“Firsts” in your collection?

Many amazing mechanical pencil technological innovations have been released over the years. As a collector, I love going down rabbit holes when researching pencils in my collection (or those I am still looking to add). One thing in particular that I enjoy is identifying “firsts” that I have in my collection. Below is a list of the ones in my collection that I am aware of. (I may have some others but here are the big ones that come to mind)

What are some of your “Firsts”?
Here are mine:

  • First 0.2 mm MP: Newman Super 2 and/or Pentel P1042
    (well, two are up for this title and I am lucky enough to have an example of each:)
  • First 0.3 mm MP: Pentel Mechanica
  • First Sliding Guide Pipe: Tombow Create
  • First Regulator Pencil: Tombow Variable
  • First MP with KT engine, regulator and auto advance: KT Dive

Some of my favs…

• Pelikan No. 1 BP/MP: Pelikan’s first modern designer collaboration
• Tombow Zoom La Nave series: Tombow’s first foreign design collab
• Tombow Non-Stop: World’s ONLY 0.6mm MP
• Pilot 2020 Young 1978: World’s first shaker MP
• Mitsubishi Pecker 1973: World’s first side-knock MP
• Platinum Pressman 1978: First MP with spring cushioning (?)
• Pilot ‘Top Chuck’ series 1976: World’s first double clutch MP
• Pentel PEL 1970: World’s first capped knock MP (there were earlier capped TWIST models)
• Pentel Multi-8 / PH158: World’s first 8-color MP?
• Candidates for world’s first twist eraser MP?

  • Tombow Keshiman 1984
  • Pentel Gomdale 1988

• Pentel Flexiball 1991: Pentel’s first ‘designer’ collab with architect Emilio Ambasz
• Parker Itala BP/MP 1983: Their first all-plastic model, designed by Giugiaro. Hated by Kenneth Parker.
• TRU-POINT Automatic: World’s first one-click deploy lead holder
• OHTO Piston series: World’s first auto lead-retraction MP?
• Zaner Bloser: World’s first ergonomic grip MP?


Great List!

I get so confused when trying to ID a vintage 2020 shaker so I have avoided them. When you get time can you post a picture of it? Any advice on how to find an original one?


The blue one at the bottom :slight_smile:


I have that exact same pencil - but for some reason thought it was later generation.
Does anyone know how long these were sold?

which one is that?

1st automatic lead advance: Faber-Castell DS-75
1st body knock: Pelikan D50 “Knickebein”

Others I don’t have or don’t know:
1st fully automatic pencil: Pilot AutomacE
1st finger knock: Hi-Uni 5050 or 3051?
1st 0.4mm pencil: ???
1st cartridge/cassette pencil: ???

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I am not familiar with the Hi-Uni series at all. What do you mean by finger knock?


O.M.G. :star_struck:

  • thank you Vasco -
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Are there other piston type pencils besides the SP ones by OHTO?

Mitsubishi made a model called ‘Returns’.
Korea had some brands with a similar mechanism.

  • First 0.4 mm MP: Pentel PG4 (1976)
  • First MP with Kuru Toga engine: Mitsubishi/uni M5-450 (2008)
  • First and the most noisy pencil : Pilot Shakers, personally I like the Rocky series. Very noisy and old school.
  • First Go-To pencil : Pentel P205s, the black version is rock solid and pretty much suitable for all occations. I use it at work every day, so are my colleagues.
  • First double knock pencil : Platinum MH-80, it’s been around for decades, very reliable and light weight. The model has been evolving to MH-100 and MH120 but it’s basically the same thing.
  • First pencil with wooden parts : Pilot H-2085, I was very amazed when I first held it. Much better than my expectations though.

I guess you really do learn something new every day. Another first in my collection

Thanks Gunther


So we have identified the first 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 & 0.6mm.

Any idea what the first 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9mm would be?

This would be an excellent question for my annual Nerd Jeopardy game.

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This one is interesting, since I believe this question was discussed here before (but the conclusion is new for me or I already forgot).

This obvious question also came to my mind. I think the 1st 0.5mm is known, I assume it is a Pentel shown here several times (sorry, here are so profound Pentel experts, that I don’t look for it).

0.9mm was afaik termed thin lead (in comparison to the more standard 1.18mm). I am not sure, if it’s possible to determine the first here, it must be in the 1930s.


Any idea what the first 0.5, 0.7 and 0.9mm would be?

@2nd_astronaut and @Pdunc67, if I remember correctly, one of the first 0.9mm MP — not sure whether the very first — was a Faber Castell called “DATAGRAPH” (twistaction mechanism for lead feed, very old style, possibly to be used with punch cards).

Not sure about the 0.7, instead.

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I have a Platinum which is both double-knock and sliding sleeve. I have no idea what model number it is and I don’t know of any other pencil with both.

Neither of these features were new, but possibly the combo was.


This is Platinum’s most elevated double-knock, and it came in black, red, and blue.

As far as I know, the sliding sleeve + double-knock combo is unique to this piece. I find it odd that they went with a pipe slide without offering a 0.3 variant (which seems like it benefits more from the slide).