Stabilo X-Shock 286 pencil

Stabilo X-Shock 286 pencil

The X-Shock 286 is a surprise. It is yet another very well made pencil from a major European manufacturer that seems to be manufactured for southeast Asian markets.

The pencil’s box indicates Stabilo’s address in Germany and distributor in Malaysia, though not the country of origin.

The pencil is triangular, and finished in orange, with Stabilo’s trademark red cap and white cap ring. All markings are in white.

Stabilo X-Shock 286 pencil

The wood is clearly pulai or jelutong. It sharpens very easily.

The lead is smooth, rich and dark. The pencils weigh about 3.9g, a standard modern weight, yet feel lighter – perhaps due to the shape – in my hand.

Stabilo X-Shock 286 pencil

It is a very nice pencil, and a shocker at the price. There are some triangular shaped pencils on the market that should should be wary of this new competitor.

Though it seems to be inelegantly named (I imagine the name being appropriate for a new running shoe), it is still a great product, and highly recommended.

Pencil news

1. Get The Lead Out! has been made a “sticky” post until we publish the solution on April 7th, 2009. This should keep it on the top of the front page, while still allowing for new posts in the interim. I haven’t tried this technique before, so please tell me if there are any problems.

The crossword puzzle is a significant contribution, and it deserves top billing. I’d like to thank Barrel of a Pencil for sharing it with us. Thanks as well for the mention on Orange Crate Art.

2. There have been some great recent posts at Lexikaliker.

Does anyone know the full story of the Memorandum pencil?

Also, take a look at the great graphics of the Faber Alligator pencil.

3. Did I mention Orange Crate Art? This week featured an excellent post on the Mongol No. 2 3/8 pencil.

4. Lung Sketching Scrolls has a great post on improvised pencil holders made from plastic pens! They seem to work, and strike me as a great way to reuse a disposable item. Barrel of a Pencil seems to also have informed that review!

Another post I loved was a review of lead pointers! Alberto even has a classic Koh-I-Noor Precision that he found at retail. Great stuff. (Cf. my review.)

Get The Lead Out!

Get The Lead Out, by Barrel of a Pencil

Pencil loving crossword puzzle fans, take note! Created by Barrel of a Pencil, Get The Lead Out! is a pencil themed crossword puzzle, downloadable in printable PDF format.

We’ll publish the solution in two weeks.

My sincere thanks to Barrel of a Pencil for a unique and entertaining contribution!


[Update, March 25, 2009] The puzzle has been updated by Barrel of a Pencil. The corrected version is now available for download via the same link.

[Update, March 30, 2009] The puzzle has been amended by Barrel of a Pencil to better accommodate the issue noted by Michael Leddy. The latest version is now available for download via the same link. Thanks, Barrel, for this commitment to quality!

Mega Brands SRX Green Recycled Denim pencil

Mega Brands SRX Green Recycled Denim pencil

Though many of us might think denim is blue – apparently it is also “green”, when recycled for use as a pencil casing.

A very unusual offering, the SRX hails from Mega Brands, who own the RoseArt pencil facility. RoseArt isn’t mentioned in the packaging, and it isn’t clear if they were somehow involved in the pencil’s production.

Mega Brands SRX Green Recycled Denim pencil

The packaging states:

Made in China. Assembled in USA. Keep this information.

I will.

Mega Brands SRX Green Recycled Denim pencil

The pencil is a – dare I say it – denim blue – with silver ferrule and blue eraser. The lettering is silver.

Mega Brands SRX Green Recycled Denim pencil

The pencil is slightly bendable, and has a very grippable surface. I suspect the flexibility would make it quite durable over time. Like other extruded pencils, the shavings are voluminous yet neatly contained.

Mega Brands SRX Green Recycled Denim pencil

It writes somewhat faintly, yet smoothly. I can imagine this pencil being very popular.

My thanks to blog reader Joshua for sending me this pencil.

The global economy and pencils.

Global Economy - Chart

It seems like general economic news is not too good this year. Just about every day, newspapers report challenging situations that haven’t been experienced for decades. Pencils, like all office and school supplies, will probably react to these changed circumstances.

Has anyone noticed this? Are you personally cutting back? Have you seen any changes from vendors? Any good sales?