Month: February 2014

Review: Staedler Pencil Holder 900 25


Pencil Holders are a pencil-lovers best friends, because they help you getting the most out of your beloved pencils. So I had been looking for pencil-holders for some time and bought some from Derwent which are quite nice simple stubby things that are too light and short for my gusto. Biggest complaint is that they can destroy the lacquer of pencils like the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, especially on the top. (The MONO100 you see in the piture below wears the marks of the Derwent) So browsing through my at that time newly discovered Jetpens site, I discovered the Staedler 900 25. At first by looking at it (and its price) I thought this is like a luxury model of a pencil holder, but I couldn’t be more wrong. It is not a luxury item, it has become an absolute essential item in my arsenal. I have three now, including the strikingly beautiful blue Limited Edition.

The price of 30$ is in fact a bargain. The 900 25 does everything right: it’s large enough for most pencils (7,5mm round/triangular/hexagonal), it closes firmly (no budging), yet it does this softly on the lacquer (no nasty bruises), it feels heavy enough without being to hefty, doesn’t slip with its knurled grip and it’s super-useful with its small dial so you can see what kind of pencil is in the holder. And it has an even more useful eraser with sorts of a protection (you screw it down to show the eraser, and screw it up to protect the rest). A colleague of mine tested one recently and he has immediately ordered a bunch too. Another thing I like to do is putting the pencil the wrong way in, so that it is protected, perfect for freshly sharpened points. I looked at other models of pencil-holders but none can compete with the feature set of the 900 25 and don’t get me started on the dreadful “Perfect Pencil” pencil holder, whose mid-priced version comes at the same price as the 900 25. Conclusion: Get it!



Breaking news: KUM will launch a new Long Point

Breaking news: KUM will launch a new Long Point reports that there is a new sharpener coming from KUM. That sharpener will surpass the 19° points possible with the Automatic Long Point too a whooping 17°! Can’t wait to see what they are up to. Head over to Lexikaliker for a nice shot of a comparision between the “old” and new long points.

The Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack

Super cool Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack for FREE! And there are plans to release the bunch as t-shirt! WANT!


My friend Tony Headrick is a super talented designer. His studio, Neno Design, has won design awards and he’s created some of the coolest logos and websites around Fort Wayne (including my blog’s logo!).

We decided we wanted to work on something together. Trouble is, I’m not a designer, and he’s not a writer. Luckily, we figured it out.

Presenting: the Woodclinched Pencil Vector Pack!

Woodclinched Vector Pencil Pack

It contains 14 pencils from my collection, some vintage, and some new. I tried to include a variety — including an old bullet pencil and a fancy antique mechanical pencil — in addition to straight-up wood cased pencils.

Roughly, here’s what real-life pencils the designs were inspired by, from left to right:

  • Faber Castell Grip 2001
  • Yikes! triangular color pencil
  • Field Notes pencil
  • Goldfish Special Drawing 5002
  • iTO Premium
  • Golden Bear
  • Eagle Flash 66
  • Orange Palomino (the old-style — the announcement of the redesign…

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The “Too Cool To Do Drugs” Pencil story

The “Too Cool To Do Drugs” Pencil story

This story is as hilarious as it is upsetting. Upsetting in the way that the “brains” behind this project didn’t think about the consequences of what would happen if someone actually sharpened the pencil, because, well that’s what you do to pencils. I prefer the short pencil with only “drugs” written on it, reminds me of my addiction to pencils. Would love to get my hands on one of these! Anyone?BhUx36nIUAASePA.jpg-large

Review: Mitsubishi Hi-Uni HB

Reviewing one of the best pencils around, is like trying to convince a coffee-drinker to appreciate coffee. I always have a stock of Hi-Unis HB around, it’s one of my go-to-pencils for drawings, sketching and nose-picking… well, not really but the top of the pencil is so well made and nice looking that you have to touch it now and then. These pencils just scream of quality. The lacquer, the wood, the lead, the box they’re shipped in, the sharpening, everything says: “You’ll have a creative time with me.”

So how should I review a renowned pencil? Well, as you know my weapon of choice is a drawing. I consider myself a decent drawer, but even one or two of my students are more talented than me, but drawing with the Hi-Uni really seems to heighten my potential, push my creativity. The aura that these pencils emanate is simply inspiring. For someone that spent most of his studies using Mars Lumograph or 9000s, the japanese pencils are kind of mythical, but with the evolving of the internet buying these wood-cased leads has become easier and more affordable.
So how good is the Hi-Uni HB? Is it really that good? Yes! It is a tremendously well balanced pencil. The HB alone covers a lot of territory in possible gradation. It draws a nice black line, stays sharpened for a long time, BUT… yes, there is a slight negative point to this pencil: it is only decently smear resistant. But that has just a small impact on the whole experience with the Hi-Uni. Drawing with it feels light yet there’s a great amount of control, maybe you could call that stickiness to the paper.