First Pilot Drafting Pencil?

This is the continuation of the discussion we were having on this other post

I just got the pen today, so I will post some nice pictures of it.

This is the info that pearsonified kindly provided over the other thread:

This has a hexagonal barrel so maybe this one is the early model?
Interestingly, the clip is different than that of later Pilot pencils (e.g. the hi-mecha series). Somehow the way in how it’s faceted is different.

For reference, let me post some pics of other models I found on the net (not mine).

From this auction listing.
The clip is flat, the tip is different and the inside of the “PILOT 0.5” part is textured.
The logos are different, but both correspond to the same era

From this mercari listing

This is the commemorative version with gold trim. It looks identical to my pencil (except for the logo).
EDIT: the tip is also different (thanks drifand!)


The gold trim version’s cone is different from the plain chrome version… not sure what that means in terms of chronology.


On your specimen, “PILOT” is different—it’s the oldest version of the logo (as it appeared in resin molds).

This means your specimen is identical to my ancient Pilot drafting piece, except the tip is different. I think mine is an earlier run, and yours must have come a bit later when they made that tip the default drafting tip.

(Picture coming soonish; I’ve got to get over to The Toolbox™ and take a pic with natural lighting.)


That is so cool. This piece was another surprising find!
Considering how much the set was (almost 50000 yen) and my limited budget, I’m really glad I was pleasantly surprised and not the opposite :laughing:. I probably won’t be able to afford many of these big sets until I get a job.
Something to note about the tip, at least on my pencil I can swap it out for the one on the ML5-ish specimen and it fits perfectly. So if the tip is the only difference, there is always the possibility that someone swapped a bent/broken tip for one from a different model. Probably, unless there is a catalogue or internal differences, we may never be able to tell if they were different models or not. In any case I took a picture of the internals so you can compare it to those. If you want any other picture or measurement just let me know!

Ok, so this is even more interesting than I first thought!

As it turns out, your pencil is a unique piece I don’t have!

And based on my oldest Pilot drafting pencil, I now believe your piece is a “missing link” between the earliest era and the H-215 era.

Here’s the piece I think is Pilot’s oldest drafting pencil:

Things to notice:

  • PILOT logo features extended kerning (distance between letters)
  • Area with logo is not within a “box” depression in the resin mould
  • ¥300 pricing sticker suggests this came from the Land Before Time
  • Barrel shape is hex in the middle, rounded on the ends (shallow gradient mould)
  • Metal end cap flange elevates this pencil above similar models with a plastic terminus
  • Pilot’s oldest drafting tip with 7 grooves and a 4mm tip

And now here’s a Pilot H-215, which came later… and what I think is ultimately the evolution of your pencil:

Things to notice:

  • PILOT logo has tighter kerning
  • Logo sits within a “boxed” depression in the barrel
  • Barrel is hex in the middle and rounded on the ends, but with a steeper gradient mould pushed out toward the ends more
  • No metal flange at the end cap
  • Pilot’s “new standard” 3.5mm drafting tip with smooth, graduated cone sections (no grooves)
  • H-215 is nearly 1cm shorter than the older piece shown above

Now, here’s what I notice about your specimen:

  • Older logo style with extended kerning
  • Barrel is almost entirely hex with extremely steep gradients on the ends (the gradient is when it goes from hex to rounded)
  • Newer drafting tip (3.5mm)
  • Boxed depression where the logo sits
  • Is there a metal flange near the end cap? I can’t tell for certain from the existing pictures

Finally, you can tell that the black + gold specimen is simply an H-215 with gold trim and that special water droplet tip (which, again, I adore).

So what’s the end result of all this?

We now know there’s at least one “economy” drafting pencil Pilot released between the time of my extremely old piece and the advent of the H-215.

We also know that, based on the logo style, your old pencil was released alongside at least one other interesting drafting model. (Obviously, the logo is not pictured there, but these burgundy and black specimens have triangular barrels with a diamonized surface texture. You’ll have to trust that the logo matches that found on your pencil :sweat_smile:)

In the past couple of months, I’ve learned the triangular piece also came in navy blue, and it may have been considered a general writing model instead of a drafting model (the tip is about 2.3mm instead of 3.5mm).

I suspect the oldest drafting models only came in black, but general writing models were more colorful.

Now I’d love to know which year Pilot switched to a more tightly-kerned logo and rolled out the H-215.


That second set of photos shows a slightly later model than the one you just got which you suspect may be the first PILOT drafting pencil. I have this one, mint and stickered. The sticker has H-325 on it. It features a sliding pipe guide, much like the Pentel PS535.

What’s curious is how PILOT changed some things. Firstly, it uses less metal for the clip, abandoning the grip sleeve portion that wraps around the body, allowing optional removal. Instead, it’s a fixed clip wedged into a raised plastic mounting piece. PILOT also went with a very long metal tube for the mechanism, with a spring that’s half the length of this alleged 1st edition (H-225?).

I can’t find photos of it, because PILOT decided to reuse the “H-325” designation for a recent release, so those overwhelm search results. I’ll see about taking some photos of mine, if there’s interest.


I think the pencil in the second set of photos is the H-315, the same as the H-325 but with a fixed sleeve.


Thank you for that. Wow, I didn’t know they were made in such bright colors. Is the middle one a kind of dark green?


That’s right, dark green, the prettiest.


This is correct. I love the H-315 tip; there’s an aluminum hybrid with this tip, and it’s one of the sleeper greats in the Pilot lineup.

And while I’m not certain, I think the H-315 was offered in more exciting colors than the H-325. But with that said, the H-325 skeleton is a must-have in any serious collection.


The truth is that I know because you explained it on reddit.


Blick makes some nice $5 drafting pencils with colored plastic bodies, reminiscent of Pentel P20x.


That one made me laugh.
The sticker seems to be the same as the one from my Elite (before it was called elite)

This pencil was 2500 yen later, but the first ones were 2000 yen. I believe it’s from the late 60s.

Is a metal flange something like a metal insert? I’d have to check once I come back home.

The tip sleeve length as an indicator of age is a good idea. Your model is fancier (more complex tip, visible metal insert on the back) so I would have thought it was a latter one, not earlier.

Thanks to everyone for the photos and info!


Funny thing, about the engraved rings on the nose cones. I think Pentel and Pilot made them for just aesthetics. But Staedtler? The used them with a purpose, to distinguish from different lead sizes.

And I’ve not seen Pilot or Pentel do this, but Tombow has made multiple engraved circles on the eraser cap for some models. The ¥1500 Mono Delta has it. Beautiful pencil.


What you are calling a “metal insert on the back,” I’m calling a “flange.” :+1:t6:

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I never noticed this on the highest Mono Delta; now I gotta go check mine out :laughing:

Sorry, I didn’t know that word :sweat_smile:

Yes, there’s a metal flange on the back! Although it’s less visible than on yours.

Also, I just noticed that mine doesn’t have an eraser under the cap. It’d have been interesting to see which color it was (although I’m not sure if Pilot pencils of this era can be dated by their eraser colours)

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I go by the eraser cage instead of the eraser itself; Pilot’s earliest pencils all had dot-crimping, whereas later versions have the groove-like crimping that seems to have become a standard in the 1980s.


Did someone here nab this commemorative gold & black early PILOT drafting pencil?


No, I’ve already got a couple of these :smirk:

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