It is not a vegetable peeler, nor a magnet. It is a curiosity, a design object created by Oriol Gener. It claims to be able to sharpen a pencil.
It is fun, and surprisingly miniature – from photos, I imagined a full-sized kitchen vegetable peeler – but it is comparable to the size and weight of a large coin.
The packaging has instructional photos that I don’t find helpful.
As one would imagine, you peel away at the pencil with the peeler’s blade.
(An MD pencil.)
I’m quite ambiguous in my reaction. It just can’t be as consistent as a quality regular sharpener. It costs roughly $USD25. It benefits from softer woods. But it is a lot of fun.
What do you think?
Something more casual today. This pencil, the 1.3mm Staedtler 771, has bright Noris colouring. It is a large chunky triangular pencil, and has no trouble surviving and being found after a wind gust. It feels sturdy and solid, and at about $CDN10 ($USD8, 7 Euros), has an unexpected wealth of features – a clip, a retracting cylindrical guide, a rubbery grip area, and a twist-out eraser.
Today is a provincial holiday where I live, and some time in the backyard makes me realize that at least in certain circumstances – the visibility of a pencil is an asset.
A small sticker tells me the pencil is made in Japan. My only misgiving is that 1.3mm lead is not commonplace here.
[Update: August 8, 2017]
This blog is fortunate to have some very informed readers. One of them is Gunther, the author of the erudite Lexikaliker weblog. Gunther has shared some interesting history regarding the Staedtler 771:
The Staedtler 771 is made in Japan, and was first presented at Paperworld in January, 2008. The pencil commenced sales in Germany in May, 2008.
Early 2014 saw the pencil’s discontinuation in Germany. In Japan, the 771 continued, and was joined in Fall 2014 by a white and black version, the 771-0. Both versions continue to be offered in Japan.
Gunther mentions that “Staedtler Germany still offers 1.3 mm leads because they were also used for the graphite 760.” The 760 was discontinued, though the 925 appears to still be around.
As noted in this post at Lexikaliker, pencil industry leader Faber-Castell has issued a special set of pencils to honour the 200th birthday of Lothar von Faber. (An English language version of the product website is here).
To anyone interested in the history of pencils, this is super exciting!
This blog, nine years ago, was thinking ahead about tribute pencils for Faber-Castell’s 250th anniversary in 2011. Some good suggestions are in the comments.
This is what Faber-Castell produced. Beautiful. Every business must look forward, but I’d also hoped for a look back at their magnificent history.
Later than we hoped for, is this great set. The photos suggest it is very pleasing. Unfortunately, it is only available in Germany. I hope Faber-Castell will recognize the irony – Lothar von Faber created great success though approaching international markets. I hope this pencil set will become available internationally.
I also hope for the chance to contrast this set with the the original (a privilege to own).
In the period that this blog was inactive, Faber-Castell introduced two fantastic additions to their Perfect Pencil line – first, a No. V refill in grey guilloche, and later, a beautiful midnight blue edition.
They were quick additions to my daily arsenal – in fact they seem like the same quality as the fluted pencils, but in a more casual yet elegant design. The leads may be just a bit darker – a reaction to customer feedback?
They are fantastic, amazing pencils. Is there a competitor at this level?
Graf von Faber-Castell Guilloche pencils
Faber-Castell – 21st century pencil manufacturer
2015 was the 100th anniversary of famed pencil maker Caran d’Ache. We’re a little late noting this, but belatedly wish them congratulations! For the anniversary, a few commemorative items were offered, including a special version of their famed Fixpencil.
The Fixpencil, which we looked at in 2008, is arguably one of the most iconic writing instruments around, having been recognized in a Swiss stamp.
Some of the other items (e.g. fancy fountain pens) weren’t really my cup of tea, and the pencil commemoration (for the Technograph) just seemed to be four standard pencils in a cardboard box. Fortunately, this special Fixpencil seemed appealing, and came without an outrageous price.
The pencil is a standard 2mm Fixpencil, but with a special design – silver colouring, a 10cm ruler, and colour leads:
Of special interest is a multilingual brochure that outlines the stories of Caran d’Ache products. The text is light on facts, but the illustrations are great!
Did you buy any of the Caran d’Ache 100th anniversary products?
Lamy has many fans in the stationery world, and justifiably so. Their products are associated with reliability, good value, and a commitment to good design.
Here is a Lamy Safari you’re not going to find in any stationery store: a 2.0mm mechanical pencil. The one pictured is a custom modification by isu, the author of both the uncomfortable chair, and the uncomfortable chair 2. Why two blogs? I am not sure. Maybe there are even more.
In a great confluence of events, Stationery Magazine issue 10 just arrived from Japan. We took a brief look at the first issue almost a decade ago. Although I do not read or speak Japanese, the annual magazine has such great photography that it is still worth picking up if you’re someone who reads blogs like this one.
Guess who is featured in issue 10? The master modifier himself!
Thank you isu for the great pencil!
I wonder if Lamy could be persuaded to add 2.0mm to their lineup?