M&G


This and that

Work has kept me very busy which explains the lack of new blog posts in the last weeks.

 

M&G

Just to show that I’m still alive here’s a quick blog post with some small points I want to raise.

M&G pens in the local post office

M&G pens in the local post office

I have mentioned M&G several times in the past, but all my M&G pens so far were bought in China. They seem to work on getting a bigger presence outside China and I have now spotted their pens in my local post office. I wonder whether this is the time where we’ll start to see more and more Chinese stationery brands in the West.

IKEA

I’ve seen this IKEA pencil soft toy during a recent trip to the Swedish furniture retailer.

IKEA soft toy pencil

IKEA soft toy pencil

Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook

Erasable ballpoint pens have been around since the 1970s1 and there are numerous reports how these type of pens work – you can for example get erased content back by freezing the notebook. Well, this notebook adds a new idea to the mix.

Stationery Fever

Thanks to Gunther I found out about the new Stationery Fever book. The German version: Schreibwaren has already been released. The UK version will be released on 3rd October and the US version will be released on 8th November.

The German cover of the Stationery Fever book

The German cover of the Stationery Fever book

It looks as if this book contains some very exciting content.


I believe that the use of the cover of the book in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasermate []

Deli No.7083 HB 1

Shanghai

Shanghai

The Deli 7083 at Carrefour

The Deli 7083 at Carrefour

Yet another blog post related to my recent visit to Shanghai.

You might remember the Chung Hwa Drawing Pencil 101, together with the Chung Hwa 6151 it forms the pencil backbone of Shanghai. Whenever you see a pencil in Shanghai it usually is one of these two – and they are made in Shanghai, too.

…but what happened? Deli dared to enter Chung Hwa’s home turf – disturbing the natural order of things.

…and what a pencil they sent to threaten Chung Hwa’s hold on its home territory: it’s the Deli No.70831.

The Chung Hwa 101 in its natural habitat

The Chung Hwa 101 in its natural habitat

Price

I bought the 7083 in the Carrefour in Shanghai’s Hongkou Dragon Dream Shopping Centre and paid 11.80 元  (~$1.80; £1.25; €1.65) for a dozen HB pencils. They were also available in 2B and 2H.

The Chung Hwa 6151 in its natural habitat

The Chung Hwa 6151 in its natural habitat

Appearance

Let’s look at the appearance first. The 7083 looks like a pencil with a very thick layer of paint. The paint seems to be applied very well, except near the end of the pencil, which seems to have been dipped in just a bit too much paint. The 7083 has an unusually large diameter for a modern pencil. The paint job and the large diameter make it feel like a much better pencil than what you’d expect from a pencil with this price tag.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

It is dark green like the Chung Hwa 101, but there’s also a similarity with another pencil. The shade of green used is virtually identical to the one used for the Castell 9000.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

Lead

The 7083 lays down a very dark line and feels very smooth, even creamy when writing – but just to put this into context, we are talking about a very cheap pencil. The 7083 is not as good as the big boys, like the Mars Lumograph. Nevertheless it is very good and probably the best pencil I have tried in this price range.

If I had to compare to a pencil that is well known I would compare it to Staedtler’s Mars Lumograph in B. Point retention is very similar, but in direct comparison it is ever so slightly lighter than the Lumograph in B and slightly less smooth and erases slightly worse than the Lumograph in B2.

It writes well even on paper that is not good for non-soft pencils, like the original (‘Kraft’?) Field Notes.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

Wood

The wood is slightly red, similar to the one used for the Chung Hwa 101 and when you knife sharpen the 7083 you notice that the wood is harder than cedar wood.

Deli No.7083

Deli No.7083

Conclusion

A great pencil that is nearly as good as much more expensive pencils. It has a strong paint smell, similar to other Chinese pencils, but for this price you probably won’t be able to find a much better pencil.


Price: December 2015

Exchange rates: January 2016

Please open images in a new tab/window to see them at full resolution.

 

  1. I assume the product number is derived from the last digits of the bar code before the heck digit …or maybe it’s the other way round. []
  2. In case you wonder why, based in these statements, I don’t compare it to the Lumograph in HB: It is still much closer to the Lumograph in B, which shows you how minute these differences are. []

M&G m9 1

The m9 on a tray from Muji

The m9 on a tray from Muji

One of the pencils I bought in Shanghai this Winter is the M&G m9, also known as the AMP85405.

Price and properties

When I saw it in a stationery store1 on FuZhou Road, the book and stationery road I mentioned many times before, I just couldn’t resist. Only 15元 (~$2.30; $1.60; €2.10) for this quite handsome mechanical pencil. It is available in white, grey, red and black. It feels very well made, from some kind off metal, and with 12 g it is quite heavy for it’s size. The pen’s centre of gravity is in the middle.

Well made, including the clip

Well made, including the clip

Sliding sleeve

It does feature a sliding sleeve, but the ‘sleeve’ is shaped more like a cone than like a pipe. This means that it is not good at what I like sliding sleeves for, i.e. sliding back while you write so that you don’t have to keep advancing the lead manually, despite only needing 4 dN – 6 dN to slide the sleeve.

The sliding sleeve - or should that be sliding cone

The sliding sleeve – or should that be sliding cone

Conclusion

Great value for money, despite the sliding sleeve not doing its job properly. I think the m9 might benefit from its centre of gravity a bit closer to the front …and maybe from having a slightly larger diameter.

M&G m9


Price: December 2015

Exchange rates: January 2016

You can read about a wood-cased pencil from M&G in a previous blog post.

I have added the m9 to my sliding sleeve table.

  1. I think it was 立信帐册, house number 618, even though according to Google it is somewhere else. []

Sliding sleeves, Kuru Togas, DelGuards and more 1

Just a few small points I want to mention:

Sliding sleeve

I have created a table showing some of the sliding sleeve pencils and the force needed to slide the sleeve. I have averaged the values displayed in previous blog posts, just to make the table sortable. I plan to add the Orenz in 0.3 and the M9 to this table very soon.

Speaking of the Orenz, there’s a new Metal Grip version of the Orenz.

Kuru Toga

I have also ordered the new sliding sleeve version of the Kuru Toga. I did learn some Japanese in the 90s, but all I remember is some Katakana characters. Just enough to figure out that this version of the Kuru Toga is called “Pipe Slide”. Michael Fryda has published a video review of this pencil.

There is also a limited Adidas edition of the Kuru Toga. There used to be a Faber-Castell and Adidas cooperation in the past, not surprising as they are both from the Nuremberg area, but now Adidas seems to cooperate with Uni Mitsubishi Pencil.

Speaking of the Kuru Toga: M&G seems to offer a Kuru Toga copy, the AMP89202, but I haven’t seen it in reality, so I am not sure whether it is functional or only copies the look, not the functionality of the Kuru Toga.

DelGuard

One last point to mention, I noticed that two weeks after my DelGuard blog post and its video Zebra published a video that seems somehow similar – featuring the new 0.3 mm and 0.7 mm version of the DelGuard. There’s not as much information about the force needed in the video, but they have proper equipment to take close-ups, so it looks much better. Have a look at their video.

Wooden paper

One last thing I came across: Kizara memo pads, instead of paper they use wood shavings. Reminds me of the wooden Field Notes cover.


Three black pencils 4

Today: black pencils from China. Black because of the paint, not because of the lead or the wood. I bought these pencils in December in Keyroad, a shop I have mentioned several times so far.

The three competing black pencils, here in a Dairy Queen calendar pencil stand.

OK, we’ve got the black version of the Chung Hwa 6903 and the M&G AWP34601. Chung Hwa and M&G are both from Shanghai. Just South of Shanghai is Zhejiang province, represented by the Zibom P-6000 pencil.

 

Chung Hwa 6903

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the, in my opinion, better looking brown version of the Chung Hwa 6903. The black version is very similar. The pencil is still round, but painted black and the cap at the end is black, too, not white. I paid ¥9.9 (~ £1; $1.55; €1.20) for a dozen.

The Chung Hwa 6903

 

 

Zibom P-6000

Then we’ve got the hexagonal Zibom P-6000. It comes with an eraser and has the packaging I like most of these three pencils. It also comes with a sharpener, but the pencils have an unfinished end. I paid ¥7.5 (~ 75p; $1.20; 90c) for a dozen.

The Zibom P-6000

 

M&G AWP34601

The last pencil in this blog post is the hexagonal M&G AWP34601. This pencil is certainly the winner is this group when it comes to the coolest model number. I paid ¥9.9 (~ £1; $1.55; €1.20) for a dozen.

The M&G AWP34601

 

…and the winner is:

My personal favourite is the M&G AWP34601, the only 2B pencil in this comparison1. It’s the winner …not because of the cool model number, which sounds like a model number for some sort of high tech robot, but because the wood is not red. If anything, the AWP34601’s wood is too yellow, but I still prefer that to red wood. The runner up is the Zibom P-6000, the packaging is great, it is the cheapest in this comparison and comes with a free sharpener. The worst pencil is the Chung Hwa 6903. Yes, I know, this must be difficult to believe, as my blog post about the brown version was quite positive – but unlike the brown version this black version is just not so nice. Plus, I prefer hexagonal pencils. Lead-wise the AWP34601 is smoothest, it is a 2B after all. The P-6000 seems scratchier than the 6903. Wood-wise the 6903 has the hardest wood, so hard in fact that the auto-stop mechanism of some desktop sharpeners will not engage.

Congratulations M&G AWP34601.

Renold, the robot, presents the winner, the AWP34601.

The winner: The M&G AWP34601 2B

GoldSilverBronze
M&G AWP34601Zibom P-6000Chung Hwa 6903
Good:

cool name

wood not red

smooth lead

 

 

 

Good:

cheap

free sharpener

 

Bad:

red wood

unfinished end

Bad:

hard wood

red wood

round

 

 

 

 


Prices: December 2011

Exchange rates: March 2012

 

The Dairy Queen calendar pencil stand was ¥10 (~ £1; $1.60; €1.20). It comes with twelve walls for twelve months and three “bottoms”. Bureau Direct started selling a similar pencil stand (maybe a but late, now that it’s already March), unfortunately it is quite a bit more expensive: £9.95 (~ $15.60; €11.95).

 

Unfortunately I forgot to open the lens’ aperture on the photo where Renold, the robot, presents the winner.  Now the out of focus highlights are not round and a bit distracting..

  1. The other two pencils are HB. []