The extra-long Fixpencil (the "Spear of Longinus") I cannot figure out

The “Fixpencil” is an umbrella term for a longstanding series of 2.00 mm Swiss leadholders, which over the years has gradually expanded into a complex family tree of ballpoint pens, 0.7 MP’s, and — obviously — limited series of writing instruments.

What is largely lost now, and frequently forgotten by the larger audience, is the part of that history when the manufacturing company, Caran D’Ache, was producing interesting 0.5 mm thin lead mechanical pencils with various features. Today, I’d like to share with you all a small fraction of that story.

Over the last months, I’ve had the chance to come into possession of a few 0.5mm Fixpencils, and the variety of available models have quite surprised me. To begin with, I’ve come to know the two basic models of 0.5mm MP’s, namely the Fixpencil Metal 0.5, and the ingenious Fixpencil F-S Metal 0.5 with cushioning adjustment, which has been discussed elsewhere here on the board. See the picture below.

The image shows the iconic tip of the F-S Metal, and a “sanded grip” version of the ordinary Metal — I think I have also a non-sanded version, which arrived after I took the pictures, but you get the idea.

What really changed the game, however, was the finding of the Fixpencil 75 0,5mm: it is a veeery long thin-lead MP, as can be seen by this picture, and it looks and feels exceedingly over-stretched in one specific dimension. See pictures here, with and without the ruler to appreciate the actual size of the item. I think it sports a semi-sliding sleeve (the ordinary Metal has one).

After pondering and testing the Fixpencil 75, with its 16cm length to be handled properly, I have questions: what was the true purpose of this pencil? It seems too long to be used as a daily writer, and my gut feeling is that it ought to be gripped like an artist’s pencil, from the tail, and used as a pointer to trace thin strokes rather than a regular MP — but then again: why putting the sanded area close to the tip, as if the intended position is just like any other writing tool?

This pencil suggests mixed feelings, and I like it precisely because I can’t figure out exactly what to do with it; it is my “Spear of Longinus”, as long as a rOtring Art Pencil, but lacking the tapering and overall flare of some more drawers’ oriented tools.

Maybe it’s the nemesis for the Fixpencil 23, a super-short stub pencil (which I’m currently looking for, should any of you have one to trade for something) produced as well by Caran D’Ache, and designed precisely to compensate for the reduced size of the latter.

Any help to better understand this pencil, its history and features, would be greatly appreciated… :slight_smile:


They may have felt the necessity to have a 4mm fixed sleeve model that was the standard for drafting tables and drafting templates.

A 4mm metal pipe moves consistently along the edges of rulers and templates, at the same distance and at the same thickness and there is no contact between the lead and the rulers. With the 2mm pencils that many people used for drafting (architects etc) it’s the lead that is put against the edges and several things can happen:

  • As the lead wears out the line gets thicker and the distance to the edge of the ruler is not the same — that induces minimal differences, maybe not so many on H leads, but it is possible that you’ll get some inconsistencies in a 2 or 3 meter long drawing if you’re using a 2mm drafting pencil. Many times, drafters would have to change their hand position so that the tip of the lead would meet the corner between the edge of the ruler and the surface of the paper but even so they’d have to be always sharpening the lead.

  • Leads will leave residue on the edges of rulers/templates and that eventually will stain the paper.

  • In smaller lettering templates 2mm will not work :slight_smile:

I think this can explain the Fixpencil 75 with the sanded grip. It is a drafting pencil — the other 05 are general writing/sketching pocket pencils.

edited: lots of typos!!


That’s a great find, btw, I’d never seen a 75 until now.

They needed the extra length to fit the fishes. /JK
Great find! I’m jealous :smiley:


Congrats! I think the 75 is the only proper 0.5mm drafting pencil from Cd’A. Been looking for one for way too long. After searching and keeping an eye out I finally found one last summer on ebay but failed to check back in time before the auction ended.