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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 []

Adventures in Stationery, again

Last month I sent an email to James Ward, the author of Adventures in Stationery, asking him about his favourite pencil. I’m not surprised that I didn’t hear back from him, but my email might have triggered another reaction (or not): I got an email telling me about a competition where you can win a signed copy of his book.

A quick look at the terms and conditions shows that unfortunately this competition is only open to UK residents.

You can find the competition and a Q&A with the author here.

Adventures in Stationery


National Stationery Week

The UK’s first National Stationery Day took place last April. It didn’t survive long, just one day, and has been replaced by something even better: the National Stationery Week, which takes places from 22 – 28 April 2013. I thought I use this opportunity to make you aware of special promotions I’ve found.

The National Stationery Week’s web site gives you the chance of winning a stationery hamper!

First, something you might have already seen in my last blog post, where you can win two pens they sent me: The Pen Company is holding a competition where you can win a Graf von Faber-Castell fountain pen. They also have 10% off all purchases during National Stationery Week deducted at checkout, as well as some other special offers (unrelated to the National Stationery Week).

Each day this week there’s a chance to win a £10 voucher on the Ryman website.

I didn’t see any special National Stationer Week offers on bureaudirect’s website, but they had a special offer last year (free text markers with your order), so I wouldn’t be surprised if they will add one later in the week.

I don’t remember whether they had a special offer last year, they might have, but I also didn’t see any special National Stationery Week offers at CultPens, Pure Pens and Tiger Pens, but again I wouldn’t be surprised to see something soon.

Please let me know if there are others I’ve missed.

 


Faber Castell E-Motion Pencil and Fountain Pen 38

Both E-Motion pens on a teNeues Explorer Journal Hay Harvest.

Both E-Motion pens on a teNeues Explorer Journal Hay Harvest.

It took quite a while before I bought my first Faber-Castell fountain pen. Now, only a few weeks after, I had the opportunity to try another Faber-Castell fountain pen, as well as the mechanical pencil from the same line.

I have been recently contacted by Anna from The Pen Company who asked me whether I would like to review a pen from their shop. In the end James from The Pen Company was kind enough to not only to send one, but two pens I had picked: the Parquet Ivory fountain pen and the Parquet Ivory mechanical pencil from Faber-Castell’s E-Motion line. I was also able to try Faber-Castell’s wooden Castell 9000 style 4GB USB stick out. As part of a promotion you get one of these USB sticks with orders of all Faber-Castell pens while stocks last.

Both pens come with an ivory coloured “precious resin” barrel. The parquet pattern on the barrel has been produced using laser etching, a technique often used for keyboards. There is a tiny burr visible on the barrel if you look hard. This burr is slightly more pronounced on my fountain pen, but it is really small. Most people wouldn’t even notice it.

The laser-etched Parquet pattern and Faber-Castell logo on the pencil

The laser-etched Parquet pattern and Faber-Castell logo on the pencil

The mechanical pencil

Lead width

The mechanical pencil accepts 1.4mm pencil leads and comes with B leads. Size-wise these are between Yard-O-Led leads and the leads used in leadholders. I assume that unlike leadholder leads, which are usually sharpened, the Faber-Castell leads are not supposed to be sharpened, as I haven’t seen a dedicated lead sharpener from Faber-Castell. My handwriting is very small, which means that even if I frequently rotate the pen the lines get too wide and I have to starting writing bigger letters – but the lead size might be just right for someone with a bigger handwriting.

Propelling the lead

The eraser under the cap

The eraser under the cap

To propel the lead you have to turn the cap clockwise. Similarly you can get the lead back into the body of the pen, e.g. when putting the pen in a pencil case, by turning the cap anticlockwise. This is different to twist-based mechanisms where turning will unlock and advance the lead. The E-Motion‘s lead stays ‘locked’ all the time.

The eraser

There is also an eraser under the cap. As expected for the big size of the pen’s body this eraser is bigger than what you usually find in mechanical pencils.

Replacement leads

The lead storage under the grip

The lead storage under the grip

When you unscrew the cap you can find a storage area on the side of the body that should be able to hold six to eight replacement leads. Unfortunately I couldn’t try out how many exactly will fit as I didn’t have enough leads of this size.

Conclusion

A very nice pencil. The spring-type clip is very nice. There is a big eraser for emergencies and the pen can hold several spare leads despite the big diameter of the leads. If normal pencils are to thin or light for you this might be a great alternative, as long as you don’t mind the width of the lead.

The fountain pen

The fountain pen comes with a big and heavy screw cap, that has a nice spring-type clip, like the one found on the pencil. The nib is stainless steel, available in F, M and B. I chose the F nib as it fits best with my handwriting. The pen accepts standard cartridges and comes with a converter.

The laser-etched Parquet pattern on the fountain pen. There is no etched logo. The logo is embossed on the cap.

The laser-etched Parquet pattern on the fountain pen. There is no etched logo. The logo is embossed on the cap.

The nib and its performance on paper

The bleed through compared to a Lamy Safari, here on Silvine paper.

The bleed through of the E-Motion compared to that of a Lamy Safari, here on Silvine paper.

The nib is nice and smooth and writes well on all types of paper. I found that the writing experience is above average on really poor paper. When it comes to average paper performance is good, but not as good as some other fountain pens. I used the E-Motion with Diamine’s Sapphire ink, a very well behaved ink. On average quality paper, in this case a Yokrshire-made exercise book from Silvine, there is no feathering at all – but there is some bleed through: it’s much less than the bleed though you get with a wet Noodler’s Konrad, a bit more than with a Pelikan M215 EF and more than with a Lamy Safari F, which doesn’t produce any bleed through at all. The bleed through issue be easily fixed by using different paper or by trying to make the nib drier1.

When freshly uncapped I never had any problems with skipping, unlike my experience with some other, more expensive fountain pens, like the Cross Century II. The cap-off time time of the E-Motion is however shorter than some other fountain pens. Left uncapped it tends to dry and start to skip when starting to write again after two minutes non-use, which might be a problem when taking notes in a meeting or in some other situations (classroom, writing comments, …)2.

Conclusion

A very nice fountain pen. It is heavier than many other fountain pens and the grip section doesn’t provide as much grip as some other fountain pens. I think it’s a great fountain pen for constant writing. If you want a pen more suitable for meetings or other situations where you only write occasionally the short cap-off time means that a Faber-Castell’s Basic or Ambition fountain pen might be more suitable as it’s easier to cap and uncap these pens. If you want a pen with a more “substantial” feeling to it the E-Motion might just be the right pen.

Both E-Motion pens on a teNeues Explorer Journal Hay Harvest.

Both E-Motion pens on a teNeues Explorer Journal Hay Harvest.

Giveaway

I was very happy that Anna and James from The Pen Company sent me these pens, but it’s time for the two pens to find a new home. For a chance to win the the mechanical pencil or the fountain pen please leave a comment at this blog post, telling me which type of pen you normally prefer (pencil, mechanical pencil, fountain pen, roller ball, ballpoint pen or whatever it may be). It would be nice if you explain why you prefer that type of pen, but that’s not necessary to be eligible to win. If your favourite type of pen is not the one you want to win, e.g. you might prefer pencils, but you’d like to try a fountain pen for a change, please state that in the comment, too.

I am happy to ship to any country as long as Royal Mail is delivering to that country. The UK’s National Stationery Week runs from 22 – 28 April, so the closing date for the giveaway will be 28 April 23:59:59 BST. To determine the winner I will go to random.org and will get a random number. The corresponding comment will win the pen of choice (either pencil or fountain pen) unless it’s a comment from me or it’s obviously spam (think ‘cheap Rolex’ ads) …in which case I will get a new random numbers until there is a winner. I will then get another random number to determine the winner of the other pen. Similar rules: the corresponding comment will win if the pen left is their pen of choice – unless it’s a comment from me, a comment from the first winner or it’s obviously spam. I will draw new random numbers until there is a winner. As long as you write meaningful comments, e.g. as part of a ‘discussion’, you can leave more than one comment and the comments will not be counted as spam.

If you want to win an even better pen: as part of The Pen Company’s Spring Poetry Competition you can even win a Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche Fountain Pen in a choice of colours.


I’d like to thank Anna and James from The Pen Company for giving me a chance to try these pens out.

You can find a review of another Faber-Castell E-Motion pencil at Dave’s Mechnical Pencils.

You can find reviews of other Faber-Castell E-Motion fountain pens at Fountain Pen Geeks and From the Pen Cup.

  1. Instructions how to do this can be found on the Internet. []
  2. This is obviously dependent on temperature, humidity, etc. – but as a comparison: in the same conditions a Lamy Safari can be left uncapped for 5 minutes or longer without any skipping when starting to write again. []

Chung Hwa 6151 5

I spent Christmas and New Year in Shanghai and saw our old friend, the green Chung Hwa 101, again …on many occasions. I even think that there were more 101s and fewer unidentifiable No Name pencils than in the past. I did however see one specific pencil replacing the 101 in several places were the 101 was previously the only dominant pencil.

The contender that took over some restaurant tables and cashier desks was the Chung Hwa 6151, previously reviewed at pencil talk. The fact that the 6151 comes with an eraser must make it more desirable in many situations – like the one on the photo, where it is used by patrons to order dim sum by marking the desired types and quantities on a menu.