July 5, 2013
I like the old 0.046 inch size lead, or 1.15 mm. You can still get old pencils
and old leads in this size, and I have some, but this is the old modern one I
know of. I don't know if the lead size is exactly the same, haven't tested the
old leads in this pencil, or the modern Retro 51 leads in the old ones. It
feels like writing with the same size, however, and the HB leads that Retro 51
sells are a good match for what I want. I use it to write, not draw, although
like anyone I might doodle a bit.
It's also a very attractive pencil. The propelling mechanism works very
smoothly. It has a nice heft to it without being too heavy. The enclosed leads
just glide over the paper, leaving a mark that's neither too faint or too dark
(in my opinion, obviously). Besides the one in the pencil there's a 12 pack of
extras. Unlike other mechanical pencils you might be used to, this one only
holds one lead at a time, which has to be fed in from the tip. So if you think
you might be about to use up the current one, you should carry the spares with
you, or a second pencil. That's the only real disadvantage I've found.
There's also a tube of 6 extra erasers, which should last a long time. The
black eraser on this model erases without smudging the paper, although of course
there are crumbs. The metal storage tube that came with it is too nice to throw
away, I use it to hold the extra leads and erasers, and the users guide.
Probably this is the only time I'll pay $30 for a pencil, but I just like having
one that is visibly nicer than the others, and I like that it uses this "old
fashioned" size of lead.