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The Old Geezer
Please Excuse My Absence

I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.

I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size due to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.

I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.

So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.

Coming Soon...

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pilot S10 0.3 mm Drafting Pencil

This pencil was a surprise to me, a very pleasant surprise! I don't know just what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't what I got! From the moment that I first pick it up I knew that this was no ordinary drafting pencil. It felt weighty, thought why this was a surprise to me I don't know as I knew that the long grip was metal, not plastic. I like a weighty pencil, it makes me think that I have something substantial in my hand, something of value. That's not to say that lightweight pencils are of low value, on the contrary, it takes a lot to make a pencil both lightweight and sturdy! It's just that most of us equate weight with value. But the surprises didn't stop there.

The next surprise was styling. I'd seen pics of the pencil but seeing it in person was different. I thought the pencil a little funky looking until I saw it in person. It was then that the overall beauty of this pencil hit me! It really is an attractive looking design. The pocket clip is unusual
in design but very attractive, even sexy, in appearance with its curved lines and side opening clasp. It's a beautiful satin silver color with the name "PILOT" spelled out in all caps near the top of the clip. It's maned of sheet metal, stamped and formed.

Another surprise was the lead grade indicator. It is an integral part of the
push button and is made of plastic over a metal shaft. The window is round and the lead grades are white against a dark yellow (plastic) background, which is the same color as the top of the push button which has the lead diameter printed in white in the middle of it.

Yet still another pleasant surprise is the cavernous lead reservoir. It's large enough to hold a lot of lead, a feature that I like a lot. I like to fill my pencils with as much lead as they will hold and when that is over a single 12 piece tube I'm happy. I can dump several tubes into the belly of the 0.3 mm S10!

With all that lead in there how does it come out? Slowly! Two clicks of the bush button produces enough lead to write with without the danger of the lead breaking. With some pencils no matter how many of few times you press the push button either too much lead is produced or too little, never just enough! So with these pencils I am constantly having to adjust the length of lead that is produced. This is a pain to say the least. But not so with the S10 0.3 mm pencil! Two clicks and there is enough lead to write with but not enough to cause breakage, unless you are heavy handed!
Yet one more pleasant surprise about this remarkable pencil is the fact that the end cap/lead sleeve and grip are not integral! The end cap/lead sleeve and the grip are separate units. To remove the grip all one has to do is to remove the end cap/lead sleeve. The end cap/lead sleeve screws on but the grip slips off. There is rather a thick body colored "O" ring behind the grip where it would otherwise contact the translucent plastic body. I assume that the "O" ring is there to protect the plastic upper body from damage due to over tightening the end cap/lead sleeve up against the grip. This could possibly happen as the end cap/lead sleeve thread onto plastic, not metal. There is a two step brass ring on the lower body under the grip acting as a fitting, snugging the grip up to the plastic.

I was also pleased to find that there was a clean out rod under the eraser! Since this was my first Pilot drafting pencil I was not sure if I would find one or not! Then while looking over stuff at JetPens I discovered that Pilot actually sells clean out rods! They are sold with 5 replacement erasers in a small plastic box! They are sold like this for 3 different pencils one of them being the S Series line of drafting pencils! I was so intrigued that I had to buy a pack even though I never use the eraser that comes with drafting pencils.
The erasers themselves do not have clean out rods with them, the one from under the original eraser must be used. But the 2 clean out rods that come with the set of erasers are stand alone clean out rods, the first that I've ever seen that are commercially made! They are 28.4 mm long and one is for 0.3 & 0.4 mm pencils while the other is for 0.5, 0.7 & 0.9 mm pencils. They are looped at one end to form a handle. They are excellent little clean out rods, my hat's off to Pilot for making them and to JetPens for selling them!

I guess it's time for some stats! I know you all have been waiting for them so here they are! The pencil is 145.3 mm long, 10.4 mm in diameter at the widest point (the top of the grip), weights 20.3 grams and has a balance point 98.5 mm from the push button. This makes the pencil bottom heavy, which I like! It takes only 2 clicks to produce enough lead to write with, as I've said before, a feature that I really like.

The pencil breaks down into 6 major parts and 2 minor ones. They are the lead sleeve/end cap, the grip, the amber colored body with integral lead reservoir/3-jawed chuck assembly, the removable pocket clip, the push button/lead grade indicator and the eraser. The brass fitting and rubber "O"ring are on the outside of the body. The grip is tapered so it goes onto the pencil only one way. The grip is finely checkered with 4 grooved rings,equally spaced, at the working end of the pencil and is made of chrome plated brass. The fine checkering aids greatly in holding the pencil, being not too sharp. The end cap/lead sleeve is also satin finished brass with a 4 mm fixed stainless steel lead sleeve. In nice silver print on the side of the pencil are the company logo, The words,"PILOT", "0.3", "S-10" and "S-SERIES". Just below the satin silver tone pocket clasp are the words "PILOT JAPAN B2" raised in the plastic. That's it for the stats!

The last surprise the S10 had in store for me was how good it feels in my had and how well it writes! It's girth, weight and long checkered grip make the S10 a dream to write with! It's rock steady in my hand and steers effortlessly across the paper. Combined with it's stylish good looks the Pilot S10 0.3 mm drafting pencils is a real winner in my book! I'll give it a 5 out of 5 stars!

The Pilot S10 Series Drafting Pencils as well as the eraser refills and clean out rods are available from our friends at JetPens.