The Pentel PG6 in 0.6mm: did I really see it, or was it all a dream?

This is officially Episode 2 in my series “Let us share my mechanical pencils-related psychological issues with the community”, and I apologise in advance, as I’m afraid this might be a tough one. Next time, I promise, I’ll just share fancy pictures of my beloved fineliners.

So, the premise: many a moon ago, when the pencil market on Ebay was on the rise, but on a much smaller scale than today, and it was still possible to buy great items at a reasonable price, I was systematically browsing the results pages on the site in search of my personal holy grails (about which I’ll annoy you all elsewhere), when I stumbled upon a “buy it now” listing that left me more than perplexed.

I was actually looking for a Pentel PG4 — I had just learned about the existence of the 0.4mm diameter, and wanted to find a nice specimen for my collection — but the listing was for a “Pentel PG6”, i.e. something I had never known existed.

I can hear you already: maybe it was just a misprint in the title of the listing! Stop bothering us with such nonsense. This is certainly possible, and I myself have bought more than a few items with a significant discount thanks to the fact that the seller failed at spelling the name of the object correctly, and thus did not attract the great sharks.

The listing, however, stated and repeated that the pencil worked with 0.6mm lead, and the picture unequivocally showed the body of a PG-type pencil, with a white imprint reading (at least to my knowledge and understanding) “0.6 mm” or “0.6 m/m”. It was like an ordinary Pentel PG-something, only happening to work with an unusual lead size. The coloured plastic ring of the lead indicator also had an unusual hue: it was not green, nor blue, nor red; maybe closer to a pink (PG2-like?), but neither distinctive, nor particularly anonymous.

Besides, the price was higher than one typically associated with the PG5 or PG7, and was instead more in the range of that for a PG4, a PG2, or a PMG in 0.3 (still, almost half of what I should pay today for such an item).

Now, I know that 0.6mm lead does exist (I saw once an auction for a box of 0.6mm lead magazines sporting the Leaning Tower of Pisa [wtf?!] on the lid, and it ended with skyrocketing bids), and there are indeed pencils working with 0.6 lead, but a Pentel PG6? Is that a thing?

On the Pentel Handbook I dowloaded as per your resources section, I could not find any trace of this pencil: no PG6, and no PG9 either, if I remember correctly (the range goes from 0.2mm to 0.7mm), and given the authoritative sources we have here, I ended up thinking that either I saw a scam listing for a fake pencil, or my brain just tricked me with a vivd yet false memory, possibly to spice up the recollections of an otherwise uneventful day.

So, please help me settle the question: am I progressively getting pencil-crazier and crazier? Did I spot a splinter of another reality — where 0.6mm lead is the standard, and 0.5 is considered an abomination — interwoven in my Ebay search results? Did I just meet a PG5 with blurred pictures and a silly seller unable to properly identify his lead sizes? Was it all a dream, perchance?

[Obviously, I did not buy the pencil: the listing closed too quickly, the price was too high for my budget at the time, and I was not a serious collector, just an enthusiast without sufficient knowledge. I could not even save the page, or download the pictures, because I was too naïve to save an evidence. That missed call is one of my grand regrets, pencil-wise, and it still itches my brain today.]


I’ve never heard of a 0.6 mm lead… and I don’t think they exist in any real measure, and I’ll tell you why.

The other size oddity in play is the 0.4 mm. You don’t see them often. But they’re out there. Why that size? Well, 0.3 to 0.5 mm is a noticeable jump. 0.4 mm is a workable in between.

But now let’s consider 0.5 to 0.7 mm. Again, it’s a 0.2 mm jump, BUT, it’s a smaller proportion of change relative to the other sizes. The perceived “gain” by going to 0.6 mm instead of 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm is so minor… it’s really not worth making.

So either what you saw was some rare prototype that slipped out into the wild via someone who knew nothing about it, or it was a fake. And that’s… my take. Jake. :wink::grinning::joy:

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Thank you @cytherian for the understanding, and the thorough explanation.

As for lead sizes, I thought the system was devised so that lead sizes would usually come in pairs, to allow a draftsman for both a fine line (construction lines, invisible edges, shadowing, &c.), and a broad line (visible edges of a shape, shadow contours, symmetry axes, &c.).

In this sense, there is a nice correspondence in the current range of pencils, especially if ones looks at the conventions from the German point of view; in fact, the pairs work like this:

• 0.5 & 0.9/1.0
0.35 (not simply 0.3, see e.g. old Rotring pencils) & 0.7
• 0.2 & 0.4 — almost always confined to the Japanese scene

However, given that there is this annoying confusion between 0.35 and 0.3, and that over the years the 0.35 lead size has been practically absorbed by the 0.3 denomination, we could have a new pair:

0.3 & 0.6

I agree, however, that 0.6mm pencils are extremely rare — on the tip of my tongue, I could not recall more than three or four auctions total, in the last 15+ years, related to that size, and none on Ebay, just Yahoo Auction or the like.

Also, as you wonderfully put, there is no real need for a 0.6mm lead, because the difference is truly irrelevant with respect to a 0.5 or 0.7 pencil.

I’ll try to find evidence at least about the existence of 0.6mm pencils (I remember some blog posts perhaps, but none was saved in my old files), while for the PG6… I’ll probably have to endure my brain itching for the rest of my life. :smiley:


You’re welcome, Leonov. :smiling_face:
Yes, I would expect that some companies made 0.6 mm for some specialized reason. In some drafting requirements, it may have been critical to rapid drawing of very precise line work necessary in some unique applications. And so, not many companies would be offering it. That’s my guess. I once knew a draftsman from the old days who’d used a very elaborate range of analog writing instruments for his work and I do remember him saying that he had a few that were very uncommon, used for specialized work. But that was more in the stylographic arena (which is huge).

I tried a Google and Bing search for Pentel PG6… and came up with absolutely nothing.

But your best bet at this point is to ping @nimrodd, who is the defacto Pentel pencil specialist in our midst. He has a prolific collection and if there was a PG6, he’d know about it.

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Btw, off topic… do you know what is the name of this vessel?

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I believe that is the Leonov from 2010: the Year we Make Contact


I have never heard of 0.6mm being available with Japanese pencils. I believe I have heard it being available in Eastern Europe.



0.6mm leads were produced by Tombow for the Türkiye market at one time. Only in 2B hardness. The Tombow Non-Stop 0.6 is based on the SH-500 LZ series body. Old stock still can be found in Türkiye but some of the plastic bodies may be somewhat fragile - translucent colors might show cracks.


Do you know anything about this Pentel PG6?

Tombow 0.6mm
Tombow 0.6mm

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I used to be sure that there is no such thing as a…
• 0.4mm Tombow SH-500 LG
• 0.5mm Pentel Injecto

So I’m skeptical but open minded.


The Türkiye market?! Amazing.

Of all the places in the world, I would have never expected a production run there, but still: one never knows what will turn out to be a source of marvel in the morning!

[Maybe this explains at least the Leaning Tower of Pisa on that pencil lead box I saw for sale on Jauce…]

Thanks @nimrodd, @drifand and @First_Sail for the contributions, the picture contained the exact same pencil I remembered from some obscure blog posts, years ago.

I’ll label my PG6 as a “semblance” for now, and keep digging.

PS: my nickname “Leonov” dates back to the Trigun anime when MTV Italy used to broadcast an “anime night” once a week, including e.g. the original Evangelion series and other “cartoons for young adults”, and to a very secondary character with that name, but it’s nice to see that spaceship on display, and imagine the craftsmanship it went into its design and making. H/T to @cytherian for the awesome reference.

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didn’t read all (too much text), but I thought the turkish 0.6 was more well-known?
the remembrance of the pisa tower is correct:

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I sold a 0.6mm Turkish Tombow recently. It was mint and a total beaut. I also sent some to a few collectors as gifts over the years.

Now I’m only down to a couple left in my collection.


check this page:)

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For addition, 0.8mm existed.

»þÇÁ¿¬±¸¼Ò : ³×À̹ö Ä«Æä (Korean Webpage naver cafe, sign required)



0.8mm lead? Seriously? This is way better than anything I could imagine.

Boy I love this place.

Thanks @Raheal, you made my day.

[And now not only I have to find 0.6mm pencils and lead; I also have to chase the 0.8mm size…]


Uh, it gets more and more interesting …

Was there a fitting pencil to the 0.8mm leads, which only took that size?

Does anybody have a screenshot of the translated Korean webpage? I can’t cope with the naver crap (everything blocked there for non-ambitious tries: copy/paste, translation, viewing w/o login etc) …

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Here’s translated page pdf.
History has been rewritten…:flushed: _ Naver Cafe.pdf|attachment (1.3 MB)