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Who Else Thinks That A Mechanical Pencil Is The Next-Best Thing To A Fountain Pen?

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I'm 49, unfortunately. And I've been using fountain pens since I was 11, when someone bought me a cheap steel-inlaid-nib Sheaffer for Christmas. (I say 'cheap', but it was expensive compared to a biro, and I was overwhelmed by its preciousness.)


A bully called Brian Crocombe tossed it in the air in the school playground, and it died. (I'm afraid karma has yet to catch up with Brian.)


I have been using FPs ever since. But it is only in the last two years or so that I've realised how bloody fabulous mechanical pencils are.


I now use - far more than any pen - a Pentel P205. It's sort-of the standard MP, as many of you know. What makes it truly a great writing instrument, though, is the Pentel Ain Stein leads I stick in it.


I use 4B, and the darkness and smoothness are spectacular. This combination writes wonderfully on nearly every paper, though paper is still a consideration for the best performance.


I am usually very happy to carry this MP with this lead with my notebook, because it is almost - almost - as pleasant as a Safari or Pelikan.


And if fountain pens were disinvented, or if the government of my country suddenly decided (in a fit, perhaps, of puritanical zeal) that fountain pens were a vanity too far, I think I could just about cope.







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I came from mechanical pencils to fountain pens. I've always had interest in good mechanical pencils, and soft lead.

Somehow, I got into fountain pens. I never liked ballpoint pens, so I needed a pen that I felt comfortable using.


In my class notes I use mainly fountain pens, but when I need to write small, do quick drawings that would get messy with ink or something like that, I use mechanical pencils.


I also converted a friend of mine , a mechanical pencil user to a fountain pen user.

Edited by guilhermejf
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I think you would find that many people here have an attachment to pencils. I still will on occasion use a Faber Castell 9000 or Staedtler Mars Lumograph (the old fashioned kind wrapped in Cedar and carefully sharpened by hand)...



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I have been using mechanical pencils since the mid to late 1950's when in later grammer school years. Dad was in the office supply business and he got me started.




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I use several to supplement the backup jotter. I use them on brief documents , in case I have been given originals- which has happened. In the days of yore they were the mate to a fp in a set, but not now, despite the pencil still having a place, the jotter has supplanted them. I use a Sonnet, a MB and a Ciselle Insignia...all excellent but do not have the versatility of a jotter, for instance I can let a client use a jotter for signing , whereas under no circumstances whatsoever will I let another person use my fp.

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I like mango cheesecake

I used mechanical pencils when I studied architecture. the .3, .5. .7mm and even the thicker 2mm leads.


I don't really use them anymore. I have some really nice Koh I noor and some Steadtler pencils still. Lots of drafting supplies, including an electrically operated pencil eraser.

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In college I exclusively used Pentel MPs .3, .5 and .7 Still have several but haven't used them in years. If FPs weren't available I would possibly go back but otherwise not likely.


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I've been using 0.3mm drafting pencils since '96 or '97 (don't remember exactly when I accidentally discovered the Pentel A120 in the college bookstore). I use 2B lead and I love the way they write.


I do enjoy playing with my small collection of fountain pens and I'm sure I'll always find a place for them in my regular writing habits, but categorically speaking, my drafting pencils are still my favorites.



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As my screen name implies I started with mechanical pencils and then fountain pens. Actually both started at the same time. In Catholic grammar school we were required to use cartridge fountain pens when we learned cursive handwriting. My grandmother bought me a mechanical pencil/fountain pen combo. I think they were Scriptos. Both are long since gone. After the original set, I was never without a mechanical pencil, although fountain pens disappeared from my use for over 20 years.


Even though I was told not to, I used mechanical pencils on every bubble test I had to take. That included the PSAT, SAT, LSAT, GMAT and a whole host of other tests, that are too numerous to count. I hold 4 professional certifications, 1 professional license and 1 FCC license.


I began my career as a computer programmer, back in the dinosaur days when we still wrote programs on coding sheets and hand drew flowcharts. My three main mechanical pencils were, in order of preference: Pentel PG5, Pentel P205 and Pentel (Original) QuickerClicker in 0.5mm. I still have all of those pencils 40 years later. More have joined them since. With age and weakening eyesight I have switched up to 0.7mm pencils. More and more of those pencils are pocket friendly since that is where I carry them along with my fountain pens. I would guess that over 80% of my mechanical pencils are Pentel. The next most common would be Cross due to the ballpoint/mechanical pencil sets I own.


It is only in the last year or so that the number of fountain pens I own (~125) outnumber the number of mechanical pencils I own (~90). I plan on thinning both herds.


For comparison, I only own about two dozen ballpoints, 90% of them Cross Classic Century.

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I don't have very many but agree with you that well-made mechanical pencils are great. I seem to default to fountain pens more nowadays though, the temptation of writing with all sorts of ink colors is too great.


I did have to modify my Alvin Draftmatic as you can see because I find knurled grips quite bothersome, but I've had mine for years and it's a dependable and sturdy machine. (The pencil in the background is a Staedtler Lumograph.)





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The Next-Best thing to my fountain pen is always my mechanical pencil (that it's always next to). :)


I use a short vintage metal Wahl or Sheaffer to carry or a nice drafting style mech. pencil to sketch with.


I like a HB and a BBB.

How can you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

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I love pencils -wood and mechanical. I seriously wish I could find a pencil forum as alive as FPN. Pencil Talk is the only one I've visited, but it's not the same as this one (FPN).

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I love pencils -wood and mechanical. I seriously wish I could find a pencil forum as alive as FPN. Pencil Talk is the only one I've visited, but it's not the same as this one (FPN).

You are right. I use a pencil for a lot of my drafts at home,as well as corecting drafts.... and even have a 1950s Conway Stewart to graphite the stems of my pipes

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I have used a number of mechanical pencils over the last decades. All cheap-and-cheerful ones that I picked up here and there. I think I owned a few Staedtlers, but I never really took any notice of the make.


For some reason the really skinny leads (up to and including the ubiquitous 0.5 mm) annoyed me. But just going with the cheap ones, 0.5 mm was almost all I could ever find. Then one day I discovered a Faber-Castell TK9400 2mm clutch pencil and haven't looked back since. I have HB and 2B leads and using a nice fat pencil lead is great. With a lead pointer I can get super sharp and detailed lines but can shade so much easier than with skinny leads. I'm still wondering if I should venture up to the 3.15 mm Faber-Castell, but that just seems just a little too big ;)

Edited by RobertP

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.
William Makepeace Thackeray

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I also like mechanical pencilsvery much.

I prefer the hard 3H leads to write and to sketch with.



I also have a set of Castell 9000 to scribble with with very soft pencils:




(Faber Castell - Castell 9000)

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here are some of my pencils





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I have several backpacks that I use. Each one is

equipped with a fountain pen and a .9mm mechanical

pencil. The pencils do not get a lot of use but they are

the only other writing instruments that I will write with.

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