Staedtler’s Mars 502 lead pointer tub

Many of my videos that were originally posted to accompany blog posts were kind of forgotten, i.e. were never mentioned here, even though I made them to be used in a future blog post. This includes one of my most popular videos with currently (July 2020) more than 64,000 views: a demonstration how the Mars 502 lead pointer tub works.

Originally posted because the 502 doesn’t come with useful instructions and the comments left under the video show that there is/was a demand for a video like this.

5 thoughts on “Staedtler’s Mars 502 lead pointer tub”

  1. Garth Gilmore

    Memm, thank you for providing your video in English; I know bits and pieces of German (mostly taught to me by my brother, who took it as a language course through high school) but I can’t speak it that serviceably in working sentences, and aside from recognizing words I know I wouldn’t be able to follow the context of a conversation spoken in German.

    Similarly, thank you for making a video about the Staedtler Mars lead pointer ‘sharpener’; while I learned how to point my leads on my own rather than having it explained as you have, I thought the very same thing about it. It’s more of a ‘grinding wheel/cylinder’, like an old Boston-model desk mounter ‘grind sharpener’ for graphite pencils, although in this case the lead pointer and lead within it is mostly in motion relative to the ‘sharpener’ body, and the grinding core inside is stationary.

    I have one Koh-I-Noor and two Staedtler standard-model lead pointers (all bought when I was in and for art college) and my Da gave me his two 1960’s-era Staedtlers (and a large supply of coloured pointing lead) that he used when he was in draughting and economics school, a very long time ago (but credit to Staedtler, when well taken care of, they still work perfectly now).

  2. Hello Garth, thank you very much for your comment. Regarding the ‘grinding’ mechanism, I assume this is a relatively easy but long lasting solution. The lead is softer than wood so for a lead holder I guess potentially the whole mechanism could be made from a softer and easier to work metal, compared to a desk mounted pencil sharpener, but this is pure speculation on my part. There’s also no complicated mechanism needed because the lead holder moves, not the mechanism. Unfortunately this comes with restrictions regarding the lead holder diameter. You might be interested in this video – is this one of your Koh-I-Noor lead pointers? I agree that Staedtler products are of very good quality. It must be exciting to use the items your father used in the 60s.

  3. Garth Gilmore

    Memm, good evening! (I think it will be five or six hours later for you in Europe, as it’s just past suppertime here in Eastern Canada, EST/-5:00GMT.)

    I should clarify: when I talked about my own and my Da’s ‘lead pointers’, I didn’t mean the sharpeners themselves (per the Koh-I-Noor model sharpener in the Youtube-linked video you’d recorded and kindly provided me the link to here) but the barrel-grip styluses that hold the lead for drawing, draughting and sketching. I’ve always called those barrel-clutch ‘pencils’ with their leads ‘lead pointers’, as I did in my original reply to you, and I suspect I am still not using the correct terminology to refer to them.

    What I inherited from my father’s 1960s draughting supplies were the two clutch-barrel lead-holders (again, manufactured by Staedtler) dating from his post-secondary university studies and early choice of employment in architectural advisory-design and economics, along with his tremendous knack for mathematics and working with numbers in general. He also supplied me with his remaining unused leads, a considerable supply of which I admit I haven’t yet used up even a small fraction of them.

    My own styluses in question are two mid-1990s-era Staedtler clutch-barrel lead-holders, and a third manufactured by Koh-I-Noor, but I have only my one modern Staedtler ‘lead pointer’ sharpener amongst my draughting supplies and plastic art-box ‘steamer trunk’, dating from and bought during my three years of college, from 1996 to 1999.

    > I agree that Staedtler products are of very good quality. It must be exciting to use the
    > items your father used in the 60s.

    My Papa and I were very close, and while our choice of creative pursuits and employment couldn’t have been more different, there was very little at the core of us we did or could not see eye to eye on. He was an engineer, mathematician and physical scientist by training, and my own draughting work was more akin to creative drawing in graphite and ink, and painting in acrylics on canvas; I love science-fiction and fantasy, something he was not at all interested in, but he was never once unsupportive of his three sons’ (myself and my two older brothers) love of reading, of imagining, our love of Star Trek (amongst other sci-fi, but that was a big one for us together) or sticking close to each other as friends and beloved siblings.

    It means a lot to me to have someone posit such a kindness on my Da’s behalf towards me, and on his and my behalf: thank you kindly, und danke schoen. <3 He passed away after a five-year fight with cancer almost fourteen years ago exactly (the anniversary was on July the 6th, and the year he died was in 2006), and every year around this time, I pick something to focus on over a few days, to bring the bit of my Dad in my heart out a little further than usual, to 'show him' how my last year's been. Thank you, then, for being part of our ceremony this year, Memm.


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