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Average Customer Review
 4.6 (23 customer reviews)
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December 8, 2011
Summary: Overall, I'm...
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Summary:
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.

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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 that role.
- 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 mm).


9 people found this helpful
 
May 23, 2012
This precision-constructed...
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This precision-constructed pencil has amazing balance, a solid mechanism with no play, and is altogether a pleasure to use for work and hobbies. The grip is perfect for me, with the knurling not too rough and a comfortable diameter, but -- judging from other reviews -- it clearly does not work for everyone. I think it might be cooler if it were made out of titanium, and if the entire mechanism were stainless, and if the tip were retractable, but at this price it's great! I machined a cap for it out of polycarbonate, just to make it pocket-friendly!

2 people found this helpful
 
February 17, 2012
I don't really have much...
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I don't really have much else to say about this pencil besides the recurring flattery: solid metal construction, nicely distributed weighty feel, comfortable knurled grip and simple & clean design. I have to admit, I bought this pencil for its looks but it performs just as beautifully. I smile inside every time I pick it up. :-)

2 people found this helpful
beverlytuazon
 
October 5, 2011
I really wanted to like...
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I really wanted to like this pencil but just could not stand the grip area which I found to be slippery even though it had not so abrasive grip area. I held it in hand for less than a minute and I knew I would not be able to use it due to the grip area. It has a nice heft and feels nice in hand with perfect length but the grip area is just not for me. If the pencil had same shape (octagonal) from top to all the way where the tip is, then it would be superb as I prefer pencils that are octagonal which itself makes them good grippers. But, there are few mechanical pencils at decent quality in that shape.

So, this pencil may be a 5 star if you do not mind the grip area, but that is not me (even though I tried) thus a 3 star from me, pure subjective.

In ending, I much more prefer the Platinum Pro-Use II 05 Drafting Pencil - 0.5 mm pencil found here on Jetpens. It has incredible groove grip area, all metal and is non-slippery. I had to get me another one and will get one more in the future for backup.


1 person found this helpful
dbajraktarevic
 
July 18, 2011
A precisely engineered...
A precisely engineered tool. Superlatives are required in any description. Pick this pencil up and you will understand. The heft, balance and appearance immediately convey the quality of design and materials needed to craft such an instrument. Too heavy for me to want to use all day every day but I really like having the right tool for the job. If you appreciate quality you will be extremely satisfied with this purchase.

1 person found this helpful
shanehenrycpa
 
March 4, 2011
If you do not want attention...
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If you do not want attention from the peasants using cheap mechanical pencils, do not buy this. In my engineering classes and in the library, SOO many comments. The simplistic design and solid construction are next to none. Unreal little peice of engineering in my hand. I could think of way worse ways to spend $30. My pencil before this was an alvin draft-matic. Huge difference in quality. When I would spin the draftmatic with one hand on the tip, and the other on the eraser, I could definitly tell it was not spinning true. The rotring 600 is perfect in all aspects. It takes a little getting used to the weight distribution as the rotrings full body is metal, but its well worth it.

The only draw back is that jet pens does not stock .7mm. That is definitly my lead size of choice, but I can deal with .5 i suppose.

1 person found this helpful
 
April 23, 2013
Lots of people use qualifiers...
Lots of people use qualifiers in their reviews for this pencil such as "yeah, it's heavy, but it's not meant to be used for writing. It's a drafting pencil." It's definitely well-built, and some areas are solid brass. But it's prohibitively heavy. If the body and grip were a bit larger in diameter (like the Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic) the weight would be more managable. It's just too thin and heavy to be usable, in my opinion.

It's a beautiful pencil and extremely well made, but it's too unwieldy to be used as a daily writing or drawing instrument. After using this pencil for 15 mins and then picking up another drafting pencil, you'll notice the difference in weight immediately. It's substantial.

The lead sleeve is also the weakest area of this pencil, being bested by the Pentel Graphgear series in quality. I really want to like the 600 series, but the weight keeps it off my list.

charlestonjohnebay
 
September 5, 2012
Feels great, nice weight...
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Feels great, nice weight and great finish on the silver body. Order was processed quickly by JetPens.com , I would highly recommend if you are looking for a good mechanical drafting pencil.

joshdodge
 
July 31, 2012
Absolutely fantastic. I...
Verified Purchase
Absolutely fantastic.

I really did not expect much, after using so many different mechanical pencils, I really did not expect much from Rotring except an overpriced but pleasant looking pencil. I was wrong.

Writing with this pencil just exudes pure joy from your hand. The knurling on the grip is very fine yet very precise, no sharp edges and no mismatching in the pattern at all, very uniform and very nice. The quality of this pencil can be immediately seen and felt in your hand.

Quality & Writeability:
Even the knurling at the top where the lead indicator is, has been well done, albeit of a rougher pattern. The cutout for to display the lead hardness is also nice, it has clearly been beveled or grinder to remove sharp edges (a nice touch which I would not expect to ever be done by a cheap pencil or any pencils which have not explicitly been designed for quality). The smooth action from turning the indicator and the apparent tight fit also attest to the quality of this pencil.

The clip is very strong, even a little tight, but well made and should not bend out easily from use, and the subtle Rotring imprint is a nice touch.

There is no play in the lead sleeve, so you do not need to extend the lead far away from the pencil to write with it. In fact, it seems to write finer and more clearly than other mechanical pencils I have, due to the way it holds the lead. I have not used it long, but there has been no breakage and I expect none.

The eraser is small and for emergencies as with all professional drafting/mechanical pencils, but still larger than the competition (Pentel, Uni) which is nice. The diameter of the loading sleeve is also fully open, with no restrictions, so it's easy to load without trying to feed in each piece of lead. It also came preloaded with x4 pieces of lead which was a nice touch (it appears to be HB lead). The cap is also finely engraved with 0.5, again no glaring paint, and is quite strong so should not bend easily by accident (e.g. with some Uni pencils).

Style:
Stylistically this pencil is top of the line. No glaring nickel plated plastic, faux aluminum coating, or stickers of any kind. Everything is subtle, no glaring display of the brand, or giant lead size labels: this pencil screams professional, and I'm proud to display it in my pocket of engineering geekiness. You will create the immediate impression of professionalism and no-nonsense business by using this pencil.

Weight:
Nevertheless, due to the all metal construction, this pencil is also significantly heavy. Because I rest the pencil in the cradle of my thumb and index finger, the weight does not bother me much. If I were a writer that holds the pencil upright, this might be fatiguing with extended use. The weight is also an advantage though, if you are used to ultra light pencils which you have to physically press downward to write with, this will definitely be a pleasurable experience for you. No pressure at all is needed with this pencil, allowing finer control and less hand fatigue initially.

Durability? This pencil should last forever. There is nothing to show rubbing/wear either. The only part that could possibly wear off is the 0.5 red printing near the clip on the side, but your hand never rubs here and the printing is with a thicker almost embossed ink, so there is really no chance of wear.

Pocket Wear:
I have had no issues so far with this pencil poking through my pocket either. I can only assume this is because the barrel length to clip top is somewhat shorter than the majority of my other pencils and pens (Uni, Pentel, Namiki, Parker, were all longer by comparison of what I have off hand)

Value:
I have tried other $30+ pencils, and I can truthfully say this is the first one which I can say is well worth the price, with which the quality is clearly appropriate to its cost, if not above it's price bracket. I could easily value this pencil at $50+.

I only wish other manufacturers paid as much attention to the design, detail, writeability, style, and finishing touches as Rotring. This is my new favorite pencil, without a doubt.

jetpens.nilspam
 
July 23, 2012
I bought a Rotring 600...
Verified Purchase
I bought a Rotring 600 about half a year ago because everywhere I turned, I found that it was the benchmark against which all other drafting pencils are judged, and I was curious to see just how good a pencil could be.

I had previously been using Petel Graphgear 500s as my go-to pencils for both writing and technical drafting, and they had never left anything to be desired, so this pencil, at a price comparable to five of the Graphgears, was staggering to me at the time for a single unit.

Today, after using the Rotring for months in regular rotation with my other pens and pencils, I have arrived at a few conclusions. First, my initial impression of the Rotring was and still is that it is the finest pencil in terms of construction and fit & finish I have ever owned. The looks of the pencil are clean and striking, and small touches like the ubiquitous red ring and an embossed lead diameter indicators on the side of the barrel and eraser cap are nicely understated yet still enough to give the product as a whole a feel of luxury. It's solid brass construction is reassuring and makes the overall feel of the 600 rock-solid and hefty. This pencil feels substantial and precise in your hand, never flimsy or delicate. In fact, after using the 600 for a day and switching back to my trusty Pentel GG500, I began noticing very small amounts of play in the parts, especially of the lead within the sleeve. This is a testament to just how solid the Rotring 600 is. Internally, the lead 'hopper' is constructed of a thinly rolled steel, which is nice, and a brass clutch held in place by a molded plastic surround. The lead indicator works very well, and the mechanism delivers about a millimeter of lead with each operation, the "sweet spot" for either drafting or writing, neither too generous nor miserly.

As much as I wanted it to be, however, the Rotring 600 is not the perfect pencil. Small qualms include the inclusion of some internal plastic parts and its very thin-walled and relatively weak lead sleeve, which, especially considering the weight of the brass construction, means that it is highly vulnerable to drops (some also fault it for being non-retractable, but this is to be expected in quality drafting pencils, and if a Rotring 600 with a retracting sleeve is desired, the Rotring 800 is just that, and is as finely styled and constructed, if not more so). I had this problem perhaps a week after receiving my 600. It was easily fixed, but for a pencil of this quality and price, it should not be an issue. Also, the included eraser are very short, even by drafting standards. It is hard to count this against the 600 though, as some drafting pencils do not include an eraser at all, the ones included are meant for emergencies only, in favor of more capable, separate erasers, and the fact that they can be swapped out with the longer and admirably-performing drafting erasers of Pentel.

My one legitimate problem with the pencil is the grip. The pencil is already slim at the barrel, a mere 9mm. The grip steps the diameter down further, (understandably as it is circular and the barrel is octagonal), and this makes for a very slim grip indeed. For my medium-sized hands, this combines again with the pencil's natural weight to create a very disjointed grip in everyday note-taking or general writing tasks. Most of the time, writing becomes uncomfortable after just a page or two. I have wrapped masking tape around the grip area to alleviate this single gripe of an otherwise phenomenal pencil. For this reason, I cannot recommend it for persons with large hands or who naturally prefer large-bodied pencils. I will not detract from it, however, because it must be remembered that this is first and foremost a drafting pencil, perhaps the purest and most refined example thereof, and thus not to be judged as an everyday writing utensil (when drafting, the pencil's thinner grip and knurling are both superb, and in that capacity, are the best I've experienced).

In the end, I feel the Rotring 600 is a phenomenal pencil, but that it may not be worth it to many. In comparison to $5 Pentel Graphgear 500 pencils, it is certainly, markedly better, but for a price over six times higher, it is difficult to justify this markup (though the Rotring is of limited availability in the United States, and so this likely contributes much to the price).

However, if you are looking for the epitome of pure drafting pencils, look no further.

charles_mbush