In Search of a High Quality #2 Mechanical Pencil

Discussion in 'Community' started by applekid, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I'm running low on my box of Bic's Great Erase pencils. They are the greatest pencils I have ever used for my schoolwork. You have a generous amount of erase, a removable top to refill the graphite easily (unlike the generic Bic mechanical pencils where the erasers would get too short so you can't pull of the eraser to refill your pencil), and an eraser that can almost literally turn your paper back to its original color! It's been a lifesaver for my art projects to fix up smudges and the like.

    Unfortunately, Bic has informed me they do not make the Great Erase pencils anymore! :eek: I was just devastated! Okay, that might be pushing it, but these pencils were just near-perfect, and it's hard to find a replacement.

    So, I was wondering if anybody has any recommendations for a high quality mechanical pencil that was a generous amount of eraser that can be refilled, can be refilled with graphite easily (.7 mm preferably), and has an eraser that can literally turn your paper back to its original color after erasing something. I've been seeing plenty of kids with those Dr. Grip Pencils, but the eraser looks small, low-quality, and I assume aren't replaceable. And it appears to be pretty expensive and not as expendable as the Great Erase or even Bics "el cheapo" generics. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    If not a pencil, I'd like to know a brand of erasers that is very high quality. I bought a pack of Pentel Clic Erasers and was disappointed by how they left marks even if nothing is on the paper! The reason I'm burning through my Great Erase pencils so quickly is because of my art projects. I often find myself erasing things, and the Great Erase is just the best for cleaning your paper. So, I guess it's more of a problem of an eraser, not pencil. I guess I'm really in search of a quality eraser that cleans the paper well. :eek:
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    rotring is known for their drafting mechanical pencils
  3. snkTab macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    get the Ph.D Pilots. OMG SO GOOD! Too bad $5-6 for a pencil is out of my budget. well.... i take a lot of my work home, if you know what I mean. (just pens i forget they are in my pocket)
  4. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i would check out an art store or the art supply section of your bookstore they usually have many different types that are of better than average quality erasers
  5. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    For earsers use Magic Rub. They are a bit tricky to find though, Office Deport I know know carries them and art supply stores. I used to by them by the box but I can not longer find them

    For Mechanical Pencil I like the high quilty drafting ones. They cost around 10 bucks a pop but they are well worth it. I have only had one fail to mechical failure in the 4 years or so I been using them. the rest the tip gets damage and it forces replacement but by then I general already gone though about 10-15 bucks worth or lead in refills so it all good (about 1 year for me or so). To find them you general have to go to an art supply store and find Drafting supplies. As I said they are high quilty stuff. I can not stand to use the ones from bic any more.

    The lead part of it is mute point since they are refilble and you can buy what ever you want. I just use HB lead in mine.

    Earsers I going ot say again Magic Rub yet again and you never really want to use any thing else ever again I been using them for 5 years or so now. That or just one of those penical earser things.
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Hey I made it though college as an architecture major with my Pentels. HB lead works anywhere you'd need a #2 pencil. I kept a .3, a .5, a .7, and a .9 Pentel in my backpack, and a film canister with one of those grey play-doh-like erasers for things the Pentel erasers couldn't handle.

    I use my .9 Pentel in me workshop for nice crips lines without constant sharpening. Over the years I've only lost a few of them, mostly to accidents (like leaving it out where the dog could chew on it). Only one has ever failed mechanically in all the years I've (ab)used them. And for the price they are great.

    I also have several of the high quality drafting pencils, but I mostly used those for the less frequently used leads like 6H, 2H, and 4B. They work fine, but you are constantly working to keep the tip sharp. Gotta have one of those pencil pointers handy to use these guys, and a not-quite-sealed container of graphite shavings is hardly the item you want to carry around in your backpack!

    Anyway, there are better quality pencils out there than the Pentels, but I'd prefer to spend the money on having more pencils around rather than higher quality ones.

    Just my $.02.
  7. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Another nod here for Rotring.

    I've had one of their mechanical pencils for about six or seven years now and it's never given me any cause for complaint. It's well made and weighted beautifully. Anyone who is lucky enough to use it always comments on how nice it is! Granted, it's a bit more pricey than the pencils you're looking for but for what you pay you're getting a very high quality piece of kit.

    Plus, it looks a bit like the pencil on the TextEdit icon and you can't put a price on that! :D
  8. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    The brand I am using is Alvin. I like using .5mm penicals I forgot what the other brand I like uses was but I would know it by looks. I just happen to like feel of the Alvin ones better.

    Now I know most people hate using .5mm for there main Mechanical pencil and like the .7. I know the .7 are really nice as well but I hate using .7 and larger. As an added bonces people dont like my mechanicla pencils that much because they hate .5 lead. I know my dad really hates them so it keeps him from using them and then forgetting that it was one of mine. (Him and my brother both have a lot keeping a hold of there mechanical pencils because they both use the same ones and dont knows who's is who's)
  9. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    It seems the rotring/Sanford (did some Google searching and I guess they're the same company?) line of products is getting a thumbs up. I guess I'll have to get a PhD. I think that's probably the right pencil since the girl that recommended the Great Erases to me years ago is currently using a PhD. But, is there a particular rotring/Sanford I should go for? I'm seeing a few... Or maybe I'm missing something... I don't see one that (at least IMHO) looks like the TextEdit pencil on their website.

    Do the PhD's have a quality eraser? I'm seeing refills which is what I wanted to see, but a good eraser is very important to me. I can only hope I can find something that matches or is better than my old erasers. I write/draw sort of hard, so thicker paper often "scars" however, other than scars on the paper, the paper is good as new. So, hopefully the PhD can handle that.

    (I'll probably have to stock up. From knowing my luck, those pencils and erasers will stop being produced in a few months ;) )

    I'll look into the Magic Rub. They sound familiar, and I think I have seen them around here. Another art teacher in my school gave his students Sakura Erasers which I hear are quite good. So, I'll look into both. The only reason I don't think going to an art supply store is a good idea is because I keep finding erasers sold in the bulk and none that I can actually use without paying for.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the gray, clay-like eraser. I've seen people use it and watch their projects get ruined because it tugs so much on the paper, it rips layers off! And it leaves a ton of gray residue.

    So, my current conclusion is, I want a PhD, stock up on eraser refills, and purchase a Sakura or Magic Rub, and hopefully it will as good as my Great Erase pencils. Correct me if I'm wrong, and please answer my questions.

    Thanks to everybody that replied. It's greatly appreciated. :)

    (Man, do I feel weird worrying about what kind of pencil and eraser I should get... :D)
  10. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    I use a Papermate Titanium. 0.5mm Graphite size (lead isn't allowed to be used, random fact) and it has a nice big eraser. I've used about 5 over the past 5 years, and have repaired a few of them. They are great. :D
  11. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    I like the Starritch G2XP. It's got a titanium bevel and a three-point balance system. If you buy the pro model it comes with 2 tiny solar powered gyroscopes. It takes one of those hearing aid batteries to run them, but the tracking is smooth as glass. The pro model also has 1,000 eraser refills, 5 different colored pocket protectors, a leather case for travelling, and a really-really tiny FM radio. But the COOLEST add-on is the GPS. It's rather large when it's installed on the top, but I can pinpoint the location of my rather dreary cubical within a millimeter.
    At $700.00 it's not cheap. I'd suggest just buying 1,000-for-a-dollar #2 woodies at Target.
  12. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Well, my search ended, and I'm happy with the results.

    I checked out the Rotring/Sandford/(and now!)Papermate selection of pencils. Maybe the company names are different based on region, but I found the PhD's made by Papermate at my local Staples, not Rotring or Sandford. I saw the price of the single pencil, and my jaw dropped. I don't question its quality, but $6 and change for the pencil seemed a bit pricey... Then, I said, "the people at MacRumors wouldn't lead me wrong," so I picked it up. Then I noticed they only had 0.5 mm ones available, so I put it back. I have a box of 0.7 mm lead I'd like to use, so I looked at the selection.

    So, I checked what kind of eraser it uses to refill. I got its product number, checked other Papermate pencils, and I found a less pricier Papermate mechanical pencil. It's called the Clear Point and uses the same eraser as the Papermate and is sold in a pair for $5. So, I bought that, and the remaining 3 eraser refills out of my paranoia.

    Then, I looked at the erasers being sold. I remembered Timelessblur recommending the Magic Rub. I read the packaging, and it said it was for cleaning things on vinyl or glass or some non-paper material. I put it down. I thought to myself if it was worth taking the chance or not... So, I looked at what else was available. I saw a Staedtler package of erasers. It sounded good to me, and looked pretty good. I knew I was taking a big chance with going with an eraser that wasn't recommended here, but I picked those up, too.

    I got home, and checked out my eraser/pencil combination. They worked great! Everything erased perfectly. I was satisfied. My only disappointment was the feeling of the Clear Points. They feel a little cheap and don't seem to be built for durability over a long period of time. Just a lot of odd plastic pieces that look like they'll break off. But, for now, it'll do. As a bonus, I checked if those refill erasers would work on my old pencils (since I still have most of them, they never broke, just ran out of eraser). And luckily they do fit! So, now I just need to stock up on some more Papermate refill erasers, and I can keep my old pencils around a little longer.

    I have found a solution to my problem, and I thank everybody that replied! Thanks, again!
  13. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    good thing you didn't go for a rotring. I had a .5 mm drafting pencil made by them a few years ago. Solid brass, though I just used separate erasers with it because it had a really small one. It was awesome, but had a $25-30 price tag. It was stolen in high school (#$@& high schoolers!), and now i just use whatever... Technician® II right now. I don't see the point of buying cheaply made crap to write with, for the most part. I'm blessed with enough money to not buy mass produced, wasteful stuff... 25$ is cheap for a nicely made pencil that will last you your life (if it doesn't get stolen). that's not 1/10th what I'd spend on a good fountain pen...

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