A trip to the museum …and a new sharpener 16

Thank you for the anniversary comments. I was hoping to get this blog post out by 21 November, the third birthday of this blog, but unfortunately I didn’t find the time. Anyway here’s the first blog post in the fourth year of Bleistift.

The Cumberland Pencil Museum


The museum

Considering that I don’t live too far away from the Cumberland Pencil Museum, both the Museum and I are in North West England, it took me quite a while to get there – but this May my wife and I finally made the trip. The weather was fantastic and the Museum managed to convey a lot of information despite being rather small. Admission is £4 (~$6.40; €4.95), but comes with a ‘free’ souvenir pencil.

How pencils are made – temporary(?) mural outside the museum. Notice the “i” in weird.

There were explanations how pencils are made and you could admire historic pens and pencil and machines. I will only show one photo from inside the museum as I haven’t asked whether they permit the posting of photos taken in the museum on the web.

On exhibition: Cumberland pencils from the 1920s

There was a pencil labelling machine, too, but unfortunately it was broken at the time …I would have really liked to get some personalised pencils.  A subsequent enquiry regarding the pencil labelling machine was not as helpful as it could have been, so I decided not to chase this up further. Maybe the machine will work again if I go there again in the future.

The Pencil Museum Shop

Obviously I couldn’t resist stocking up on pencils in the museum shop. The shop’s selection is aimed at artists, but if you use pencils for office purposes you’ll also find nice products. Pencils are from Derwent, who are running the museum, but you can find pencil related items from other brands.

The Eisen 060 sharpener, top


The sharpener

One of the products I picked up in the museum is the Eisen 0601. I like this sharpener because the rounded corners make it “different” while still maintaining the classic wedge shape look2. I paid £1 (~$1.60; €1.25). This sharpener’s body and blade were both made in Baiersdorf near Nuremberg. The 060’s produced in the last three years still feature the blade made in Baiersdorf, like all Eisen sharpeners, but the body is now made in Taicang near Shanghai. Performance of this little sharpener is very good, too.

The Eisen 060 sharpener, bottom

Technical Information (adapted from Pencil Revolution)
Typewedge / blade
Shavings ReceptacleNone
Angle24° – 25°3
Markings“MADE IN GERMANY” (blade); Eisen logo plus “Made in Germany” (body)
Place of ManufactureBaiersdorf (Germany) and Taicang (China)

The Eisen 060, a Wopex and the Museum pencil



As this is a (belated) birthday blog post I am giving away an Eisen 060, some British-made Staedtler pencils and possible a few other small items I can find. I am happy to send the prizes to any country as long as Royal Mail doesn’t refuse to send them there. I will use to get a random number and the author of the corresponding comment will get the price (unless I am the author or the comment is definitely spam). To take part please leave a comment for this blog post before Friday, 30th September 2011, 23:59 UTC.


Prices: May 2012

Exchange rates: November 2012

I would like to thank Stephan Eisen for providing additional information regarding the Eisen 060.

  1. Eisen changed their web site. The pages are only available in German at the moment, so unfortunately all links to Eisen are to their German product page. []
  2. Eisen’s classic wedge sharpener is the 040. []
  3. I measured 25°, the official figure is 24° which is also the one I used for in the list of sharpeners []

Reidinger magnetic pencil & giveaway 10

You might recognise the name Reidinger from Lexkaliker’s blog. He wrote about their “Pencil Configurator” in one of his previous blog posts. Despite their pencil configurator, Reidinger is not really a pencil manufacturer but is selling pencils, including carpenter pencils, and folding rules as promotional gifts.

The magnet

Good it's not a CRT...

One of their products is a magnetic pencil, which I got sent by Mr Lorber earlier this month, together with some of Reidinger’s crystal pencils1. It is a black wood pencil with a neodymium magnet at the end. Unlike Viarco’s or Lexikaliker’s version the magnet is hidden by a metal sleeve and is not directly visible. A metal disc is available and comes with one of the magnetic pencil sets, for sticking to non-metallic surfaces so that the pencil can be placed there. The disc is however not magnetic. A quick attempt to magnetise the disc using the magnetic pencil was unsuccessful (I was hoping to magnetise the disc to be able to use it for Eberhard Faber’s Microtomic or General’s Kimberly pencils). You might know that neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets available and I have to say it is pretty amazing how much these pencils “stick” and what you can do with them: if you can connect two pencils at the end you can swing them around, which is pretty fun.

The pencil

Don't need the metal disc here...

The pencil itself is very good. It lays down a very dark line, is easy to erase and sharpen and is quite smooth, similar to a good pencil, like the Staedtler Tradition or Noris, but short of an excellent pencils, like the Faber-Castell Castell 9000, the Tombow Mono 100 or the Staedtler Mars Lumograph.

After talking to Mrs Morse from Reidinger I found out that many of their pencils are manufactured in Eastern Europe and are made using lime wood2 and was told that the quality of the materials has  been certified by TÜV. I am however not sure where exactly the magnetic pencils and the crystal pencils are made. I know that some of the other crystal pencils available are made in China, but to my surprise there seem to be several factories making black wood crystal pencils as Mrs Morse confirmed that their pencils are not from China. Last year my wife bought some crystal pencils from The Pen Shop. They are in her office at the moment – so I cannot check now, but I should have a look and compare them to the ones from Reidinger…

Magnetic and Crystal Pencils


As these magnetic pencils are promotional gifts you cannot buy them individually. I believe you have to buy at least 288 for an order, but since Mr Lorber sent me several of them I am happy to give away a pack of three crystal pencils with Swarovski elements and a magnetic pencil with a metal disc. I am happy to send the prizes to any country as long as Royal Mail doesn’t refuse to send them there. I will use to get a random number and the author of the corresponding article will get the price (unless I am the author or the comment is definitely spam). To take part please leave your comments at this blog post before Sunday, 4th September 2011, 23:59 UTC.

I would like to thank

  • Mr Lorber for sending me these pencils and
  • Mrs Morse from Reidinger for providing me with more information about Reidinger’s pencils.
  • Sean from The Blackwing Pages for the Eberhard Faber Microtomic and the General’s Kimberly pencils I tried to use with the metal disc.

Related information:



  1. using Swarovski elements []
  2. American English: Linden wood []


Congratulations to the winners of the first Bleistift giveaway. I’ll send your prizes out first thing tomorrow morning and will also include a few other pencils I have lying around,  including the Faber-Castell 1117 and a Graf von Faber Castell pencil.

The first number I got from was 20, this means Kartike E from Indonesia gets the first prize. She chose the rubber-tipped version of the Noris, the Noris 122 HB.

The next number from was 16 – Palimpsest from the UK wins the Welsh-made sketching pencils.

Number 15 came next. That was a post by myself, so I requested another number from instead, which was number 5: Lexikaliker from Germany. Since he already has some Staedtler Tradition 110s he was kind enough to give someone else the chance to win. Thank you! The replacement number I got was the 13, which means that Sheryl C from the USA wins the blister pack with Welsh-made Staedtler Tradition 110s.

Thanks again to all who took part. I hope the winners will receive the pencils soon.