Vermilion


Deli pencil sharpener 0668 11

When you visit a university in Shanghai you will usually find at least two types of shops nearby: Snack shops (lots of them) and stationery shops. I have not yet seen another city where this phenomenon is as obvious as in Shanghai. The stationery shops can be split into two groups: stationery shops with functional stationery and stationery shops that sell girly stationery as well as other things like make-up, charms, etc – but you can also find shops that are somewhere in-between these two groups.

After my good experience with another Deli sharpener I could not resist and bought this TLR shaped sharpener, the Deli 0668, in December 2010 when I saw it in it in Shanghai – in a stationery shops outside a university. Deli’s headquarters are near Shanghai, so I it is not surprising that this sharpener was inspired by a Shanghainese-made Seagull TLR1.

The 0668's single rotary blade cylinder

I paid about ¥ 30 (£ 2.80, € 3.30, $ 4.50) for this sharpener, a bit more than what I paid for the Deli 0635. You can get this sharpener cheaper if you look around or if you buy online, e.g. from Taobao. Outside China you can get this sharpener from Kikkerland for $15 (£ 9.30, € 10.80) or from Urban Outfitters for £ 15 ($ 24.20 , € 17.50)2. It is currently on offer and can be bought for £ 8 online and in the Urban Outfitter shops .

The 0668 has a single rotary blade cylinder, similar to the one in the 0635. There is also a removable tray for the shavings. The clamps that hold the pencil during sharpening have a rubber surface so they won’t damage the pencil’s surface. Additionally, there is an automatic stop mechanism that will prevent you from over-sharpening a pencil. The main difference between the two Deli sharpeners is that the 0668 produces a shorter (and blunter) point. It also features a point adjuster switch similar to the one seen in the Carl Bungu Ryodo BR-05 pencil sharpener, reviewed at pencil talk and in the Dahle 133 / M+R 0981, reviewed at Lexikaliker. The blunt setting at the extreme end will result in a “point” diameter of about 2mm is only suitable for colour pencils with a wide core. Normal graphite pencils do not have a wide enough core for this setting.

 

On the left a Faber-Castell 1117 sharpened with the Deli 0668 (sharp setting), in the middle a Faber-Castell 1117 and a Mitsubishi Arterase Color 0668 sharpened with the Deli 0668 (blunt setting), on the right a Faber-Castell 1117 sharpened with the Deli 0635

Conclusion: A great sharpener for a great price. I will not use the blunt setting and, to be honest, I do prefer the longer point I get from the Deli 0635 much more. It is nevertheless a sharpener I will enjoy using. It is currently in my office where I use it for all kinds of wooden pencils, but not for pencils that use difficult to sharpen material, like the Wopex, as my experience with the Deli 0635 has shown that the Deli’s automatic stop mechanism does not work with these pencils and that the harder material seems to be detrimental to the blade cylinder.

 

A Faber-Castell 1117 sharpened using the sharp setting and a Uni Mitsubishi Arterase Color Vermilion sharpened using the blunt setting.


The pencils used in this blog post are Faber-Castell’s 1117 B and Uni Mitsubishi’s Arterase Color Vermilion 310. The 1117 feels like an unpainted pencil. It is not really painted but features a water-based varnish. It also has a breakage-resistant lead and an eraser. It does performs well for a budget pencil. It is made in Germany and sells for around € 0.30 each (~42¢, ~25p). You can find a review of the Faber-Castell 1117 at pencil talk. The Uni Mitsubishi’s Arterase Color Vermilion 310 is made in Japan. I do not have more information about this pencil, but you can find a review at Lexikaliker and at pencil talk. I would like to thank Lexikaliker for the Arterase Color pencil used in this blog post.

Prices: December 2010

Exchange rates: March 2011

The Deli in Urban Outfitters (Manchester)

  1. Seagull TLRs were basically Rolleiflex copies. Outside China Quelle rebranded Seagull TLRs and distributed them as Revue cameras (40 years ago). There are still companies out there that distribute Seagull cameras outside China, one of the most famous ones is Lomography. Another interesting point: Whoever designed this sharpener changed the markings compared to the real camera, from f/3.5 to f/1.5 []
  2. Urban Outfitters buy it from Kikkerland and in the end after shipping it over, everyone adding some profit and after adding tax, it is more than five times as expensive than what I paid in a little shop that wasn’t cheap in the first place. []