Welcome To My Thoughts On Pens And Pencils

I will respect your right to disagree with what I have to say about Pens and Pencils as long as you respect the fact that I am an Old Geezer.

My Obsession

My Obsession
A Beauty Every One... And There's More At Home!

All Jammed Up?

If you need detailed instructions on how to clear a lead jam from a mechanical pencil then click this link, "All Jammed Up?" or the link in the pages header.


Please enjoy your stay at my humble blog. Please feel free to leave a comment about any article that you read
. Also please notice that there are four reactions at the bottom of each article. If you find any article funny, interesting, cool or helpful please so indicate. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Kuru Toga Roulette

 I now own 3 Kuru Toga pencils. The only one I don't have is the High Grade, yet.  The Roulette is to me by and large the best Kuru Toga available to date.  It has the overall shape of the High Grade with the advantage of being almost all metal.  The only external plastic piece (save for the black tip) is the push button topper.  This is on the silver model a translucent light gray plastic.  The rest of the Roulette is a two-tone silver-gray metal.  The upper body is a bright silver with the name in a dark gray color.  The neck of the push button, pocket clip, coupling and and end cap are all chrome.  The lower half of the body, which is 1-1/2 times the upper body diameter is beautiful satin gray with 4 groves designating the finely knurled grip.

The diameter of the Roulette's grip is nearly perfect for this blogger.  I really like the feel of the fine knurls of the grip.  It is easy to grip and slip resistant.  Writing with the Roulette is a pleasure from beginning to end.  The auto rotating mechanism provides a built in cushion making the writing experience quite smooth.  There is a slight learning curve with any Kuru Toga, or in my case an unlearning curve.  As I write with a standard drafting pencil I have trained myself to rotate the pencil automatically as I write.  This helps keep the lead from ovaling out.  With the Kuru Toga rotating the pencil defeats the principle of the auto rotating mechanism.  So I'm having to learn to hold the pencil without letting it rotate in my hand.

I've come to like using the Kuru Toga Roulette over all my other Mechanical/Drafting pencils.  I've always like the auto rotating mechanism but not the thickness of the original Kuru Toga or the grip of the High Grade.  The Roulette is the culmination of all the best features of the Kura Toga Series.

The Roulette as well as the full line of Kuru Toga's are available from our friends at JetPens.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Case For The 0.4mm Pencil

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a die hard 0.3mm drafting pencil fan, evident by my sizable collection of modern 0.3mm drafting pencils.  But for some time I have been wondering about the newest lead size in the drafting pencil line-up, the 0.4mm.  One can wonder if a single millimeter could make a difference.  Well, it can.  The chart below shows the line width of a 0.3mm, o.4mm and a 0.5mm pencil lead, all HB grade.  Each line was drawn with a squared off lead at 90%.  Each line measures 0.3mm, 0.4mm and 0.5mm from top to bottom (PEAK Scale Lupe, 10X power, metric scale was used to measure line width). 

As one can see, there is clearly a difference in the size of the lines.  While the top line, the 0.3mm is by far the thinnest of the three and the bottom, the 0.5mm it the thickest, the middle, the 0.4mm is exactly in between the other two.  It's thin enough to be considered an extra fine line, unlike the 0.5mm line which, when ovaled out can become quite wide.  The 0.4mm lead has the advantage of being a fine lead without being quite as fragile as the 0.3mm for the same lead grade.  Of course the 0.5mm lead is, of the 3, the strongest.

I have been using the 0.4mm pencil for some months and have rarely found the need to use the 0.3mm pencil!  Egad!  Does this mean that I've fallen out of lust for the 0.3mm pencil!?  Has the 0.4mm pencil take it's place in my heart!?  Not quite!  I'll always collect 0.3mm drafting pencils, for after all, they do produce the thinnest of lines (save for the 0.2mm pencil).  But for practical everyday use, the 0.4mm has probably replaced the 0.3mm pencil in my book.  If produces a suitable fine line while maintaining a modicum of strength.

A number of 0.4mm drafting pencils can be bought at our friends at Jetpens.com.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rhodia dotPad

Some time ago I received a small pad and 2 wooden pencils in the mail.  This was not unexpected as I had been approached and ask if I would review what is called a dotPad by Rhodia as well as a Rhodia wooden pencil.  I agreed.  Once the package arrived I examined the contents and fully attended to do a review quickly.  Well, I got sick just about that time and failed to do a quick review as promised.  Time passed and my illness came and went and the review was not forgotten, just put aside.  Recently the sender contacted me again about the review, I explained my situation and promised a timely review.  Once again my illness befell me and the review was again put off until now.  It is my hope that the sender will forgive me and accept this honest opinion of the items sent.

The dotPad I received was a 5.8" x 8.3" pad with a heavy backing.  80 sheets per pad of 21.3lb high grade vellum paper.  The pad is microperforated at the top so the sheets are easily removable.  The grid is composed of light lilac dots spaced 5mm apart.  The 2 pencils are of Linden wood painted orange and black, the Rhodia colors, with black erasers.  Surprisingly the black of the wood goes all the way through.  The lead grade is HB, comparable to a #2 pencil.  All in all the black covered dotPad and the orange and black pencils look striking nice!  Oh, yeah, the pencils are triangular in cross section!

I do not use wooden pencils at all, having gone completely over to drafting pencils years ago.  But I did find the triangular shape of the pencils afforded a comfortable grip.  Like any grade HB lead, it's soft.  Being soft it lays down a dark line that widens as the point dulls.  No surprises here.  The black erasers perform as one would expect erasing clean as long as the user isn't heavy handed.  The pencils sharpened cleanly when I used a Steadtler open type metal sharpener, the kind that I use on my colored pencils (oops!  I guess that I do use wooden pencils after all!  Just not to write with!).  All in all the Rhodia black and orange pencils are only exceptionable in their color, shape and solid construction.

The dotPad I found to be exceptional!  The heavy weight vellum paper is very forgiving when erasing heavy lines.  While it will smudge, it does not easily tear as lesser quality paper.  It's sizing accommodates a wide variety of writing instruments from fountain pens to rollerballs to gel pens to pencils, even a 0000 rapidiograph pen!  All seemed very smooth despite the fact all were fine to extra fine points.  My test pencil was a 0.3mm with HB lead and it felt exceptional smooth!  I really like the writing surface, especially when using a pencil.

I had a small project going when I took these pics so I used the dotPan and Rhodia pencils to do my calculations.  The smoothness of the writing surface proved to be a blessing as I did all the lines freehand.  I especially like that fact that unlike a standard quad pad the dots almost disappear  beneath the dark lines of the pencil.  With ordinary quad pads, even with the ones with light lines, the graph line often get in the way, especially when freehanding a "straight" line.

All in all I think that The uniqueness of the Rhodia triangular black and orange pencils will win over a lot of wooden pencil fans while the dotPad has already won me over!  I wish all "graph" paper were like the Rhodia dotPad!

To find out how and where to purchase the entire Rhodia line of products click this link.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pentel P203: A Review

What follows is a review of the Pentel P203 that I originally did for Associated Content.

Review: Pentel 200 P203 0.3mm Automatic Pencil
Style: Drafting

Technical Data:
Length: 142.8
Diameter (Body): 9.3mm
Diameter (grip): N/A
Balance Point (From Push Button): 73mm
Weight: 11.3 grams
Lead Sleeve: 4mm, fixed
Lead size: 0.3mm

Major Components: End cap/Lead sleeve, body, clutch assembly/lead reservoir, push button, eraser with clean out rod.

Construction Type: Independent body, integral lead reservoir/clutch assembly.

Construction Materials: Plastic body, lead reservoir, metal end cap/lead sleeve, push button, clutch assembly.

Colors: Brown body, black lead reservoir, chrome pocket clip, end cap/lead sleeve, push button.

Mode Of Operation: Ratcheting push button lead advance, 3-jawed brass clutch with brass over-sleeve.

Appearance: With its tapering brown body the PG203 looks more like a typical writing pencil than a drafting pencil, but looks can be deceiving as the PG203 is a true drafting pencil. White lettering stands out on the multi-side body, which has an indentation for the pocket clip, which is set down a short distance from the top of the body. The chromed push button is the over the sleeve type and is a simple closed tube. The chrome end cap continues the pencil's taper to the lead sleeve. There is a small ringed rib at the end of the body where it contacts the end cap. Less than a centimeter up from the rib is a set of 11 equally spaced rings that makes up the grip. Simple elegance.

Disassembly: To disassemble the P203 first remove the end cap/lead sleeve. Next remove the clutch assembly/lead reservoir from in side the body. Remove the push button then the eraser with the clean out rod. Finally remove the pocket clip. Reassembly is the reverse of assembly. Note that the end cap screws onto the extended clutch assembly. The clutch assembly locks into the body via a hex nut.

Clearing A Lead Jam: Refer to this article, Clearing A Lead Jam, should clearing a lead jam be necessary.

My Opinion: The P203 feels great in my hand and writes remarkably well, feeling so well balanced in my hand. Two or 3 clicks produces enough lead to write with, about 1mm's worth. The lead advance mechanism has a distinct metallic sound and is semi loud. The P203 was my first 0.3mm drafting pencil and the one by which I hold all others up to. It is an old design but old does not mean out-of-date. While the P203 is no longer made (but still available) the design is so good that it is not only carried on in the Sharp line it has been copied by several different companies. The P203 is a rugged pencil; I've had one for over 25 years.

Last Words: While the P203 has been discontinued by the manufacturer (declining sales says the Pentel of America rep.) I fail to see why the other 3 pencils are still available. It really makes no scene to me and probably never will. Despite the fact that it has been left by the wayside by Pentel it remains one of the best drafting pencils ever made. The P203 is a pencil that should be in any collection so I suggest that you get one while you can.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March Giveaway!

In July of 2009 I did a follow up review of the Staedtler Liquid Point 7 rollerball liquid ink pens.  They have been sitting around in a drawer ever since!  So I've decided to give them away as it looks like I'll never use them!  Way too many pens to try and use them all!  So some Pens And Pencils blog reader will win these beautiful German made rollerballs simply by sending me an email with something in the header about Staedtler Liquid Point 7's!  That way I can tell who entered the giveaway and who didn't!  Rules are simple: One entry per reader; must be an email, comments on the blog will not count (though you can leave all the comments that you wish); must be received before or on somewhere around March 31st.  At some point I'll close the giveaway and let the RIG pick the winning number that corresponds to one of the entries.  After that I'll contact the winner and ask for a mailing addy so I can ship them out!  Simple, no?

So Pens And Pencils readers get those emails in!  You never know just what number the RIG will pick!

BTW, just incase you can't find my email addy in the sidebar, in my profile, it'smailto:theoldgeezer@live.com.

The Giveaway is now closed.  No more emails please!  Thank you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic 5633 0.3mm Automatic Pencil

Hello Pen And Pencils Blog Fans... and other assorted strangers!  Welcome to my humble blog and another riveting review!... OK, so maybe not so riveting, but a review none the less!  I did this one for Associated Content a couple of years ago.  It's in a style I no longer use, but, hey, it's a valid review no matter what Tommy Turquoise says!  I've altered it here for my blog.  Enjoy!

Technical Data:
Length: 142.1mm
Diameter (Body) 9.1mm
Diameter (Grip): 8.1mm
Balance Point (From Bush Button): 74.6mm
Weight: 17 grams
Lead Sleeve: 4mm, fixed
Lead Size: 0.3mm

Major Components: End cap/lead sleeve/grip, body with lead grade indicator, pocket clip, clutch assembly/lead reservoir, push button and eraser with clean out rod.

Construction Type: Independent body and clutch/lead reservoir.

Construction Materials: Plastic body, metal end cap/lead sleeve/grip, pocket clip, push button, clutch assembly and lead reservoir.

Colors: Red, body, bright chrome pocket clip, lead grade indicator, push button, end cap/lead sleeve/grip, lead reservoir.

Mode Of Operation: Ratcheting push button lead advance, 3-jawed brass clutch with brass over-sleeve.

Appearance: The bright red color of the hexagonal body with its white lettering makes a striking contrast against the bright chrome of the other components. The chrome lead grade indicator rests at the top of the body and is finely knurled. The silver lead grade characters are set against a gloss black background and include the grades H, 2H, 4H, 2B, B, HB and F. The chrome pocket clip sets just below the lead grade indicator and is embossed with the brand name and country of origin, Japan. The chrome push button is the full over-sleeve type completely covering the lead reservoir and has the lead size nicely embossed on the top. The chrome grip is nicely knurled in a diamond pattern and steps down twice to form the integral end cap, squaring off before becoming the lead sleeve.

Disassembly: To completely disassemble the 5633 first remove the grip. The clutch assembly and lead reservoir will probably come along with it. Remove the clutch assembly from the end cap. Remove the pushbutton to expose the eraser. Remove the eraser to access the clean out rod. This completes the disassembly of the 5633. Reassembly is the opposite of disassembly.

Clearing A Lead Jam: Refer to this article, "All Jammed Up?", should clearing a lead jam be necessary.

My Opinion: The Koh-I-Noor was designed as a professionals tool but it's equally at home on the desk of the average homeowner. It is a well designed and built, being a highly sought after pencil brand for years. The lead is rock solid in the lead sleeve with very little if any wobble. Three clicks of the push button produce 1 mm of lead, quite enough lead to write with. Any more and there is a risk of breakage. The chrome lead reservoir is cavernous enough to hold several tubes of lead and still have room to spare. This is a feature that I like as I like to fill the lead reservoir with as much lead as possible. The balance point of the pencil is almost at the midpoint so the pencil is only slightly bottom heavy but it doesn't feel like it. The finely knurled diamond pattern on the grip makes a good surface to hold onto and helps guide the pencil across the paper. The only thing I don't like is the lead grade indicator. I'm not fond of the top of the body type of lead grade indicators. The one on the Koh-I-Noor started out tight but after years of use it has loosened up. Also the silver characters are set against a gloss black background making them hard to read due to glare. However the 5633 is a great pencil to write with being finely crafted and well built. I like the Koh-I-Noor, it feels good in my hand and is an easily guided across the paper despite its 17 gram weight, or maybe because of it. Either way I like this German designed pencil and wish that I had more.

Last Words: The above review was of a pencil that I've had for years. It was made in Japan and is a very well built pencil, possibly as well built as the original Koh-I-Noors made in Germany. Unfortunately the line is now made in China. The Chinese version of the pencils are not quite up to the standard of the Japanese or German versions. It's for this reason that I can not recommend buying a Koh-I-Noor 5633 unless you can find one in new or good condition that was made in Japan or Germany.

Picture courtesy of... wait!  I took that one!  Nice pic, huh?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February Giveaway

Hello blog readers, Web surfers, and passers by!  Welcome to my humble blog!  Take your shoes off, set a spell... on second thought, leave your shoes on!... This month I'm giving away a Pilot 2020 Super Grip 0.5mm shaker mechanical pencil in Aqua.  Apparently the solid colored versions are becoming hard to find, at least a search of the Web only turned up one place that showed the solid color pencil in Aqua, and they are no longer selling them!  The version that I'm giving away differs from the photo only in that the eraser cap is totally clear, there is no color at the top of the cap.

This is a cute (yes, I did say "cute") mechanical pencil and from my observation a sturdy one as compared to some other mechanical pencils.  It is made mostly of plastic and rubber with a few metal parts, namely the 3 jawed lead clutch system, the lead sleeve and the shaker weight, which appears to be a tightly wound spring!  The 2mm lead sleeve is of the retractable type with the lead retainer being plastic, but internal, as it should be!  It is integrated with the lead sleeve.  This little gem has a 3 jawed brass clutch, not a plastic 2 jawed clutch as so many mechanical pencils in it's price range have!  This speaks of quality.  In fact, I'm impressed with many of the features of the Pilot 2020.  It has a soft rubber grip, not the squishy silicone grip the other versions have!  But I personally am not a fan of rubber grips.  However over all the pencil, for what it is, is a nice pencil!  It has features found on much more expensive pencils!

The Pilot 2020 is 148mm long, 11mm wide at the grip, weighs a scant 11 grams.  The balance point is approximately 74mm from the tip of the pencil making it almost perfectly balanced!  It feels nice in the hand and is easy to use. The grip affords plenty of gripping power, but gets dirty easily!  There is a usable (almost) eraser under the clear cap that serves as a push button.  It does not come with a clean out rod, but I've provided one under the eraser.  The lead reservoir is small, holding about a 1/2 dozen leads max!  It comes with 2 leads, but I made it an even 1/2 dozen.

To operate the pencil one can use the push button, or just shake the pencil a couple of times in order to advance the lead.  But be careful when shaking the pencil to advance the lead as it is easy to advance too much lead!

Well, there you have it.  An impromptu review of the Pilot 2020 Super Grip Shaker mechanical pencil.  So if I have whet your appetite for the Pilot 2020 and you would like a chance to win this one then just drop me an email (theoldgeezer@live.com) with the words, Pilot 2020 Giveaway, in the subject line.  That's all there is to it!  Please just one email per person!  The giveaway will remain open until sometime Saturday the 26th of this month.  At that time I'll pick a winner using the RIG at the bottom of this blog.  So get your emails in!  Times a wastin'!

The photo is courtesy of our friends at Jetpens.

Stop the presses!  We have a winner!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January Giveaway

"Good morning America, how are ya!  Don't cha ya know me I'm your native son..."  Arlo Guthrie!  How did you get on my blog!?  Well, the nerve of some people!...  Anyway it's time for my January giveaway.

This month up for grabs is a brand new set of uni-ball Signo Erasable gel pens in 0.5 mm point size.  They come in 8 colors, black, red, orange, green, blue, violet, pink and aqua and come in their own handy carry case.  These are similar to the uni-ball Signo UM-100 gel pens only they are erasable.  They each have their own color coordinated eraser atop the cap.  They are one of the smoothest erasable gel pens available.

If you would like a chance to win this nicely packaged set of erasable gel pens then all you have to do is send me an email.  In the subject line of the email write Pens And Pencils January Giveaway and if you wish you can put some nice comment about how great an old geezer I am for giving away such nice things... or not!  Hey!  So what!  I'm soliciting compliments!... I mean, it's not like a get a lot of them from friends and family, ya know!  Yeah!  I have feelings!  I like to be appreciated!  I'd feel a lot better about myself if a certain few individuals would pay a bit more attention to me from time to time... Eh, oh my!  A-hum!  Please excuse me!  I've... I've been sick, yeah, that's it!  I've been sick!...

At any rate get your email in because you can't win if you don't enter!  I'll give you until sometime Monday, the 31st.  Just exactly when on Saturday I don't know.  I don't keep a regular schedule and I'm up at odd hours, asleep during the day and night, so I'll close the giveaway at my whim!  But not before I've collected all the emails and posted that the giveaway is closed!  Once closed I'll use the Random Integer Generator at the bottom of my blog to generate a number between 1 and the total number of eligible emails received.  Emails are numbered in the order in which they are received, earliest first.

So, ladies and germs (I told you I've been sick) get those emails in!  Just in case you can't find my email addy on my blog there on the left as part of my profile, it's theoldgeezer@live.com

The giveaway is and has been officially closed!