Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have I mentioned it's the most dangerous time of the year?

You folks are a bad influence, as always. I'd kinda like one of the Scriptos Speculator mentioned eventually, but for the moment I settled for another classic: Office Depot had two-packs of Pentel Sharps on sale for four bucks--more than fifty percent off--so I grabbed some (actually in a couple different lead diameters...I am weak). This yellow one uses 0.9mm leads, so at least on the hefty side, if not as big as the old Scriptos. Compared to 0.5 and 0.7 lead diameters, these leads feel more like a woodcase pencil, for them what likes such things. And they're almost unbreakable.

Pentel Sharp P209

The Sharps look like something out of the 70s or so, and for good reason: they've barely changed since they came out decades ago. At this point, they're well-established classics. I'm fond of the textured grip: it's nice to find a durable mechanical pencil that doesn't include a squishy rubber grip. Although squishy grips are fun to play with, in a lot of ways I'll be glad when that trend is over. Inevitably they go gooey, and the clear ones get discolored over time. Nothing like having what looks like (pardon me) a big gob o' dirty snot wrapped around your pen or pencil.... These feel very nice in the hand without such stuff.

Aside from the usual too-small eraser that nearly all mechanical pencils suffer from (I carry around a Mars Plastic eraser, so it doesn't bother me) the only other slight downside is the fixed lead sleeve, which is long (4mm) and rather pointy and could be an issue for folks who carry pens and pencils in a pocket. I don't, with the exception of the small and smooth Fisher Bullet Pen, so it's not so much of an issue for me.

I like it.


Mike Speegle said...

The retro style is pretty attractive.

I myself, when it comes to mechanical pencils, go with the old standard: the cheapie pack of Bics. They're not special or fancy, but you can get a boatload of them on the cheap and you don't have to worry about losing them, like I do with my pens.

speculator said...

I agree with Mike- and wooden pencils are either easily misplaced- or they go the natural way of grinding down 'til they're too short to write with.

You'd enjoy Scriptos- especially their sheer strength. They're from that era of sturdy, well-built American products (think Paper Mate and Shaeffer pens, too).

If you want to try the graphite version of a fountain pen, try a Caran d'Ache "Fixpencil."
Worth it. Worth it. Worth it.

mpclemens said...

Love those pencils: I had a blue one that saw me through college and grad school, after I destroyed too many cheapie Bics. The small eraser never bothered me, as I never bothered with it, instead using one of those wonderfully soft, white, pencil-shaped "click" erasers.

Matt said...

Hey! Big fan of your blog! I'm not sure if you know of mine, (Adventures In Typewriterdom), but in case you haven't now you have! Anyhow, my wonderful grandfather (RIP) was an artist. He painted signs for business for a living in Brooklyn, where my whole family grew up. As a matter of fact, in the house, my mom remembers having an Lettera 32! But, that's totally unrelated to this. Anyhow, I have a box of old art supplies from my grandfather, and it's a bunch of pens, pencils, etc. Even a couple of typewriter ribbon tins that have screws and such in them! But, I have a beautiful aqua green Scripto from the 1950's that was in there, still with an un-opened pack of Eversharp lead! I've used it a couple of times, but I want to save it. Anyhow, it's great, and I highly recommend getting one if you haven't done so! P.S.- My grandfather passed away when I was about seven or so, and I was too naive to know about art and stuff like that. I knew what a typewriter was, but I showed no interest. I now love them, and have a big thing for Jazz, just like my grandpa did. So, if he were still alive, I'm sure I would've become the best of friends with him... Sorry this comment is a short story!

Little Flower Petals said...

You should take some pictures of that box of art supplies! Sounds like quite the treasure trove, and a very nice connection to your grandfather.