drunken monkey

mechanical pencils

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I have never been interested in pens.
In my line of work, a pen really is a tool and when I say tool, I mean the kind that gets thrown into a box of screw-drivers and whatnot or left to rattle about in a bag with two large tape measures and a torch.

To that end, I only really use two (types) of pen.
i) a simple Bic Biro for when I am on site
ii) a Gel pen for when I am in the office making notes

The reasons for those two are simple: the first is because the Gel pens don't work well when it's wet and the second means that any notes I make for site use are waterproof.
My only conceit is that I tend to write in green so that my notes are recognised as being mine. Ok, I suppose I do also only use one specific Gel pen from Japan too but that is as far as my pen use goes.

Pencils on the other hand, are my poison.
I don't have many but it took a long time for me to make my buying decision; partly because a lot of the good ones are not actually UK products (typically being from Japan).

I've never really taken photos of them apart from one of my latest round of buying.

you'll note that there are only 3 models there.

The multiple accounts for
Staedtler 925-25
0.5mm F Lead
0.5mm Red Lead
0.5mm Blue Lead

Pental Graphgear 500
0.5mm F Lead
0.5mm Red Lead
0.5mm Blue Lead
0.7mm F Lead

Rotring rapidPRO
2.0mm F Lead.

You'll spot that I'm an F lead user, which is potentially a whole "article" by itself but as I said, this is just a sort of introduction.
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  1. Dan R's Avatar
    Interesting, I used to use only pencils, and mechanical ones at that when people did real drafting as opposed to using AutoCad. I had numerous Pentels, and I am sure if I looked long enough, I might even find a few.

    Now-a-days, all I do is write so I use nothing but fountain pens.

    But I finally got a mechanical pencil just so I would have one handy in the fountain pen holder I have. It is a Graphgear 1000. I am sure I looked at the GG500, but for the life of me, can't figure out what won me over to the 1000.

    It doesn't get a whole lot of use, but I really like it.

    As for me, "HB" makes it tick.

  2. drunken monkey's Avatar
    I looked at the graphgear 1000 and on paper, it had all of the right features. What I didn't like, was the use of the clip as the actuating mechanism for the lead retraction. It made the clip a little ungainly and while the cheap fitted metal clip on the 500 is exactly that; cheap, it does give the pencil a cleaner profile.

    I will get a 1000 sooner or later but I'm on a Rotring mission at the moment, followed by something more interesting that would be covered in a proper post.

    It always surprises me how many other buildering related people there are around here and there.
  3. skywatch's Avatar
    I still have and use my Pentel .3mm drafting pencil that I used to draw electronics schematics for my college summer job around 35 years ago. HB hardness was the only graphite that worked reliably so thin. I was working under my father's supervision in a small research company of 9 people designing linear accelerators, long before the days of Gerber files and CAD. Why am I not surprised to find a lot of overlap between watch aficionados and pen/pencil collectors, and high-end knife collectors? It's all part of the perfectionist spectrum, perhaps?
  4. tribe125's Avatar
    I stashed away a dozen Rotring 600 pencils when they became hard to find, but I see they're available again. All that time on eBay wasted!
  5. drunken monkey's Avatar
    I looked at the 600s but that lead sleeve looks very, very exposed.
    I guess that's what the 800s were all about but that came at a cost.

    Still, I will get a 600 eventually after my current Japanese fix.
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