Announcement: August is New Zealand/Australia pencil month!

Pencils of New Zealand

It’s with great excitement that I am able to announce New Zealand/Australia pencil month here at pencil talk. Thanks to Dave at Dave’s Mechanical Pencils, I have a nice assortment of woodcase pencils from Auckland, New Zealand. None of them are generally available in North America, so this will definitely be of interest to many readers of this blog.

This is the review schedule:

August 1 Stabilo Othello 282
August 6 Stabilo Schwan 305 & 306
August 8 Generic Pencil
August 13 Staedtler Pacific
August 16 Staedtler 132
August 20 Staedtler Tradition 110
August 23 Faber-Castell Goldfaber 1222
August 29 Faber-Castell 1111

Dixon Tri-Conderoga pencil.

The Dixon Tri-Conderoga ferrule.
This past month was the first time I had seen the Dixon Tri-Conderoga for sale in Canada. I was quite happy to find a package of six with an accompanying sharpener at a local store.

The package had NAFTA-friendly trilingual (English, French, Spanish) labelling, and revealed that the pencils were made in Mexico. The two-hole sharpener has a crown emblem on the German made blades, while the plastic body hails from China.
Made in Mexico.
In a triangular shape, the diameter is midway between it’s three sided cousins, the Ergosoft and the Jumbo Grip.

The pencil surface is rubbery, like the Ergosoft. It comes unsharpened, and has gold stamping on one side. There is a distinctive Ticoderoga style ferrule, with a black eraser.
The Dixon Tri-Conderoga.
Since it requires a less common large hole sharpener, the included sharpener is an appreciated addition.

In one’s hand, it is indeed grippy. I did find the large stamping to be a drawback, and that side of the pencil side is noticeably rougher and less pleasant to hold. The larger size may require some adjustment, and didn’t feel quite right to me.

On paper, the HB lead, which appears to be a normal diameter core, seemed just a bit scratchier and lighter than an Ergosoft or a regular Ticonderoga pencil in HB.

It is a unique contribution, and the first Mexican pencil that I’m aware of owning. It gets points for design and appearance, and choosing a mid-size diameter creates an excellent new offering.

Despite these pluses, the lead quality makes it not quite as good as the Ergosoft as an actual pencil.

Let’s hope Dixon will upgrade the lead core to be (at minimum) equal to that of their regular diameter pencils.

Staedtler pencil holder 900 25.

Here is an interesting new type of pencil extender, inspired by the mechanical pencil.

While I’ve mentioned pencil extenders previously, this product is a decidedly new take on the idea.

At first glance, it looks like a fancy mechanical pencil, with a retractable eraser, clip, adjustable window for displaying the pencil grade, and a very finely etched grip. But it takes a woodcase pencil in it’s clutch.

It provides a lot of the characteristics and feel of a mechanical pencil. It’s quite pleasant to hold. Grip styles are of course a personal preference, but if you like the sorts of grips that technically-oriented mechanical pencils tend to offer, I think you’ll like the Staedtler.

It almost makes one want to cut some pencils in half to better use this holder.

(The images can be clicked to see close-ups.)