Pencils you regret buying

Enough about great deals and great pencils! What are your most disappointing/regrettable purchases? The ones that whenever you look at the pencil in question you just feel like it wasn’t worth it.


Really the only ones I have regrets about are ones I accidentally purchased twice. Forgetting I have it already, mistaking my notes and ordering it again, etc.

Of course I may have momentary regrets about paying a lot, but generally that is only immediately after the fact.


My only real regret is overpaying. It doesn’t happen often, and as a result I’ve passed over many auctions where someone was more tenacious than me. Usually those are auctions going a good measure over the average of past / recent auctions.

I just overpaid for a TOMBOW SH-1500LP in 0.3 mm. I probably should’ve waited, but these days bidding has gotten so competitive.


I bought the Supreme 600. I felt dumb buying it and I still feel dumb every time I see it in my rOtring display case.


I bought this quite by mistake, thinking it was a platinum Z.
I don’t know what the hell this is, it’s not even a Pencil :laughing:

I have No Regrets getting a bunch of Godzilla novelty pencils.


Yeah, a Holbein would be better…


Yep. Rotring Freeway bp - pencil set, for this horrendous set I paid $100. I have too many P200s, for a pencil that I don’t like (I have a P205A from 1971 and another from 1975 that I do like because they have a slightly wider grip). Faber Castell Ondoro (I sold this one at a profit). A transparent Pilot-Gakken that I use to break leads. The Penacs didn’t turn out that good either.


Small world… i really thought my carefree snipe bid would have pulled through on that one… please let me know your thoughts on it once it arrives :grin::sob:


This made me laugh harder than i have in months.

Thank you for sharing


I have three Kuru Toga pencils, all of which I regret buying—the knurled metal one, the cheap plastic one, and one with a pipe slide tip. The first of these is ok, and the idea of the rotating lead is fine, but I really don’t like the imprecision and the movement of the mechanism while writing. To get darker lines I’d prefer to just use softer lead in a standard drafting pencil


Ugh. I remember that one. The rOtring Freeway. What a let down, compared to other models they’ve made. rOtring went through a phase after being acquired by Sanford, which ultimate became part of the enormous Newell Rubbermaid conglomerate. So much junk produced. Thankfully, the Japanese rescued rOtring from certain doom.


When the Kuru Toga first came out, I waited to see opinions. They were mostly positive, but some negative ones seemed rather thoughtful. In any case, the pipe-slide came around and I decided to give that one a go. Cheap enough (tucked it in with an Amazon order that was enough for free shipping). There is a certain… “imprecision” like you mentioned. I figured that was just a characteristic of the early release and that it would improve a lot over time. It doesn’t sound like it has… except for the Dive. I’ve read some negatives, but I’ve been impressed by the positive ones that went into a lot of detail. I’m not going to pay more than I have to, so I’m waiting for it to be re-released in the USA.


I take it back, there are a couple I regret purchasing.

The first was an Alvin Finger Shredder. I don’t know the model, as I got rid of it a long time ago becase the knurling was far too agressive.

The second was a Kuru Toga. I purchased it to try it out, but when I received it and used it for about 5 minutes, it went straight to the trash. I rotate pencils as I write with them, and the counter-rotation of the Kuru Toga was absolutely fucking useless. This is the only pencil I have not just been disappointed in, but absolutely HATED.


Oh, that’s a fun question!

I have a whole box of “mistakes” close to me — a bit like a “box of shame” for a maker — where I store the pencils I ended up regretting about; plus, some more expensive “mistakes” lay in a drawer, waiting to be traded for stuff I’m really interested about.

One of the absolute worst knock-type pencils I had, and finally gave away a few months ago, was a rOtring Rapid Pro 2.00 mm leadholder: the overall balance was nothing but wrong, and I felt the barrel was fighting against any of my moves when I tried to sketch or write. Awful. Which is weird for me, as I own many great rOtrings, and they all work like a charm.

By just rummaging through the box, here are some of the pencils I’ll try my best to resell, trade or give away as gifts in the foreseeable future — in no particular order:

  • Faber-Castell TK-Fine Executive 0.7: makes absolutely zero sense to me since there is the TK-Fine Vario L which is light years ahead
  • Staedtler 771 grip, yellow body, 1.3mm: the triangular body does not match my writing style, at all;
  • Faber-Castell Grip Plus 0.7mm: oversized body, triangular grip section,
  • Schwann-Stabilo 8-9 pushbutton lead advance 2.00mm: did I mention that the triangular shapes do not work when it comes to my pen-handling habits?
  • rOtring PS2, 2.00 mm white body: this is not triangular (well, sort of), but it’s a weird variation of the hexagonal body, however with an alternating pattern of raised and lowered zones, which renders it impossible to manage (pity because I like the look of this one);
  • A.W. Faber-Castell TK 9555 0.5, green body with a hairline crack in the middle section: I really wish I liked this one, but the grip section never matches where I place my fingers, hence it’s impossible to use
  • Golden Axe .3 Japan, burgundy body: looks exactly like a Japanese ripoff of the previous pencil, and can’t be used for the same reasons;
  • Tombow OLNO 0.9mm side-knock, white rubber body and white internals: I can’t stand that type of plastic;
  • Koh-I-Noor Totiens 827 2.00mm clutch leadholder: the diameter feels unnatural, and vaguely oversized, in my hand;
  • Faber-Castell TK-Fine 1306 0.35mm, orange-ish body: not a great fan of that grip section
  • Conté-Gilbert unknown model 0.5 knock-type MP in a “petroleum blue” colour, with a “GoodYear” tyres imprint: it has a triangular grip, that’s all.
  • etc. etc.

As for some more sought-after pencils I don’t think anymore were a good idea for a purchase:

  • A.W. Faber-Castell Tekagraph 9603 2.00 mm with silver “2H” imprint: the triangular shape strikes again;
  • rOtring 1305 2.00mm leadholder: the hexagonal ring preventing the pencil from sliding on sloped surfaces gets always in the way of my thumb;
  • Staedtler Micromatic 777 15, 0.5mm, base version: on paper, it’s a great pencil, and indeed it is, but “60% of the times, it works all the times”

It’s a unicorn for some collectors. An automatic feed pencil and metal construction is the draw, plus rarity of course. But I’ve chatted with several owners and based on what I’ve learned, I’d never buy one. Fragile. And when it breaks? There’s no real feasible way to fix it. Plus, with no manual lead advancement, it becomes useless. The plastic bits inside fracture into pieces and you can’t glue them back together. I imagine it’s possible to 3D print replacement pieces, but you’d have to do very extensive work to come up with the proper shape. I imagine one day, someone will do it.


That was a spot-on description of all the pro’s and con’s of this pencil, yet let me add just a couple of things after some years of use and mixed feelings experienced: the form factor is astounding, the proportions are excellent, the balance is paramount, the grip section is delightful, and it truly is one of the best drafting implements I’ve ever seen.

The problem, in my case, is not that it broke down once and for all and I found myself in the miserable condition of being unable to fix the issue: the problem is that, almost randomly, the automatic feed system can fail, so the lead core slides back into the pipe without being gripped properly; then it’s a matter of delicate disassembly, core retrieving and re-inserting, parts reassembly, and then… voilà! The pencil is back on track. What caused the hassle? Nobody knows.

I’ve even thought that the mechanism is sensitive to the tiniest variations in the diameter of the core, so a piece of 0.5 lead will jam or slide simply depending on whether it’s actually a 0.505mm core, or a 0.495mm core.

And in some sense, I find all this vaguely fascinating: a pencil which refuses to work perfectly unless the lead size is exactly what is imprinted onto the shaft seems so quintessentially German to me, that it just puts a smile on my face — a smile quickly turning into a grin, but still.



(except that Pecker with 1000 cracks the seller failed to disclose… and that PS1045 with a crack the seller failed to disclose… and the time a seller sent me the wrong double-knock…)


I don’t like it, if pencils are very small and I didn’t expect that. I bought several of those note taking pencils and the photos didn’t indicate the small size. Also CdA ecridor is smaller than I thought. MB vintage Pix are small (12-13 cm), but I did know and it is fine…

Concerning sold junk: I have a YoL that is so metal smelling, that I store it in a bag. Recently I bought 2 stabilo jets, which are a sticky chunk of trash.


That pencil is on my current wishlist, but I have yet to find one.

I’d be happy to purchase it from you at the price you paid…

You’d both make a fellow enthusiast happier while making your money back :smiley:

I completely understand if you decline my offer, just felt it necessary to do so :smiley:

I appreciate the offer, but I just found the 0.5 mm companion… so I’m going to keep it. But if I do spot one of these up for auction, I’ll ping you so you can bid on it!