The Stabilo Trio 362 is an oversized triangular pencil in a natural finish with a splash of colour on the cap.
The pencil is marked “3-6 Gripping Standard”. The packaging reveals the meaning. Can you guess? That’s right, this pencil is meant for three to six year olds!
The core is an oversized 3.8mm. The line seemed somewhat light, though with more pressure it was able to leave a dark line.
What’s really noticeable is the cap. This type of painted pencil end seems to be a feature associated with European pencils. The term I hear in English is “dipped”. But in German, there is more specific terminology. The white ring is a “Lackring” and the red cap a “Lackkappe”. This site translates Lackkappe to “patent tip” or “patent toe cap”. Maybe patent as in patent leather – shiny – but I think the terms more mean lacquer ring and lacquer cap. Corrections/additions to this understanding are welcome!
The bright red and white cap is a nice contrast to the natural finish pencil. Overall, a nice pencil.
Schwan-STABILO also manufacture the Schwan line – “Schwan” being a swan, derived from the name of company founder Gustav Adam Schwanhäusser.
The Schwan pencils I have are curious – a yellow version, the Schwan 305, marked HB=2, and a wine coloured version, the Schwan 306, marked HB=21/2. The 306 is also labelled with a barcode.
The 305 is a decidedly darker lead than the 306.
The pencils have unfinished caps, and appear to be in more of a discount line than the Othello.
The 305 lead broke both while writing and during sharpening. No problems were encountered with the 306.
While the simple styling is a plus, I don’t expect pencil leads to repeatedly fracture in anything but the cheapest of pencils, so these are a disappointment.
Schwan-STABILO’s website says the company was founded in Bavaria in 1855. Today, they are a successful conglomerate with 2800 employees, and their main revenue source is from cosmetic pencils.
Their highlighters and markers are what one might see in an office supply store in Canada. Graphite pencils are not typically for sale at local retailers.
The Othello 282 has very unusual colouring – solid forest green, with the hexagonal edges pinstriped in a light green. They look like pieces of candy! The cap is painted red.
The claim is that this style started in the 1920s after a bad paint run in the factory accidentally produced a similar pattern.
The pencil is marked:
STABILO Othello 282 HB=21/2
Of course we usually think an HB grade is an No. 2. The obverse side has a barcode.
It’s also named after a play and character of Shakespeare. I’m curious about this, and have sent a note to the manufacturer. I’ll update this post should they reply.
It lays down a fairly dark line, and doesn’t crumble. It’s a good pencil, though I wouldn’t call it exceptional.
It’s great to find that a 19th century pencil maker is still making good products.