Red and Blue pencils from Berol México, Caran d’Ache, and Linex

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Today we examine a trio of red and blue pencils from around the globe.

red and blue pencils

From Berol México we have the Escolar. A part of the global Sanford empire, Berol México continues to use historically important pen and pencil brand names such as Blaisdell and Esterbrook.

Sanford products from México can be found at some small independent art supply stores in Canada. The appearance of these products suggests that they have been in a dusty corner of a warehouse for some years. But I have no specific information.

This particular pencil is hexagonal and unsharpened, with the sides alternately painted red and blue. The stamping of the name may be on either a red or blue side.

red and blue pencils
L to R: CPD 100, Bicolor 999, Escolar

From Caran d’Ache is the Bicolor 999. Unlike many better known Caran d’Ache products, this pencil doesn’t appear to be widely exported from Switzerland.

The pencil bears the FSC logo, and is hexagonal and pre-sharpened at both ends. The red end has a removable plastic cover embellished with a bar code.

red and blue pencils

Lastly, the Danish brand Linex (though the products don’t claim to be made in Denmark) offers the CPD 100.

The CPD 100 is an oversized triangular pencil, with the red end sharpened. A set of ten comes in a plastic wallet.

red and blue pencils

Trying them on paper, the Escolar does surprising well for a student pencil. It sharpens easily, the “red” is fairly red, the point doesn’t break under pressure.

The Bicolor 999 is a delight. Both ends leave truly smooth and rich lines. The “red” is slightly on the orange side. I want to keep using it. It is one of those pencils that demonstrates the merits of making and using quality pencils.

red and blue pencils

The CPD 100 is the disappointment of the three. The “red” is more on the pink side. The sharpening was tough, and the leads a bit on the scratchy side. It isn’t a terrible pencil, but there are better choices available.

Seven Argentinian red and blue pencils

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Argentinian red and blue pencils

Seven red and blue pencils from Argentina. They are:

Eberhard Faber Van Dyke 2000. Note the unusual stripe pattern. Hexagonal, oversized.

Eberhard Faber Hevi-Check 6540. Round.

Johann Faber “Alligator” Copiativo. Round red and blue copying pencil.

Pax bicolor. Hexagonal.

Faber-Castell 737. Hexagonal.

Consul Bicolor. Hexagonal.

Eberhard Faber Van Dyke 2000. Hexagonal, oversized.

The Pax and Faber-Castell pencils, the only ones not stating “Industria Argentina”, are the two contemporary pencils. I have read suggestions that the Pax comes from Chile, and the Faber-Castell from Brazil.

Argentinian red and blue pencils

My thanks to blog reader dasmarians for many of the pencils shown.

LINK: Other posts on red and plue pencils at pencil talk.

Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil

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Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil

The growth of online stores, auctions, and selling forums has resulted in many benefits for pencil end users, including the ability to discover unusual products. Here is an example.

How many people outside of Malaysia knew that Staedtler made a red and blue pencil?

Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil

The traditional red and blue format survives, yet I’ll bet very few people would know where to find one. I suspect that in most markets, not a single brick and mortar store carries such an item.

Certainly this particular pencil is a surprise – why is it so “beneath the radar”? From a major manufacturer, it would command a market simply due to the brand.

Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil

So there are a few things different – the tradition name, usually written with the lower case t, has graduated to using a majuscule T.

The markings are also a bit un-Staedtler – no bar code, just the text, “Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3”. 2/3? 2/3 of what? And the imprints don’t seem to be of top quality.

The red and blue markings do seem to be nicely merged with the traditional tradition branding.

And finally – why the tradition line? How does this variant relate to the 110 pencil?

Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil

The Malaysian made (according to the box) pencils are a nice oversize hexagonal shape, and function well. The line seems a bit dry while richly pigmented – nicely tuned for writing. I look forward to using them.

P.S. This is the 500th post at pencil talk.

Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

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Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

At pencil talk, we love red and blue pencils! But sometimes one needs a red pencil or a blue pencil – not both at once. Or, you’ve found that a double ended pencil gets unusable a bit too quickly. Here is a red/blue pair of very impressive pencils.

Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

Hailing from the venerable Mitsubishi Pencil Co., we have Vermilion (model 2451) and Prussian Blue (model 2453) pencils, both round with ferrule and eraser, and the finish matching the lead colour.

Though not shown in the photos, the pencils (labelled “Hard”) can be reliably sharpened to extremely fine points, even in the most acute setting of a Carl DE-100 sharpener. This is an exceptional achievement for colour pencils, which are often brittle and sharpener-unfriendly.

Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

Further, they answer a question I’ve often heard – is there a colour pencil that can be used as a writing pencil?

Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

They sport a feature highly untypical of Japanese pencils – a ferrule and eraser.

Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

The attached eraser seems to be depleted by 20% or so after a single use. On Maruman Mnemosyne paper, the erasure is okay but not exceptional. But on Rhodia paper with a Tombow Mono eraser, there was an extremely clean erasure.

Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils Mitsubishi Vermilion and Prussian Blue pencils

These pencils seems very capable at many tasks – they are non-breaking writing or checking colour pencils that are also erasable. Yet another product that keeps Mitsubishi at the top of their industry.

FILA 795 BE Red and Blue Pencil

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FILA 795 BE Red and Blue Pencil

The FILA 795 BE is contained in a box whose artwork has a simple yet powerful portrait.

FILA 795 BE Red and Blue Pencil

The details are striking – the red factory windows, the carefully rendered plumes of smoke, the uber-smokestack that is a red and blue pencil, and FILA’s name in red and blue.

FILA 795 BE Red and Blue Pencil

Bravissimo!

FILA 795 BE Red and Blue Pencil