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How Good Is This Mechanical Pencil? "koh-I-Noor Rapidograph"


patridam
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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?

Edited by patridam
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  • ANM

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  • sween1911

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  • migo984

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  • patridam

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Koh-I-Noor is a very long-standing company & was actually founded in Vienna in 1790 by Josef Hardtmuth, then moved to the Czech Republic in 1848. They are very well known & respected in Europe. I use their leaded pencils (graphite & coloured lead) and their excellent clutch pencils. I like their products & I'm sure at that price you can't lose really. I would keep them.

Verba volant, scripta manent

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If this is what you've got, they are classics. I have heard people who really like them. They are keepers. The black one is my favorite. The black knurled part feels smoother to me, but both are very nice.

 

 

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii101/matthewsno/DSCN2833_zpss9arn47o.jpg

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

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That is a CLASSIC! I used one of those at Temple University in the 90's. Great pencil. The subject of one of my first posts on FPN. PM outbound.

Edited by sween1911
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Well, thanks for the input all. I've decided to keep at least two of them, because even though the lead size is a bit small for my tastes it is very easy to feel and detect the quality when you use these pencils. But I agreed to humor my father and let him sell some of them on his ebay. It's not like I really need eight, I suppose.

 

The link for the first sale, if anyone is interested:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KOH-I-NOOR-RAPIDOMATIC-0-5-5635-MECHANICAL-PENCIL-DRAFTING-PENCIL-JAPAN-NOS-/281776026779?hash=item419b28f49b

 

(if direct linking is against the rules or something somebody please tell me and I'll remove it).

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FYI, when I was working, I used the Koh-I-Noor all the time, but since then I retired and now I generally use a pencil for working the daily crossword. These are my favorites now. 1.1 Parker, 0.9 Cross, 0.7 Waterman, and 0.5 Parker.

 

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii101/matthewsno/DSCN2840_zpshvuzqkiw.jpg

Edited by ANM

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

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Thanks for the pic, ANM! The gold Cross is a classic. My dad always had his set on him when he got dressed up, the pencil, ballpoint pen, and felt tip. That early black German Koh-I-Noor is beautiful! Like an undercover rOtring 600.

 

I used a white barrel 0.5mm Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic (Japanese) in the 90's while attending Temple University. My uncle, who was a retired engineer, gave it to me. I used it everyday for awhile, but in my short-sighted youth I carried it around in pockets and stuck in notebooks instead of a dedicated case and it eventually cracked across the middle and was disposed of. I scored a Chinese made version not long ago, but the original magic is gone. Fortunately, I stumbled upon Alvin's Draftmatic, still produced and available on Amazon and high end art and drafting supply stores. I have a couple of them and they're fantastic. Superb quality, heft, and feel.

 

As an aside, the Rapidomatic that I currently have is very worn down on the grip and the tip is pushed in a bit. Can anyone that owns both confirm if a replacement grip/tip from a rOtring 300/500/600 will fit and function on the Rapidomatic body?

Edited by sween1911
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  • 2 weeks later...

If this is what you've got, they are classics. I have heard people who really like them. They are keepers. The black one is my favorite. The black knurled part feels smoother to me, but both are very nice.

 

 

 

 

I have these with the chrome trim in 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9mm lead. They seem to be very similar to some of the Rotring models. I'm not really very fond of them (or the Rotring ones) because the knurling is quite sharp and uncomfortable.

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...

As an aside, the Rapidomatic that I currently have is very worn down on the grip and the tip is pushed in a bit. Can anyone that owns both confirm if a replacement grip/tip from a rOtring 300/500/600 will fit and function on the Rapidomatic body?

 

The old Japanese Rapidomatic and current rOtring 600 are visually identical, but the parts are not interchangeable. I tried this last year.

--

 

Fred Latchaw

Seattle WA

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