Pencils!

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Pencils!

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:28 am UTC

So, this thread has 2 purposes:

1.) What is your preferred pencil choice (mechanical or wood?; .5, .7, or something crazy?; #2 or something else)?
2.) Helping me find a pencil brand I really enjoyed that I can't find anywhere.

On the first point, I like .5 mechanical pencils and usually buy the cheapest ones I can find because I lose them often and am a college student.

#2
The summer before my junior year (2007), my mom got me some pencils from Big!Lots that I haven't been able to find since. I don't actually remember if they were .5 or .7, but I think they may have been .7. I believe they were Pentel brand. Here's why I want them: they clicked like a regular eraser-based clicking system; however, if you clicked them really hard, the tip would cleanly retract which made for less holes ripped in pockets and fingers stabbed while grabbing them from my pocket
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Re: Pencils!

Postby MidsizeBlowfish » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:34 am UTC

If you can keep yourself from losing them (because they tend to be quite expensive), I like to write with a really nice .5 mm mechanical pencil. I can't remember the brand name right now, because I've used mine so much all the writing has worn off. I can't stand .7 mm lead...feels like a crayon.

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Vieto
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Vieto » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:45 am UTC

I don't actually like mechanical pencils: whenever I try to refill them, they always stop working.

instead, I prefer good old fashion wooden pencils.There, my only limitation is the capabilities of my pencil sharpener.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Birk » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:56 am UTC

I use Pentel P205 .5mm. Its a little pricey but works better than any other mechanical pencil I've used.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby rath358 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:56 am UTC

I used to have one of these, which retracts, though its probably not the one you were looking for

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Cass
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Cass » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:11 am UTC

Zebra M-402 0.5mm mechanical pencils. I love them been using them for the last three years and have never had one fail me. The only reason I ever had to buy a second set last year was due to me losing them.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Durin » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:36 pm UTC

I prefer mechanical pencils. I don't really care which lead size or brand as long as they aren't these Papermate semi-transluscent ones. Gah, those things were awful.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Omegaton » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:29 pm UTC

I use .7 mm mechanical pencils.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Meteorswarm » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:19 pm UTC

I like the .7mm bic mechanicals when I write in pencil. They're sturdy, have a fairly easy-to-remove eraser, are cheap, and you can retract the lead by pressing the eraser down as if you were extending the lead and then pushing the lead in with your fingertip. (This may work on other brands, too)
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Adacore » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:51 pm UTC

I only ever use a pencil for technical drawing, and I haven't done any non-CAD drawings for years, so I don't even own a pencil :(

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Re: Pencils!

Postby achan1058 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:44 pm UTC

I use a 0.5mm. I don't care about brands so much, but they need to have soft plastic grip. The one I have been using recently is a Pilot G-2, and I am quite pleased by it.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Ventanator » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:13 am UTC

I like wooden pencils better, but tend to use them less often. I find that my hands get slippery when doing lots of writing, and I hardly ever have those little gripper things. Mechanical pencils on the other hand tend to be a lot easier to use, because they aren't slippery. I do have lots of problems with them running out of lead at extremely inopportune moments...

you can retract the lead by pressing the eraser down as if you were extending the lead and then pushing the lead in with your fingertip. (This may work on other brands, too)

And as far as pushing in the eraser and then pushing the lead to make it go back in, I've never seen one that this didn't work for...

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Secateurs » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:56 am UTC

I just bought a Pentel 0.7mm mechanical pencil, and it has finally converted me to using pencils for writing as well as graphing. I've always had a problem with having only blunt pencils in my pencilcase, or broken ones.
But I'm keeping my usual wooden 2B pencils around to sketch with.

I'm going to have to try and retract the lead on mine now. Hopefully I won't break the thing.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby oxy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:56 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:I like the .7mm bic mechanicals when I write in pencil. They're sturdy, have a fairly easy-to-remove eraser, are cheap, and you can retract the lead by pressing the eraser down as if you were extending the lead and then pushing the lead in with your fingertip. (This may work on other brands, too)


This.

The Bic ones are great if you want pretty good quality, for dirt cheap. Plus, then come in interesting color choices.

I personally prefer the .7 lead. .5 seems so flimsy...

I actually sometimes use .9 lead ones from Foray, too.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:52 am UTC

rath358 wrote:I used to have one of these, which retracts, though its probably not the one you were looking for

Thanks for the link. I'll see if I can find one in a brick-and-mortar store
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Re: Pencils!

Postby micco » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:23 pm UTC

0.7 Bic Atlantis mechanical for writing, Bic Criterium HB for technical drawing. Also a 0.4 Artline200 ink pen, some fine pointed permanent markers and a Schneider slider XB ballpoint.
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organman
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Re: Pencils!

Postby organman » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

I like .7 mechanical pencils, with or without the little grip thingys.
.5 seems too light for me.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Æshættr » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:33 am UTC

I use a 0.9mm Sumo Grip. I like this line of mechanical pencils for a number of reasons:

1) It has an eraser housing that twists and functions much like a click eraser. The eraser inside is about half as long as a regular click eraser.
2) The eraser housing comes off easily enough that refilling the lead is never difficult.
3) The eraser is also easy to remove. You can either buy refills for it, or cut a click eraser down to size and put it in (it's the same diameter.)
4) The rubber grip is pretty nice.
5) They're not terribly expensive.

The only thing that I don't really like about it is that the grip gets discolored with age. I haven't tried the 0.5mm or 0.7mm versions, since I have no need of small lead.

you can retract the lead by pressing the eraser down as if you were extending the lead and then pushing the lead in with your fingertip. (This may work on other brands, too)

Like Ventantor, I have not come across any mechanical pencils that this does not work for.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Korandder » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:36 am UTC

I have a [url=http://www.staedtler.ca/remedy_automatic_pencil_ca.Staedtler]STAEDTLER Remedy .5mm[url] which is quite similar to a SumoGrip. I have has this pencil for a couple years; before that I had a .5 SumoGrip. One thing I dislike about about the SumoGrips is if you drop them the eraser holder flies out.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Bright Shadows » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:58 pm UTC

Mechanical pencils always seemed better than wooden ones to me. I usually don't have a pencil sharpener in a convenient place to use it, so mechanical pencils make more clean lines for me. By now I hardly ever break the lead. Using .7mm lead, even less often.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:12 am UTC

Cass wrote:Zebra M-402 0.5mm mechanical pencils. I love them been using them for the last three years and have never had one fail me. The only reason I ever had to buy a second set last year was due to me losing them.

Those are some very nice pencils, except the built-in eraser really sucks (partly because its so very tiny, and also because its just...not that good). Its easy to fix that, though (bring a clicky-eraser, or a block eraser, or whatever you have).

That said, I don't usually use those, since I have a tendency to lose pencils (I do use them at home, but I don't use them to take notes or anything that would involve them leaving the house, since they tend to get lost then). Instead, I use the papermate twist-extension types. They're cheap and fairly comfortable, and its easy to get the exact amount of lead you need.

Ventanator wrote:
you can retract the lead by pressing the eraser down as if you were extending the lead and then pushing the lead in with your fingertip. (This may work on other brands, too)

And as far as pushing in the eraser and then pushing the lead to make it go back in, I've never seen one that this didn't work for...

It doesn't work for the twisty pencils, but those are easy to retract (you twist the tip the other way)
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Jorpho » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:05 am UTC

Vieto wrote:I don't actually like mechanical pencils: whenever I try to refill them, they always stop working.
That kept me off mechanical pencils for a long time too. Then I learned of the varieties that can dispense lead by shaking as well as clicking; they seem to jam up much less easily.

For a long time I was quite infatuated with the Pilot "The Shaker", but I now prefer the Pilot "Dr. Grip" - it has a nice large diameter and a good weighty feel to it. My biggest issue with it is that it's kind of pricey to replace.

Going back to a standard pencil would be unthinkable; they're just too messy with sharpening and everything.

My biggest problem is finding decently-priced leads. I like to stick with 0.5 mm just because that's easy to find, but I also prefer H2 rather than HB, and that's not easy to find at all at a good price.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby lithiumliger » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:57 pm UTC

For me, nothing beats a Dixon Ticonderoga Black wood pencil. According to the internet, they are made from "reforested quality cedar wood". The eraser is just perfect and the pencil looks awesome.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby hintss » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:00 am UTC

pilot gel ink pen

otherwise any old pencil i find on the ground will do.

i usually find one every few days and need one once a month

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Fume Troll » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:56 am UTC

I love pencils, I do! I distinctly remember the joy at getting a set of technical drawing pencils in my early teens, including 9H,8H,7H,6H,5H,4H,3H,2H,H,F,HB, and B, all in a tin. Bit like these:
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Now it's the ubiquitous Pentel 0.5mm.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby lemurdoom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:13 pm UTC

I prefer mechanical pencils mainly because the sharpeners at my school = suck. I also don't currently own a sharpener.

Any breakage in mechanical pencils on my part was of my own fault. They don't work well when bent 8)

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Re: Pencils!

Postby cv4 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:13 am UTC

I prefer mechanical pencils, because needing a sharpener is a pain in the ass. But at this point in time, I am not too attached to any one pencil, <= 0.7 and a padded grip-thingy and I am fine with that.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Narius » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:01 am UTC

lithiumliger wrote:For me, nothing beats a Dixon Ticonderoga Black wood pencil. According to the internet, they are made from "reforested quality cedar wood". The eraser is just perfect and the pencil looks awesome.


I was going to post the same exact thought, but then I saw this.
So I will just heartily second it. Black wood dixon ticonderoga's are amazing.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Zeroignite » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:51 am UTC

Narius wrote:
lithiumliger wrote:For me, nothing beats a Dixon Ticonderoga Black wood pencil. According to the internet, they are made from "reforested quality cedar wood". The eraser is just perfect and the pencil looks awesome.
I was going to post the same exact thought, but then I saw this.
So I will just heartily second it. Black wood dixon ticonderoga's are amazing.
Thirded. I've never owned a pencil as good.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Pierrot » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:48 am UTC

I personally use a 0.5 mechanical pencil (wooden pencils lose their lead easily and I don't have a sharpener with me) that has a padded grip.
The pencil that I use has it's screw-off tip made out of solid aluminum. I only use that type of pencil because I like the weighted feeling it gives.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Cathode Ray Sunshine » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

Started using mechanical pencils I think in my second or third year in College. Haven't looked back since. Usually .7 for me. Not anything flashy, just whatever works for me since as once posted said, I tend to lose them easily.

I actually prefer to write with regular pencils, but they're such a drag for me because you can only get some decent writing before you need to sharpen them again, at least in my case. And if you're in a class where stopping writing for even 1 minute means you miss a lot of info, having to sharpen the pencil is a real hassle. The only thing I dislike about mechanical pencils, and I can't be alone on this, is when the lead breaks and I have to start squiggling on the desk or a piece of paper because the lead that comes out has a blunt end as opposed to having a slight inclination that makes the pencil just write smoother.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby nyeguy » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:02 am UTC

I cannot stand wooden pencils. This was the worst part of standardized tests. They go dull so fast, and you hardly get any good writing out of them. With a mechanical, you pretty much always have just the right tip thickness.

I personally use cheap .7mm Bic ones, since they dispense well, and I lose them often. However, I could never stand the erasers on pencil tips, so in addition, I always have one of click erasers (see image). They work better, and don't run out so fast.

Spoiler:
Image
Image

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Jorpho » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

nyeguy wrote:However, I could never stand the erasers on pencil tips, so in addition, I always have one of click erasers (see image). They work better, and don't run out so fast.
Word. Very fond of the click erasers, I am.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby ecshafer » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:08 pm UTC

I use pens... yes even for math and physics. My friends think I am crazy.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby Mr. Freeman » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:48 am UTC

I absolutely hate wooden pencils. I refuse to use them for any purpose related to writing whatsoever.
I used to use a pilot vanishing point but the plastic body is the most poorly designed piece of garbage I've seen in awhile. The thing cracks like none other if you apply slightly too much stress to it. The threads that hold on the barrel also strip out like crazy.

I currently use a graphgear 100 in 0.5mm size. I'm thinking of moving to a 0.3mm though. Anyway, the only problem with this pencil is that after awhile the plastic part that keeps the tip retracted will wear down to the point that the pencil will retract at random. The solution to this is to remove the back part of the body and rotate the plastic piece so that it no longer wears into the same grooves.

Here's a site you might want to take a look at. This guy does reviews of pretty much every single mechanical pencil out there.
EDIT: Link added: http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com/
Last edited by Mr. Freeman on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby The EGE » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:10 am UTC

Triconderoga pencils. The black ones. They're a haor more expensive than the yellow ones, usually, but the wood is higher quality. And the erasers are amazing.

I can't use mechanical pencils because I tend to write very hard, so I snap even 0.7 graphite very quickly.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby The Happy Genius » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:09 am UTC

Pentax A73 and Pentax A79. the .3mm lets me write Japanese and cram chemical equations in my notebook. The .9mm is for brute-forcing my homework or my calc notes, calc teacher is insane fast. :x

I got a pack of Mirado Black Warrior wood pencils I love, sharpening is just too inconvenient, but they're pretty decent.

I am, however, doing my homework with a Niji Grip500 I filched from my dad years ago. really nice pencil, but the eraser design is pure shit

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Re: Pencils!

Postby mandachan » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

i have to use mechanical pencils. i can't stand the flat side that results from using a normal pencil.
and to be quite honest, i'm too darn lazy to get up and sharpen the pencil in the crappy wall-mounted contraptions our school seems to think will shluff off the wood to an acceptable degree.
the only problems i have ever had with a mechanical pencil are me being stupid and putting the wrong size lead in or the pencil grip leaving a temporary black stain on the fingernail it rubs up against when i hold it.
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Re: Pencils!

Postby Jorpho » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:16 pm UTC

An important question: do you fill up your mechanical pencil's internal storage with leads, or do you just pull a new lead out of a refill pack when you need one?

I don't really trust that internal storage to dispense leads properly.

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Re: Pencils!

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:An important question: do you fill up your mechanical pencil's internal storage with leads, or do you just pull a new lead out of a refill pack when you need one?

I don't really trust that internal storage to dispense leads properly.

I usually keep a few leads in the internal storage and the rest in my desk for later
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