A few years ago M&G, a brand I have previously only seen in Shanghai, started to make its appearance in some local shops. It is still pretty uncommon to see M&G pens here in the UK, at least with M&G being mentioned on the pen or packaging, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some no name pens you can buy here are actually are from M&G.
Now Deli also seems to become more easy to get hold of in the West, this time for another product that is not directly linked to pencils. This time this is thanks to Amazon. When I needed some Sellotape (a brand name that is used as a generic term in the UK, the US equivalent is Scotch tape and the German equivalent is Tesa) I thought I give Amazon’s own brand a try. Amazon Basics tape was similarly priced to other brands, but I was keen on trying out a taped I hadn’t tried before – there might be some good stuff out there I missed so far.
I haven’t used used much yet, it just arrived this week, but so far I am quite happy with this tape.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you might have noticed that I’m fond of Deli’s crank sharpeners, particularly the Deli 0635.
It’s nice to see that the quality of the Deli seems to be good enough for the big and well-established brands, too. Faber-Castell offers a sharpener, the 952500, that seems to be a Deli 0635 in disguise.
Koh-I-Noor, too, picked a Deli as an addition to their line: the 0668, but they call it the 9095. The 0668 has been resold by a few other companies, too, including Kikkerland.
After a bit more than three years and many posts later the Bleistift Facebook page reached 100 likes this week. Well, I have to confess that I cheated and invited some of my friends to like the page, anyway: next aim: 200 likes by 2018, but that will be more difficult, as I have already invited some friends plus some people will probably unlike the page over the next three years. We will see…
Wopex vs Noris
Anyway, onto the real blog post:
You might remember the blog post about the Staedtler 501 180 sharpener. Staedtler’s rotary sharpeners start with 501 and their Wopex pencils are associated with the number 180. Despite this sharpener being officially available in the UK I didn’t come across it yet, so I keep using my Deli to make a great Wopex point. Here’s a comparison of a Wopex, sharpened in a Deli 0635 and a Noris, sharpened in the same Deli.
In my previous blog post I mentioned the Deli 0620 sharpener I bought when I was in Shanghai.
I you have followed my blog you might have noticed that I am very fond of Deli sharpeners. The Deli 0635 and the Deli 0668 are in fact my most often used sharpeners.
Why do I only mention these two models and no other Deli sharpeners? The problem with Deli sharpeners is that most seem to be aimed at children or pupils and look a bit too cartoony to put on your desk in the office – so when I came across a serious looking Deli sharpener, the 0620, I was quite excited.
The moment I saw this sharpener I thought of the Classroom Friendly Sharpener. I don’t have one myself, but having seen pictures of it in the past I thought this Deli 0620 looks very similar …but I had to wait until I was home to be able to compare the 0620 with photos of the Classroom Friendly Sharpener. More about this later.
Cheap and full of features
I paid 45元 (~ $7.25; €6.25; £4.75) in the stationery shop on Xiangde Road, mentioned previously. Unlike the 0635 and the 0668, the 0620 features a metal case and is quite a bit bigger. It has a very solid feel to it and comes with a desk clamp and a spring driven pencil holder that features auto stop (as expected). The 0620 seems to sharpen with the same angle as the 0635: it will produce a slightly concave point with an angle of ~ 17°.
Oh no, tooth marks!
This all sounds great, but I have a big problem with this sharpener: it leaves tooth marks on the pencil, because the grips that hold the pencil while sharpening are not rubber covered. I guess many people don’t mind. As far as I know some of the best sharpeners do leave tooth marks, like the expensive El Casco sharpener as well as the cheaper, but still very expensive Caran d’Ache sharpener.
The problem is: I do mind! There are some things others seem to mind, like bar codes on pencils, that I don’t mind. On the contrary, I often even like them …but tooth marks? Maybe one day I can accept them, but not at the moment, so I fear my 45元 were not very well invested. I could try ‘improving’ the tooth mark situation by putting Sugru on the grip mechanism, but the point produced by the Deli 0635 is so similar, I might as well use the 0635 instead of the 0620If I had some Sugru I might try ‘improving’ the 0620. Maybe I buy a pack one day, once it’s open it needs to be used up soon anyway, which might be a good reason to use some of it … Continue reading.
If you can cope with the horror: click on the bite mark picture to see the mutilated pencil in higher resolution.
The Deli 0620 and the Classroom Friendly Sharpener
One interesting point, mentioned earlier, is the similarity of the 0620 to the Classroom Friendly Sharpener. According to the pictures I have seen I would say the two sharpeners are more or less identical. I guess there could be several reasons for that, the most likely probably being that
The Classroom Friendly Sharpener is actually made by Deli
Both are made by another company
One is a copy of the other, or both are a copy of another.
I don’t think one of these sharpeners is a copy of the other one. My guess would be that the the original isn’t famous enough to warrant a copy being made. Also, if you look at copied stationery, e.g. a Lamy Safari and a Hero 359, the copy is often of much worse quality than the original. I can’t really judge how the quality of both sharpeners compares as I only know the 0620, but it seems to be pretty well made. The only problem I encountered was that I couldn’t remove the burr mechanism. This problem doesn’t seem uncommon for Deli. Once I had two batches of 0635 in front of me, and one batch was perfectly fine, but on the other batch I couldn’t remove the burr mechanism on any of the sharpeners I don’t think they are glued on on purpose as I can’t see any sense in that. I wonder whether there are other reasons, e.g. some tolerance issues and some parts being a bit too big, or … Continue reading. I assume that if you use enough force you could get the burr mechanism out.
A great looking sharpener that disappoints because of the tooth marks it leaves. Otherwise great value for money, like other Deli sharpeners.
As mentioned by Gunther and Koralatov in the comments: there are other sharpeners that seem to be produced in the same factory: the Carl Angel-5, the Kw-trio 031VA and the Helix A5.
Assuming the sharpener is made by Deli, because the point produced is so similar to the one produced by the 0635 What a shame that it’s so difficult to remove the burr mechanism for a comparison, the question is: Did the 0620 get this acute, concave angle because of Deli’s existing mechanism or was this model’s angle always like this, even before Deli made this sharpener, and Deli made its mechanism like this to fulfil Carl’s (or whoever ordered this sharpener first) requirements?
I don’t think they are glued on on purpose as I can’t see any sense in that. I wonder whether there are other reasons, e.g. some tolerance issues and some parts being a bit too big, or whether the sharpener was assembled before the paint could dry properly, etc.