December 8, 2011
Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with the Rotring 600. For my preferences, it
hits all the right notes. If you're interested enough in your writing supplies
to go a specialty website, then the extra bit of money is worth it for a
practically heirloom quality pencil. Great construction, weight, and feel.
I've been using Pentel GraphGear 500 for the last three years at university,
since the coating was starting to deteriorate, I upgraded to the GraphGear 1000
(GG1000). The GG1000 is a solid pencil, and I'm sure some people would prefer
it, but I was somewhat dissatisfied. Aside from an old Staedtler Micro, these
are the only drafting pencils I have for comparison.
The reasons that I bought the Rotring 600 and enjoy using it boil down to:
- Construction: The pencil is all metal and has a solid construction. If you
want a pencil that you can give to your children, then the R600 will fulfill
- Weight: The R600 is a comparatively heavy pencil, but since it's balanced, the
weighty nature gives it a precise feel. It is meant to be a drafting pencil, not
something that you would free-hand a 100 page monograph in. After using it for a
while on physics notes and homework, the weight has become one of my favorite
aspects of the pencil.
- Size: Since the R600 is all metal, the balance is very near the center. This
feels just right to me, and despite it's weight, and makes it comfortable to
hold. I like that the 600 is shorter (about a centimeter shorter than the GG
1000), but I have smaller hands.
- Grip Area: What I especially disliked the GG1000 for was the rubber pads
inlaid in the grip, they felt cheap and out of place; I just wanted a pure metal
grip area. The grip on the R600 is about a centimeter closer to the lead sleeve
than the GG's, and feels more comfortable if you grip the pencil closer in. The
grip area doesn't feel sharp or slippery -- about as comfortable metal can be.
- Aesthetic: Come on, the things the Excalibur of pencils. Sometimes I just look
at it and think, "Damn."
The lead advance is the one thing that bothers me about the R600. Maybe it gets
smoother in time, Maybe mines missed quality control, but it binds somewhat and
is noticeably un-smooth. The length of the lead advance is about a millimeter I
wish that it was like the GG1000 where it was the same as the lead diameter (0.5
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