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  One of the gripes that..., April 11, 2011
One of the gripes that people have with the Rotring 600 drafting pencil is that it doesn't have a retractable lead sleeve. They are right. The Rotring 600 doesn't have this capability. So, If you choose the 800, you won't get a hole in your good dress shirt. And, you won't feel that the pencil is stuck in your pants pocket, when you are trying to pull it out. The Rotring 800 mechanical pencil does have this slick capability. So, this is a definite plus for some. I bought both the black and silver versions of the Rotring 800 drafting pencil. And, when they arrived here, I compared them with the 600 drafting pencils.


Let me tell you that I really like the 800 series pencils. I know, from my research, that they are no 'newer' than the Japanese 600 pencils.

But, I must say that the 800 series pencil, with the GREAT added capability of retracting the lead sleeve, does not quite match up to its 600 series cousin.

Here is the reason:

Somehow, the Rotring 600 drafting mechanical pencil feels like a solid, through-and-through piece of advanced engineering. It just feels so good in your hand--like an ergonomic block of metal with lead at your use. This piece of engineering beckons for you to handle it and write with it. But, maybe unfortunately, the 800 drafting pencil does not achieve this high mark. This pencil acquaints you with springs and plastic pressure-fits. The 800 brings you back to the purgatory between the sublime Rotring 600 the less great pencils, the ones that are plastic and bouncy in use.

Also, maybe my work-shirt pockets are deeper than everyone else, but my Rotring 600 pencils aren't long enough to puncture my shirt pockets, when they are stowed with the clip.

I definitely like my new, expensive Rotring 800 drafting mechanical pencils, but they don't quite match up to the Japanese Rotring 600 drafting mechanical pencil line---imho.
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