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Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 8

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

A regular gripe regarding Faber-Castell’s perfect pencils, even the basic plastic version, has been regarding the price. I don’t disagree, yet also note that there don’t appear to be many alternatives. KUM has tried to offer an extender, and there are some artisan made extender caps in Japan, but Faber-Castell’s products are the only items in this category that which appear to have wide distribution.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

I wonder if there was a marketing meeting full of animated debate which led to this – it seems to be Faber-Castell’s knockoff of their own product. It is “Made in China” rather than “Made in Germany”, and the styling reflects other new products rather than tradition.

The finish is acceptable. The sharpener in the cap seems to work well – addressing a regular complaint. The price is also a fraction of predecessor products.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

While the item has a disposable feeling, it might also sell in volume and generate some revenue.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

What do you think?

31 comments to Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 8

  • ccorrada

    i picked up one in Germany last Summer, and yes, it’s the perfect pencil. very limited distribution, unfortunately, and the price is not that cheap.

  • I am not too keen on the look of this Perfect Pencil, but then I am not too keen on the UFO PP either. I never tried one, so it is nice to read from you that the sharpener works well. Is this the same pencil as in the chicken version, just in black?

  • Adair

    Good to know about the improved sharpener—I have always been stunned by how poor Faber-Castell and Graf von Faber-Castell sharpeners can be, even on their deluxe Perfect Pencil holders. One would think that a company that makes such quality products could get a simple sharpener right!

  • Tov Are

    I have the ufo and would probably purchase this one on an impulse.. I find the Perfect Pencil very usefull.

  • The sharpener in this version is different than that of the other perfect pencil versions, whether they are metal or plastic. It is built into the cap and non-replaceable, as well as being larger in dimension.

  • David J. Santos

    I am using one of these Perfect Pencils (priced 2.60 Euros in Spain). I own also a “real” Perfect Pencil, which I find very heavy to be all the time in my shirt pocket. This “chinese” Perfect Pencil extender is very light. I do not use the built-in sharpener very often. Bottom line: Nice and cheap way to carry a real pencil (Perfect or not so) in yor shirt pocket.

  • Very nice summary, David. Making a pencil portable is indeed the key function here.

  • One would think that an inexpensive Perfect Pencil might have some retail potential as a pencil accessory should they become more available. Yet most retailers seem to be currently in survival mode, so a new low-margin item would probably not hold much appeal to them. Might give it a try if Blick’s were to start carrying them.

  • Henrik

    Thank you for some nice follow ups to the Perfect Pencil series, 8 posts! that’s something – I think you have covered every angle by now ?.

    Some comments and questions:

    I was under the impression that the sharpener was not detachable from the cap but that the blade was replaceable in most versions?

    I have a couple of the green 9000 extenders (old and new) an I’m not able to unscrew the top from the eraser, like I see you have done in some of the pictures which accompanied your reviews.
    Likewise, with my Graf extenders and the UFO – only the blade in the sharpener is replaceable.

    In some of the older Graf extenders, the sharpener had to be replaced – the version with the screw on mechanism, but as far as I know the 9000 – the UFO and the ones from the “red line” only the blade is replaceable.

    It’s also news to me that the previous version of the 9000 extender held the pencil by a screw on mechanism – none of mine does. Like the Graf extender there could be several versions?

    Regards
    Henrik

  • Michael

    My UFO version is a couple of years old – the whole sharpener is replaced.

  • Henrik, it is quite possible that there are other versions of these products out there. Yet the ones I have seen all have the cap with screw on cylindrical sharpener, whether metal or plastic:

    Incidentally, I have ordered replacement metal sharpeners. In Canada, where Faber-Castell has a “representative”, but no office, it took about half a year!

  • Any links to retailers? I have not had much luck finding any and I had no idea that there was a plastic version of this product. I can’t justify the price for the non-plastic versions, though I would love to get my hands on one of these. Great review! Nr

  • Henrik

    Thank you for the clarification – that was fast!
    BTW in my post I accidently wrote “eraser” I meant “sharpener”, sorry ;-).

    I see what you mean – The first picture looks like the screw on version of the Graf. The whole sharpener had to be replaced.
    The green 9000 sharpener top in the second looks exactly like mine – this blade looks replaceable (the notch beside the two “dots” indicates that). I can’t unscrew the top on any of mine, so maybe we have two different versions.

    Yes, the service is a bit slow here too – Like in Canada Faber Castel only has a “representative” – but 6 months must be some kind of record!

    Regards
    Henrik

  • Hi Nrepose, thank you!

    The only link I can immediately find is to Cult Pens, who call this the “Perfect Pencil Junior”:

    http://cultpens.com/acatalog/Faber-Castell-Perfect-Pencil-Junior.html

    Henrik, I’m not sure how one would replace just that blade, but I guess it could be possible. The micro-screws don’t appear to be meant to be removed, at least to my eye.

    And for anyone seeking to further explore the entire line of perfect pencils, be sure to visit Pencils and Music, where Sean displays an incredible array of varieties:

    http://pencilsandmusic.wordpress.com/category/graf-von-faber-castell/

  • Henrik

    Ok, I admit it: I’m too careful, and a fool. It just took a little more force, than I liked to use and voilá: the green top did unscrew on my 9000 extenders.
    The sharpener can be replaced. I hereby eat my own words – they do not taste very good ;-)
    regards
    Henrik

  • Pisces6

    I notice that the pencil is round in these pictures. Does this work with hexagon-shaped pencils?

    Quality sharpeners seem to be tricky to make on a large scale. One small mis-alignment and the sharpener seems designed to break the lead rather than sharpening it.

  • James

    Hexagonal pencils work fine in these. I’ll have a lumograph in mine shortly, once it is short enough. The sharpener in mine is quite good, smoother than my staedtler bucket.

    It’s pretty cool, but not quite perfect.

    - You could sharpen the pencil while it is stored in the extender barrel and thus contain the sharpenings. I’d be happy if there was enough room for just one good sharpen.
    - there was an eraser on the top of the extender

    That would make it the perfect, completely self contained and portable pencil. I might modify one of these cheap ones sometime.

  • Thanks for the link to CultPens! I like the price of these.Nr

  • Seamus

    I’ve been using this version for the past couple of weeks and I must agree that the sharpeners on these Perfect Pencil Juniors are more consistent in quality than the other versions, not to mention that they create an almost long point for my writing pleasure.

    With the other versions of the Perfect Pencil’s sharpeners you may get one that creates a very short point like that of a golf pencil, an average point like that made by most sharpeners, an almost long point, my personal favorite is one that leaves a .7 mm round and 2.5 mm long barrel point, or even horror of horrors one that just consumes pencils without sharpening anything. Of the close to twenty Perfect Pencils that I have used since the mid nineties only two sharpeners have been of truly excellent quality and six of good quality and the rest sharpen to varying degrees of frustration, yet these are still the best all on one pencil accessory out there.

    This may be the cheapest of the Perfect Pencils but it has fast earned my praise for consistent quality, price, low weight and especially in red it is the most visible when dropped in the workshop or misplaced when out in nature.

  • Vikram

    I just bought 2 of these—currently in Germany and I saw them for a very cheap 2,95 € and wanted to try them out. Haven’t opened them, but I first heard about them from this site! Thanks, penciladmin, for creating this wonderful compilation of information about pencils. You started my hobby.

  • Hi Vikram, thanks very much for your kind comment!

  • Alan

    I was really enjoying the plastic version, that was until the top popped off the sharpener. The little grooved top is just a snap on fit with a metal band around it. It snaps back on but only after I use a needle nose pliers to get the sharpener out. I am not sure if it was originally glued and mine has just failed. I do tend to fidget with it, snapping it in and out so I grant you that is probably more use than some people give it but it shouldn’t break. I will super glue it or epoxy it and see how it gets on but I only imagine it will break again and a new one will do the same. I use it on my tombow mono 100 pencils and the shapener does work well. I’m not paying $300 for the metal one :)

    Great site.
    Alan
    Ireland/Dublin

  • Kevin

    Not wishing to offend anyone here but I always thought the super expensive FC and graf von Faber extenders were really a poor investment: it just doesn’t make sense to me to pay big money for the purpose of protecting a pencil point or extending the pencil. However these plastic extenders are a different kettle of fish and when I put it in my shirt pocket it provides a genuine alternative to the ubiquitous ballpoint. A nice utilitarian tool in this plastic form and the sharpener works extremely well.

  • Robert M.

    I always spend a few seconds looking at one of these when I go to the bookstore, but I have effectively the same thing in the body section of a Pilot G-2 pen. I noticed that my CDT Item 17s and similar Japanese pencils fit quite snugly in it, and it provides a handy pocket clip. It doesn’t offer much in the way of extension, but it works great for point protection. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well with slimmer pencils like my Staedtlers.

    If you’ve got a spare G-2 laying around, pull it apart and give it a try.

  • Kevin

    @Robert – interesting observation re the Staedtlers. My plastic version fits the Lumographs (6.75mm) FC 9000′s (6.85mm) and Tombow Mono 100 (7.0mm) perfectly and the Hi-Uni (7.2mm) is a little tight but does fit. The inside grippers are quite flexible on this plastic version( don’t know about the more pricey ones). The sharpener is an added bonus that the G-2 solution can’t manage but if I had some spare G-2′s hanging around I would certainly use that as a solution.

  • Kevin

    @Robert – just re-read your post and realised you were talking about the G-2′s when mentioning the slim Staedtler’s. My apologies.

  • Gary

    There is another color in this series – blackberry., Model number 18 29 34 Perfect Pencil II.

    There is also a different style , labelled Perfect Pencil III – that come in – black, blue and blackberry – The cap is a basically an oval with a flattened front and back. On top of the cap , a little door swings open to reveal the sharpener. The shavings are retained in the cap!

    very cool

  • David O.

    I found this way to buy them direct from the source ($45). A bit pricey:
    http://faber-castell.us/17320/Products/Design/Perfect-Pencil/index_ebene3.aspx

  • Gary

    These are the ones i am talking about – are in the bottom row of the case

    https://picasaweb.google.com/111382852655305147597/PerfectPencils

    gary

  • Greetings from Finland! I bought that model of Perfect Pencil from Akateeminen kirjakauppa (Academic Book Store) in the city of Tampere. It was available in different cap colour. I chose the back one.

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