Birthdays, retirements and the Noris

After teasing the new Noris sharpener 511 120 on two occasions [1]Happy Birthday Noris and More about the upcoming Noris 511 120 sharpener it’s time to show you the real thing here..

I was told that the 511 120 is already available in shops, but here in the UK we are just coming out of lockdown so I have not had a chance yet to see this sharpener in the wild [2]Mine was sent from Germany..

The 511 120 is a nice addition to the Noris line in the Noris anniversary year. You can see it in action in the video below.

By now the English-language anniversary web site has also had an overhaul and, like the German version, it now includes birthday greetings from Noris fans. So far that’s Brad (the Pen Addict), Stephen (the Pencil Talk Editor), famous Disney comic artist Massimo Fecchi, Shangching from East West Everywhere and me. I hope there will be even more in the future.

In Europe, you mainly associate the Noris name with the yellow and black hexagonal pencil, but the Noris didn’t start with that look and even though the yellow and black Noris, the 120, must be the most popular Noris it is by no means the only Noris product. There are also Noris pencils available in a triangular shape, as coloured pencils, sharpeners, erasers and in some markets, you get different colours than in others. Look for example at these nice Noris colours from Iran, the erasable red version (14450-2PP2) from Japan, the learner’s stylus 119 20 that comes with a free app.

Helmut Hufnagl

There are also some news in the Noris anniversary year that are good [3]for Helmut and bad [4]for stationery fans at the same time. Helmut Hufnagl, the designer of the 511 120 and many other exciting Staedtler products, is starting his well-deserved retirement at the end of this month. If you are interested in functional and affordable stationery have a look at this list of blog posts that mentions some of the products he designed.


1 Happy Birthday Noris and More about the upcoming Noris 511 120 sharpener
2 Mine was sent from Germany.
3 for Helmut
4 for stationery fans

7 thoughts on “Birthdays, retirements and the Noris”

  1. I hope this sharpener is as functional as it is good looking. For years I’ve been extremely disappointed with Staedtler sharpeners of all designs. They produce short, scrappy points that are unbecoming of such a great brand. I love my jumbo Lumograph 100j pencils but unbelievably their 510-20 sharpener is too small on the jumbo hole setting….how weird!! The Staedtler 2 hole 512-300 sharpens to a boring 30 degree angle for the jumbo setting and even then not as neatly as a Milan Touch sharpener at a cheaper price point. Again weirdly, Staedtler make a Lumograph branded single hole sharpener but not a two hole variety for the jumbo variant….and the price is double that of their non Lumograph branded sharpeners for the same boring 23 degree angle and very short exposed lead. Come on Staedtler, you’re a stationery powerhouse with consistently unimaginative sharpeners. Thank God for my Dahle 133. I’ll buy the Noris 511-20 because it looks so damn good, but my intuition tells me the point will be yet another boring, scrappy Staedtler point.

  2. …just watched the video and my worst fears were confirmed, another short exposed lead, boring point which any 50cent sharpener can produce. I will say the ratchet mechanism seems to work more consistently than the Sonic Ratchetta but the Ratchetta produces a nicer more acute angled cone and exposed lead. It seem like the Rally? in the video had an off-centre core which accentuates the rather poor point produced.

  3. Thank you for your comments. About the pencil ping, I think any off-centre lead is the pencils fault.
    As this is a mass market product that will be used for coloured pencils, too, I get why a less acute angle was chosen. I don’t think Staedtler has any sharpeners with a very acute angle.

  4. I got my Noris sharpener, it’s really a good fun to use! Thanks!

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