Since the sub has gone down, I thought about making a post where everyone could drop their opinion and learn something new. Many people aren’t interested or can’t access vintage or rare pencils, so the question is, which are your favourite widely available pencils?
I’m a big fan of these TK-Fines. Sliding sleeve (not orenz style, just that if you press on the sleeve while pressing the button you can retract it) and solid build for just a few euros in Spain.
After moving to Japan, I have found many great pencils widely available at stores, it’s hard to pick a few. Pilot S10, Pentel PG5, Kuru Toga New Standard, Staedtler 925-25, Graphgear 500, are all pencils which I quite like.
My vote for price-for-performance that is widely available would be the Tombow Mono Graph Zero. Amazon US - $7.00, metal grip, solid mechanism, all around great.
My 2 work horses. Smash and a PS535. Never leave home without them. For drafting and art, I like Staedtler 925-25/35 , Alvin Draftmatics (great knurling) and a slew of Pentels: Orenz .2mm, Graph Gear 500,600,800, PG100X. a couple of Ohtos, Uni and a few Rotrings.
That tombow mono is a great pencil for the price. And there’s a lot of color variations as well.
Orenz 0.2 with 2B lead is an incredible experience! The ones with the grey metal grip are very beautiful in my opinion.
Sadly I’m not a big fan of the smash (sorry smash fans). Actually, I don’t like Pentel’s hybrid rubber/metal grips (e.g. gg1000, smash, graph1000 for pro, AT…) which is a bit of a shame because I’m left out of most of modern’s Pentel offering. But that’s how it is for me.
Kerry, the Penac NP-3 (my edc for drawing, which works better for me than the P203) and the S3.
Depends on how you define ‘widely availible’
But I’d have to say that the Pentel PG5 is very high up there, I think you can still get that on Amazon.
Even more available? Can’t go wrong with the GG1000 or even the GG500!
PG5, GG500 and at least here the Marsmicro 775 is pretty common in shops.
My favorite is the Platinum Pro Use 171. The pencil’s grip is amazing and is very reminiscent of the PG2003’s grip. If you are gonna buy one, I recommend buying the classic version instead of the new versions with matte paint.
If I had to pick just one based on quality, comfort and most importantly, price, then it would have to be the Pilot S10 with Pentel PG5 a close second.
The Tombow Mono Graph Zero is the best modern pencil in terms of low price + high build quality.
Other great modern pieces:
Pentel Orenz $5–$30
Pentel Smash (IMO it must be one with a matte black grip) ~$15
Pilot S20 ~$20
Pilot S30 ~$30
rOtring 600 ~$20
Staedtler 925 25 ~$20
I bought a PILOT S10 with the express intent of cannibalizing it for the grip and installing it on an S20. I did that… then put everything back as it was. I felt like the long knurled section on the S20 (becoming an S15) just looked off, ill fitting. And frankly, the S10 is a beautiful pencil. It’s a terrific value for the price! I even noticed the little touch of the eraser cap edges being slightly rounded, making it comfortable for a quick tap to advance lead.
I wish the TOMBOW MONOTECH 1000 was still being sold and at the stickered prices from days gone by. That’s a sleeper. Really nicely done for an inexpensive drafting pencil. Of course nowadays, because of its similarity to some other very sought after pencils, the auction price is sometimes ridiculous.
Also, for just sheer comfort and visual delight of so many color variations, the Pentel SMASH is a terrific widely available pencil. Every collection should have at least a few. The sometimes remarkably cheap prices for which you can get the plain black one makes no excuse for not having one of them.
I disagree. The GG500 is superior. The Mono Zero is not as agile as the GG.
Which one do you mean? The Monotech 1000? I thought that all of the “mono” pencils were still in production.
Yes, I meant “MONOTECH.” There is no MONO 1000…
What do you mean by “agile” as far as the differences are concerned?
There’s a few gems above but I think mine would be the Kerry. If I wasn’t in so deep with Clics I’d be collecting the Kerry instead.
GG500 grip section is an abomination. It’s why I hate the GG1000, too.
I was also not impressed with the grip on the GG500, Graplet, GG1000, or GG800. The Graph 1000 for pro, MG-350, and GG300 grips are better IMO, but the mechanisms does not feel nearly as solid. I am fairly new to this whole hobby, and one of my first few pencils was a P205 which led to me having such high hopes for Pentel other offerings. I have honestly felt less than impressed. That is with the exception of the Kerry and Orenz metal grip which were both solid. I also do not own a PG5 yet; I’m considering wait to buy a new one until I have an older one but I might get impatient.
I don’t know how I forgot about this little gem here. One of my favorite from Pentel:
My current fav is the Tombow MONO Graph. The excellent eraser makes it super usable for students, crosswords, art, etc. Too many colors, but that’s also why it makes an easy recommendation for casual users. The new MONO Graph Lite is also great, especially if you prefer a rubber grip.