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Best Mechanical Pencil Ever

Discussion in 'Pens, Pencils, Notebooks, and Notebook Covers' started by shadeone, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I have a plastic body version of this pencil. I like it; the rotation of the lead really works to eliminate the 'flat spot'. But the plastic body is way too light for any long term work; lighter than any Pentel I've used.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  2. Daveho

    Daveho Loaded Pockets

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    I used one every workday for a year. No complaints from me
     
  3. aih

    aih Loaded Pockets

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    I'm reading through the thread to see if anyone else mentioned it, or even better, a picture...

    Back in the mid-70's I purchased a Pilot mechanical pencil that was $20 or $25 US at that time. Expensive mechanical pencil. I carried it through undergraduate and graduate school, then somewhere in the 80's I was carrying it in my front pocket and bent over or something and broke it. Very unlike me to do something like that, and still angry at myself.

    So, the pencil was black with shiny chrome like trim, not fat, and it operated much like a retractable ballpoint pen, but unlike the retractable mechanical pencils today. Clicking extended the "point" and clicking again retracted the "point". When extended, clicking slightly advanced the lead; and clicking further retracted the "point." I loved that pencil. I see nothing like it today.

    It would be nice to still have that pencil, but really I've long since gone to pens (ballpoint) pretty much all the time. But, ahhh, the memories.
     
  4. assassin10000

    assassin10000 Loaded Pockets

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    @aih hmmm. Search 'vintage pilot pencil' on the bay. There are a couple that 'may' work as you describe. H-1003 (0.3mm) & H-2105 (0.5mm) that appear similar to how you described what you had. Perhaps these are similar to what you had?

    Of course, they are at an extra premium 'vintage' price.
     
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  5. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    Are you thinking of something like this?
    [​IMG]
    When you said it was $20~25, I figured it couldn't be the H-1005 (which is the all black plastic body version). This is the H-2005.
     
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  6. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    The only pen that meets that description/timeline that I am aware of in the Pilot H-1003 or H-1005, vanishing point. Price sound about right based on what I bought my H-1005 for in 1981 from the drafting section at the book store at university. They are available on evil-bay but expect to pay at least $100. It is one of my favourite mechanical pencils.

    There are some drafting pencils that have similar functionality, but they have a much more technical look. Best of the bunch is the Pentel Graphgear 1000, in my opinion.
     
  7. aih

    aih Loaded Pockets

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    Could have been the H-1005. The H-1003 keeps appearing when I search, and the pencil I had looked a lot like it, but in 0.5 mm lead. And the entire body of the pencil was like the upper half of the pencil in the photo above.

    My memory on the price is pretty good, though I may have paid too much. I still remember, bought it in regular office supply store. No Walmart back then. No Amazon.
     
  8. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    Yup thats the H-1005. Black plastic upper and lower body, silver trim ring in the middle, with the size on it that you could twist to indicate the lead hardness, and a silver tip and knock. I would love to have one in 0.3mm as well but can't bring myself to pay the crazy evil-bay prices.
     
  9. aih

    aih Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah. I don't want it that bad, and didn't even think to look at eBay because I don't use it. Thanks to everyone who helped identify what I was remembering. I would say it was the best ever, best I have experience with. But for years I haven't used a pencil either traditional or mechanical; though not that I wouldn't buy a mechanical pencil just because it is cool, but nothing in pencils appeals to me that way now. That Pilot was cool.
     
  10. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    I surmised it wasn't the H-1003 or H-1005, because those were really cheap. I remember reading posts about people picking them up for $10 on closeout. Typical store prices were in the mid to upper teens. But who knows, maybe some stores marked it up more to $20 or more.

    Also, my bad... the H-2005 and H-3005 models were JDM release only, so couldn't have been a USA purchase.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Yours was probably the one in the foreground. The H-1003 and H-1005 looked identical, except for the lead size.

    By the way, watch eBay for those. Occasionally used examples show up. I've seen some get snatched up for $30~50 USD. Mint with sticker tends to go from $99 to $149, depending upon some factors (there's a wood grain version that's more uncommon).
     
    Last edited by xevious, Apr 21, 2018
    #170 xevious, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  11. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    Great... didn't know about the 3000 series... Now I have another one to add to the list. Plus in researching the 3003 I discovered the H-2103 and definitely have to get that, plus try and find the all stainless steel one. Apparently the full model line is:

    [taken from a post on the FPN]

    H-10xx

    H-1003 - All black plastic body, with chromed metal parts, lead size 0.3mm
    H-1005 - Same as H-1003, with lead size 0.5m
    H-1007 - Same as H-1003, with lead size 0.7m

    H-20xx
    H-2003 - Partial black plastic body, all metal section, brushed metal parts and metal grip with small black accents, lead size 0.3mm
    H-2005 - Same as H-2003, metal grip with black rectangular accents, lead size 0.5m
    H-2007 - Same as H-2003, metal grip with black rectangular accents, lead size 0.7m

    H-21xx
    H-2103 - Partial black plastic body, with brushed metal parts and knurled black metal grip, lead size 0.3mm
    H-2105 - Same as H-2103, lead size 0.5m
    H-2107 - Same as H-2103, lead size 0.7m

    H-30xx
    H-3003 - Partial black plastic body, all metal section, brushed metal accents and metal grip with paired rectangular accents, lead size 0.3mm
    H-3005 - Same as H-3003, lead size 0.5m
    H-3007 - Same as H-3003, lead size 0.7m

    While the H-10xx series is a competent writing instrument, the H-20xx, H-21xx, and H-30xx series were a notable step up. Professional grade quality. Reputedly very solid lead holder core, despite the retracting mechanism. The H-21xx series is all black, with a more industrial looking design, reminiscent of the Rotring 600.

    There were also a few other models made with all stainless steel brushed or satin finish bodies, but no apparent model numbers (imprinted on the body or noted in a sticker). The only way I discovered anything about them was on Japanese websites, but even still, all they had were photos -- nothing else. Based on what little I've discovered, there weren't many of them made and unfortunately even within the Japanese marketplaces they're very much sought after.
     
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  12. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    That was my post, actually (I'm "myu" over on FPN). Don't get your hopes up. The H-210x and H-300x models are very difficult to come by, as they were JDM releases. The H-2003 and H-2005 would be the more likely models to find. I've been keeping an eye out for these over the past 3~4 years and can speak from experience.

    Functionally, they're all very much like the H-100x series, so it's not like you're missing out on some functional advantage. Of course where aesthetics are concerned, the models above the H-100x series are very nicely done. :)
     
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  13. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    I am a huge Rotring fan and the ideal of getting a Rotring 600 like vanishing point ticks all the boxes. I have had a Pilot H-1005 since 1981 and it was my go to writing tool through 5 years of university. I love the look and feel of the Rotring 600 and like pens/penciles with knurled grips. However, the fixed lead pipe on the 600 makes it a desk bound pencil as it is too easy to bend the lead pipe. The H-2103 is almost the perfect blend of vanishing point and 600 (would be perfect if it was all metal).

    I know all about JDM releases and the joys of acquiring them. However, discontinued stock turns up in the weirdest places. I got most of my pre-war Rotrings from a couple of sites in Russia. Got some of my vanishing points from China. Who knows where a H-2103 will turn up. The current examples on evil-bay are rather enthusiastically priced ($300 USD).
     
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  14. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    How'd you deal with payment methods and trust from the Russian and Chinese sites? I'd gotten ripped off from a couple of Russian sellers on eBay to warn me off from every trying again.

    I'm also a rOtring fan... having about 20 different writing instruments (600, 700, and 800 series) from the brand. I love the lava treatment on the Newton... but alas, it has a tendency to wear off over time, so you have to be careful about how you use it.

    Do you know about the Rotring 800? It features a retractable tip. It's essentially a clone of the Rotring 600G (the older 600 model but with retractable tip and gold trim). Up to now, all you could get was the mechanical pencil. But now they've come out with the ballpoint. Pencils.jp has them. But I imagine they'll be available to the USA sometime next year.
     
  15. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    I have had decent luck online. I use Paypal and have fought a couple of charges for items that were obviously misrepresented.

    In my opinion, the "new" Rotrings are not manufactured to anywhere near the same standard as the old stock. Pretty much since the takeover by Sanford they went down hill and Newell Rubbermaid made it even worse. Not a fan of the newer designs (Newtons) as I really love the knurling on technical pens/pencils. Of course, the rise of ECad and the death of hand drafting pretty much put a stop to the demand for high end "drafting" pencils. I have one 800 and am not really impressed. It seems to have more play/slop than the 600. Somewhat sceptical that the plastic in the mechanism will wear as well as the brass in the older ones. Most of my Rotrings are N.O.S. and date back to the 40's and 50's. I do love the functionality of the multipen.

    Actually it was the weight of the Rotring rollerball that started me down my obsession with heavier all metal pens.
     
  16. Scoman

    Scoman Loaded Pockets

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    I used to carry a Parker jotter 0.5mm pencil. Loved it. On the bridge when it was paper charts the preference was 0.7mm Staedtler. When HMS SUTHERLAND has her old chart table removed there’s 2 or three Parker’s of mine down the back.
     
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  17. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    The rOtring 600 debuted in 1989. To quote the rOtring corporate website under Heritage:
    I have a wide range of Tintenkuli stylographs, prior to the Koh-i-noor licensing of the Rapidograph. Some black, some in colored celluloid. They were truly beautiful bauhaus inspired designs. I've got some early 90's rOtring 600's and some later ones... and I don't find a significant difference. But then, I don't employ these for my profession, not daily users. Maybe you pick up on more nuances with elaborate usage.

    I've read a number of reviews about the 800 and the plastic component doesn't demonstrate any deficiency. Knowing how the mechanism works, I can appreciate that. There's no stress, no grinding... Who knows, maybe it'll degrade and crack after some decades when the polymer breaks down. If that's some 50 years from now, I certainly won't be caring about it! However, from what I've heard rOtring has gone back to all metal on the 800 as of the most recent release.

    Btw, my one black rOtring 600 rollerball is from the mid1990's. It had very deeply cut knurling on it. I don't use it tremendously, but at least a few times each month and some days in a row each time (I did have a couple of multi-year gaps when I misplaced it and then later recovered it). The knurling has smoothed out. It's still grippy, but not quite like it was in the beginning. My later knurled rOtring 600's have better grip than my worn 600 rollerball... so I don't think it's an issue at all.
     
  18. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    Well I'll be darned... I thought the 600 was a much older design than that. Heck, that means the first of them I got was pretty much new stock rather than NOS. :)

    I do stand by my preference to the knurled grips. It is one of the features I like and associate with "technical" writing instruments. Don't care for the designs that dropped the knurling. Did not care for the 400 series at all. I really liked the crisp hexagon bodies and knurled grips. The Rapid Pro did not seem like a "Rotring" to me, and the Newton even less so.

    My 800 has the plastic in the mechanism and has more play than 2 of the 0.3mm 600s I have. It has not worn out or failed yet, but I have not used it extensively. However, out of the box it had more slop than the 600s I have. I will freely admit I am not a huge fan of plastic and prefer metal. Its performance somewhat soured me on Rotring. Glad to hear that they have gone back to an all metal design for the new ones.
     
  19. xevious

    xevious Loaded Pockets

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    I sympathize -- when I'd read about it I was also a little surprised... Before reading that, I would have guessed that they had appeared at least in the early 1980's. But, I didn't own any then... wasn't until many years later.

    Well, it's not really a fair comparison -- the 600 0.3mm has a rock solid tip... and a vulnerable one since it cannot retract. The 600G (gold trim, retractable) has a slightly tighter tip than the 800, but still has play in comparison to the fixed tip 600. I'd read that even with the plastic piece swapped out for metal, the 800 still has comparative wobble. But... it can be remedied by applying a little tape to the shaft. Still, it's a little disappointing when you see what PILOT, Pentel, and Mitsubishi achieved. They produced some double-knock models cheaper than the 800 (heck, the H-1005 was just 1,000 JPY) and their tips are solid. REALLY solid. No play. PILOT was very serious about their drafting instruments in the 70's, 80's and 90's.
     
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  20. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Same thing that happened when Sanford and Newell Rubbermaid became corporate owners of Parker and Waterman. I'm thankful there's at least a healthy market for many of the vintage Parker and Waterman fountain pens etc!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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