Made in Germany


Staedtler at the discounter

In Europe Staedtler stationery is a familiar and regular special buy at Lidl, a discount supermarket chain.

I’m happy to see that Staedtler stationery is now also available at their competitor Aldi, a similar and probably better known discount supermarket chain. I don’t remember seeing Staedtler products at Aldi UK before.

It’s of course no wonder that all the pencils where sold out when I saw the Staedtler stationery. There were only a few erasers left.


The Kaweco Student 70’s Soul and its amazing EF nib 5

Since last Autumn I have used one fountain pen as my daily companion: The Kaweco Student 70’s Soul. A fountain pen with an amazing EF nib.

By coincidence it also fits quite well with my 2018 Hobonichi ‘hazelnut’ cover.

The Kaweco Student 70s Soul on a 2018 Hobonichi 'hazelnut' cover

The Kaweco Student 70s Soul on a 2018 Hobonichi ‘hazelnut’ cover

Below is a quick look at this fantastic fountain pen in the form of a video. I published it last November, so if you follow my YouTube channel you might have spotted this video before.

 


The Kaweco Special 0.5 Push Pencil Black 1

The video for the Kaweco Special 0.5 Push Pencil Black has been added to my YouTube channel in April, so it’s high time to follow with the blog post for this nice mechanical pencil.

All the useful bits of information about this pencil can be found in the video itself, where I had a look at the 0.5mm version. There is also a 0.7 mm, a 0.9 mm and a 2 mm version.

I only cover the black aluminium version, but there is also a brass version.

While the body is made from aluminium, the front section seems tobe made from plastic. It does look pretty sturdy, though.

The pencil doesn’t come with the clip. If you like the clip you have to order it separately.
Compared to other mechanical pencils I reviewed recently the Kaweco Special has a larger diameter (so is furthest right in the chart below).

Compared to a selection of other mechanical pencils the Kaweco Special has the largest body diameter

There is no ‘dedicated grip section’, it’s just the front of the body, so this pencil is again leading the pack in terms of diameter.

Compared to a selection of other mechanical pencils the Kaweco Special has the largest grip diameter

The actual mechanism in the Special is from Japan and does contain plastic parts, but seems quite sturdy and should last many decades.


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.