Pencil Purchase

In doing research for my pencils blog post, I started to get intrigued by mechanical pencils made for drafters.  So, yesterday when I was out with my wife , I stopped at a Blick Art Store and perused their drafting pencils.

I went into the store with my eye on the Pentel Sharp p205, recommended by the Mechanical Pencil guy.  The cool thing about an art store is that they have piles of these pencils and you can actually hold them in your hand and take them apart.  You aren’t stopped by a package.

It isn’t that I didn’t like the p205.  I liked another brand and model much better.  My winner is the Alvin Draft-Tec Retrac.

Good looking pencil, retracted:



Eraser in cap:



I love the grip on this pencil and that is what sold me.  The p205 was nice, but the grip near the bottom is made of molded hard plastic, not rubber, like this model.  I prefer the rubber:


With tip extended:

The only downside of this pencil is that they didn’t have refill erasers at Blick that were specifically designed for this model.  The good news is that the Pentel refills that they had, while not designed for this pencil, will fit in it.  Worst case I just split them in half and they’ll fit.

The price was 10 USD, which is more than the p205, but the fact that the tip can be retracted on this one makes it the better choice for pocket carrying and portability.

As far as I’ve read, Alvin pencils only retail in the US or online.

Update after a few weeks of use:  I’ve really gotten into investigating mechanical pencil options over the last few weeks.  I still like this pencil.  The only other criticism I’d add is that it is pretty weighty, and with extended use could result in some hand fatigue.  I have a Pentel GraphGear 1000 on the way and just picked up a Uni Kuru Toga on sale at Office Max.  I’ll update with a full review of all soon.


2 thoughts on “Pencil Purchase

  1. Pingback: Finding the Perfect Mechanical Pencil | Tactical Thinking

  2. evildavecanada

    I’ve got three(3) APEX 0.5mm pencils for you. Two(2) of them are broken right at the threads that the metal tube tip screws onto so I’m sending them to you as a sourse of spare parts. The one(1) pencil that has an eraser is fully functional. The APEX has a major flaw in that those threads I mentioned are made of plastic and as I purchased these pencils in the late 90’s the plastic is dying. The flaw with the threads must have been known even back then as a Dollar Store in downtown Winnipeg had hundreds of them over a three to four month period. They all sold for $1.25 CAD back then and now it will most likely cost more to mail them to you then the working one id worth. But they are just gathering dust in my storage area and you collect mechanical pencils so what the heck. My email addr is so you can tell me where to mail the envelope. They are wrapped in bubble wrap and might even be in a bubble wrap envelope, if I can find one from my many eBay shipments that I have received. If I can, then all I have to do is remove the old address & customs labels and put new ons on. It will even be honestly marked as a gift, wow!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s