This weekend, I discovered a rather interesting eraser in Morrisons (a supermarket chain from the North of England): it’s an eraser that’s made of different smaller erasers, a bit like the Ty/iwako erasers, but it also provides many different corners, a bit like the Kokuyo eraser. The biggest surprise is the price: when I saw it on the shelf I assumed this was the novelty eraser for 50p (~81¢; 59c), but it turned out that this eraser is the Pick and Mix Puzzle Eraser, which is only 8p (~13¢; 9c).
The design reminds me of wooden puzzles from MENSA that some UK supermarkets sold last December.
Performance is good to very good, especially when keeping the price in mind. The puzzle doesn’t fall apart after erasing a few words. Even though the puzzle parts might loosen up a bit you can put them back together – and even if they fell apart: you could see that either
as an opportunity for some puzzling/brain work to do
or alternatively as the sudden availability of more eraser corners so that you can do more precise erasing.
Price and exchange rates: October 2013
The pencil in the pictures is Staedtler’s 1810.
The paper squared paper in the pictures is from WH Smith’s Squared Exercise Book (5mm squares, 48 pages, 165mm x 203mm)
Unfortunately I didn’t find the time yet to write a new blog post. For now: a few pencil related links Most of them have been posted on the Bleistift Facebook page until the next blog post is ready:
Today: another pencil from France. This time it’s an eco pencil, the BIC ecolutions evolution BLACK. It’s a really good looking eco pencil with gold lettering on a dark grey, slightly metallic looking body. I paid £1.49 (~$2.35; €1.80) for a set with four pencils from a local supermarket.
When I first saw the packaging I was sceptical – it looks good, but does it write well? Most eco pencils don’t write very well, with the Wopex and paper-rolled pencil being the only exceptions I find usable.
“Relatives” of this pencil have been reviewed at pencil talk and Lexikaliker. Unsurprisingly the BIC ecolutions evolutionBLACK seems to be very similar to these pencils. The box indicates that it’s made form 55% recycled material and looking closer this seems to be an extruded pencil with an aerated casing. The pencils seem to have more air bubbles in the centre of the body, near the lead.
The sharpener used
I thought an eco pencils deserved a suitable sharpener, so I tried out the Dux Bio, a sharpener being advertised as 100% compostable and made from 80% renewable resources – even though I think it might be biodegradable rather than compostable, i.e. it the sharpener probably doesn’t turn into humus .
A quick word about the Dux Bio, also known as the DX5907. It’s a great sharpener that produces an even point with an angle of ~24°, even on difficult to sharpen pencils. I actually tried to get my hands on one for a while, but wasn’t able to find it anywhere. In the end (about 18 months ago) Dux was kind enough to send me one.
Using this pencil
Sharpening this pencil is fairly easy for a pencil with a body made from recycled material other than paper. The graphite core looks similar to that of a traditional pencil, but when looking at a sharpened point the graphite seems to be more reflective.
The BIC ecolutions evolutionBLACK produced a fairly light line – so light that it is tempting to press harder, especially if the point has been used for a while and the line is wider. Unlike a more traditional pencil pressing harder doesn’t however result in a darker line – or should I say the causal relation between pressing harder and producing a darker line is not as obvious as it is with a normal pencil.
Overall it’s not bad for a recycled pencil. It’s certainly much better than the recycled pencils made by Remarkable, but even though it’s easy to sharpen it doesn’t produce a line as good as the Wopex.
I’m sorry for not posting more often. The problem is that I have lots of ideas, but often don’t find the time to prepare the blog posts, especially the photos ((…when I do find the time the light is often not good enough to take usable photos). Nevertheless, I’ll keep trying to write at least four blog posts a month.
Just to prove for now that this blog isn’t dead: a photo of an Alessi sharpener in the shape of a beaver. I had a look and the sharpener inside looked like a Staedtler 510 10, which has been previously shown in this blog post. The Alessi Kastor retails for £37 (~$58; €44).