Mitsubishi Dermatograph 7600 paper wrapped pencil

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Mitsubishi Dermatograph 7600 paper wrapped pencil

A previous post took a look at paper wrapped pencils, specifically the ones known as grease markers or china markers.

Mitsubishi Dermatograph 7600 paper wrapped pencil

Did you know (and are you surprised?) that the Mitsubishi Pencil Company of Japan makes a grease pencil – and in a dozen, vibrant colours.

Mitsubishi Dermatograph 7600 paper wrapped pencil

The “Dermatograph” No. 7600, marked “For Glass, Metal, Plastics”, seems to be an upscale version of the grease pencil – nice colours and finish, no extruding staple, and a finished cap!

Mitsubishi Dermatograph 7600 paper wrapped pencil

The possibilities beckon.

Mitsubishi Dermatograph 7600 paper wrapped pencil

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.

Where’s the rest of the pencil?

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Uni and Castell 9000 pencils

From Mitsubishi and Faber-Castell, we have pre-shortened versions of the Uni and Castell 9000 pencils.

Uni and Castell 9000 pencils

They are meant for use in pencil holders from these firms.

Uni and Castell 9000 pencils

The Uni is unsharpened, while the 9000 has a factory sharpening. Both are sold in packages of three.

Uni and Castell 9000 pencils

Black erasers

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Black erasers

There was a question about how the PaperMate Exam Standard compared to other black erasers, so I thought I’d try a small side by side comparison.

Black erasers

As was done with previous eraser tests, the Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 and a Rhodia pad were used as our reference pencil and paper.

Black erasers

I also added in Pentel Ain 2B 0.7mm mechanical pencil lead for comparison.

Black erasers

The erasers tested were:

  • PaperMate Exam Standard
  • Factis Black 18
  • Seed Kesu Gomu
  • Faber-Castell 7089-20
  • Mitsubishi Boxy EP-60BX
  • Some black erasers I’m aware of that I don’t have are the Papermate Black Pearl, Carta Pura, and Stabilo Exam Grade.

    So what is the raison d’être of these erasers? I don’t really know. The only one I’ve generally seen at retail in Canada is the Factis. I heard it suggested that charcoal erasure is the purpose of black erasers. How do they differ from a standard white vinyl eraser? Here, I know even less. It is entirely possible that they are just dyed standard erasers.

    Black erasers

    Basically, I thought they would be alike – but testing exposed some differences.

    Black erasers

    First, the polymer Ain lead erased better than the ceramic Staedler lead, which is consistent with previous findings.

    Second – picking the winner was tougher than picking the loser. Two were notably worse at erasure – the Kesu Gomu and the Faber-Castell, the Faber-Castell being the worst.

    The winner is, to my eye, the Boxy, though the Papermate and Factis also did extremely well.

    My general impression is that the erasers are on the softer, gentler side.

    A couple of notes about the erasers –

    I don’t find the Exam Standard officially acknowledged on Papermate’s website. It shipped in a blister pack of three, and the erasers are wrapped in paper sleeves.

    Factis is based in Girona, Spain. The eraser has a cellophane band, and is the only eraser with markings.

    The Kesu Gomu is from Seed of Japan. It is a delightful eraser, and some great photos can be seen at Lexikaliker. I am not sure if it is meant to be a novelty eraser, but I am treating it as if meant for duty.

    The Faber-Castell has rounded edges which are called a “comfort feature”. Interesting, as many erasers tout their sharp edges as a feature.

    The Boxy has an unusual square cross-section.

    Black erasers

    I thought I was done, but decided on one more challenge – to investigate the charcoal erasure function.

    Black erasers

    Black erasers

    I tried both a charcoal pencil and willow charcoal on a Fabriano journal. As one would expect, the natural charcoal erased much more easily than the compressed charcoal in the pencil. Yet, the charcoal marks don’t really erase.

    Red and blue pencils VII – Tombow and Mitsubishi

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    Red and blue pencils

    So far, we’ve seen two examples of red and blue pencils from Japan – the first rate Kita Boshi 9667, and the very unusual finger-jointed Mitsubishi 2667.

    Let’s continue our exploration of this interesting pencil format by looking at the mainstream offerings from Japan’s largest pencil manufacturers, Tombow and Mitsubishi.

    Tombow makes the round 8900 VP. (VP for Vermilion/Prussian Blue.) There is also a very interesting variant – the 8900 VP 7/3 – a 70% red, 30% blue pencil!

    Mitsubishi counter with their own round red and blue pencils, the Colour Pencil 2667, and an accompanying 70% red, 30% blue, Colour Pencil 2637.

    Mitsubishi also produce a hexagonal pencil, the 772.

    The Tombow CV-REA VP, an offering corresponding to the 2667EW, is the only product missing (to the best of my knowledge) from this review.

    All the pencils have their principal makings in gold, and some have additional markings in white:

    8900 VP
    Obverse: High Quality Tombow 8900 *V.P* Made in Indonesia
    Reverse: [bar code] Vermilion Prussian Blue

    8900 VP 7/3
    Obverse: High Quality Tombow 8900 *V.P* 7/3 Japan
    Reverse: Vermilion Prussian Blue

    2667
    Obverse: Mistsubishi Pencil Co. Ltd. Colour Pencil 2667
    Reverse: [bar code] Vermilion/Prussian Blue

    2637
    Obverse: Mistsubishi Pencil Co. Ltd. Colour Pencil 2637
    Reverse: Vermilion/Prussian Blue

    772
    Obverse: “Mitsu-Bishi” Vermilion/Prussian Blue 772
    Reverse: ????

    A few observations about these pencils, starting with the more subtle distinctions. Two pencils have bar codes, and three do not. I don’t know if there is any greater meaning. The various pencils may or may not be meant for individual sale, and some might be part of packaging that contains a bar code. The pencils without bar codes certainly have a cleaner appearance.

    Proportion – the unequal proportion of the two colours and implied specialization of the 2637 and 8900 7/3 pencils is fascinating and charming! It is a rare and appreciated touch!

    Red and blue pencils

    Lettering – the “C” in “Colour” on the Mitsubishi pencils is remarkable! A curl in a curl! It is a first rate traditional font.

    Varnish. All five pencils seem to have nearly identical blue ends. Yet the red sides vary. The two 8900s seem the same, but the 26x7s are not. The 772 seems to be the same as the 26×7.

    The 772 is nicely done in another way. The Latin vs. Kanji characters on opposite sides make a nice juxtaposition.

    Red and blue pencils

    Made in Indonesia. Okay, I am slightly shocked. I have not previously seen a woodcase pencil from a Japanese pencil manufacturer marked “Made in Indonesia”. And adding to the curiosity is that the sibling 7/3 is marked “Japan”. Has anyone seen any pencils like this?

    How do they write?

    Red and blue pencils

    Before answering that question, let me mention that these pencils all arrived unsharpened – and some were not co-operating with the Irish and German made KUM Correc-Tri sharpener!

    The blue ends were the worst – I gave up on the 772 and took out a pen knife. Guess what? The 772 was very hard to sharpen, even with a Leatherman Squirt pen knife.

    On the red side, the 2667 red and 8900 blue ends needed two tries after breakage.

    Red and blue pencils

    The wood quality and breakage issues of the 772 seem to mark it as a lower quality pencil than the other four.

    I retried the sharpening in my battery operated Panasonic sharpener, and it did much better.

    Red and blue pencils

    So as to how they write – all five wrote very well, with rich, higly pigmented lines. I didn’t distinguish much difference between them.

    My favourite is probably the 2667, based on ease of sharpening and the distinctive makings.

    Red and blue pencils

    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
    Red and Blue pencils V – a mechanical twist
    Red and Blue pencils VI – the Kita-Boshi Vermilion and Prussian Blue 9667 pencil
    FILA 795 BE Red and Blue Pencil
    Chung Hwa 120 red and blue pencil
    Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

    From stdk.de:
    Rot-Blau-Stifte

    From rot-blau-stift.de:
    Rot-Blau-Stift

    From the uncomfortable chair:
    ?????????