The Pen Rest

There’s a new, exciting Kickstarter around: The Pen Rest.

Image © David Frieslander

Image © David Frieslander

This might be just the right thing to rest some of the nicer pens and pencils on. I do hope it will be made ..and that the soft cover stretch goal will come though as well – for pens with a more sensitive surface, like many fountain pens.

 

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Faber-Castell dust-free eraser 18 71 70

Dust free - my favourite kind of eraser

Dust free – my favourite kind of eraser

Previously I have mentioned that I came across a new, nice eraser. Well, this eraser is new to me – and Faber-Castell have confirmed that this eraser, the blue, dust-free eraser ’18 71 70′, is available in Malaysia, but is not officially available in Europe. It seems to be for sale in Canada, though. I paid 4元 (~ 65¢; 55c; 45p) for this eraser.

Faber-Castell's 18 71 70 eraser

Faber-Castell’s 18 71 70 eraser

Performance is similar to the 18 71 20 (which is the bigger version of the 18 71 30). The blue 18 71 70 seemed to be a little bit softer and required a little bit less effort than the white 18 71 20, which is already very soft and effortless to use. This could however be because the white 18 71 20 is a few years old. The dust of the blue 18 71 70 did not roll up as neatly into strands as that of the white 18 71 20.

There is also a black version of the 18 71 70, the 18 71 71. According to Faber-Castell both versions are identical except the colour. According to Faber-Castell the white dust-free erasers 18 71 20 and 18 71 30 are phthalate free. There are no similar claims regarding the blue or black dust-free eraser.

 

Comparison 18 71 20 and 18 71 70

Comparison 18 71 20 and 18 71 70, Fili Perfetto pencil, Deli Report Pad paper

In case you wonder why my 18 71 20 looks so funny on the picture, it took on the colour of my Berit case after being stores in the Berit case for a while. Eraser easily take on the colour of items they touch, or even ‘dissolve’ other items.


Price: December 2014

Exchange rates: January 2015

 

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More Venezuelan Mongols

After I recently received some Venezuelan Mongols Sean told me that you can get them very cheap on eBay.com. I normally prefer hexagonal pencils, but hey, they are Mongols! I didn’t expect to get them that cheap: I got three dozen Venezuelan Mongols, including express delivery to the UK, for $12.94 (~ £8.50; €11.10). Sending them within the UK, using express delivery, would probably have cost nearly as much.

Venezuelan Mongols

Venezuelan Mongols

The parcel was stuck in customs for a while and has officially been opened by Her Majesty’s Customs for inspection – I assume that is less of a coincidence and more because Venezuela borders Columbia, which seems to be a big exporter of drugs.

Too bad I haven’t found anyone yet who is selling the other Mongols that are still around: the ones from the Philippines.

 

…and there’s already more exciting stationery on its way. Shangching is trying to get me a Pentel Orenz1, which I got to know through Lexikaliker, and I also ordered a Zebra DelGuard, a mechanical pencil that looks a bit like a Kuru Toga, but that is using springs to protect the lead from breaking due to too much pressure. I hope to review the DelGuard very soon after it arrives (which might take a few weeks as it’s coming from Japan).


Price and exchange rates: January 2015

  1. Should I really spell it all lower case? []
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Deli pencil sharpener 0620

 

Deli 0620 in its box

Deli 0620 in its box

In my previous blog post I mentioned the Deli 0620 sharpener I bought when I was in Shanghai.

I you have followed my blog you might have noticed that I am very fond of Deli sharpeners. The Deli 0635 and the Deli 0668 are in fact my most often used sharpeners.

Why do I only mention these two models and no other Deli sharpeners? The problem with Deli sharpeners is that most seem to be aimed at children or pupils and look a bit too cartoony to put on your desk in the office – so when I came across a serious looking Deli sharpener, the 0620, I was quite excited.

Deli 0620 unpacked

Deli 0620 unpacked

The moment I saw this sharpener I thought of the Classroom Friendly Sharpener. I don’t have one myself, but having seen pictures of it in the past I thought this Deli 0620 looks very similar …but I had to wait until I was home to be able to compare the 0620 with photos of the Classroom Friendly Sharpener. More about this later.

Deli 0620

Cheap and full of features

I paid 45元 (~ $7.25; €6.25; £4.75) in the stationery shop on Xiangde Road, mentioned previously. Unlike the 0635 and the 0668, the 0620 features a metal case and is quite a bit bigger. It has a very solid feel to it and comes with a desk clamp and a spring driven pencil holder that features auto stop (as expected). The 0620 seems to sharpen with the same angle as the 0635: it will produce a slightly concave point with an angle of ~ 17°.

The 0620's spring loaded pencil holder

The 0620′s spring loaded pencil holder

Oh no, tooth marks!

This all sounds great, but I have a big problem with this sharpener: it leaves tooth marks on the pencil, because the grips that hold the pencil while sharpening are not rubber covered. I guess many people don’t mind. As far as I know some of the best sharpeners do leave tooth marks, like the expensive El Casco sharpener as well as the cheaper, but still very expensive Caran d’Ache sharpener.

Sharpening a Korean TiTi T-Prime with the 0620

Sharpening a Korean TiTi T-Prime with the 0620

The problem is: I do mind! There are some things others seem to mind, like bar codes on pencils, that I don’t mind. On the contrary, I often even like them …but tooth marks? Maybe one day I can accept them, but not at the moment, so I fear my 45元 were not very well invested. I could try ‘improving’ the tooth mark situation by putting Sugru on the grip mechanism, but the point produced by the Deli 0635 is so similar, I might as well use the 0635 instead of the 0620((If I had some Sugru I might try ‘improving’ the 0620. Maybe I buy a pack one day, once it’s open it needs to be used up soon anyway, which might be a good reason to use some of it on the 0620.)).

If you can cope with the horror: click on the bite mark picture to see the mutilated pencil in higher resolution.

Ugly bite marks on a beautiful pencil

Ugly bite marks on a beautiful pencil

The Deli 0620 and the Classroom Friendly Sharpener

One interesting point, mentioned earlier, is the similarity of the 0620 to the Classroom Friendly Sharpener. According to the pictures I have seen I would say the two sharpeners are more or less identical. I guess there could be several reasons for that, the most likely probably being that

  1. The Classroom Friendly Sharpener is actually made by Deli
  2. Both are made by another company
  3. One is a copy of the other, or both are a copy of another.
Deli 0620 shavings

Deli 0620 shavings

I don’t think one of these sharpeners is a copy of the other one. My guess would be that the the original isn’t famous enough to warrant a copy being made. Also, if you look at copied stationery, e.g. a Lamy Safari and a Hero 359, the copy is often of much worse quality than the original. I can’t really judge how the quality of both sharpeners compares as I only know the 0620, but it seems to be pretty well made. The only problem I encountered was that I couldn’t remove the burr mechanism. This problem doesn’t seem uncommon for Deli. Once I had two batches of 0635 in front of me, and one batch was perfectly fine, but on the other batch I couldn’t remove the burr mechanism on any of the sharpeners1. I assume that if you use enough force you could get the burr mechanism out.

Conclusion

A great looking sharpener that disappoints because of the tooth marks it leaves. Otherwise great value for money, like other Deli sharpeners.

Size comparison: 0668, 0620, 0635

Size comparison: 0668, 0620, 0635

As mentioned by Gunther and Koralatov in the comments: there are other sharpeners that seem to be produced in the same factory: the Carl Angel-5, the Kw-trio 031VA and the Helix A5.

Assuming the sharpener is made by Deli, because the point produced is so similar to the one produced by the 06352, the question is: Did the 0620 get this acute, concave angle because of Deli’s existing mechanism or was this model’s angle always like this, even before Deli made this sharpener,  and Deli made its mechanism like this to fulfil Carl’s (or whoever ordered this sharpener first) requirements?


Price: December 2014

Exchange rates: January 2015

  1. I don’t think they are glued on on purpose as I can’t see any sense in that. I wonder whether there are other reasons, e.g. some tolerance issues and some parts being a bit too big, or whether the sharpener was assembled before the paint could dry properly, etc. []
  2. What a shame that it’s so difficult to remove the burr mechanism for a comparison []
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Shanghai stationery

 

On a bridge near the stationery shop

On a bridge near the stationery shop

 

The time it takes to read most blog posts at Bleistift is probably a bit longer than the time most readers are willing to spend on reading them – so in an attempt to keep blog posts shorter I’ll talk about my trip to Shanghai, where I bought some nice stationery, before writing more about what I bought in two further blog posts.

Notebooks in Réel Mall.

Notebooks in Réel Mall.

 

Shanghai

In December I’ve been in Shanghai again. Unfortunately there wasn’t much time while I was there, so I only managed to see some more stationery in shopping malls I happened to pass and to visit one proper stationery shop.

lamy

kawecoIt’s not an uncommon sight to see little, open Lamy shops in Shanghai’s shopping malls. I have mentioned this in the past. As in previous years prices are more expensive than in Europe, roughly 50% more, but that depends on the specific pen you’re looking at. On a positive note: it is not uncommon to see limited edition pens from previous years that are hard to get in Europe. Funnily enough I’ve seen Lamy being sold in several places, but I haven’t seen Chinese Lamy copies, like the Hero 359 or the Jinhao 599 anywhere.

This time I’ve also seen Kaweco pens for the first time in Shanghai, it was in one of the more expensive shopping malls, called Réel, near Jing’An Temple.

Masking tape ...every day a bit better.

Masking tape …every day a bit better.

 

The proper stationery shop I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post is a shop on Xiangde Road in Shanghai’s Hongkou district. I have visited this shop in the past. It’s not too big and there’s not too much choice when it comes to wood cased pencils, but the shop has a lot of other stationery, from the kind of stationery for children and students,  like different kinds of papers, brushes, scissors to all sorts of stationery small companies would buy.

The shop on Xiangde Road

The shop on Xiangde Road

In the past I have bought lots of erasers and sharpeners in this shop – so, of course, I couldn’t resist buying more some erasers and sharpeners this year.

Eraser paradise?

Eraser paradise?

The two most exiting items I bought were, without any doubt, Faber-Castell’s blue dust free eraser and Deli’s 0620 sharpener.

...still in the shop on Xiangde Road

…still in the shop on Xiangde Road

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turo.pencil.land

Bleistift, or should I say Bleistift’s alternative address, http://pencil.land has its first subdomain: turo.pencil.land

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Well, ok, it is actually the second subdomain. For a day or so there was http://penciltalk.pencil.land, a mirror of Pencil Talk – after Pencil Talk went offline I put a mirror up so that the content is still available on the web. I did ask whether that’s ok, but put the mirror up before I got an answer.

 

It turned out that Stephen, the man behind Pencil Talk, who enriched all our lives with so many exciting pencil posts prefers that there’s no mirror, so at the moment I’m still hoping that Pencil Talk will come back one day in the future and pencil fans are still using archive.org to access his old blog posts.

Turo Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Turo.pencil.land is the site of a former student of mine who, as a hobby, creates amazing pencil drawings linked to popular culture.

Turo Mongol 480

…and that’s not the only pencil link. As he’s originally from Venezuela his drawings (so far) have been created using the Mongol 480, which he says is hugely popular in Venezuela. I got some Mongols from him: the round version (480), which is made in Venezuela. Nice!!!

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