Red and Blue pencils V – a mechanical twist

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Autopoint Twinpoint red and blue mechanical pencil

The red and blue pencil concept also exists in the mechanical pencil realm. The Autopoint Twinpoint is a mechanical pencil with lead at both ends!

Each end is colour coded red or blue, and dispenses a corresponding lead. Though the product is named the “Twinpoint”, this pencil type seems to be popularly known as a “double ender”.

Autopoint Twinpoint red and blue mechanical pencil

The ownership of Autopoint has changed over the years, but material at Guide to Autopoint and Dur-O-Lite Spiral Pencils indicates that this pencil type was sold by Autopoint as far back as the 1920s!

Autopoint today still sells a very similar lineup to that seen in 1960s catalogues, with no product modernization. They are one of these lines that doesn’t have to imitate “retro” – they are retro! Yet – in some ways their products appear very modern.

If you can find them at retail (I can’t), these pencils should be under $5 – a real bargain for an interesting and unique writing implement with so much history.

It comes in two versions – 0.9mm, and 1.18mm, both traditional lead sizes. Strangely, the blue leads don’t seem to be the same – the 1.18mm version is a lighter, fainter blue, while the 0.9mm version is more of a navy blue.

The red seems to be on the pink side, unlike woodcase red and blue pencils, where the reds are more orange hued.

Autopoint Twinpoint red and blue mechanical pencil

Each pencil comes with two silver-coloured cardboard containers with refill leads. These are also a delightful retro item.

Autopoint Twinpoint red and blue mechanical pencil

As well, if you buy one of these pencils, you probably won’t want to throw away the box, as it contains the refill instructions. Not quite the Yard-O-Led experience, but still complex enough. (Unscrew the plunger? Huh?)

Autopoint Twinpoint red and blue mechanical pencil

Further on red and blue pencils:

From penciltalk.org:
Red and Blue pencils
Red and Blue pencils II
Television! (The Conté Television 649 red and blue pencil)
Red and Blue pencils IV – Viarco

From stdk.de:
Rot-Blau-Stifte

11 Replies to “Red and Blue pencils V – a mechanical twist”

  1. Thanks for the review with the great photos and for linking to my list of red and blue pencils (which unfortunately needs a reworking very badly). – These Autopoint pencils are sold at e. g. at Pencil Things (I’m not connected with them, just a happy customer).

  2. We can also buy the autopoint pencils at “autopointinc.com” immediately. I bought the Twinpoint pencils at the shop, because they were not available at the stationery shops in Japan.
    The “tip” of the Twinpoint is interchangeable with the tip of Autopoint “All-american” pencils, which have the lead diameters from 0.5 mm to 1.1mm.

  3. can anybody tell me where i can get those blue mechanical pencils, but the lead is suppost to be hard not soft (for animation work)

  4. Michal,
    Autopoint sells directly from their websight. You can buy 1 pencil, 1 package of erasers, etc. No requirement to buy large lots. Service is fast and they do not gouge on handling and mail charges. http://autopointinc.com/ is the url.

  5. I CURRENTLY HAVE SEVERAL AUTOPOINT PENCILS, SINGLE AND DOUBLE ENDED THAT I HAVE HAD AND USED SINCE THE MIDDLE 1960’S. ALL WORKING GREAT….

  6. I finally retired and went through my supplies collection. I gave many fountain pens and all my Autopoint pencils to my son. He has become an avid fountain Pen user and is buying more; he has about 24 now. My Autopoint span a range of aves going back to the ’50s with accounting firm and government names inscribed to some only about 4 years old. Other than the pocket clips the construction seems the same regardless of age other than a couple of my oldest seems to have the lead advance “screw” made from something more brass colored than steel.

    Considering the current price of new ones from Autopoint doubles ended and All American pencils I can not see any reason to buy any other. Those cheapest selling for about the same price and made offshore are a far less enjoyable writing experience. The only other current bargain high quality pencil I have found has been the Parker Jotters from time to time. Usually part of sets including the pens. About a year ago Parker seemed to do a dump and I picked up some 30 sets of stainless steel and red plastics with a average price of $2.50 per pen and per pencil. I really was looking for client gifts and the pens but found the pencil to be good. The pencil quality actually seems to be better than the pen when compared to my mid-60s set.

    Autopoint handles orders online and by phone. They fill orders fast and give great service. I looked at stationary stores but found no bricks and mortar stores. I think Autopoint’s direct sales being so inexpensive may be at their dealer/wholesale price as online pricing I have seen for them is higher.

    The Autopoint to me is the Volvo of pencils. Nothing fancy, nothing cutting edge; just gets the job done as it should with no problems, well, reliably, low maintenance and lasts forever.

  7. Amazon. com has both the four colors of lead and the pencils. Around 10+ bucks each for the pencil, the leads close to the same for two tubes…..

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