Lucio Rossi Design - pros and cons

Stunning design: that was the first thing I thought when I laid eyes on one of Lucio Rossi’s handmade leadholders. His writing instruments began under the VENVSTAS designer label, which was a joint venture that he eventually fell out off. At the tail end of 2022, Mr Rossi started his own studio LRD and e-store selling old stock of his VENVSTAS designs as well as a number of new ones. I found the link through a Japanese fan on Twitter.

I ended up pulling the trigger on two current designs: D567 Tokyo featuring circular punch outs that fell neatly as grip catches where the fingers would land; and D568 Grip a more ‘futuristic’ design with a sleek wraparound shroud.

Here’s how one might hold the D567. The ergonomics feel natural for an artist’s hand posture.

Here’s the D568 in hand. The lateral slots on the shroud form a grip zone for the thumb while the curved shoulder is quite nicely placed for a curled middle finger.

So much beauty! What’s the catch? Well these are truly HANDMADE. So the cost is high, in the region of 60 EUR if I recall. And handtooling can be imprecise. Some of the cutouts on the D567 actually had burrs leftover.

I contacted Mr Rossi about this and to his credit, he offered to send me another at no charge. However after much thought, I declined the offer - I had decided to rework the burrs on my own. “Your mileage may vary”, as it is said.


I saw these earlier and thought they looked really cool! Thanks for the review. Now perhaps you can convince Mr. Rossi to make some mechanical pencils :grin:



Just 2 more shots to share. The designs are definitely evocative and if it’s within your budget, well worth considering. The caveat is that the fine finishing one might expect from a pricy purchase might not be up to everyone’s expectations. I’m still glad he’s making unique items for sale, but I think my itch for Italian flair has been scratched.


This is quintessentially Italian design and engineering isn’t it - beautiful designs but (in this case quite literally) rough around the edges.

Reminds of the Parafernelia Revolution. It came with this cool wooden display block, but they couldn’t be bothered to smooth out the edges with some sandpaper. :pinched_fingers:


Exactly that. Parafernalia is also ‘rough around the edges’ if you look too closely. :joy:


I make pencils by hand and make sure that everyone understands that they are indeed made by hand and “imperfections” may be present. My cuts aren’t rough like that though.

Here’s my product description that addresses the handmade nature of them:

Custom Made Just For You: Each Knockologist Drillium Brass Mechanical Pencil is custom made to order, handcrafted with the same care and passion as the one you see in the pictures. Please note that the pencil you receive will be similar to the one pictured, but as a truly handmade piece, slight variances in design are to be expected. These variances enhance the authenticity and individuality of your personal piece. Since each pencil is custom made, please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Experience the unique charm and artistic allure of the Knockologist Drillium Brass Mechanical Pencil. Each pencil is a handcrafted piece, embodying a passion for unique pencil making.

These pencils are born from a deep admiration for craftsmanship. Each brass body is individually hand drilled, showcasing an artist’s eye for design rather than machine precision. The pieces are then carefully soldered and polished, bringing out the warm, golden glow of brass.

Balancing beauty with function, I’ve equipped the distinctive brass bodies with the reliable internal mechanisms of the trusted Pentel P205. This blend of aesthetics and performance creates a writing instrument that is as much a pleasure to use as it is to behold.

Every Knockologist Drillium Brass Mechanical Pencil tells a story - a story of artistic vision, patience, and commitment. As you use this pencil, you not only write your own tales but also become a part of its ongoing journey.

It’s important to remember that these are handcrafted objects, each bearing its own individual traits that speak of its authentic, handmade origins. The holes may not always align perfectly, and minor scratches may be visible, but these are not flaws. Rather, I encourage you to view them as signatures of the handcrafting process, reflecting the pencil’s unique journey from my studio to your hands.

A Knockologist pencil embodies the philosophy of embracing authenticity over manufactured perfection, celebrating the distinctive beauty of the artisan’s touch.

I thank you for recognizing and cherishing the spirit of handmade work. By choosing the Knockologist Drillium Brass Mechanical Pencil, you’re not just buying a writing instrument, you’re investing in a piece of functional art that holds a unique story.


That’s a really nice writeup. But, you could have just changed your name to an Italian one like Knocko Luigi and you wouldn’t need to do any of that.


I had considered that but I don’t have the time to update all my monogrammed towels.



I have two of those. One is nice and the other looks like something my pet hamster chewed on.

Ok, I don’t have a pet hamster but you get the point.


Speaking of Italian flare, behold… Ettore Bugatti.


That CLIP!! I confess: when I see ‘Ettore’ I think ‘Sottsass’… and the Omas Tokyo series :smiley:


Sexy, isn’t it? :wink: Typical Italian flare. :art: Almost sculpture like. I just wish the example I’d gotten wasn’t nicked up like this one. You can see signs of it in the photo. But, from a distance, it looks really attractive. Like the Waterman Carene in the photo, lead advance is by ratchet twisting.


After reading this thread, and exploring for a while the Lucio Rossi Design website, I felt inspired enough by your considerations and reviews to buy one of his pencils.

If I got the shopping procedure correctly, I’ll be soon the happy owner of one of his D87 Carbon Tokyo clutch pencils — the last one in his current stock, I think. I wanted to give the lineup a try, but felt a bit intimidated by the price tags, so I chose the least expensive option (still a carbon fibre body, though, and the combination of materials, finishes and colours suited my mood today).

I’ll add my impressions here as soon as I receive and try the object.

I don’t know what you think of this, but I find that lead holders can be amazing and tricky at once: sometimes, there’s something slightly off in the balance, or in the girth, or in the way their features interact with the anatomy and micro-motility of the fingers, and I think I still have to “understand” some of them.

My daily workforce include a Fixpencil 22 by Caran d’Ache (the model with no roughing of the shaft on the grip: too uncomfortable), a Koh-I-Noor 5614 (all plastic save the very clutch, but the shape and balance are exquisite), and a beaten-up Rotring Art Pencil which I still don’t know precisely how to hold correctly (very strange, as the fountain pen is a delightful writer), yet I feel constantly drawn to it.

I tried the Faber-Castell Tekagraph 9603 (uncomfortable triangular body), the Rotring 1305 (hexagonal ring on the tip always in the way of my thumb), the Parafernalia Linea (too little weight on the tip), the Faber-Castell TK9500 (too thin), and many others, but evidently their personality and mine do not match that well, on average, as opposite to thin line mechanical pencils, which are much more docile…


Be sure to share your review! I’m curious how hand-tooled carbon fiber parts turn out…

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My friend bought one and the detail looks horrible, like a matter of attitude. Jokingly speaking, I even think that I’d rather use modeling software to draw a model of D568 and then contact a CNC machining center to make one for me.
And l want to know that do you feel it shaking somewhere? Since it looks like the rod is composed of several parts.


Wow. I do metalworking by hand and I gotta say that is a poor job.


Oh my… these make my example look OK by comparison. Did your friend ask for a replacement?

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Ok then, my D87 Carbon Tokyo finally made it to my mailbox today.

After reading all your comments, I immediately gave it a first inspection with a 20x loupe, but I’m happy to report I could find just a couple of very feeble imperfections in the chamfers of the metal piece (nothing on the carbon barrel, just minimal dents pointing inwards radially on the slanted rim of the grip section, opposite the mouth), and a bit of gummy residual at the junction between the carbon fibre and the grip zone, which I could easily remove with a dentist’s hook.

It really seems your remarks and complaints pushed mr. Rossi to do his best with the new batch, even though I see that the D87 is the plainest of his creations, and the room for errors is shrunk by construction.

And I have to tell you: this pencil feels gooooood! It’s slim and sleek, the centre of gravity is closer to the writing end, the materials are smooth, the finish is exquisite.

I’ll take some pictures as soon as the Sun rises up again here, and after finishing the second unboxing of the day (this time from JetPens).


I was thinking maybe LRD QC’d better for consignments to Japanese resellers. But this tweet shows signs of similar burrs on the circular cutouts…

As promised, here are some pictures of my LRD D87 Carbon Tokyo.

First, a bird’s eye view shot of the pencil as a whole. After some use, the balance remains delightful, I like pencils with a low centre of gravity, and the juxtaposition of materials is very satisfying. The mass is only 15.20 g (0.536 oz), so the object feels very light, even though not at all insubstantial.

Second, a tentative close-up of the pencil in its working position: the diameter of the grip band wrapped around the carbon fibre body measures just 9 mm, whereas the black shaft clocks in at 7 mm, an excellent configuration for my relatively small hands. Notice that the asymmetric nature of the grip section (executed as a vaguely slanted cylinder) allows for a nice rotation of the pencil between the thumb and the index finger, so that the thumb can touch the zone with a “deeper” grip, whereas the other fingers extend on the smaller part of the cylinder

Finally, a close-up of the pattern in the carbon-fibre: it’s not “tactile” in any way, and works like a nice 3D illusion, but it adds to the charm of the pencil; the pattern looks on the one hand like a checkered structure, on the other as a fabric of superimposed or interwoven traces. Very hard to capture, yet very nice to show.

In just few days, the LRD D87 already has gained a place in the “favourite pencils” pot, and I thik it will stay there for a while.