Monday, January 25, 2010

Pentel Clarius AX605BP

One of the places I usually check out for new mechanical pencils is the 99cents only store. Every once in a while, they would replace their pencil stock with an entirely new line. I previously had bought 2 other pencils there. Yesterday I went to the store to buy the usual groceries for the house when I visited their stationery section. Previously, they sold the Papermate Apex here but today they had a new line of Pentel mechanical pencils. I bought one to check out and quickly took a picture when I arrived home. The Pentel Clarius seen here with its blister pack is sold in 4 different barrel colors named after crystals - onyx, emerald, saphire and ruby. I bought mine in onyx.

As I opened the pack and took out the pencil, it reminded me of a doctor's pen when I was a child. It has a nice executive look, contoured rubber grip, chrome accents in the pocket clip, logo, cone tip and the top and middle of the pencil. The tip is retractable and the lead advances by pushing down on the top cap. I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth and quiet the lead advanced as I pushed down on the cap. The long rubber grip has 3 contoured sides for gripping the pencil in any position which was nice for big hands. A big black plastic cap on top covers the large eraser underneath. Chrome lettering informed me that the pencil was made in Japan. Writing with the Clarius was pleasant but there were occasions where the lead broke while I was writing. The barrel is bigger in diameter than my other mechanical pencils obviously because this was designed to be a writer's pencil and not for drafting purposes. Writing for a long time didn't fatigue my hand at all and after a few pages I was still comfortably writing with it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pentel P205

This was the first pencil in my collection. I had bought this about 9 years ago in the Philippines where it is very common. For me, the P205 is the classic mechanical pencil. It has a non retractable 4mm tip for drafting but is also suitable for writing. Clicking the metal cap advances the lead. Underneath the cap is the eraser with a needle pin for unclogging stuck leads in the tip. I've used this needle a couple of times and I must say it works well. A metal pocket clip keeps the pencil in your pocket but since its non retractable, it usually makes a few pencil holes in my shirt pocket so I usually keep this in the ring binder of my notebook. Writing with it is very comfortable with its grooved grip to hold the pencil steady even with sweaty hands like mine. Its not the best mechanical pencil but I like it for it gets the job done without the fancy lead indicators or twist advance erasers. This is a must have in any mechanical pencil collection and is usually available in any office supply store.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pentel Technica-X PW-45

On my way to the market every weekend, there is a very nice stationery store called Swains that I visit every couple of weeks. Last Sunday I was there to check out if they had any new ones. Fortunately, they had a couple but I chose this Pentel Technica-X PW45 - in .5mm black of course.

At first I thought that the tip was non retractable but when I returned home and started to write with it, I was surprised it had a retractable tip. Basically, if you push the cap from a retracted tip position, the tip will come out without the lead. Then you push the cap until you hear a click to advance the lead. Pushing all the way down you would hear a second click and it would retract the tip back inside the barrel for safe pocket storage. This reminds me of the Papermate Apex I have which had the same type of retractable tip. It has a nice chrome pocket clip that wraps around the top of the barrel. The cap is easier to pull off to reveal the eraser if the tip is out. In retracted position, the cap can be a little hard to pull off. The eraser is small and covers the lead storage compartment. The barrel is grey, smooth and shiny. It has about an inch of contoured rubber grip and is very effective for my standards. The words Pentel and Japan is written on the top of the barrel behind the pocket clip. I've used this pencil a couple of times writing notes here and there in the office and I find it very comfortable to use. Since I have big hands, the bigger barrel diameter fits my hand better although my personal preference is a longer barrel and a narrower tip instead of the conical tip this one has.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Staedtler 9605

Happy New Year! Its the start of the year and I'm really excited towards the pencils that will be part of my collection this year. Two days ago, I shared with you how I got this Staedtler 9605 with my visit to a local stationary store to pickup the Papermate Technician II. I think that one of best things about collecting is that you go to a place and you never know what you might find there. Which is why I'd rather visit local stores than buying it online.
The Staedtler 9605 is the first in my collection to have a push advance lead that is located on the grip instead of being on the cap. The top metal cap instead covers the eraser and the lead compartment. The cap clicks into place when placed back to cover the eraser. The black barrel has a shiny finish and the silver Staedtler markings on the side is similar to the Integrity 9505. It has a nice long chrome pocket clip that protrudes from the barrel and is non-removable. The long rubber grip is good for big hands and is suitable for writing. I found that the side lead advance button though sometimes gets in the way as I twirl the pencil around when writing as I tend to do this to balance the lead sharpness when writing. The tip is retractable so its safe for pockets. Overall a nice pencil and a good addition to any MP collection.