Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil

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.

17 Replies to “Staedtler Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil”

  1. Congratulations from me as well – thank you for 500 great views into the wonderful world of pencils!

    The Tradition 118-2/3 red and blue pencil is very nice. I think you are right about the availability; at least in Germany I have mostly seen old stock of red and blue pencils so far; only very few stores offer the Faber-Castell red and blue pencil with the larger diameter.

  2. Also from me: congratulations!!
    I am not so keen on the Staedtler 118, simply because it is oversized, but started using red and blue pencils a lot, mainly the Castell 9608.

  3. Congratulations on your 500th post. :)

    I don’t think I’ve seen this particular red and blue pencil yet. I wonder if anyone has actually used a red and blue pencil so much that they’ve sharpened the lead all the way to see the lead color change.

  4. Congratulations from me too.Looking forward to the next 500!
    @Pisces6: I’m a teacher – I use the red/blue format a lot. Mostly the Mitsubishi 2637 – 1/3 blue and 2/3 red. It is a bit of an exciting moment when I sharpen the last of the blue (If my students have been good :-)) and see how the two cores meet. :-)
    regards Henrik

  5. I would also like to add my congratulations for your 500th post. Your hands must be very tired! If the next 500 entries are as informative and entertaining as the past half thousand, we’re in for a real treat.



  6. Henrik, thank you for the information about the use red and blue pencils in your profession. May I ask for a few more details about it? Do you use red for errors and blue for (let’s say) marks of distinction? – The book “Pencils” by Marco Fererri mentiones the use of the pencils in Italy where red is for normal errors and blue for severe ones, and a few days ago a young teacher from Italy has confirmed that.

  7. Hi Gunther. It’s a little different here. I use red for errors, regardless of their weight – and blue for “OK”, “well done” etc. So blue is good and red is bad – that’s why the 1/3 blue format suits me so well :-).
    Wonder what the Italian teachers do if something is excellent?

  8. The red and blue pencil bring back memories of when I used paper to perform an audit of financial records. I used hundreds of them for my referencing and cross-referencing. I may have to try to get some and show the young auditors how us “oldies” really used to audit!. Thanks for reminding me.

  9. I live in the UK and it seems impossible to find any of these terrific red/blue pencils for sale here. Could anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

  10. My aunt (a retired headmistress) emptied her loft and found some of these pencils which she gave to me. Mine are the 118-2 variety with only red ‘lead’, however, and they mark plaster/brickwork/paintwork beautifully (I’m an architect). After a little digging I’ve found that they are a ‘checking’ pencil used by carpenters and tailors. I’ve also found that the 2 refers to the red pencil and the 3 to the blue, hence your double ended ones being 118-2/3. These are arbitrary (I think) numbers assigned to colours by Staedtler, 1 being yellow, 2 red, 3 blue, 4 orange, 5 green, 6 purple, 7 brown, 8 grey, 9 black. All pencils in the 2 series, i.e. 23, are shades of red, those in the 5 series are shades of green, and so on. I think I’m going too far into this now…I only wanted to find out if I could get any of these great pencils in green…

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