Zebra’s Tiny TS-3 2

Ten years ago I bought Zebra’s tiny TS-3 mechanical pencil. Back then it cost £2.50. These days it’s a bit more expensive, but is still quite affordable.

You’d think that a pencil with such a small size, it’s only 10 cm long and has a diameter of just over 5 mm, it can only be used if no better pencil is available..

..but the truth is that it’s much more comfortable to use than many other emergency pencil, i.e. the kind of pencil that comes with some of the Swiss Army Knives.

In May I put a video review online that provides some more information about this pencil.

Compared to a selection of other mechanical pencils the Zebra TS-3 is tiny

It might not be your best choice for a daily writer, but it’s certainly a good choice for a pencil you can store in a pocket or bag so that you have a mechanical pencil when you need it. The comfort to size ratio is certainly better than what you might expect.

 


The Kaweco Special 0.5 Push Pencil Black 1

The video for the Kaweco Special 0.5 Push Pencil Black has been added to my YouTube channel in April, so it’s high time to follow with the blog post for this nice mechanical pencil.

All the useful bits of information about this pencil can be found in the video itself, where I had a look at the 0.5mm version. There is also a 0.7 mm, a 0.9 mm and a 2 mm version.

I only cover the black aluminium version, but there is also a brass version.

While the body is made from aluminium, the front section seems tobe made from plastic. It does look pretty sturdy, though.

The pencil doesn’t come with the clip. If you like the clip you have to order it separately.
Compared to other mechanical pencils I reviewed recently the Kaweco Special has a larger diameter (so is furthest right in the chart below).

Compared to a selection of other mechanical pencils the Kaweco Special has the largest body diameter

There is no ‘dedicated grip section’, it’s just the front of the body, so this pencil is again leading the pack in terms of diameter.

Compared to a selection of other mechanical pencils the Kaweco Special has the largest grip diameter

The actual mechanism in the Special is from Japan and does contain plastic parts, but seems quite sturdy and should last many decades.


Nine 9

Today is Bleistift’s ninth birthday.

Well, since we’re on the topic of Mars Lumographs: it looks as if Mossad likes the Mars Lumograph ..at least in the BBC’s 2018 TV series of John le Carré’s 1980s spy novel The Little Drummer Girl.

Terrorist Salim gets a pencil to write to his sister – The Little Drummer Girl, episode 2 (Image © BBC)

Staedtler’s Mars Lumograph is a good choice: The pencil still looks quite similar to how it looked in the late 1970s / early 1980s, when the story takes place, and it would have been easily available to Mossad agents in Munich.

Charlie gets a pre-chewed pencil to write in her diary – The Little Drummer Girl, episode 3 (Image © BBC)


The images in this blog post are from the BBC series The Little Drummer Girl. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Lamy’s cp1 Multi Pen – Pencil Plus Highlighter In One

This blog post was first published on The Pen Company’s blog in April 2018.

1974 is a special year: In the USA, Star Trek: The Animated Series got cancelled; in the UK, ABBA won the Eurovision song contest in Brighton with their song, ‘Waterloo’; in China the Terracotta army was discovered; and in Germany, the VW Golf and the Lamy cp1 multifunction pen were launched.

I’m happy to say that the cp1 pen/pencil is still with us today, so many years later. Designed by Gerd A. Müller, who also designed the Lamy 2000, the cp1 has seen quite a few additions to the line over the years — Lamy’s design history page shows that the twin pen was the first off the line, but there’s also a fountain pen, ballpoint pen, rollerball, mechanical pencil and tri (multifunction) pen in the cp1 series.

The Lamy cp1 twin multifunction pen lets you switch between a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil and a ballpoint pen. My cp1 has Lamy’s M55 orange highlighter refill instead of a normal ballpoint refill. This way I can write with the pencil in my diary but can also highlight anything that needs further attention.

You’ll find more information in my video review below:


Pens on Exhibition 4

You might have noticed that Bleistift is much quieter than it used to be. This is mainly down to a change at work, which will keep me more busy for the next few months1.

There are a few unpublished, half finished posts plus there are videos from the last few months that have not received the accompanying blog post yet. New blog posts in the next weeks and months will probably be mainly made up of these kind of articles.

Before I disappear from the blog again for another few days, here are a few stationery related things I have noticed that I want to share with you.

This puzzle sorter looked quite possibly useful for stationery-related purposes. I wonder whether it would make a great stackable pen storage. The packaging was sealed, but as far as I can tell each tray (there are six inside) should provide enough depth for a pencil.

These Japanese transfer from Clover are pencil I haven’t come across before. Curious…

One last surprise: you don’t get to see a Pilot pen on exhibition in your local museum very often. The museum had an exhibition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the East Lancashire Calligraphers’ Guild, including some of the tools used and some of excellent examples of calligraphy.

 

 

  1. The good news for a fan of wood cased and mechanical pencils is that the new job title includes the word “lead”. []