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Friday, February 27, 2009

Pentel Graph 600 PG603 0.3 mm Drafting Pencil

When I first saw the Pentel Graph 600 I was blown away! The photo of the pencil on the JetPens web site was making me drool! I wanted one, to say the least! And not only was it not yellow but it came in 5 different colors, not one of them was yellow! When time came for me to purchase mine I chose the dark blue. It was a choice between that and the mint blue. Maybe the next one will be mint blue.

As regular readers of my reviews know one of the very first things that I do with a new drafting pencil, aside from drooling all over it, is I break it down into as many user friendly parts that I am able to. The Pentel Graph 600 was no exception. I Removed the push button and inspected it. It is the over-sleeve type (the long chrome metal sleeve fits over the metal lead reservoir tube) with a lead grade indicator on top. The lead grade indicator is two tone plastic, in this case, a dark blue outer cylinder with a rectangular window and a black inner tube with the lead grades, B, HB, H, 2H, 3H and 4H in white. On top of the push button is the lead size, .3, in white on black. The outer tube rotates around the inner tube and locks in place with the window showing the indicated lead grade. The locking feature is a very nice touch.

I next removed the white, token, eraser and was delighted to find a clean out rod stuck into the bottom of the eraser. A Pentel rep. had informed me that Pentel was not going to supply clean out rods with their pencils any longer, so I was expecting not to see one! This is the same rep. who informed me that Pentel was no longer manufacturing the P203 0.3 mm pencil. However I see that they are for sale as a regular item on at least one UK web site.

I then removed the end cap/lead sleeve. This beautifully chromed metal end cap steps down twice before tapering down to the stainless steel lead sleeve, which is 4 mm long and fixed. The end cap is beautifully machined both outside and inside, a sigh of quality craftsmanship. Beneath the end cap lies the brass 3-jawed clutch with it’s brass chuck ring. This is imbedded in the plastic that makes up the body of the pencil. The body of the pencil is hexagonal in shape with the metal grip being cylindrical in shape.

I next tried to remove the grip but it is not made to be removed by the user. That’s no problem but just a little unusual as every other pencil that I have seen that has a plastic body and metal grip the grip has been removable, even some pencils with composite plastic/rubber grips and some with rubber grips the grips have been removable. There is no real reason for the grip to be removable by the end user. Usually the reason that the grip is removable is that it of a different material than the pencils body, or for ease of manufacturer. In any case the non removable metal grip on the Graph 600 was a bit of a surprise.

Time for some numbers and some glowing descriptions! The pencil is 147.8 mm’s long for push button to lead sleeve. The diameter of the grip is 9.2 mm’s. The distance across the flats of the pencil is 7.8 mm’s. The balancing point of the pencil is 84.1 mm’s from the push button, making the Graph 600 a little bottom heavy, just the way I like a drafting pencil. The grip is satin finished which makes a beautiful contrast between it and the bright chromed finish of the end cap. It’s 32.6 mm’s long and segmented by 15-0.5mm groves and one 0.5mm step. The resultant rings are 1.5 mm’s in width. The combination of rings, grooves and satin finish make the grips surface very graspable! On the side of the body near the top of the pencil in white lettering is: GRAPH600 PG603 Pentel 0.3. The pocket clip is satin finished chrome and has “Pentel” stamped on one side of the top clamping ring and “Japan” on the other. Over all the look of the Pentel graph 600 is very attractive.

The pencil balances well in my hand, being bottom heavy as I’ve already mentioned. It glides effortlessly across the paper, will turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change! One of the most outstanding features of the Pentel drafting pencils is the small incremental lead advance. It takes four clicks of the push button in order to produce enough lead to write with. This is a feature that I like a lot as I have a habit of advancing lead often while using a drafting pencil. By having the lead advance in such small increments I’m far less likely to over advance the lead and break it off while writing.

Bottom line, the Pentel Graph 600 is a very attractive, well made quality instrument that is equally at home on the writer’s desk or the draftsman's table. It’s light weight of only 11.3 grams makes it a pencil that I can write with all day long. It’s well designed grip is easy to grasp giving me very good control over the pencil. Small incremental lead advances mean less lead breakage and it’s over all balance helps the pencil glide across the paper. So, if you are after a good drafting pencil for just about any purpose then mosey on over to JetPens and check out the entire line of Pentel Graph 600 Drafting pencils. You’ll be glad you did!

Many thanks to JetPens for the use of the photo.

3 comments:

Nosferatuia said...

Great review, your attention to detail is military grade! :)

Anonymous said...

One of the best value for money drafting pencils on the market - pity about the colours apart from the beautiful white. 8 of them says I'm obsessed by them. 2 1/2p

The Old Geezer said...

Thanks, Alex. You are always quick on the compliment, even if I'm not quick on the thank yous!

Anonymous, I agree, it's one of the best! But I like the blue and mint green colors. I'm thinking of getting one in mint green. That will give me 2 of them. However I do have at least 10 Pentel P203's!