Over at Amazon, they have a deal of the day on some pens and pencils, today only. Included in that deal is the Rotring 600 0.5mm black barrel mechanical pencil.
I bought one of these back in April, for $18.07 from Amazon. It’s a nice pencil, and I’ve been meaning to review it.
The Rotring 600 has a good feel to it, as it’s made from metal. The grip, the body – all metal. It has a precision tip and an eraser is hidden behind the lead advancement cap.
There are plenty of mechanical pencils I can recommend, and despite using this one for a bit, I’m not quite sure how it compares with my others. What I do know is that it does stand with my other favorites.
Right now, it’s $13.60 minus an additional 5% if you “clip the coupon” on the final page.
Price: $12.92 after coupon (you’ll see the price in your cart at checkout)
Buy Now(0.5 mm in black via Amazon)
My Rotring 600 packaging said made in Japan.
If you prefer a thicker lead, the Rotring 600 in 0.7 mm and silver finish is priced even better at the moment – $10.49
Buy Now(0.7 mm in silver) – thanks to TonyT for the tip!
Deal ends at 3am ET 12/20/18, unless supplies sell out sooner.
If you need 0.5 mm pencil lead refills, Pentel AIN is good stuff. The pencil also works with whatever 0.5 mm lead refills you can find locally or elsewhere.
Also on sale:
- Rotring Rapid PRO mechanical pencil
- Parker Jotter pen in stainless steel
- All similar products on sale
I also bought a Jotter 2-pack back in April, for $17.26. At the time I wanted to replace my stainless that I had misplaced, and could have used a backup pen. Right now the Jotter is $7. I might use saved up Amazon gift card points to buy another. They’re very good pocketable pens, and I’ve been using them for 15-18 years now. I now use them with Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 refills, although I wish a finer point were available.
I’ve got one of these in non-black, it’s great on the desk. But with the all-metal weight and extra pointy tip, that pocket-clip is an invitation to get stabbed in the chest.
For carrying around, I find the Pentel Twist-Erase pencils ideal. My Rotring stays on the desk…
There are a lot of good mechanical pencils with retracting lead pipes; off the top of my head, I’d list the Rotring 800, Pentel GraphGrear 1000 / Graph 1000, Uni Shift Pipe Lock, and Uni Kuru Toga Advance.
Yep. I wrote about the GraphGear 1000 quite a while ago – https://toolguyd.com/pentel-graphgear-1000-mechanical-pencil-is-excellent-for-shop-use/ .
I have acquired a few more protected-tip pencils, was hoping to use them all sufficiently for a review in 2019.
What a coincidence! That Pentel one is my favorite too after trying nearly 20 others.
I love its eraser that twists out where others that sits on ends get lost in few days on job sites.
Also this is the only one so far the lead does not get clogged up!
OK, I went through 14 pages of Office Deals of the Day, and came up with a few more:
Rotring 600, Silver, 0.7mm, $10.49 https://www.amazon.com/rOtring-1904444-Mechanical-Pencil-Silver/dp/B00AZX1P9C
Rotring 800, Silver, 0.8mm $23.85 https://www.amazon.com/rOtring-1904449-Retractable-Mechanical-Pencil/dp/B00JEV9TLC/
Uni Kuru Toga Advance, White, 0.5mm https://www.amazon.com/Mechanical-Pencil-Advance-0-5mm-M55591P-1/dp/B06XV3W6CT
Pental GraphGear 1000, 0.5mm, $7.09 https://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Automatic-Drafting-Brushed-PG1015A/dp/B000GAU2RU
I’m tempted to get a Rotring 600 for my son, a 800 for myself, and maybe the Advance (I have all the other Kuru Toga models) and another GraphGear….
I’ve owned a Rotring Quattro for over 20 years. Great pen/pencil combo. The quality is excellent on Rotring writing instruments.
Yeah, I’m very sad that the Rotring Quattro is the only pen/pencil I’ve lost since high school (twice — left one behind at a job interview, the other was taken by a person I was trading insurance information with after my daughter ran into her hitch).
Currently using a Skilcraft B3 Aviator, which I really like, but I wish it were as upscale as my original Rotring (a composite Levenger model) or as long wearing — it’s finished in black paint over brass and it’s markedly worn where it rubs against my fountain pen. Also not wild about the additional ring section at the middle (which marks where the lower portion slips on/off and allows feeding of the pencil).
I suppose I should buy a Zebra Sharbo.
Looks pretty dope! I want a mechanical pencil for work : finish carpenter. So I need something that keeps a fine point but isn’t easily broken. I have standard .7mm & it’s just to thin. I even think .9mm would be also. I see these “cartridge” construction Mech pencils that have caught my eye! Sizes going all the way up to like 2.0-3.0mm! That’s a little excess maybe more applicable if I was framing but I only do little rough framing. I was thinking around 1.X mm version that can always have the “sharp” tip? If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated!
Have you tried something like the the rite in the rain pencil? it’s a 1.1mm
Staedtler also makes a few in the 1.3mm range.
I LOVE Staedtler pencils. https://toolguyd.com/staedtler-mechanical-pencils/
I have a 1.3mm pencil, but don’t really use it a lot. https://toolguyd.com/staedtler-graphite-771-1-3mm-mechanical-pencil/
Don’t forget about the lead grade.
In general, harder lead means longer lasting point but lighter marks. Softer lead gives darker marks but dulls quicker.
So maybe you would be better off with a 0.9 mm with 2B lead or a 2mm with 2H. Maybe check lead size availability for different sizes before buying so you can experiment ; Jetpens is a good place to start and they might have recommendations (in addition to checking wood / tool sites)
I’m currently using a 2mm Ohto wood body mechanical pencil to mark on wood; although I think it’s neat I’m not sure it would work well for most people. Here’s a link to it at Jetpens https://www.jetpens.com/Ohto-Wooden-Mechanical-Pencil-Lead-Holder-2.0-mm-Natural/pd/20729
Generally, HB is a good place to start, and I don’t tend to recommend anything beyond that, figuring that users will know their needs and wants better than I do if or when they require harder or softer grades.
I don’t think I have ever used softer grades; usually for technical drawings and sketches I’ve gone harder and lighter.
I bought the Ohto 0.5mm in green, back in March. https://www.jetpens.com/Ohto-Wooden-Mechanical-Pencil-0.5-mm-Green/pd/10912
It’s neat, but mostly in a cute way. I plan to post about it one day, but, it’s pretty down my list.
I have the 0.5mm wooden Ohto too, but it’s not one of my favorites; I like the 2mm version much better. (Side note: Ohto makes some weird stuff, but some of it’s unique AND good)
For marking on wood or cardboard, I like the darker marks of a softer lead (such as 2B) – it’s kind of like having an erasable marker. I’ve also using a Pilot Frixxion erasable marker for marking the contents of cardboard boxes, although the Frixxion black is more of a dark grey.
Using a commonly available lead size allows the user to experiment to find what works for them.
It’s almost $23 now.
I never paid $20 for a pencil. Is it really worth it??
I think so, but then again, my most expensive mechanical pencil cost $70, but should last forever because the body is titanium.
The Rotring 600 is very nice; I’d say it has a bit more of a special vibe than a GraphGear 1000, BUT I’d recommend getting the GraphGear first, because it’s normally a lot less expensive (around $10), and the pipe (tip) retracts.
These deal of the day things really make me angry. I read the post last night, when it was already too late – the price had doubled. Never mind that I have been wishing for this exact pencil for six months – screw ’em, now I wouldn’t buy it if it was $1.
I’d say buy it elsewhere, but Amazon’s price is still lower.
Koko The Talking Ape
In my days in architecture school, we used these pencils all the time (maybe with a different color scheme.) Nothing like a weighty, high-quality pencil to make you feel you are really doing sometimg.
But there are some issues with it when you aren’t drafting. That thin tubular sleeve tip is designed to ride reliably on a straight edge. It is not designed to go in a pocket, or even to leave the drafting table. It is fragile and if it gets bent, the pencil is useless. And as others have pointed out, it can stab you.
The eraser is tiny. Of course, draftspersons would have a dedicated eraser and erasing shield, maybe even an electric eraser.
The weight makes it difficult for some to write with. (It isn’t designed for writing.)
And of course, it is pricey.
For drafting, this pencil is great. For everyday writing and carrying in pockets, that Twist-Erase that Wayne mentions or at least the retracting-sleeve models that Stuart lists.
And for marking cuts, for me personally, nothing beats a small snap-knife. The mark is razor-thin, indelible, helps prevent tearout (with jigsaws or pullsaws), and is visible in many lighting situations. If I need to mark up the wood itself (to mark the waste side or to label individual pieces), a lumber crayon works (being designed for that purpose.) If that is too messy, I use bits of blue masking tape.
As for pens, I’m told the best pen is the Uni-ball Jetstream. The ink doesn’t smear, blot, feather or bleed, and is indelible and fade-proof. They are smooth and do not skip.
For pens, I like Energel refills, which can fit disposable plastic pens, or higher quality metal bodies.
Then there’s Retro 51, which I’ll talk about another time.
Retro 51 refill is a relabelled Schmidt Easyflow
There are a ton of good refills including the aforementioned Jetstream (my faves are the 0.38 and 0.5 mm), Energel (I like the 0.35 needlepoint best), Pilot Juice, Uni Signo DX, Zebra Sarassa, Moleskine Gel, Mont Blanc rollerball, Schmidt Easyflow, etc