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Last week, the puzzling community was brought to a metaphorical jaw-dropping standstill with the discovery of Pencil Revolution, a blog that exists to review pencils. This revelation came up in Eric Berlin's post All right, now for a deeply serious topic, in which he posed the question of what pencil to use for the upcoming annual crossword puzzle tournament.

At the time, I thought that the blog was one I had discovered about a year ago, when looking for reviews of mechanical pencils. But it turns out I was in error. The blog I had found is Dave's Mechanical Pencils, which I discovered when trying to find a mechanical pencil similar to my Rotring Trio. I was also trying to figure out which kind of lead I prefer. I know I prefer to write in a 0.5 mm pencil, because I like the fine lines it can create, but I'm still discovering which softness or hardness of lead is best for me. I'm currently alternating between HB and B. I do like the lines, but the pencil lead breaks far too often for my taste as I'm writing.

Anyway, I bring this all up because I finally refound Dave's wonderful post, Dave's Mechanical Pencils: Lead Size & Hardness, which goes into detail on what the different sizes and hardness of pencil lead mean to you, the pencil end user. If you have any interest in this topic, check out the post and the blog.


I noticed the Rotring case on your bookshelf. I have one of their fountain pens, however, having lost the cap, it is no longer part of my active writing arsenal.
gnomi and I are quite fond of writing tools, such as pens and pencils. She got me a Waterman pen when we got married. She also got me a second one and a Lamy fountain pen, and her parents got me a Mont Blanc once.

For day-to-day work, I tend to use a Rotring Trio. I used their Quattro for a while, but it broke. I had an Itoya multifunction pen but it broke and can't be repaired.

I tend to prefer a fine point black ink pen, a medium point red ink pen, and a 0.5 mm pencil for my Trio.

And now you know more than you ever needed to know. :-)
I have a Waterman fountain as well. Lost the cap to that as well. Its probably because my work requires me to float around from office to office on a daily basis, and I found that after a while, the caps no longer held as tightly as they used to, so the caps likely got lost at some point while walking across campus.

Now I've got a box of Pilot G-2s. Fine gel ink, smooth writing, and I don't get nearly as sad when I lose one. Downside is that I have a lovely set of Levenger inks that are going unused.
Actually, neither of my Waterman pens are fountain pens. They're both ballpoint.

Recently, I've been enjoying the Pilot P-500 series. Pilot makes some most excellent pens.
Good God, there's a web site for everything. And what's worse, I find myself wondering if there's a review that I can use to help me solve my 0.5mm lead dilemma...

Let's not discuss fountain pens, right? Especially the four on my desk. One of them is filled with invisible ink that can only be read under ultraviolet light...
Do you have a specific 0.5 mm lead dilemma?

I own one fountain pen, a Lamy, that was a gift from gnomi. It has regular visible black ink.
More or less the same tradeoffs. Sometimes I want a softer pencil; sometimes a harder one; and in all cases I need a durable lead.

I use a rather nice Pentel, with a cap, that I've had for many years.

Oh, and my spouse also gave me one very fine pen (a Waterman Opera), which I keep filled with mulberry-colored ink. And the reason for choosing that color, as well as the black clothing I favor, is SF-related...

December 2016

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