Pencil stands

Plywood pencil stands

Muji - three wooden stands

Today I want to show you some wooden pencil stands from Muji: From left to right we have the wooden desk pot (originally £4.95, currently £2.45 (~$4.05; €2.95))1, the wooden pen stand (originally £4.95, currently £2.95 (~$4.85; €3.55)) and the wooden desk rack (originally £6.95, currently £3.45 (~$5.70; €4.15)). These pencil stands have been on offer for more than a month now2. I assume Muji has reduced the price to get rid of these items in order to make space for new stock.

The pen stands are made from plywood in Vietnam (where Banditapple’s carnets are made). I love how they look. It’s definitely an upgrade from the common plastic pen holders.

Muji - wooden desk rack

My favourite is the wooden desk rack. The top rack is great for short pens or pencils, the lower rack is great for longer pens and pencils. If you don’t want the get graphite on the desk rack it’s easy to protect the plywood at the bottom end with a small sheet of paper.

If these pencil stands are not to your liking, what about these pencil stands?

If this isn’t posh enough for you, what about Graf von Faber-Castell pencil holder? There’s also a double compartement / notelet holder version. As expected, there’s a hefty price tag. The full-grain leather is available in brown and black.

Prices: December 2013 and January 2014

Exchange rates: January 2014

  1. It even has two wooden strips as “feet”. []
  2. I bought mine on 13 Dec 2013 in Manchester’s Trafford Centre. []

I like bamboo 7

You might have noticed that new blog posts at Bleistift were mainly announcements, there were no new review-style blog posts with images since last December. The reason behind this is simple: I have been quite busy at work (some colleagues left, but this is only part of the story) and I will be quite busy for some time to come.

Therefore, I am quite happy that I finally managed to put together some photos and a few words about two pencil stands I bought last November. They are from Wedo (Werner Dorsch)1, a company established 1933 and located just south of Frankfurt. In the first years Wedo’s main business was repairing fountain pens. Later they started manufacturing nibs for fountain pens. These days Wedo’s main business seems to be the distribution of office products, school supplies and gifts.

Before I start talking about these pencil stands I want to emphasise first that I love products made from bamboo and I am quite happy that products made from bamboo have become more and more common. Ten years ago there were not many products made from bamboo available in non-specialist shops in Europe. The only “solid” bamboo products I can remember from that time are tea sets and tools used for tea ceremonies. Even earlier, in the 90s,  only “thin” bamboo products, e.g. bamboo steamers, could be found in shops  …at least as far as I know, but please let me know if this was different where you live or whether there are some products I left out. Luckily today you can get lots of products made from bamboo: chopping boards, trolleys, laundry baskets, pencil sharpeners, … I assume that part of the reason of the increased number of bamboo products must be that the gluing process involved improved dramatically over the last years.

Wedo Desktop Butler

When I saw Wedo’s bamboo products online I could not resist and ordered their desktop butler and pencil pot, the fact that the price is very reasonable did not help resisting either. The desktop butler was € 9.40 ($ 12.85; £ 7.90) and the pencil pot was € 8.50 ($ 11.60; £ 7.15). Both products are extremely well made and look fantastic. I really like them. The strips of bamboo glued together are about 2 cm wide (nearly an inch), must bamboo products seem to be made from much narrower strips of bamboo. The walls of the desktop butler are 5mm thick, the walls of the pencil pot 7mm. This gives both products are very solid feel. My only concern with these pencil stands is the aluminium insert at the top. I fear they might scratch the surface of the pens out inside. This problem is however more perceived than real, at least in my case. I use these pencil stands for everyday pencils and if I store pens with polished surfaces in them I put them in and take them out carefully. The aluminium insert might not make any scratches, but I just don’t want to risk it…

Wedo Pencil Pot

Prices: November 2010


Exchange rates: February 2011

I bought both products in November 2010 from Schule-Uni-Shop.

  1. Using this type of acronym to create a company name is quite common in Germany. Other company names created using  a similar mechanism are Haribo (Hans Riegel Bonn) or Adidas (Adi Dassler). []

Pencil stands 7

Faber-Castell Design pencil stand, closed

Faber-Castell Design pencil stand, closed

Pencil pots, pencil stands, whatever you call them, you will find them on most desks. These days most pencil stand are made from plastic, but you can also find some made from wood, glass, metal, ceramic or other materials. Unfortunately the big manufacturers of pens and pencils do not offer many pencil stands in their catalogues, resulting in a situation where there are many cheap pencil stands available from supermarkets, office supply stores and other retailers, but only few mid-priced ones (e.g. from Faber-Castell) and expensive ones (e.g. from El Casco).

In this post I will look at two plastic pencil stands. One is the Two-part Design pencil stand from Faber-Castell, the other one is the Pencil pot from Tesco.

Let’s start with the pencil stand from Faber-Castell and some numbers. I bought mine from Cult Pens for £ 14.95 (~ € 16.60), but you can get the same pencil stand from blah! for under £ 11 (~ under € 12) and on the Continent you can get it for under € 11 (~ under £ 10). I could not find a shop selling the pencil stand in the USA, so I am not sure how much it is in the States.

Faber-Castell Design pencil stand, open

Faber-Castell Design pencil stand, open

The pencil stand is black, made of plastic and produced in China. When both halves are closed it is a black cuboid, when you separate both halves you have two identical pencil stand with a wave profile. The outside is matt, while the plastic of the wavy surface is glossy.  It looks really nice on the desk, but when it is closed it is a bit too high on most desks. Another problem is that you can see dust quite easily on the surface. Altogether a great pencil stand, with a modern look that will fit on most desks. Compared to other pencil stands it is maybe a bit expensive. The same money could have bought you a pencil stand from SUCK UK: very different, but probably one that friends of stationery might prefer.

Tesco Pencil pot, black without and white with sticker.

Tesco Pencil pot, black without and white with sticker.

Tesco, a UK supermarket chain, is selling a pencil pot that is also made in China. It is available in black and white. The label suggests that is is sold in the UK, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Turkey. In the UK the pencil pot sells for £ 1 (~ € 1.10). The shape is simple, but nice and because the plastic is fairly thick the pot looks quite good in my opinion. The material even looks a bit like bakelite, which is why I bought this pencil pot in the first place.

Tesco Pencil pot and a Bakelite blotting roller

Tesco Pencil pot and a Bakelite blotting roller

Both are great pencil stands. The one from Tesco is very good value for £ 1 and especially the black one looks really good and has a charming simplicity. The stand from Faber-Castell is also very nice, maybe a bit expensive, but you actually get two solidly built pencil stands for your money (with more than 350 grams each). If you are a big fan of stationery you might however want to spend your £ 15 on the pencil stand from SUCK UK instead.

Prices and exchange rate: December 2009