouletpens was the TWSBI Precision Mechanical Pencil (version 2.0) – Matte Silver, 0.5mm, Fixed Pipe. TWSBI also offers this pencil in matte black, in 0.7mm lead size, and in retractable sleeve. For some reason I prefer fixed sleeve pencils (TWSBI calls them fixed pipe). TWSBI does offer one in a more pocket-friendly retractable sleeve (err, retractable pipe), but I prefer fixed. I use a pencil case, so I’m immune from pencil point jabbing. Fixed sleeve is also required for drafting I guess (to put the pencil against a ruler?) but that’s not why I like them better. I like fixed sleeve better because I find there’s usually less perceptible wobble when writing with fixed compared to retractable sleeves, so my accuracy and my handwriting tend to be improved. Now I’m not sure what Version 1.0 looked like at all, but according to Gouletpens, I ordered the version 2.0 First Impressions: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3767/10631742563_6efda2477e_z.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7419/10631489384_0644815715_z.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5497/10631742123_80e5dfc3da_c.jpg Right out of the box, I was very impressed. As you can see, pretty standard TWSBI cardboard box (although a bit thinner profile than the TWSBI fountain pen boxes), and inset into foam inside the box is the pencil, a lead container containing 12 extra leads, and 3 extra super-long erasers. 3 leads are loaded within the pencil itself, so I received a total of 15 leads. No other paperwork. Picking up the pencil I found that although it wasn’t very big, it was substantial in weight and evenly balanced. Not point-heavy, and not rear heavy, and center of gravity is somewhere around the middle of the pencil. Some people would give extra points to TWSBI for all the extras included in the box. Some would not, because if you’re willing to spend $25 for a pencil, you are likely already a mechanical pencil connoisseur, and therefore also have purchased a high quality eraser and high quality lead. I personally would give points here if I could, because it makes for a wonderful gift box to introduce someone to high quality mechanical pencils and their cool accessories. I think this is a wonderful, affordable, and fairly unique gift for a graduating high school senior that’s interested in math/science/art/engineering, for as I know personally, they would be getting a lot of use out of this pencil in the upcoming few years. Appearance and Design: 9/10 http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2849/10631971524_ee7a9f1a49_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/10631468685_372633eb6c_c.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3803/10631501056_80fd4d6198_c.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5540/10631501256_b31210407e_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2889/10631741573_b13d36a687_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7323/10631487144_600bdc08eb_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2876/10631468835_37d3a67654_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/10631502216_b98ed6155d_c.jpg Just take a look at it. Matte Silver aluminum, this pencil exudes high quality precision craftsmanship, The TWSBI name is not too big or garish on the barrel, 0.5 is legible, and there are enough unique design touches on this pencil (the TWSBI laser-engraved logo on the clip, the little vestibule on the top of the cap that shows off the eraser), so that when the pencil is in a pencil case with lots of other pencils/pens it is easily found. The brushed case also guarantees that this pencil will remain scratch-free for a long time and also look great. The grip is knurled in a rectangular pattern, and tapers into a what appears to be a slightly larger hexagonal body, which is great for preventing it from rolling off angled surfaces like drafting tables. Knurled grips always look cool in my opinion. I didn’t know this before I read more on dave’s mechanical pencil site, but apparently knurled grips are traditional for drafting pencils, because they help allow one to constantly rotate the pencil while drafting in order to maintain a fixed lead point / constant width on paper. That’s not why I bought it. It just looks cool, and feels great. I take 1 point off because if anything I just wish the grip were just a tad bit larger for my big hands (I may actually prefer the Uni Kuro-Toga Roulette grip size). I take 0.5 points off because I would have loved a lead hardness indicator (HB vs B vs 2B etc), although that’s really more for the artists / pros than for me. I add 0.5 points on because the design of the ridiculously super extra long eraser, which is kind of awesome for all the fine erasing one may do (that my standard go to Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser cannot get to) Construction and Quality: 10/10 It just feels solid. Solid like a Rotring. No wobble, no wiggle. All metal construction (including all inner tubing). For $25, that’s a lot of pencil, as most pencils, even in that price range, have plastic insides these days. This pencil is built to last, and I think should last me many, many years. I love reading people gush in forums about their 25 yr lovefest with the Koh-i-noor Rapidomatic 5635 that has since been discontinued… When I'm old, I want to be like them, talking about this TWSBI. This pencil was engineered to last 25 years. Weight and Dimensions: 9/10 Weight: 26g (0.92 oz), it is by far my heaviest pencil. Length: 141mm total, the sleeve is 4mm (Gouletpens says the sleeve is 3.88mm, I bet they have fancy calipers so I’m sure they’re right) Thickness: 9mm (the hexagonal barrel), 8mm diameter for the grip. (Goulet says 8.8mm and 7.9mm, respectively). http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/10631468015_e35827ed12_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2871/10631467575_0ec3f791b3_c.jpg I attached some comparison photos from the rest of my mechanical pencil family. From top to bottom, there is 1) Uni Kuru Toga Roulette in 0.5mm 2) Pilot "The Shaker" H-305 0.5mm 3) Muji polycarbonate 0.5mm 4) Pentel P209 0.9mm 5) TWSBI Precision v2.0 0.5mm 6) Pentel Sharp Kerry - Blue P1037 0.7mm 7) Kaweco Ice Sport - Green 07mm And also note, that for comparison to Rotring 600 (I don't have one), the dimensions of the TWSBI are fairly close. Per jetpens website, the Rotring 600 length is 141mm, max diameter is 9.1mm, grip is 8.1mm, although weight is 18g, which makes it a far lighter pencil than the TWSBI. The TWSBI, despite its heavier weight, still feels like a fine writing instrument, i.e., nimble enough to make quick writing strokes without your hand getting tired. I have yet to have any lead break (many say that is an issue with heavier pens and thinner leads like 0.5s—I think those people just don’t have enough finesse with their pencil handwriting). My initial concern of all-metal construction and the weight of the TWSBI was that the pencil would become too heavy and therefore quite burdensome when writing for prolonged stretches. After two weeks of heavy writing, I haven’t noticed any such issues. What I’ve been pleasantly surprised at is that the weight allows me to significantly lighten the pressure that I’m used to applying when using pencils, and still generate a wonderful dark perfect line. I’ve also noted that relaxing my normally tight pencil grip makes the writing experience even more comfortable and pleasurable (and also leaves no knurled imprints on my fingers anymore!), as the weight and the knurled grip still prevents the pencil from slipping out of my hand. That means I’m just coaxing the lead left and right and around rather than really having to exert any effort pushing it down onto the paper. Writing with this pencil is so fluid, it becomes much more like a fountain pen experience, so I think it is actually one of the most attractive and unique features of this heavier pencil that is superbly well-balanced. Lastly one of the best things about a well-balanced pencil (rather than a point-heavy one) is that when you drop it (as I tend to do), the pencil is less likely to land on the nib sleeve and bend the sleeve. I take one point off just because I wonder if a slightly thicker grip would improve my handwriting even more for my slightly larger-than-average hands. I guess I already took one point off for that in the Design section, but since I continue to wonder about it, I will continue to subtract points for it. Nib and Performance: 10/10 http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3756/10631503746_4552ec6163_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7309/10631471685_1b1d8360ee_c.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/10631504096_843fe35b22_c.jpg http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2841/10631504306_ea24b7e2cd_c.jpg Fixed sleeve (pipe) vs retracting sleeve (pipe). Have your pick, they’re both available in this pencil. I attached some photos of a black retractable sleeve version of this same pencil. Some people love retractable sleeves as it makes these pencils pocket-friendly and therefore more convenient. Some people don’t love them because of possible increased sleeve wobble, which leads to less precise writing. Also harder/impossible to use for drafting as you'll damage the retractable sleeve against a ruler I guess. One thing to note is that the retractable sleeve length version of the TWSBI is slightly shorter than the fixed sleeve length. Per Gouletpens website, it is 2.75mm vs 3.88mm, as seen in these pics. I ordered and kept the fixed sleeve length, because I like how it keeps my hand and fingers at a certain distance from the paper and from the point of the pencil. It allows for great visibility of the lead on the paper, and for my size hands, I like it more. The most interesting note to make here is comparing this “nib” to one of my other pencils, the unique Uni Kuro Toga Roulette, which auto-rotates its lead in-between applying pressure on paper. The Kuro Toga therefore keeps a consistent lead point, and is wonderful, but there is a very slight perceptible give on the nib when applying pressure in order to make nib mechanism rotate the lead. I never even noticed this until I started writing with the TWSBI and found what a solid heavy-weighted pencil should feel like, and how wonderful writing with light pressure can be. In order to take advantage of the Uni Kuro Toga rotating nib, I have to use just a tad more downward force to generate the same thickness of line (because it’s a lighter pen) as I do the TWSBI, so in my opinion, the TWSBI is a superior writing pencil for long periods of time, as it requires far less energy and less downward force to be applied to generate a similar line darkness/thickness. If you allow the TWSBI a week of writing in order to slightly change the way you write with a pencil (less firm grip, less downward pressure), you won’t go back to any other pencil. Things I will not really comment on that hopefully someone will chime in on: 1) the included eraser. I use Staedtler Mars Plastic or Uni Boxy almost exclusively, so rarely use the back eraser on mechanical pencils, and therefore don’t want to write about it. I think it’s nice that they have a huge one, which will especially be helpful to students and crossword puzzlers 2) the included lead (graphite). I replaced the included lead with Uni NanoDia 0.5 HB— my all-time favorite lead for hardness, smoothness, and that gives me a more accurate baseline lead to compare it to my other pencils. Filling System: 10/10 The mechanism is a standard push top ratchet advance. When I push, I hear a very positive fairly loud “click”, which I like. Very consistent. When depressing the top, consistent pressure is required and the top will depress about 3mm before a click and lead advances. There is no “free” travel before getting to the actuation point for the lead to advance (which I find slightly annoying, and is often seen on other mechanical pencils). Ten clicks will give you around 6 mm of lead. No plastic components that I can see. Gouletpens shows a nice inside view of the pencil. I haven’t figured out how to take this thing apart, as I’m afraid to twist too hard, and I don’t want to use pliers—yes, the inside tubing is screwed on that tightly to the outside case. Cost and Value: 8/10 OK so here is the interesting question and probably the biggest debate—I purchased this for $25 (plus shipping) from Gouletpens. It’s $25 with free shipping on Amazon (when filled directly by TWSBI). But I like Gouletpens and ordered from them because they’re so informative and have great customer service, and I wanted a few other things from them, so I find their shipping cost negligible. On Amazon right now, you can get a Rotring 600 for $24.99 (with free shipping if you’re prime). On Amazon, you can also get a Uni Kuru Toga Roulette for $12.49 - $12.87 (with free shipping if you’re prime). A Rotring 800, however, costs $54.77, which is essentially a 600 with a retractable sleeve (and slightly larger). I think the TWSBI with retractable sleeve, which also sells for exactly the same price as fixed sleeve of $25, is a great deal when compared to other high quality retractable sleeve pencils, aka Rotring 800, which is more than twice the price. I think the TWSBI with fixed sleeve isn’t as well-priced, and should be priced lower. At $20, they would definitely clean up the market and hit that sweet spot of awesome value for quality that the TWSBI fountain pens are known for. At $25, it’s hard to not turn down the Rotring 600 as your first stop to high end mechanical pencils, then try the Uni Kuru Toga Roulette for $13, and then, finally, try out the TWSBI and never return to the others. Then again, these prices are modest compared to FP prices, so I don’t really know why I’m subtracting two points on this section. I will, because I’m comparing the TWSBI fixed sleeve to other fixed sleeve mechanical pencils. Conclusion 56/60 = 9.3/10 This is an oustanding mechanical pencil, and should make the top 5 for general mechanical pencils (and probably top 5 for technical/drafting mechanical pencils as well). Go out and get one. $25 is not a lot for a fountain pen, but it is a lot for a mechanical pencil. But you get a lot for your money. And for fountain pen enthusiasts who need a pencil every once in a while, you will really enjoy the writing experience this pencil will offer. But be forewarned, after a week with the TWSBI, you may not enjoy writing with any other mechanical pencil again. Pros: Perfectly balanced for long-writing: notes / drawing / drafting. Gorgeous top-notch construction- will last 25 years. Heavy weight allows you to become more efficient with your hand-writing. Unique—no one else on the block will have one. Cons: 1. Really hard pressed to comment on any substantive cons—maybe the grip could be a bit thicker, but I’m wary to really push for that, as a thicker grip may interrupt the precision feeling with the current weight. Maybe thicken the grip and simultaneously drop the weight a bit would be my suggestion for version 3.0? But I don’t know and would have to test it to see if I’d prefer it to the current.
  24. I have a Chas. H. Ingersoll fountain pen that was found with a Redipoint in Upstate NY. The Dollar fountain pen is in great shape. Oddly enough, I don't believe its ever been used. The nib is perfectly clean, and I can't see any signs of ink in or around it, even with a magnifying glass. The nib is 14K and the outer casing is silver in color, the nickle plate (I think.). All the pieces are intact. I've opened it to take a look inside, bladder etc. is there. I have not tried to use it. C.H.I on nib & full name on top with a $ sign. It has a chevron pattern. The mechanical pencil is a Redipoint with an advertising top: Howe & Morgan Realty. On this I can't tell if it was used or not in the past. It has lead in place & extra lead inside, and I have tried it just to test. The lead slide down function is very smooth. It has a diamond pattern. I have done nothing to either one, they are in the condition they were found in. The reason I put them together, & would like to keep them together, is that I believe they may have been part of a set from the early years of their respective businesses (Chas. H Ingersoll & William Ingersoll). This idea is based on the average age of all articles found on site, including a "Bausch" eyeglass case, minus the "Lomb". I'd like to get a suggested value, as I will be posting on Ebay, as these are in much better shape than any I saw there. Any info would be appreciated.
  25. Okay, so I have a Pierre Cardin mechanical pencil, one where you twist the top to get the lead out. I dropped it today and the plastic on the inside (where the top plastic cap screws in) cracked. Whenever I try to screw the top in tightly/get more lead out, the crack opens and as a result, I can't get the lead out. I've tried to super glue the crack, but it's not holding. Any other tips?

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