A couple more vintage double-knock pencils

From a recent haul, what I’d consider the top desirable ones.

Top row: PILOT MR-style “Custom Mizutama” ballpoint companion to the HG-300SK. The mechanical pencil doesn’t seem to be coming up for sale as much as it used to. And the ballpoint is even tougher to find. I got really lucky in a small PILOT ballpoint lot to get one in the original box with PILOT pamphlet. Recently I came to learn this model is called “Mizutama,” which is the Japanese word (phonetically spelled here) for “polka-dot.” I’d been calling it a micro-dot grid.

Bottom row:

  1. Newman staggered etched all steel w/polished accents – I’d been waiting for this one for over 2 years, having gotten the gold accent version about 5 years ago. Model number? Can’t find it.
  2. PILOT H-2105 – I have the H-2103 in near mint shape. Had bad luck with getting the H-2105 of same condition for around the same price. Kept getting outbid. Finally circled back and got one for almost 1/2 the going rate, in used but good condition. The weak white labeling of the model number thoroughly rubbed off, but the black knurling in very good shape (usually they’re well worn enough for the brass to peek through).
  3. Mitsubishi M3-100 – I was late to the game on grabbing one of these. I first spotted them about 3 years ago, with the first auction having crummy photos and could barely make out the concentric grooves. It went pretty cheaply. I wasn’t sure how solid the MX-100 series actually was. Then the next auctions went much higher. I was too frustrated, facing eager deep pocketed collectors time after time. I stopped looking, then began again recently, delighted to see prices had come down some. Nabbed this used example for a great price. Photos were OK, but seller hadn’t cleaned it before taking them. Some silver polish removed grime and tarnish and now it looks stellar!

My M3-100 is BY FAR one of my favorite double-knocks. It is actually part of my Top Five MPs overall.

Fortunately for me (how I won the auction) the seller had its’middle-ring backwards, which made other bidders apprehensive(due to its recessed tip). I purchased, flipped the ring, unclogged it…. BAMM! Fully functional Incredible piece. Congrats on obtaining yours!


It is fun to see you acquiring more greats. I had thought you were fairly complete and not in growth mode. Did you successfully consolidate and reduce over the last couple years and are now re-entering a mode of measured growth? Or have you caught the fever again?

Less but better :+1:t2:
I am so intrigued by the micro dot etching on the top Pilot. Yes, it used to appear more frequently in the past but has receded into rarity like so many other cool designs.


Glad to hear yours worked out for the best.

What do you mean by “middle ring?” I have noticed that on some of the examples appearing listed, the tip extended will be shy of fully extended while others appear to be more fully seated. I have a 2nd one on the way and the extended photo showed what appeared to be full extension. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare.

I agree, these are wonderfully made and easily a top 10 contender for any vintage MP collection.

Oh I’m actually further from complete than I hoped I’d be at this point. I’ve kind of given up on striving for completeness. Just keeping an eye out for a few models here and there. I’ve done only minor consolidating at this point & plan to reduce excess in time. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got & thankful to have enjoyed some good timing over the years.

How about you?

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My list was on a bit of a plateau for a while, shrinking and growing a bit month by month. Now it is shrinking and will probably remain on the decline because my interests are so narrow now.

I put the brakes on recently after finding a few key pieces but may resume acquisitions in the fall or next year. I hope to close out the list in a year or two so that the energy spent on acquisitions can shift to curation and creation.


What’s your approach to shrinking? Private sales or listed on auction sites? I don’t see many pencils listed on r/pen_swap but I’ve sold a few pens and pencils there at various points in time. eBay fees are awfully high these days. It seems some people sell on Etsy and Mercari, which I imagine have a more favorable fee involved (just a much narrower audience).

I haven’t given a lot of thought to curation. But my next step is to get better about storage. I want to leverage more portable plastic cases. I want to be able to make my collection “mobile” on short notice, in case of an unanticipated environmental hazard. At present I have a fire resistant portable safe that houses my most prized pens & pencils… but it’s rather small and I’ve been forced to leave out ones that I’d rather secure. Eventually I’d also like to have a “display case,” one that can be stashed away most of the time, but then brought out for easy access or displaying to friends. Probably grouped by high rarity and then by brand or function types (e.g. all body-knocks, or retractable double-knocks).


Shrinking my want list is occasionally done with self-control and striking out items that just aren’t worth the search and money. Most of the time it is done through acquiring. As I mentioned, it has been shrinking recently because I am pretty narrow in my interests now.

Shrinking the collection has never meaningfully occured to date because selling is so much more boring and tedious than buying. I have sold duplicates and large lot misc items, mostly through ebay. This helps keep my stock of pencils relatively nearer to ‘just those I want to have around’.

For curating, I think the top 20 MPs and top 20 Holders will eventually need custom wood and glass display cases mounted on a wall or in a coffee table or something. One minor problem is that I also want to be able to occasionally test drive them, not just have them on the shelf. Not many people care about MPs, so I also don’t need a very public display of them in my home or office. Just something elegant to personally admire.

I’ll continue to use Clear acrylic Container Store/ Muji drawer towers for the miscellaneous faves that I want on my desk at all times for aesthetics and easy access.

I will continue to use leather folios for the series and themed sets. Some time back, maybe 2020 or 2021 there was a guy on ebay selling Buy It Now leather folios with ~40 pencils per folio for $100. They disappeared within minutes each time, but Money_Mechanic shared the seller info so I was able to buy a couple of them. I liked the format and have a bunch of these folios now. I also like the idea of eventually downsizing in this grand fashion some day if my other ideas of geocache-ing, donating to a stationery museum, or helping establish a lending library don’t work out at that stage of life. I am not willing to spend 1000 hours of life selling 1000 pencils one by one.

Kiwi Dave has a good thing going on Facebook, it seems. He’ll post a picture of 30 items and sell them in bulk or piecemeal to interested folks. He is not making any money on it (he sold me 30 pencils for 30 USD and he paid for shipping), but I think he is succeeding in downsizing a bit while helping the community get interesting pieces from his collection. That last bit is the real win.


Hey can you share a picture of this?

Sure! https://www.reddit.com/r/mechanicalpencils/comments/ljjem6/storage_systems/


Hah! What do you know… I have the exact same one from MUJI (beautiful plexiglass construction). Only, it’s rather overstuffed right now with a sea of clutter. A rainy day project to go through it and try sorting. I don’t use any in-drawer slots. They’re all just sitting openly.

MUJI’s products are expensive, but worth it IMHO. I just wish they’d have periodic sales on these mini drawers. My only complaint is that after full extension, sometimes easing them back in can bind up if you’re not careful to ensure a perfect alignment.


Ah, I’ve got you now. Shrinking in 2 respects: 1) in rate of adding to the collection or 2) reducing the collection. I kind of gave up on Facebook for some personal reasons but I’m thinking of heading back. At least there I can see about joining a group on pens and/or pencils. That’s good to know there’s a good bit of buying/selling between collectors there. I’d rather let something go for a lower price there, so there’s not a 20% loss on fees. Better to give the discount to a fellow collector!

Yeah, what you can do with a display case or table is to have it designed with an easy-access port so it’s not hard to retrieve pencils of interest to use.

Btw, do you have any pencils in your collection that are strictly shelf-queens? I have a few, where I’ve made the effort to have “user grade” duplicates to enjoy the use without risking wear to a pristine example.

Just saw on USA Mercari – no seller fees!


Wow, no seller fees??

Yes, I keep some shelf queens with duplicates as users. But this balloons the collection a bit, which I don’t like.


Yes, it can balloon the collection, so one has to be prudent on which ones will be duplicates. I admit I’ve gotten some, then changed my mind and none of them get used. :rofl: Because as the saying goes, “you can only use one at a time.” I try to do some rotations, but sometimes one becomes a favorite that I just want to use more than others.

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Interestingly, shelf queens are typically not my most prized items because I tend not to have two of the highly prized ones - to expensive and time-consuming to get duplicates. Not everyone can be so lucky to get several Protecs…

I suppose it is the second tier items for which I am more able to get duplicates.

When you twist it apart, there is a “ring” in the center that “mates” the top and bottom halves. The pencil is designed for it to be facing the “correct” way, but it will be flush either way. If it is facing the WRONG way, the tip doesn’t extend the way it should, only about 1/2 or 2/3 the way out.

I was delighted when I figured this out. Hope this makes sense/helps.

Curious! Yes, I see now. In my case, it slides inside the rear piece to fit flush. I don’t see how it could work in reverse without being really obvious, as there’s a slope to the ring shape on the short end and straight on the opposite end, with a raised flange in the middle. The ring in mine was inset rather snug–had to hook a fingernail on it to dislodge. The longer end slides nicely into the rear body half. I can see if it was flipped, it would make the body a little too long and then explain why the extended mechanism tip was seated so shallow on your pencil.

By the way, do you find that after you disassemble it, that it’s very tricky getting the mechanism clear through the rear half of the body? It’s like there’s some kind of blockage at first. I had to keep test rotating the rear and pushing various times to eventually overcome it and then I could screw it back together. Pencil works perfectly fine, though.

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Yes, exactly how you described, you just find the “sweet spot” and all is well.

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