Dollar store find

Dollar store pencil

The “dollar store” isn’t typically a place I’d look for anything, let alone writing implements. Yet, I was recently in one, and found this 2.0mm mechanical pencil, with a package of mixed-grade refill leads. For one Canadian dollar – which is currently about 86 US cents, or 63 € cents.

Dollar store pencil

The bilingual (English/French) packaging doesn’t indicate much. The pencil comes with a mixed grade package of HB, B, 2B, 3B, and 4B leads. The mixture is appreciated, though the spectrum seemed narrower than I expected in testing.

Dollar store pencil

The pencil can be refilled through either the tip or the cap – a nice feature.

Dollar store pencil

The pencil is extremely lightweight – 7.6g unfilled, and appears to be made of lightweight plastic and metal with a blue rubberized surface. The grip area is triangular.

Dollar store pencil

My general expectation of a “dollar store” product would be low quality, and while this pencil is definitely not going to replace my Staedtler 925 25 20, neither is it unacceptably cheap. The design does seem original, with a nice enough colour palette choice. It is comfortable to hold, functional, and very lightweight. While this blog doesn’t favour no-name items, for this price, the pencil and refill leads are an almost shocking offering. Maybe it is the Tata Nano of leadholders.

Dollar store pencil

Has anyone else found any interesting discount office supplies?

16 Replies to “Dollar store find”

  1. I often find brand-name mechanical pencils and pens at my dollar store (99 Cent Stores in California). Sometimes I’ll buy one, test it out, and then go back and stock up. I did this with the Bic Z4 pens I found there and some wonderful metal silver/black Papermate mechanical pencils. It’s practically guilt-free shopping!

  2. I want to have dollar store that carry this. My local dollar stores had been good for cheap art supplies, but I’ve yet to find this kind of good mechanical pencils which I so want one, the one I have is broken, and it was really expensive.

  3. Cool find at the Dollar store! Never found anything truly useful in such venues. Yet, Staedtler 780 leadholders can be occasionally found at some Office Depot stores on clearance for as low as 50 cents if your timing is right.

  4. I scored 22 old Eberhard Faber “Banner 666” No. 2 pencils at a thrift store recently. They tend to bag up various office supplies in clear plastic bags and I happened to see them when doing a periodic check. Only one of them was sharpened. The ferrules are still a shiny gold color. Yep, they don’t make pencils like they used to.

  5. Just returned from a weekend in Vancouver. This is my haul from Daiso, the Japanese “two dollar” store in Richmond. Each of these packages cost $ 2.00 CDN:

    Three Tombow 8900 B
    Two Tombow vermilion
    Two Tombow VP vermilion/Prussian blue 8900
    Three Tombow 8900 2B
    Two Tombow 2558 HB
    One knock-off pocket pencil sharpener with 5 diameter dial
    8 natural finish with white eraser 2Bs, made in Thailand
    One square lead mechanical pencil with 4 spare 2B leads ” good for filling out mark sheets, exam, lottery, horse racing etc.”
    Four metal pencil cap/extenders
    Two memo pads, 7cm x 10.5cm, 60 graph sheets.

    The Tombows are excellent of course, but the quality of the square lead and the no names from Thailand are great too. The pencil sharpener does a perfect job. Total expenditure: $ 12 for 21 pencils.

  6. I was just in an Office Max store here in the U.S. and found some natural wood Pentech triangular pencils at just $1 for a package of 24 in the discount area. There aren’t cedar, but sharpen relatively easily (basswood?). Has anyone else come across these?
    I kind of like the graphite – sort of like on older #2 hardness.

    I’ve had a triangular (3 sided) mechanical pencil for some time – maybe it is at work, as I can’t track it down at home. They both feel nice.

  7. Went to the Japanese $2 store “Daiso” in Richmond, British Columbia. Damage is:

    3 packs of 4, Mitsu-Bishi 9800, 2B pencils.
    3 packs of “Sketch set” composed of 1 solid “lead” (no wood case) 4B pencil (the solid lead is as thick as a regular pencil), a Paper pencil and a charcoal stick.
    2 packs of 6, 4B pencils (Made in Korea).

    Verdict is:

    The 4B Made in Korea pencil is as dark as a 4B Staedler Lumograph, but writes “rough” on paper. You can hear it gliding across the paper, almost like chalk on a board. Not as smooth as the Lumograph, which glides on paper silently.

    The 2B Mitsu-Bishi is as dark as a regular HB pencil. So I am a bit disappointed.

    The Sketch set is a treasure. The solid lead 4B pencil is unique. It is coated with a plastic film which is removed at the tip when sharpening.

  8. RE: Daiso.

    Not just Japanese pencils, but S. Korean, Thai, etc. too. A lot of Chinese made stuff, but quite unique, “not found in Walmart” type goods.

    Maybe they’ll open a branch store in your neighborhood soon ;)

  9. All of the Daiso U.S. stores are in the San Francisco and Seattle areas. I’m in Colorado, so I’m out of luck.

  10. I recently found a variety of these exact leadholders sold at the Chinatown in my city (Toronto) in addition to a dollar store near my home. They came in quite a lot of colours; apparently are made by this manufacturer called Baile.

    It appears that there are two grades of this pencil…dark blue and silver have chrome-plated tips and puch-buttons ones, and are of higher quality (although not so good anyways), while the colorful ones are really rough and have all-plastic parts.

    Their website:

    PS: I bought a silver an a pink one (cuz of my love for the color pink), switching the chrome tip to the pink while modifying the silver one into one like my staedtler leadholder by replacing the tip with a trimmed Bic RoundStic Cap (to hold the what-you-call-it cap for the clutch in place).

  11. *Typo: “dark blue and silver-coloured ones have chrome-plated tips and puch-buttons”

  12. I am a 4th grade teacher and LOVE these mechanical pencils. My supply is all used up and if anyone ever finds a supply I will pay a Finder’s Fee!

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