Staedtler’s new Wopex pencils: the 2B – 2H Noris eco

The new 2017 Noris eco (on the right) is capped

This blog had quite a few Wopex related blog posts over the years – and here’s the latest one: about the new generation of Wopex pencils. This is the third generation I know of, but there might have been more.

Previously… on

I got the sheet from the 2010 blog post out and added the new 2017 grades.

Just a quick reminder. Staedtler introduced the Wopex (pencil) in 2009 – it’s an extruded pencil and its body is made from a wood-plastic-composite (which consists of more wood than plastic). In 2010 Staedtler introduced the Wopex in 2B and 2H. I had a closer look at the 2B and 2H version in a 2010 blog post and couldn’t find much difference between the 2B, HB and 2H version. Fast forward to 2016. By now Staedtler is using the term Wopex only to describe the material used to make these pencils. Wopex is not used anymore as a name for the pencil itself – at least not by Staedtler. At the Insights X 2016, they had a few prototypes of the new ‘Wopex material’ Noris eco in 2H, H, HB, B and 2B.  At the Insights X 2017, they showed the final product.

Close up of the 2010 vs. 2017 comparison

The new 2017 Noris eco


The design of the Noris eco is clearly inspired by Staedtler’s European staple pencil, the Noris, but like other Wopex material pencils, the surface of the extruded Noris eco feels rubberised. It is also eco-green, but has the same black stripe pattern as the yellow Noris or the red Tradition: The two opposing, labelled sides (let’s call them top and bottom) of this hexagonal pencil are black. The four sides (let’s call them the two right and the two left sides) are green with a think black stripe in between. I am mentioning this because some of the prototypes had a different pattern.

Unlike previous Wopex material pencils, the new Noris eco has a cap. It’s cool, man.

Watch on YouTube for high definition.


Great news. There’s a proper difference between the different grades in the new 2017 version. In terms of darkness and in terms of point retention. Compared to the Mars Lumograph in 2B, which is a very easy to erase pencil, the new Noris eco in 2B is more difficult to erase.

Eraser test – the bottom right square has been erased

If you see them in a shop I urge you to give them a try.

The pellets before they’re extruded into a pencil. From the Wopex sharpener blog post.

In case you can’t get enough of the Wopex. Here are some links:

2009: The world’s first blog post about the Wopex (Lexikaliker, in German)

2010: Staedtler WOPEX pencil review (Pencil Talk)

2012: Pencil Review: Staedtler Wopex HB Pencil (East…West…Everywhere)

2012: Staedtler Wopex Pencil (The Well-Appointed Desk)

I think the Pen Addict never had a Wopex review. If he did please let me know.

Some more post-2012 Wopex reviews can be found at Pencil Revolution, Comfortable Shoes Studio, The Weekly Pencil, The Finer Point, Pens Paper Pencils, Office Geek, Scribomechanica.

At the top, you can see the alternative black and green Wopex pattern. A picture from the ‘epic fail’ blog post.


I would like to thank Benedikt Schindler for his help in getting me the new 2017 Wopex. I still haven’t seen them on the high street in the UK.

5 thoughts on “Staedtler’s new Wopex pencils: the 2B – 2H Noris eco”

  1. How do you like this pencil?
    I have not used a Wopexd but I do not enjoy the feeling of “eco” pencils I have tried. They feel weird in hand when writing, it’s like they have a certain flex to them.
    And I am wondering why are they eco? Because I think plastic is more harmful to the environment than the wood, or maybe I am mistaking

  2. Thank you for your comment.
    I like the Wopex very much. It’s one of my most used pencils (if we take mechanical pencils out of the equation). It’s quite different to other eco pencils – have a look at my old blog post Battle of the eco pencils if you are interested in more information.
    I could be convinced that making ‘eco’ pencils is better for the environment but I don’t think the whole lifecycle is – because the plastic pencil shavings wouldn’t be recyclable and wouldn’t be compostable, I guess. A water vanish pencil wouldn’t be too bad for the environment, depending on where the wood is from. I guess some of those Tombow pencils with a pointless chunk of plastic at the end and thick layers of paint aren’t too kind to the environment.

  3. After a long fallow period, the pencil bug has bitten again, hard.

    I finally got around to trying these Eco Norises and promptly fell in love. They’re wonderful pencils, and have a really satisfying heft to them. I’ve only tried the HB so far, but I’m hooked – and now on the trail of elusive boxes of the various earlier colours of Wopexes.

    By coincidence, I’d also bought a single (!) HB Goldfaber from Amazon for 65p delivered by Prime. It makes for great side-by-side comparison with the Eco Noris.

    They’re very, very similar: both the same thickness, similar in pattern, and with a finished end-cap. The Noris has real heft in the hand compared to the Goldfaber, and interestingly, the leads are about the same darkness – the first time I’ve found Faber-Castell and Staedtler the same at the same grade. I like the Goldfaber well enough, but I love the Eco Noris.

  4. I’m happy to hear that you have the pencil fever again!! I love the Wopex / Noris eco, but I like to have a very acute point and my writing pressure varies a lot, so unless I am careful I end up in a situation where the fine tip breaks. With the right paper, the Wopex core is amazing. 65p for a single pencil including delivery – wow. When I was younger and still in Germany the Goldfaber was quite common, but it is not that common anymore – shame…

  5. Pencil fever has come back in a big way!

    I’ve got the same issue with my love of acute points colliding with the Wopex’s tendency to snap. It’s happened a couple of times to me; I think I write with a little too much pressure. Perhaps I’ll have to invest in a less-acute sharpener.

    I agree that the Wopex pencils are just fantastic with the right paper. They’re brilliant on everyday A4 copier paper, which can vary a lot and is often uncooperative with other pencils. I find they work poorly on smoother/shinier paper – I have a lot of Tops-brand American yellow legal pads and the Wopex is too faint on their smooth paper.

    That’s not actually the cheapest Pencil With Prime: you can order a single Lyra Robinson pencil for 32p delivered with Prime! (I couldn’t resist, and I have one coming on Tuesday.)

    The Goldfaber was the pencil-of-choice for local art-students here in the 2000s. The local art-supply shop, The Artist’s Pad (it closed years ago, sadly), sold Goldfabers and Mars Lumographs, and most students seemed to buy the Goldfabers. I’d guess it was a combination of the right price and quality.

    They’re handsome pencils, and well made, though I do prefer the Lumograph – it was always the pencil I’d choose, and I never really used Goldfabers despite being surrounded by people who did. They’re very rare nowadays; I can’t remember the last time I saw one in the wild. Perhaps they’re more popular in other parts of the world?

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