This and that (hexagonal cedar eraser edition)

A parcel from Japan

Last month Tombow released a new eraser (Japanese announcement, Google translation). It’s quite similar to an old, familiar friend, the Staedtler Mars plastic, but with a Tombow Mono inside. The eraser stick has a diameter of 6.7 mm and a length of 100 mm.

Tombow’s new Mono Stick and Staedtler’s Mars plastic

Tombow isn’t the only company with new erasers. Look at this special eraser from Seed. Seed’s Radar is one of their famous erasers. This version has a sleeve made from 300 year old cedar wood.

Cedar Seed

Here it is again, next to some other Seed erasers.

Comparison: different Seed erasers

Since we are talking about Japanese erasers: in case you were wondering about the symbols you can find on them: have a look at this document from JEMA, the Japan Eraser Manufacturers Association (Google Translation). It also contains explanations regarding testing.

from the JEMA document (Image © JEMA)

I also noticed the Orenznero, discussed previously, in the Bun2 magazine… well as a nice sharpener and organiser from Nakabayashi. There’s an automatic (~£28; $39, €31) and a manual version (~£9; $13; €10) of the Pacatto sharpener.

The Stationery King1 did of course have several appearances, too).

…and now for something completely different. I dare to include it because it has hexagonal in the title: Hexagonal Phase.

The computer animations from the TV series were actually hand drawn.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is back. The Original Cast of the Original Radio 4 Radio Comedy in new episodes, written by written by Eoin Colfer.

Image © BBC Radio 4


I would like to thank Yumiko for the nice parcel and Gunther and Sola for the additional information.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy images in this blog post are from the BBC series of the same name. I believe that the use of the image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. Sean rightly wonders whether he shouldn’t be the emperor of stationery. []

Staedtler at the Oscars

Stephen, of Pencil Talk fame, told me about two movies that are part of the Oscar Nominations 2018 and that feature Staedtler pencils.

And here are the Nominees

Nominated for best pencil in the categories Best Picture, Lead Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Original Score and Costume Design:

The Staedtler Tradition that made it into Phantom Thread.

Image © Annapurna Pictures /
Ghoulardi Film Company /
Perfect World Pictures

Nominated for best pencil in the category Best Live Action Short Film:

The Staedtler Noris that made it into The Silent Child.

Image © Slick Films

Well, I certainly know which two movies I’ll be rooting for.

In the Wild

If you like this topic have a look at the Noris in the Wild page that lists Noris sightings in movies and on TV from the 1970s onwards.

Thanks to Stephen for this information.

I have added these to my ever growing list of Staedtler sightings I should make screenshots of, but in this case it might take a while before these movies make it to free to air TV channels, so don’t expect to see them here anytime soon.

Staedtler’s new 925 15 mechanical pencil 9


Today: a quick look at Staedtler’s new 925 15 mechanical pencil. Another pencil I got to know from Gunther.

The 925 15 came out in November 2017, has an official price of ¥500 (~$4.40; £3.30; €3.75) and is available in 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm and 0.9mm.

In my opinion, it looks absolutely stunning. The grip section is made from Elastomer. One thing to note: as it is rather rubbery little bits of fibre or dust will easily stick to the grip section.

The push button looks quite different to the push button found on other members of Staedtler’s 925 family. By the way, I have no idea how the numbers after 925, in this case, 15, are assigned. They don’t seem to be in chronological order, but they also don’t seem to indicate how cheap or expensive the pen is. The 925 15 has a much smaller push button than its relatives and comes with a hole. I couldn’t think of any practical use for the hole (checking whether the eraser is used up?) – the only reason I could think of was the same reason why pen caps have holes, so that air can flow in case anyone (most likely children) swallow the cap and it is stuck in the windpipe. ジムキング confirmed that this is the most likely reason for the hole in the push button.

Here’s a family photo with some other 925s.

Top to bottom: 900 25, 925 15, 925 25, 925 35, 925 65, 925 85

The 925 15 is so nice, it deserves a centrefold picture. If it was a bit heavier and had a sliding sleeve it would probably become my daily mechanical pencil.

Stationery Factlets: Staedtler Noris digital

Welcome to the first post in a new series on this blog: Stationery Factlets1. This new series was actually born out of necessity. You might remember my current lack of time. To enable me to post with minimal effort I thought of adding this series where I present small bits of information. Many readers will know some or most of these factlets, but you might be surprised by the occasional fact that is new to you or you might be reminded of old bits of information you have started forgetting.

An early picture of the Noris Digital with the Samsung logo. New versions don’t have it anymore.  (Image © Staedtler)

OK, here’s the first factlet.

Staedtler’s Noris digital, their digital pen for Samsung tablets, works with many EMR (electromagnetic resonance) devices (EMR is one of several technologies that makes digital pens work), so it can actually also be used with many WACOM pen tablets (…but because of Staedtler’s current cooperation with Samsung Staedtler’s marketing material only makes reference to Samsung devices).

The images in this blog post have been taken from Staedtler web sites. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

I would like to thank Benedikt Schindler for the information about the Noris digital presented in this blog post.


Noris digital (Image © Staedtler)

  1. The term factoid has two meaning, so I decided to go with factlet, even though the term factoid is more common. []

More Blackwing – and an alternative 6

My previous blog post, looking at Tiger’s Blackwing, seems to have made some people upset.

The ‘points’

It might be worth to walk a few steps back and to get an overview of the points I tried to raise.

  • There is no continuity between the original Blackwing and the CalCedar/Palomino version.

If the new Blackwing would use the same lead recipe or was made in the same factory I would see that as ‘strong continuity’. If the name was bought from Faber-Castell I could see that there is some continuity, but the Blackwing stopped being made, the name ‘expired’, someone unrelated grabbed the name. These are just facts – Don’t shoot the messenger.

  • I like Tiger’s Blackwing more because it keeps the point better.

I’m writing with pencils, I’m not an artist as you might have noticed from the low quality of the occasional drawings you can find here. I also write very small, so need a fine point. People use pencils in different ways, so for you a 4B like pencil might just be the thing you need. Everyone’s mileage varies. The Palomino Blackwing might be great for some, but I spelled out why I prefer the Tiger. Put the Tiger in your hand! (was: put the tiger in your tank).

The ferrule

There were some questions about the ferrule, asked by Gunther and on social media. When those questions where asked I made a little video instead of writing it up, just because talking to a microphone is so much faster and more convenient than writing a blog post and my blog is still in hibernation mode because of a lack of time. I thought I link to the video here, in case you want to compare the ferrule to your own ferrule.

Cheaper alternatives

Graph from the DelGuard post.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the CalCedar Blackwing, why not try a Staedtler Mars Lumograph 3B. It’s great! ..but don’t take my word for it, look at Pearson Moore’s comparison instead. The man who spent some 1,200 hours collecting and categorising data point for different pencils. I first heard about his book from Gunther.

If you remember my DelGuard blog post you know I’m into this kind of stuff. Unfortunately that blog post only got one comment, so I assume this topic is not of interest to readers of my blog. but if you are one of the rare ones who likes this kind of stuff have a look at Pearson Moore’s book: Pearson’s Graphite 2015 ($19.95 in the USA, £13.95 in the UK)


Here are some of the attributes of the two pencils that are most important to me.

Palomino Blackwing201015912
Staedtler Mars Lumograph3B15714

The have the same darkness, but the Staedtler keeps the point longer as it is less soft. Lissance, i.e. smoothness is higher for the Staedtler. That’s a win win for the humble blue pencil. The Palomino does score higher in some other areas like Pressure Insensitivity, but they are not important to me. Pearson Moore checked pencils between 30 mN and 1N. I guess if you are an artist this might be of interest, especially if you only have one pencil you need to do all your shading with, but again this is not the case for me.

If you love the Palomino Blackwing please let me know what you think of the Mars Lumograph in 3B.