Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dave's Top Five

Well really it’s my Top Twenty-Five, because it’s my top five from each of my five different price ranges. It was mighty hard to prune the Low Price Range list down to just five and there are some serious injustices, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Obviously my choices will change over time, and every time I review a pencil I will now have to ask myself – Does this one make it into the Top Five? Each Top Five are listed in no particular order. Well that’s not totally true because they are generally in the order that they sprang to mind when I first wrote the list. Some of the Top Five didn’t get fantastic reviews, but they pass the most important criteria for getting into the Top Five – if I was starting from scratch and could only buy five pencils, would it be one of them?

Economy (US $0 – 3)
Pentel Energize PL77
Pentel Technica-X PW45
Staedtler Graphite 777
Pentel Techniclic PD105T
Staedtler Triplus Micro 774

Low ($3 – 15)
Pilot Vanishing Point
Pentel Smash Q1005
Tombow Oceanic
Pentel Graphgear 1000
Pentel Flex Fit II PW35 (Now there’s a surprise)

1: August 2009 - Pentel Sharp P205 removed and replaced by Pentel Smash Q1005. The P205 remains highly recommended.

Medium ($15 – 50)
Pentel Sharp Kerry
Lamy Scribble
Ohto Tasche
Staedtler 925 25
Pentel Accugraph PG1505AD

High ($50 – 150)
Caran d’Ache Ecridor
Lamy 2000
Rotring Trio 357
Rotring Newton Trio
Parafernalia Revolution (Another surprise)

Stratospheric ($150+)
Caran d’Ache Varius Ivanhoe
Yard-O-Led Deco 34
Porsche Design P3130 Micado
Delta Dolcevita Medium
Parker Duofold Pinstripe

Link to List of Reviews (to find the reviews for the Top Five)

SOME RULES: Only pencils that have featured on my blog are eligible for the Top Five. Featured means a review or short article. This will hopefully encourage me to review pencils that I like in the hope they will make the Top Five. Vintage and discontinued pencils are eligible, as are multi-pens that include a pencil. Of course price ranges may change over time, particularly if a pencil is discontinued or vintage – the price range listed is my estimate at the time of entry to the Top Five. Also this is a list of the Top Five for a collection, so I am giving some thought to including variety, to having a representative range of pencil types and styles. Its not the Top Five draughting pencils, or Top Five writing pencils,'s the Top Five in general trying to keep some sort of overall balance. But this doesn't mean that I'm deliberately including unworthy pencils just to be representative, just that its something I keep in mind. My Top Five draughting pencil list would absolutely be different to my Top Five writing pencils to my Top Five unusual designs to my Top Five....etc.
Finally, since there can be only ONE, and that’s the Pentel SG65 / Excalibur, it is excluded from the list.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mechanical Pencils With Extendable Erasers

A lot of people seem to like a big eraser on their mechanical pencil, so here’s a list of mechanical pencils with large erasers. How big is large? I’ve decided that any eraser that is extendable will qualify, irrespective of its cross-section, diameter or length; and that’s it. Extendable or nothing. I’ll update this list as I become aware of new pencils. No promises, but I will try and remove pencils from the list if they are discontinued by the manufacturer. Please let me know of any currently available mechanical pencils with extendable eraser, along with the relevant details. Discontinued pencils don't count. I am not going to include details of the eraser composition, the length you can extend it out, etc as this list is just a starting point for folk to do their own research.
All are round cross-section erasers using a twist out mechanism unless otherwise noted.

Wide Erasers (over about 4mm or 3/16th inch diameter)

Artline Click-It
Faber-Castell Grip Plus
Faber-Castell Grip 2011

Papermate Clearpoint
Papermate MegaLead
Papermate PhD
Papermate Sidetrac
Papermate Titanium
Penol Jumbo
Penol Pastel
Pentel Side FX
Pentel Twist-Erase
Pentel Twist-Erase Frost
Pilot Clicker (push slider mechanism)
Sakura Sumo Grip
Stabilo Min Gum
Staedtler Noris 771
Staedtler Remedy
Staedtler Triplus Micro

Narrow Erasers (about 4mm or 3/16th inch diameter and under)

Faber-Castell Grip 1345/7
Faber-Castell Grip Matic
Faber-Castell TK-Fine Executive
Faber-Castell TK-Fine Vario L
Koh-I-Noor Mephisto Profi
Papermate Apex
Papermate / Sanford ProTouch II
Papermate / Sanford Technician II
Staedtler Integrity 9505

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