Viking


M+R 0981 sharpener 3

I recently got the M+R 0981″crank-style sharpener” from Lexikaliker.

The 0981 is one of the Möbius und Ruppert sharpeners that is not manufactured by M+R – according to their website it is produced by premium partners in Asia. I’m not sure whether this means that M+R designed this sharpener or whether they just put their name on an existing sharpener. In any case, it does look very similar to the Dahle 133, as discussed by Lexikaliker.

Red M+R 0981 sharpener - Möbius und Rupper

Overall this is a really nice sharpener.

No bite marks

It doesn’t leave bite marks on the pencil, that’s a big advantage – or in my case even a necessary requirement. I don’t think I’d use a pencil sharpener regularly if it leaves bite marks – however good the sharpening mechanism might be.

Crank - Red M+R 0981 sharpener - Möbius und Rupper

The point

The point it creates is quite nice and concave. Concave points look good, but I find measuring the angle more difficult. When I try to measure the 0981’s angle using my traditional method I get an angle of 20°. When I measure the angle on a computer I get an angle of slightly more than 21°. In any case the point produced suitable for most purposes, you can compare this angle to other angles on my sharpener page.

Viking pencils - Red M+R 0981 sharpener - Möbius und Rupper

Viking pencils sharpened with the two different crank settings.

Other features

The crank features a dial, not uncommon for this kind of sharpener. If you dial all the way to the left you get a ‘full’ point, but you can also create a ‘flat’ point, more suitable for coloured pencils if you set the dial to the right. Any setting in-between both extremes is also possible (the difference between both settings is about 3.5 full turn of the dial (1260°)).

The drawer is of course removable, for emptying the waste created during sharpening. The cutting mechanism is removable as well.

I tried to sharpen a Wopex in the 0981, but the auto stop doesn’t work with the harder material encasing the Wopex lead – this is common for crank sharpeners.

Red M+R 0981 sharpener - Möbius und Rupper

Price and availability

When you search for this sharpener on the internet most pages you can find seem to be from Japan. I assume this means that this sharpener is more commonly available in Japan. You can however find some sellers in the West. In Germany you can get this sharpener for €10 – €15 (~$11 – $22: £7.50 – £15), which seems good value for money.

Viking pencils - Red M+R 0981 sharpener - Möbius und Rupper

Close view of the Viking pencils sharpened with two different settings

 


Price and exchange rates: October 2015

Please open the pictures in a new tab for a high-res view.

You can read more about the red Viking pencil in this blog post.


Viking Skjoldungen 400 9

The Danes have it good. They can already enjoy the second season of The Legacy / Arvingerne while here in the UK the first season only just finished.

 

Pencil spotting

There were of course pencils to be spotted in the first season. While previous pencils spotted in Danish TV series were either German or unidentified we hit the jackpot this time: a Danish pencil!

Arvingerne: Signe writing a note for her lawyer (Image © DR)

Arvingerne: Signe writing a note for her lawyer (Image © DR)

 

The Viking Skjoldungen 400

As mentioned in a previous blog post I’m quite lucky to have some Danish stationery, most from Henrik and some from Rad and Hungry. This meant that I was able to spot that the Viking pencil in question is the older, pre-2012 version of the Viking Skjoldungen 400. At that time the Skjoldungen was still offered in B, HB, H and 2H – labelled using the Thoreaus’ system, i.e. using numbers 1-4. Now the Skjoldungen 400 is only available in HB – and labelled as HB, not as #21.

The pre-2012 and the current Skjoldungen 400

The pre-2012 and the current Skjoldungen 400

 

Pencil grades

The Skjoldungen 400 is a really nice pencil. My main issue is that the HB/#2 is a too soft for my taste, it is softer than most European HB pencils and  doesn’t keep the point long enough to be convenient for writing lots of text – at least not if you are writing using rather small letters like I do (That’s why I love the Deli 0635 and mechanical pencils with 0.2 or 0.3/0.35 mm leads). The #3 pencil on the other hand is in my opinion already a bit on the hard side for everyday writing. It is however not really harder than other H pencils2. It would be great if Viking’s HB was a bit harder or if there was an F pencil …but since they even stopped making this pencil in B, H and 2H there’s not much chance of an F pencil being made, I guess.

Skjoldungen - old and new

 

Conclusion

Even though the HB pencil is too soft for me when it comes to everyday writing, it might be suitable for many or most other pencil users – many other pencils that are too soft for me, like some Japanese HB or Palomino pencils, seem to be used and preferred by lots of people, so don’t let me put you off if you have a chance to try this pencil for yourself.


I believe that the use of the the screen shot of the Viking pencil, taken from the seventh episode of the first season of Arvingerne falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.

  1. Viking still has some old stock left though (February 2015) which can be bought on their website. []
  2. So the HB is quite a bit softer than other European HB pencils, while the H is in the same league as other H pencils. []

A Viking invasion 3

The Vikings are coming

No one expects a Viking invasion1

…and when it’s coming there’s no escape.

Luckily I, Langskæg2, got invaded by the trading, not the raiding kind of Viking, thanks to Henrik’s generosity. You might know Henrik, who is from Denmark, from his comments on different stationery blogs.

How a full blown Viking invasion looks like.

How a full blown Viking invasion looks like.

Viking outside Denmark

Unfortunately Viking is one of those brands that is not very well known outside its home country. I hope that will change in the future. From my point of view Viking got most exposure in the English speaking stationery world when their products where released as past of the 2012 Rad and Hungry Denmark kit and the 2014 Rad and Hungry Denmark kit and booster pack. Rad and Hungry are also currently working with Viking to release their own notebooks and pencils, how exciting is that…

 

Viking’s history – a round trip from Denmark to Sweden and back

The Viking brand was registered in 1913 and the first pencils were produced 100 years ago, in 19143, when the Danish matchstick factory H. E. Gosch started making pencils. The pencil branch of the matchstick factory was the brainchild of Folmer Preisler, who married the daughter of the matchstick factory’s owner. The beginning wasn’t easy, but after the two World Wars Viking was doing well. Their problems only started in the early 1970s, when a Swedish competitor bought the matchstick factory which, at that time, was still Viking’s parent. Just some context: At that time the Swedish matchstick maker Svenska Tändsticksaktiebolaget had a monopoly in Europe and many other parts of the world – when I was a kid these were the only matchsticks you could get (they had a monopoly in Germany from 1930 until 1983). After being taken over the Danish pencil factories closed down – the new owner was not interest in pencils. Later Viking ended up with Esselte, who used to own Dymo and who still owns Leitz. In 2010 Viking became Danish again when it was bought by Creas. Since Creas took over they started moving production back to Denmark or as close to Denmark as possible. They also put an emphasis on simple, good design and environmentally friendly production.

 

My Vikings

I’m really excited about trying out the new Vikings I have received from Henrik. The ones I have used so far, from Rad and Hungry, were very nice writers! A while ago I decided to produce shorter blog posts in the future, to make them less boring, so I won’t talk about the Viking stationery now but will write more about the them in a future blog post.

 


I’d like to thank Henrik for all the nice Viking stationery I have received. He’s not linked to Viking, doesn’t work in stationery and paid for the goods out of his own pocket.

Nearly all of the information in the Viking history paragraph was taken from Viking’s web site.

You can see more Viking products on their Danish web site.

 

  1. Their chief weapon is surprise… surprise and fear… fear and surprise… Their two weapons are fear and surprise… and ruthless efficiency… Their three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency… and an almost fanatical devotion to stationery… Their four… no… Amongst their weapons… Amongst their weaponry …are such elements as fear, surprise… I’ll better leave that now and continue the blog post… []
  2. the viking name given to be by Henrik []
  3. To commemorate the 100th anniversary Viking has released the Viking 100, a fountain pen (top right in the picture). []

Stationery weekend 10

What a stationery weekend.

First… Sean told me that Graf von Faber Castell’s pen of the year was announced1.

Rad and Hungry Denmark booster pack

The Denmark Booster pack

Then… I got the Pelikan Wanderlust box (pictures to follow). It’s a box with Pelikan ink travelling the world. I was supposed to get mine in December, but the box seems to be travelling to some remote islands and I was told it was held up in customs2.

Rad and Hungry Denmark booster pack

Danske blyanter

Then… I got the Denmark booster pack I won in Rad and Hungry‘s hunt. Nice!

Rad and Hungry Denmark booster pack

…from the misfits stack

  1. More about the previous years’ pens here. []
  2. It’s too late now to join Wanderlust, but Justanotherpen started a similar project. []