Pentel


Pentel Orenz 0.5 9

Another Orenz post.

I bought this Orenz from eBay seller Morgan’s Direct for £4.99 (~$7.30; €6.50).

Pentel Orenz 0.5 mm

0.5 mm, 0.7 mm and the Mannish Line

You might have seen my Facebook post about the recently released 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm version of the Orenz and about the Orenz Mannish Line that will be released in June.

The Mannish Line has some interesting colour combinations. Very tempting.

The UK packaging

The UK packaging

The Orenz in 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm doesn’t seem to be available in Japan. The one I bought was the official UK version, but made in Japan, of course.

The UK Orenz on Silvine Memo Books

The UK Orenz on Silvine Memo Books

The sliding sleeve

The 0.3 mm version of the Orenz needed quite a bit more force to slide the sleeve than the 0.2 mm version, see the sliding sleeve table for more information. This made me think that the 0.5 mm version will need even more force to slide the sleeve, but to my surprise that was not the case. While the 0.3 mm version needs more than 0.1 Newton, the 0.5 mm version needs only about 0.1 Newton. That’s still more than the best 0.5 mm pencil, the Staedtler Microfix S, but as far as I know, this is the best value for a pencil currently in production. Using different leads might result in different values, but both the 0.3 mm and the 0.5 mm version of the Orenz were tested with the original leads they came with.

Great centre of gravity

Great centre of gravity

Vitals

Weight: 10.4 grams
Length: 14.5 centimetres
Diameter of the grip section: ~8 millimetres
Force needed to slide the sleeve: ~0.1 newton

This blog post has been brought to you by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

This blog post has been brought to you by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Conclusion

Overall: it’s a fantastic pencil. Pentel’s pencil designs are very polarising for me, I either love or dislike them, but the Orenz has a design I really love, unlike the P20x series liked by many, but not me.

It’s a shame that this pencil is only available in black. Pentel, please release it in other colours, too.

Pentel Orenz


Price and exchange rate: May 2016.

This mechanical pencil has been added to the sliding sleeve table.

More about the Orenz can be found in these Bleistift blog posts: Pentel Orenz 0.3Peanuts Orenz 0.2The sliding sleeve and the Pilot Color EnoWhy did the sliding sleeve disappear?

…or at The Pen Addict, I Liek Pencils, One Lone Man

…and at Lexikaliker, who was probably the first outside Japan to write about this pencil.

You can read more about Georg Christoph Lichtenberg at Wikipedia.

The notebooks in the photos are Silvine Memo Books.


Politics and cooking 3

German politics

Let’s start with a photo I got from Henrik. You can see the pencils Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is using: Faber-Castell Grip 2001s. [1]Did you know that the official way of addressing her is “Your excellency”?

Angela Merkel's pencils (Image © Bundesregierung / Steffen Kugler)

Angela Merkel’s pencils (Image © Bundesregierung / Steffen Kugler)

British politics

Meanwhile, in the UK the House of Lords decided that they would stop using vellum (goat or calf skin) for printing laws. It looks as if the Cabinet Office minister will now offer to pay the cost (around £80,000 a year) to keep this tradition alive. You can read more about it at the Guardian. Just to avoid any confusion, vellum is parchment made from animal skin, but vellum paper or paper vellum is not. You might have come across vellum paper on Rhodia notepads (High Grade Vellum Paper), but it’s synthetic and not made from animal skin. Rhodia Drive wrote about this a few months ago.

Rhodia High Grade Vellum Paper

Rhodia High Grade Vellum Paper

British cooking

Staying in the UK: In Rick Stein’s Taste of Shanghai you can see him making notes using a pencil. At first glance I thought it is a Caran d’Ache 844, but after rewinding and looking again I think it’s a Pentel P209 (0.9mm) mechanical pencil.

Rick Stein's pencil (Image © Denhams / BBC) - a Pentel P209

Rick Stein’s pencil (Image © Denhams / BBC)


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

References

References
1Did you know that the official way of addressing her is “Your excellency”?

Pentel Orenz 0.3 1

Another blog post about my stationery adventures in Shanghai.

Orenz #4

This time I want to show you another mechanical pencil I bought: The Orenz in 0.3.

This is my fourth Orenz now, but the first one in 0.3 mm. I guess you might say I’m overdoing it a bit, but it is a really nice pencil, so I couldn’t resist trying out the 0.3 mm version.

This one has English packaging

This one has English packaging

Expectations

When I bought it I had certain expectations.

Hypothesis 1: The 0.3 mm will need more force to slide the sleeve than the 0.2 mm version.

This is based the assumption that there is a bigger area of contact between lead and sleeve and between the sleeve and the rest of the body, which would result in more friction.

Hypothesis 2: The Orenz in 0.3 mm will need less force than the Staedtler Microfix S 0.5 to slide the sleeve.

This is based the assumption that there is a smaller area of contact between lead and sleeve and between the sleeve and the rest of the body, which would result in less friction.

Orenz 0.3

The background is a tribute to Lexikaliker

Price and colour

I bought the black version for 50 元  (~$7.60; £5.20; €7) from Shanghai Jiajun Craft Gifts Co. Most stores on FuZHou Road charge 55 元, but one or two charged 50. I bought mine in one of the cheaper shops. Some of the Orenz in the shops had the Japanese packaging, some had the English packaging.

On the web I have seen a gorgeous dark green version of the Orenz, but I’ve only seen it online so far – it wasn’t available in any of the shops I visited, so in the end I bought the black version because I didn’t like pink and I already have the white and blue versioning 0.2 mm.

Well, I wasn’t keen on the black version when I bought it, but now I started to like it. With the right light the shiny black surface can look really good.

The Orenz - just beautiful

What about the sliding sleeve?

So what about the force needed to slide the sleeve.

Hypothesis 1 was correct. When I checked I had to use 1 dN – 2 dN to slide the sleeve, certainly much more than what is needed for the 0.2 mm version.

To my surprise Hypothesis 2 was not correct. I had to use more force to slide the sleeve of the Orenz in 0.3 mm compared to my Staedtler Microfix S 0.5 77305.

To qualify this point: Other Orenz and especially other Microfix might behave differently. Some leads might have a slightly different diameter than others, which might result in different numbers when testing the force needed. Plus: my Microfix was bought in the 1980s, Staedtler stopped selling them in 1988, so maybe it got better with time. On the other hand, maybe Staedtler just did a stellar job with the Microfix and created a sliding sleeve that is unsurpassed by modern pencils.

Other items I bought in the shop

Other items I bought in the shop include an Indonesian Castell 9000 and a 12B pencil from Lotory.

Other items I bought there

Other items I bought there

I have added the Orenz 0.3 to my sliding sleeve table.


Prices: December 2015

Exchange rates: January 2016

The background of the first photos is a tribute to Lexikaliker, who kindled my interest in the Orenz – just that my background isn’t a Tenugui, but a Furoshiki – in my case a non-woven wrapping sheet from Muji.

I have discussed the Indonesian version of the Castell 9000 in a previous blog post.

To see the Orenz in its full beauty please open the Orenz images (the first three) in a new tab/window.

 


Peanuts Orenz 0.2

Today: another Orenz related blog post.

Vintage Peanuts Snoopy Pentel Orenz

Vintage Peanuts

Cover of the Atari VCS 2600 Snoopy cartridge

Image © probably Atari

My new Orenz reminds me of a summer probably about 30 years ag when I was playing Snoopy and the Red Baron [1]I still remember the title screen music (borrowed from a friend) on my Atari VCS 2600. Around that time I also had a red, mechanical Snoopy pencil [2]Now that I think of it I think it might have been a Zebra pencil, but I am not sure. The pencil should still be in my mother’s house so I’ll check next time I’ll be there.. I even think that the Snoopies printed on that pencil were quite similar to the ones you can find on the Orenz.

I bought this ‘Vintage Peanuts – Snoopy’ pencil from a Taiwanese eBay seller and paid £11.65 (~ $18; €16.35) – £8.15 for the pencil and £3.50 for postage.

A use for the Orenz

Like all Orenz pencil it is great for someone with small handwriting or if you need to make small annotations in documents.

Vintage Peanuts Snoopy Pentel Orenz

 

Price

This is actually my third Orenz. My blue one arrived in a letter from America, thanks to Shangching‘s generosity and my white one was bought from Amazon for £4.23 (~ $6.50; €5.90).

Vintage Peanuts Snoopy Pentel Orenz

 

 

Peculiarities of 0.2mm leads

Unfortunately there is one of the problems you will find with 0.2 mm leads that you probably won’t encounter with more traditional mechanical pencils. When I got the white Orenz and tried to use it for the first time the 0.2 mm leads are so light, the static charge of the plastic barrel made them stick to the inside barrel of the pencil and it wasn’t possible to get the leads to forward the normal way. In the end I had to take a lead and feed it though the sleeve / front of the pencil. Once that sleeve was used up the pencil was clogged up, too – but it was then possible to unclog the pencil by disassembling it. Not great, but still much better than the kind of mess I experienced with a Rotring Newton.

0.2 mm leads, stuck to the barrel because of a static charge

0.2 mm leads, stuck to the barrel because of a static charge

 


Price: January 2015 (white Orenz) / October 2015 (Snoopy Orenz)

Exchange rates: November 2015

As usual, please click on the images for a larger version or open in a new tab for a really big version of the image.

You can read more about the Orenz in this blog post about sliding sleeves and this blog post about the force needed to slide a sleeve.

You can read more about the Peanuts 60th Anniversary Moleskine in this blog post.

You can find reviews of the Orenz at Lexikaliker (Google Translation), The Pen Addict, One Lone Man’s Pens and Pencils and So I Herd You Like Pencils.

The cover of the Atari VCS cartridge has been taken from Wikipedia, where it has been provided by user NBATrades. I believe that the use of the cover falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

References

References
1I still remember the title screen music
2Now that I think of it I think it might have been a Zebra pencil, but I am not sure. The pencil should still be in my mother’s house so I’ll check next time I’ll be there.

The sliding sleeve and the Pilot Color Eno 4

Comparison of force needed with different sliding sleeve pencils

Comparison of force needed for different sliding sleeve pencils

Recently I ordered a set of seven Pilot Color Eno mechanical pencils. One reason why I bought them was that I wanted to try them for a long time: Last year I asked Fudepens to put one for me aside, so that I can get it when they get the Orenz again, but somehow they didn’t get more Orenz pens and postage-wise it wasn’t worth ordering the Color Eno by itself.

SevenColorEnos

Another reason was that they were very cheap. On eBay I paid $19.99 (~£12.80; €18.20) for seven Color Eno pencils and seven packs of coloured leads – including free postage. I ordered them on 25 July and already got them on 31 July, despite them having had to travel around the globe from Hong Kong to the UK.

Sliding sleeve and coloured leads

The reason why I wanted to try the Color Eno for a long time is its sliding sleeve, more about these in one of my previous blog posts [1]I thought I found out about the Color Eno on Lexikaliker’s blog, but couldn’t find it when I looked again. . I sometimes use coloured pencil leads at work. One of my dedicated pencils for coloured leads was a Faber-Castell Grip Matic (the auto advancing kind). If you know how to use it it was fine, but every time a colleague would grab it to write with it they would break the soft coloured leads and generally clog the Grip Matic up. An easy to handle mechanical pencil for coloured leads did therefore sound like a really good idea.

The five different sliding sleeve pencils I have compared

The five different sliding sleeve pencils I have compared

First impressions Color Eno

My first impressions of the Color Eno are not so positive. It is a nice pencil in itself, with such a close similarity to the Super Grip [2]It didn’t realise this when I saw pictures of the Color Eno. I only noticed it now that I have it in my hands (both from Pilot), but the feature I wanted it for, the sliding sleeve, doesn’t work for me. It does work for me when I use the Super Grip, though [3]The Super Grip must have been the first mechanical pencil I bought after I arrived in the UK in 2001. It has been available since the 1990s. The Super Grip Neon was released in 2014.. The sleeve doesn’t slide back when I write. It might work for others, especially if you hold your pen in a vertical or near vertical position. My first idea was that this is because or a combination of force needed to push the sleeve back and sleeve thickness. After comparing the Color Eno to other sliding sleeve pencils I think the thickness of the Color Eno‘s sleeve doesn’t really matter that much.

The Color Eno's sleeve doesn't glide back so after a while you write on the sleeve. Not so with the Orenz.

The Color Eno’s sleeve doesn’t glide back so after a while you write on the sleeve. Not so with the Orenz.

 

A little warning regarding my chart: I have neither the training, nor experience, nor the equipment to take these measurements properly, so you better take these measurements with a pinch of salt, or even better with a whole lorryload full of salt.

Comparison of force needed for different sliding sleeve pencils

Comparison of force needed for different sliding sleeve pencils

The Pentel Orenz works with 0.2 mm leads. The sleeve has an other diameter of ~0.6 mm. You need less than 1 cN to slide the sleeve. You might have read from Lexikaliker that the Orenz will be available in Germany from autumn 2015. The good news is that the Orenz will officially come to the UK, too. From January 2016 it will be available in 0.2 mm and 0.3 mm.

The Staedtler Microfix works with 0.5 mm leads. The sleeve has an other diameter of ~1 mm. It is not being manufactured anymore. You need less than 5 cN to slide the sleeve.

The Pilot Super Grip works with 0.5 mm leads. The sleeve has an other diameter of ~1 mm. You need less than 2 dN to slide the sleeve. My version was bought nearly 15 years ago, so I am not sure whether the current version needs the same force to slide the sleeve.

The Pilot Color Eno works with 0.7 mm leads. The sleeve has an other diameter of ~1.1 mm. You need about 6 – 8 dN to slide the sleeve (different force needed on the different versions I have of this pencil).

The Caran d’Ache 844 works with 0.7 mm leads. The sleeve has an other diameter of ~1.05 mm. You need about 1 N to slide the sleeve.


Price: July 2015

Exchange rates: August 2015

More about the Color Eno on Sola’s Blog.

 

References

References
1I thought I found out about the Color Eno on Lexikaliker’s blog, but couldn’t find it when I looked again.
2It didn’t realise this when I saw pictures of the Color Eno. I only noticed it now that I have it in my hands
3The Super Grip must have been the first mechanical pencil I bought after I arrived in the UK in 2001. It has been available since the 1990s. The Super Grip Neon was released in 2014.