Monthly Archives: February 2010


Deli pencil sharpener 0635 9

If you ever go to Shanghai you should visit FuZhou Road. This road is famous for its book stores (including the Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore), but you will also find many stationery shops there. After seeing the sheer number of different stationery shops, focussing mainly on calenders, note books, diaries, tools used for Chinese calligraphy (like brushes, paper, inkstones) and stationery, you might be disappointed when you actually want to buy stationery: the choice is smaller than expected because many of the shops sell exactly the same items. Other places in Shanghai that sell stationery are big supermarkets (Carrefour, E-mart) or small stationery shops you can normally find near universities.

Keyroad, a relatively new shop on FuZhou Road, is offering items quite different to those offered in the more old-fashioned stationery shops nearby. Targeting Japanophile students, only about half of the space is used for stationery, the other half is used for things like mugs, gloves, toys, etc. Most of these other items are for girls, quite expensive, cute and conjure up associations with Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

There is even a prism sharpener for oil and wax based pencils

The selection of sharpeners was not overwhelming, with the focus on cute looking sharpeners, but to my delight I found a rotary sharpener for only ¥ 25 (£ 2.40, € 2.70, $ 3.70). It is model 0635 from Deli, a stationery manufacturer established in 1988 and employing more than 2000 staff. The sharpener has one burr cylinder and even includes a spring-driven holder for the pencil. There is no desk clamp and no regulator for sharpness or point, but I do not think anybody would mind at this price.

Faber-Castell Bonanza 1320 B

The waste container even includes a prism sharpener in case you need to sharpen oil or wax based pencils as they are not suitable for rotary sharpeners. The manual of the sharpener is in Chinese and English, but the English is rather poor and difficult to understand.

The 0635 has one burr cylinder

Performance:

Performance-wise the Deli 0635 is excellent. The point is very long, even longer than one from a KUM Automatic Long Point. This is a problem for pencils with very soft graphite leads, for colour pencils or for pencil users who use a lot of pressure when writing or drawing, as the point might brake easily. I have not yet had any problems with the point of graphite leads braking, but I stopped using the Deli 0635 with colour pencils. Even the ones with harder leads, like the Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue will brake easily when writing if you are not very careful.

Conclusion:

This is an excellent sharpener at such a low price. As it is a cylindrical cutter it should last quite a while without getting blunt. More expensive sharpeners have a desk clamp and let you adjust whether you want a long or short point, but if you like a sharp point and do not want to clamp your sharpener (I assume most people don’t) the Deli 0635 offers fantastic value for money.

Point comparison (l-r): M+R grenade, Eisen 402, KUM Automatic Long Point, Deli 0635

Exchange rates: February 2010


Pelikan M320 Ruby Red

Something unrelated to pencils for a change:

Pelikan released the M320 Ruby Red, just in time for Valentine’s day. There is not a lot of information available about this fountain pen yet, but apparently it comes in a heart-shaped box.  There is also the K320, a ballpoint pen version available, but unfortunately no D320, i.e. no pencil version.The Souverän 320 series is the series containing Pelikan’s smallest pens.

You can find more information about the M320 Ruby Red in Englisch at nibs.com and in German at ZC77.


Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2010

In case you were wondering about this year’s Pen of the Year from Graf von Faber-Castell: The pen itself has case-hardened metal parts and 24-carat gold inlays, while the barrel is made of Caucasian walnut wood and has a hand-carved fish scales pattern.

Graf von Faber-Castell’s Pen of the Year so far:

2001: Olive wood (at the time not yet called “Pen of the Year”)
2003: Snakewood
2004: Amber
2005: Galuchet (Stingray leather)
2006: Mammoth Ivory and Ebony
2007: Petrified Wood
2008: Indian Satinwood
2009: The Equus (horsehair fabric)

In October 2009 Pen and Co interviewed the Managing Director Premium at Faber-Castell. The post includes a paragraph on the history of the Pen of the Year and information about the Pen of the Year 2009.

According to an article from LZ-NET more than 10% of Faber-Castell’s turnover is generated by their premium products. Faber-Castell is manufacturing the Porsche Design pens as well, but only until the end of 2010. From 2011 Pelikan will be manufacturing the Porsche Design pens.