Staedtler


Stationery Factlets #6: Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of mechanical pencil leads 3

Time for another stationery factlet: Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler made lead holders and leads for the lead holders for a long time. Below is a page from their 1935 catalogue.

Staedtler Catalogue 1935

Staedtler Catalogue 1935

When thinner lead diameters were introduced Staedtler was the first European manufacturer of these thinner leads – the kind of leads I would refer to as mechanical pencil leads.

Staedtler’s catalogues from the 1960s don’t seem to show pictures of these leads, but the catalogue from 1970 does – and it shows a very familiar lead container.

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

Staedtler Catalogue 1970

The Mars lead container still has the same shape today, but the plastic is now transparent. The opening of this lead container has the perfect diameter for refilling Mars micro mechanical pencils as you can see in the old video from my 2015 neox blog post.


I would like to thank Eberhard Rüdel for his detective work regarding my mechanical lead questions.


Stationery Factlets #5: The Staedtler Foundation

Time for another stationery factlet – the last one was a while ago, in March.

Since 1997, all shares in the Staedtler Group have been held by the Staedtler Foundation.
The Staedtler Foundation supports

  • scientific research projects that pursue innovative approaches or that apply pioneering methods
  • as well as cultural projects.

Next time you use a Staedtler pen you know that your purchase wasn’t just a contribution to a company’s profits but did something for the common good.

Staedtler’s HQ


The image shown in this blog post has been reused. It was first shown in my Staedtler Factory Visit blog post from 2016.


More about Staedtler’s 925 15 2

Today: a closer look at Staetdler’s handsome 925 15 mechanical pencil. You might remember it from a previous blog post from 2017.

It’s quite affordable and surprisingly light, maybe even too light for some users’ liking. In this video we’ll have a closer look at the 925 15.


Open in YouTube to watch in high resolution.

I bought the 0.3 mm version, so the video is about only covering this version, but this pencil is also available in 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm.

All parts of the pencil have been designed beautifully.

The official price is ¥500 (~$4.40; £3.30; €3.75), but by the time you add shipping from Japan (when you buy from eBay) the price is a bit higher – still not expensive though.


Price and exchange rates: December 2017


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

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 Bleistift.blog

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

Looks

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.

Performance

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.


This and that (hexagonal cedar eraser edition) 2

A parcel from Japan

Last month Tombow released a new eraser (Japanese announcement, Google translation). It’s quite similar to an old, familiar friend, the Staedtler Mars plastic, but with a Tombow Mono inside. The eraser stick has a diameter of 6.7 mm and a length of 100 mm.

Tombow’s new Mono Stick and Staedtler’s Mars plastic

Tombow isn’t the only company with new erasers. Look at this special eraser from Seed. Seed’s Radar is one of their famous erasers. This version has a sleeve made from 300 year old cedar wood.

Cedar Seed

Here it is again, next to some other Seed erasers.

Comparison: different Seed erasers

Since we are talking about Japanese erasers: in case you were wondering about the symbols you can find on them: have a look at this document from JEMA, the Japan Eraser Manufacturers Association (Google Translation). It also contains explanations regarding testing.

from the JEMA document (Image © JEMA)

I also noticed the Orenznero, discussed previously, in the Bun2 magazine…

 

..as well as a nice sharpener and organiser from Nakabayashi. There’s an automatic (~£28; $39, €31) and a manual version (~£9; $13; €10) of the Pacatto sharpener.

The Stationery King1 did of course have several appearances, too).

…and now for something completely different. I dare to include it because it has hexagonal in the title: Hexagonal Phase.

The computer animations from the TV series were actually hand drawn.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is back. The Original Cast of the Original Radio 4 Radio Comedy in new episodes, written by written by Eoin Colfer.

Image © BBC Radio 4

 


I would like to thank Yumiko for the nice parcel and Gunther and Sola for the additional information.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy images in this blog post are from the BBC series of the same name. I believe that the use of the image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. Sean rightly wonders whether he shouldn’t be the emperor of stationery. []