Deli


Wopex vs Noris 8

Facebook

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.

A Wopex sharpened in the Deli 0635

A Wopex sharpened in the Deli 0635

 

 

A Noris sharpened in the Deli 0635

A Noris sharpened in the Deli 0635


If you like this you might also like Sharpening a Wopex.

More Wopex posts can be found at

East…West…Everywhere

Lexikaliker

Pencils and other things

Pencil Revolution

 


Deli pencil sharpener 0620 15

 

Deli 0620 in its box

Deli 0620 in its box

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.

Deli 0620 unpacked

Deli 0620 unpacked

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.

Deli 0620

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°.

The 0620's spring loaded pencil holder

The 0620’s spring loaded pencil holder

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.

Sharpening a Korean TiTi T-Prime with the 0620

Sharpening a Korean TiTi T-Prime with the 0620

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 0620((If 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 on the 0620.)).

If you can cope with the horror: click on the bite mark picture to see the mutilated pencil in higher resolution.

Ugly bite marks on a beautiful pencil

Ugly bite marks on a beautiful pencil

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

  1. The Classroom Friendly Sharpener is actually made by Deli
  2. Both are made by another company
  3. One is a copy of the other, or both are a copy of another.
Deli 0620 shavings

Deli 0620 shavings

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 sharpeners1. I assume that if you use enough force you could get the burr mechanism out.

Conclusion

A great looking sharpener that disappoints because of the tooth marks it leaves. Otherwise great value for money, like other Deli sharpeners.

Size comparison: 0668, 0620, 0635

Size comparison: 0668, 0620, 0635

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 06352, 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?


Price: December 2014

Exchange rates: January 2015

  1. 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. []
  2. What a shame that it’s so difficult to remove the burr mechanism for a comparison []

Deli pencil sharpener 0668 11

When you visit a university in Shanghai you will usually find at least two types of shops nearby: Snack shops (lots of them) and stationery shops. I have not yet seen another city where this phenomenon is as obvious as in Shanghai. The stationery shops can be split into two groups: stationery shops with functional stationery and stationery shops that sell girly stationery as well as other things like make-up, charms, etc – but you can also find shops that are somewhere in-between these two groups.

After my good experience with another Deli sharpener I could not resist and bought this TLR shaped sharpener, the Deli 0668, in December 2010 when I saw it in it in Shanghai – in a stationery shops outside a university. Deli’s headquarters are near Shanghai, so I it is not surprising that this sharpener was inspired by a Shanghainese-made Seagull TLR1.

The 0668's single rotary blade cylinder

I paid about ¥ 30 (£ 2.80, € 3.30, $ 4.50) for this sharpener, a bit more than what I paid for the Deli 0635. You can get this sharpener cheaper if you look around or if you buy online, e.g. from Taobao. Outside China you can get this sharpener from Kikkerland for $15 (£ 9.30, € 10.80) or from Urban Outfitters for £ 15 ($ 24.20 , € 17.50)2. It is currently on offer and can be bought for £ 8 online and in the Urban Outfitter shops .

The 0668 has a single rotary blade cylinder, similar to the one in the 0635. There is also a removable tray for the shavings. The clamps that hold the pencil during sharpening have a rubber surface so they won’t damage the pencil’s surface. Additionally, there is an automatic stop mechanism that will prevent you from over-sharpening a pencil. The main difference between the two Deli sharpeners is that the 0668 produces a shorter (and blunter) point. It also features a point adjuster switch similar to the one seen in the Carl Bungu Ryodo BR-05 pencil sharpener, reviewed at pencil talk and in the Dahle 133 / M+R 0981, reviewed at Lexikaliker. The blunt setting at the extreme end will result in a “point” diameter of about 2mm is only suitable for colour pencils with a wide core. Normal graphite pencils do not have a wide enough core for this setting.

 

On the left a Faber-Castell 1117 sharpened with the Deli 0668 (sharp setting), in the middle a Faber-Castell 1117 and a Mitsubishi Arterase Color 0668 sharpened with the Deli 0668 (blunt setting), on the right a Faber-Castell 1117 sharpened with the Deli 0635

Conclusion: A great sharpener for a great price. I will not use the blunt setting and, to be honest, I do prefer the longer point I get from the Deli 0635 much more. It is nevertheless a sharpener I will enjoy using. It is currently in my office where I use it for all kinds of wooden pencils, but not for pencils that use difficult to sharpen material, like the Wopex, as my experience with the Deli 0635 has shown that the Deli’s automatic stop mechanism does not work with these pencils and that the harder material seems to be detrimental to the blade cylinder.

 

A Faber-Castell 1117 sharpened using the sharp setting and a Uni Mitsubishi Arterase Color Vermilion sharpened using the blunt setting.


The pencils used in this blog post are Faber-Castell’s 1117 B and Uni Mitsubishi’s Arterase Color Vermilion 310. The 1117 feels like an unpainted pencil. It is not really painted but features a water-based varnish. It also has a breakage-resistant lead and an eraser. It does performs well for a budget pencil. It is made in Germany and sells for around € 0.30 each (~42¢, ~25p). You can find a review of the Faber-Castell 1117 at pencil talk. The Uni Mitsubishi’s Arterase Color Vermilion 310 is made in Japan. I do not have more information about this pencil, but you can find a review at Lexikaliker and at pencil talk. I would like to thank Lexikaliker for the Arterase Color pencil used in this blog post.

Prices: December 2010

Exchange rates: March 2011

The Deli in Urban Outfitters (Manchester)

  1. Seagull TLRs were basically Rolleiflex copies. Outside China Quelle rebranded Seagull TLRs and distributed them as Revue cameras (40 years ago). There are still companies out there that distribute Seagull cameras outside China, one of the most famous ones is Lomography. Another interesting point: Whoever designed this sharpener changed the markings compared to the real camera, from f/3.5 to f/1.5 []
  2. Urban Outfitters buy it from Kikkerland and in the end after shipping it over, everyone adding some profit and after adding tax, it is more than five times as expensive than what I paid in a little shop that wasn’t cheap in the first place. []

Deli pencil sharpener 0635 9

If you ever go to Shanghai you should visit FuZhou Road. This road is famous for its book stores (including the Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore), but you will also find many stationery shops there. After seeing the sheer number of different stationery shops, focussing mainly on calenders, note books, diaries, tools used for Chinese calligraphy (like brushes, paper, inkstones) and stationery, you might be disappointed when you actually want to buy stationery: the choice is smaller than expected because many of the shops sell exactly the same items. Other places in Shanghai that sell stationery are big supermarkets (Carrefour, E-mart) or small stationery shops you can normally find near universities.

Keyroad, a relatively new shop on FuZhou Road, is offering items quite different to those offered in the more old-fashioned stationery shops nearby. Targeting Japanophile students, only about half of the space is used for stationery, the other half is used for things like mugs, gloves, toys, etc. Most of these other items are for girls, quite expensive, cute and conjure up associations with Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

There is even a prism sharpener for oil and wax based pencils

The selection of sharpeners was not overwhelming, with the focus on cute looking sharpeners, but to my delight I found a rotary sharpener for only ¥ 25 (£ 2.40, € 2.70, $ 3.70). It is model 0635 from Deli, a stationery manufacturer established in 1988 and employing more than 2000 staff. The sharpener has one burr cylinder and even includes a spring-driven holder for the pencil. There is no desk clamp and no regulator for sharpness or point, but I do not think anybody would mind at this price.

Faber-Castell Bonanza 1320 B

The waste container even includes a prism sharpener in case you need to sharpen oil or wax based pencils as they are not suitable for rotary sharpeners. The manual of the sharpener is in Chinese and English, but the English is rather poor and difficult to understand.

The 0635 has one burr cylinder

Performance:

Performance-wise the Deli 0635 is excellent. The point is very long, even longer than one from a KUM Automatic Long Point. This is a problem for pencils with very soft graphite leads, for colour pencils or for pencil users who use a lot of pressure when writing or drawing, as the point might brake easily. I have not yet had any problems with the point of graphite leads braking, but I stopped using the Deli 0635 with colour pencils. Even the ones with harder leads, like the Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue will brake easily when writing if you are not very careful.

Conclusion:

This is an excellent sharpener at such a low price. As it is a cylindrical cutter it should last quite a while without getting blunt. More expensive sharpeners have a desk clamp and let you adjust whether you want a long or short point, but if you like a sharp point and do not want to clamp your sharpener (I assume most people don’t) the Deli 0635 offers fantastic value for money.

Point comparison (l-r): M+R grenade, Eisen 402, KUM Automatic Long Point, Deli 0635

Exchange rates: February 2010