| I'd really give the 800...
, January 14, 2014
I'd really give the 800 2.5 stars. I really wanted to like this pencil (I
collect mechanical drafting pencils) and I'm a big Rotring fan, but the problem
with the 800 is it frequently breaks leads internally (w/i the shaft/feed
mechanism). The broken lead rotates around in the shaft so you have to pull it
out and toss it to regain control of the lead position as you write, or it
always rotates to the flat side and you get thicker lines than you want. It's
an excellent concept, but the lead breakage problem is a major issue. Mine is a
0.5 mm. My guess is the lead breakage problem would be far worse w/ a 0.35
(0.3) lead. It might be OK w/ a 0.7 mm lead, but I don't write with 0.7's
anymore; I only use 0.7's for drafting lines. A friend of mine has a 0.5 mm 800
and his has the same lead breakage problem, too. The 800 mechanism feels a
little rattly, particularly when compared to a Rotring Rapid Pro or even a Kuru
Toga Roulette. If you want a retractable tube mechanical pencil, go for a
Rotring Rapid Pro (which feels much more solid, doesn't rattle as you write, and
it's cheaper) or a Pentel Graphgear 1000 (also cheaper). The retraction
mechanism of the RapidPro is different (not spring loaded) and has much more
solid feeling. The Graphgear 1000 has a sprung retraction mechanism as does the
800, but the Graphgear 1000 is different and doesn't break leads internally like
the 800 does. If you want a good writing pencil and don't mind a
non-retractable tube, go for a Rotring 600 or a Kuru Toga Roulette. I'm keeping
the 800, but I wouldn't buy any more, not even to flesh out a collection. I
might try a 0.7 mm 800 if I had a need for it, but I have a feeling the 0.35
would be a total disaster. The 800 is a great concept, but execution is poor.
Too bad. The 800 needs a look at redesign, IMHO.
| I had one briefly and...
, January 14, 2014
I had one briefly and returned it. Mine had what looked like a peen mark from
the inside on the case. For $150, I expect it to be perfect. (It may have been
designed in the U.S., but it is apparently manufactured in China.) It's very
heavy, so not practical for pocket carry and there is no clip anyway. The edges
of the case are very sharp (I suppose you could use it as a weapon in an
emergency situation). The pen is perfectly cylindrical so you have to be
careful when/where you set it down -- it rolls on any slope, no matter how
slight, or if you give it a little momentum. Unless you like extremely fine
lines (0.3, IIRC), you have to order a a refill. Kind of a nice toy, but not a
practical tool, and way overpriced for what it is. I was unimpressed, even
though I'm a pen/mechanical pencil collector. There are very few things I
return, even if not that great; unfortunately, this was one of things.