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

 

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? []

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 []

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!!!

The Mono Zero and the Mono One

Today: a comparison of different Tombow erasers – the Tombow Mono Zero, available either with a 2.3 mm round tip or broad 2.5 mm * 5 mm rectangular tip, and the Tombow Mono One, an eraser that looks as if it’s supposed to be used on a keyring or as a charm. I wrote this blog post originally for The Pen Company who send me these two erasers free of charge.

Mono Zero (back)

Mono Zero (white version, back)

Mono Zero background

The Mono Zero was originally released on 12 November 2007 and since its release it has won the iF product design award 2010 and the red dot design award 2010. It has also received Japan’s eco mark certification because of its high content of (pre-consumer) recycled plastic. The body of the eraser is made in Japan, while the eraser core itself is made in Korea. The Mono Zero has been designed by Ms. Chisato Takahashi, who  is also responsible for the Mono smart. I got mine as a free sample from The Pen Company where the current retail price is £3.47.

Mono Zero (black version, front)

Mono Zero (black version, front)

Mono Zero body

The Mono Zero is available either with a 2.3 mm round tip or broad 2.5 mm * 5 mm rectangular tip and each of these versions is available in either a black body or a black, white and blue body. There used to be a silver version as well, which – to me – always used to be by far the least attractive looking version. This silver version does not seem to be available anymore.

Mono Zero eraser removed - 2.5mm * 5 mm version

Mono Zero eraser removed – 2.5mm * 5 mm version

Mono Zero eraser removed - 2.3 mm round tip version

Mono Zero eraser removed – 2.3 mm round tip version

Mono Zero eraser

The eraser itself does not fill the whole body. This might come as a surprise when you have used other pen shaped erasers that come in a plastic body, but is not not really a problem. You do get slightly less eraser for your money, but the whole eraser (body plus eraser) itself is not expensive and the eraser core will still last a long time. Just to mention is explicitely, there are also refills available for these erasers, like for most pen shaped erasers. Labelled as an elastomer eraser, the Mono Zero contains an eraser made from ethylene propylene copolymer. When I received the eraser I did try it out and compared it to my favourite kind of eraser, a dust-free  or non-dust eraser (as long as it’s a dust-free eraser I usually like it very much). It’s probably not fair to compare it to my favourite type of eraser, or let’s say not objective – others might not like dust-free erasers, but then this comparison  is a valid approach as I am writing about what I like or dislike about the Mono Zero.

Comparison on Deli paper (A6)

Comparison on Deli paper (A6)

For the pencil to be erased by the Mono Zero – I originally thought what better match could there be for the Tombow Mono erasers than a Tombow pencil, so I picked last year’s 100th anniversary special pencil.

Erasing the soft Tombow 100th anniversary pencil

Erasing the soft Tombow 100th anniversary pencil

Mono Zero performance

To my surprise the two Tombow products, pencil and eraser, didn’t seem to be able to cooperate that well with each other. This was due to the fact that the Tombow pencil is very soft. According to Pencils and other things the 100th anniversary edition has the same lead as the current Mono 100, but my 100th anniversary pencil seems much softer (and smudges easier) than a Mono 100 (both HB). I am not sure whether I’m imagining things here, or I just happened to have a softer than usual 100th anniversary pencil and a harder than usual Mono 100, or whether the lead is the same, but there’s actually a shift in grade (e.g. 100th anniversary HB = Mono 100 B). In any case, the Mono Zero was not able to eraser a strong line, i.e. drawn with some pressure, without a trace. It did however manage to eraser strong lines of harder pencils, in this case a Staedtler Mars Lumograph in HB, without a trace.

Erasing the harder Staedtler Mars Lumograph HB

Erasing the harder Staedtler Mars Lumograph HB

Mono Zero conclusion

My impression of the Mono Zero was that it’s not the greatest performer when it comes to actual erasing (worse than a non-dust / dust-free eraser), but its strong point is precise erasing …because of the tip size and shape (a bit like a Kokuyo eraser). When I was looking for other blog posts to mention in this review I rediscovered Dave’s review of the Mono Zero, which came to the same conclusion regarding eraser performance.

A great eraser, because its fine ‘tip’ allows precise erasing, even though eraser performance itself could be better.

The Monos compared to a dust free eraser

The Monos compared to a dust free eraser

 

Mono One

The Mono One, designed by Mr Kazunori Katami, who holds a lot of stationery patents, was released slightly earlier than the Mono Zero – on 5 February 2007. The Pen Company is selling this eraser for £2.60. The body of this eraser is also produced in Japan (no eco mark certification for the Mono One, though), while the eraser itself is made in in Vietnam. Labelled as a plastic eraser, the eraser is made from thermoplastic elastomers. Despite the different materials, performance seemed pretty similar between the Mono Zero and the Mono One, with the Mono One maybe performing a little bit better.

The Mono One does not offer as precise erasing as the Mono Zero, the tip is bigger, but it is a nice size, which makes it a great eraser to carry in a pencil case bag or, possibly even on your key ring.

 


I would like to thank The Pen Company for these erasers, I got them as free samples, and Mrs. Balsewicz from Tombow Europe for all the information she has given me about these erasers.

I would like thank Sean for the Tombow 100th anniversary pencils.

A Viking invasion

The Vikings are coming

No one expects a Viking invasion1

…and when it’s coming there’s no escape.

Luckily I, Langskæg2, got invaded by the trading, not the raiding kind of Viking, thanks to Henrik’s generosity. You might know Henrik, who is from Denmark, from his comments on different stationery blogs.

How a full blown Viking invasion looks like.

How a full blown Viking invasion looks like.

Viking outside Denmark

Unfortunately Viking is one of those brands that is not very well known outside its home country. I hope that will change in the future. From my point of view Viking got most exposure in the English speaking stationery world when their products where released as past of the 2012 Rad and Hungry Denmark kit and the 2014 Rad and Hungry Denmark kit and booster pack. Rad and Hungry are also currently working with Viking to release their own notebooks and pencils, how exciting is that…

 

Viking’s history – a round trip from Denmark to Sweden and back

The Viking brand was registered in 1913 and the first pencils were produced 100 years ago, in 19143, when the Danish matchstick factory H. E. Gosch started making pencils. The pencil branch of the matchstick factory was the brainchild of Folmer Preisler, who married the daughter of the matchstick factory’s owner. The beginning wasn’t easy, but after the two World Wars Viking was doing well. Their problems only started in the early 1970s, when a Swedish competitor bought the matchstick factory which, at that time, was still Viking’s parent. Just some context: At that time the Swedish matchstick maker Svenska Tändsticksaktiebolaget had a monopoly in Europe and many other parts of the world – when I was a kid these were the only matchsticks you could get (they had a monopoly in Germany from 1930 until 1983). After being taken over the Danish pencil factories closed down – the new owner was not interest in pencils. Later Viking ended up with Esselte, who used to own Dymo and who still owns Leitz. In 2010 Viking became Danish again when it was bought by Creas. Since Creas took over they started moving production back to Denmark or as close to Denmark as possible. They also put an emphasis on simple, good design and environmentally friendly production.

 

My Vikings

I’m really excited about trying out the new Vikings I have received from Henrik. The ones I have used so far, from Rad and Hungry, were very nice writers! A while ago I decided to produce shorter blog posts in the future, to make them less boring, so I won’t talk about the Viking stationery now but will write more about the them in a future blog post.

 


I’d like to thank Henrik for all the nice Viking stationery I have received. He’s not linked to Viking, doesn’t work in stationery and paid for the goods out of his own pocket.

Nearly all of the information in the Viking history paragraph was taken from Viking’s web site.

You can see more Viking products on their Danish web site.

 

  1. Their chief weapon is surprise… surprise and fear… fear and surprise… Their two weapons are fear and surprise… and ruthless efficiency… Their three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency… and an almost fanatical devotion to stationery… Their four… no… Amongst their weapons… Amongst their weaponry …are such elements as fear, surprise… I’ll better leave that now and continue the blog post… []
  2. the viking name given to be by Henrik []
  3. To commemorate the 100th anniversary Viking has released the Viking 100, a fountain pen (top right in the picture). []