Hey, Tommy! Long time no see! Where you been, Tommy?
"I've been around, Geezer! The question is, where have you been?"
Well, I've been sick, real sick! And I'm struggling to get better. It's a hard road, buddy! But I'm going to make it!... Say, what have you got there, Tommy! Is that a...
"That's right, Geezer! It's a black rotring 800 0.5mm drafting pencil!"
Oh my word! Where did you get that!?
"It's yours, Geezer!"
No! I can't afford one of those!... Tommy, if you stole that from someone...
"No, Geezer! It was a gift, remember? You got it from someone very special who really cares about you! You got it from..."
YES! I remember! I remember, now! I've, I've been so confused lately, Tommy! I can't seem to remember things like I used to! I, I think that I'm losing my mind, Tommy!... I'm really loosing it...
"Oh, come on, Geezer! Quit being so melodramatic, will you! You're just getting old, that's all!"
Hey! It's my blog! I'll get melodramatic if I want to!
"Sure, Geezer, sure! How about reviewing the pencil, OK?"
Oh, yeah, the pencil! Well, since you brought it out...
When this fine example of the pencil makers art arrived in my mailbox I was flabbergasted! I had dreamed of owning one of these superb pencils ever since I bought my silver rotring 600 0.3mm pencil. But economic times being what they are and all, it was forever going to stay a dream! But I guess dreams do come true, due to the generosity of a few kind souls! So, what makes this pencil the stuff of dreams? Craftsmanship and design! I put craftsmanship first because the design, rather the look, is classic! The general shape of the pencil has been around for years! Koh-i-noor, Pentel, Ohto even Retro 1951 all have used the hexagonal shape with a round grip in some form or another, and there are others! But the quality, the craftsmanship of these fine instruments may equal but never surpass the craftsmanship of the rotring 800!
This pencil is externally all metal, whether it be brass, stainless steel or hard anodized aluminum this is a well built pencil. The joint between the body and the grip is seamless! All the joints are this way from head to toe. Inside the quality continues. There are non-metal parts on the inside, but this by no means implies lower quality! No, on the contrary, the use of flexible synthetic parts helps the pencil deal with internal pressures, like repeated lead advancement as well as continued use by cushioning the impact of both internal and external applied stresses! In other words it helps keep the thing from being pounded a part and gives the pencil a softer feel when writing.
But that's not to say that the rotring 800 isn't a looker! Because it is! I'm a fan of silver colored pencils myself but when I saw the flat black finish of the 800 with the red and gold colored accents, I couldn't take my eyes off of it! This pencil is a real beauty! It looks stealthy! Kind of reminds me of a ninja! Lurking in the dark, ready to strike! And like a ninja the rotring 800 has something up it's sleeve!
The lead sleeve retracts into the grip with a simple twist of the knurled top end of the red ringed pencil. Twist the top the other way and the lead sleeve extends! It retracts with a snap! However if there is no lead in the clutch, the mechanism does not work smoothly! In fact, it is rather difficult to get the sleeve to extend without some effort! The same is true for retracting the sleeve! With lead in the clutch the mechanism should work almost effortlessly! This feature is an elegant way of solving the problem of having the slender lead sleeve sticking out when carrying the pencil in a breast picket, especially when it's a shirt pocket! Ouch! If you've never been pierced by the needle like lead sleeve of a drafting pencil then you have no puncher marks in your man boobs!
The rotring 800 breaks down into 5 components. The grip, the main body and enclosed mechanism, the lead sleeve/tip the eraser and the push button. Unless you happen to work for rotring in the assembly plant or as a engineer, that I suggest that you do not attempt to dismantle the pencil any further than this! There is no clean out rod, but I don't think you're going to need one as 0.5mm lead does not break as easily as 0.3mm lead does! Lead capacity is good, a tube of 12 leads should fit easily and still have the pencil feed. With the lead pushed back flush with the lead sleeve 2 depressions of the push button advances enough lead to write with. The eraser is about as useful as drafting pencil erasers are! Which is next to useless! Get yourself a stick eraser ll be happier.
The 800 measures 133.04 mm with the lead sleeve retracted and 143.49 mm with it extended. It's 8.38 mm across the flats and the grip is 8.25 mm in diameter. It weighs 24.5 grams making it a heavyweight in the pencil world! But I like the weight of an all metal pencil! Normally I would measure the balance point from the tip of the pencil. However the tip of the 800 moves so that wasn't possible. So I measured it from the push button. Extended the balance point is approximately 69.10 mm from the push button and retracted it's approximately 65.85 mm from the push button.
The writing experience with the 800 was a dream The weight and balance are good, for a boy like me! The knurled grip is just the right cut neither too course nor too fine! It affords me a good hold so I'm not having to spend so much trying to hold onto a poorly made grip! If you write a lot with a pencil then the weight of the 800 just might be enough to fatigue your hand. If not then I suggest that you dig deep into your pocketbook if you want a rotring 800 for they don't cone cheap! The rotring 800 in both black and silver and in 0.5 mm and 2.0 mm (lead holder) is available from our friends at JetPens.