Ok, last pencil review, at least for a long while. I’ve learned enough to know that I have the best for my needs as they stand right now. There is one more I’d like to eventually try, but I’ll be watching sales to get it at the rock bottom price.
This is the Staedtler Triplus Micro 774. I picked this one up because it was cheap (4 dollars, no shipping), I didn’t have any Staedtler products that I had tried out, and it has quite a few features I like. The Germans are known for their engineering, and I’ve enjoyed Staedtler pens greatly in the past. I figured it was my duty to have representation and give one a whirl. The top two recommended low price range Staedtlers by kiwi-d are this pencil and the Staedtler 925 25. I picked this one because it has quite a few features that I like. The 925 is a standard drafting pencil with a long thin graphite sleeve and a tiny cap eraser. I have that styling covered with the rest of my small collection. I took a chance with this, ordering from an ebay seller with 98% feedback and not in any way wonderful reviews of the negative feedback. For four bucks I took a chance. Not only did they ship it super quick with great packing, but they sent me two! So, these two effectively cost me the same as my Uni Kuru Toga, and I’m making a killing on savvy mechanical pencil shopping.
The Triplus Micro 774 is named as such because it has a three-sided design. The tip is retractable, which is an important feature for me. The excellent eraser in the cap is extendable and is about 1.5 cm long. I’m sure its replaceable but parts for Staedtler are hard to come by in stores in the States so I would likely have to order them online. I have a stack of Pentel white plastic erasers, but the edge of those are just not as precise as cap erasers on pencils themselves.
There are two downsides to the 774 for me. The graphite sleeve is conical, so it is not designed for technical work. It is for everyday writing. Also, the twist mechanism for the eraser feels a little cheap in terms of its construction. It is not a smooth action and required a little push to revert back when out all the way. What can you expect for a retail price of about five dollars though, right? Its becoming clear to me that twist up erasers in combination with other features that I like just aren’t an industry standard and I have to make peace with that. I will eventually try the Pentel Twist Erase III. Given my current collection there isn’t much reason for me to try it out right now without a sale. I’m likely to like the rubberized grip and the twist up eraser, but the non-retractable graphite sleeve on the Pentel Twist Erase isn’t pocket safe. In short, I’m always one feature short of my ideal. If anyone has any model suggestions for me I’m all ears.
I’d place this pencil tied with the Uni Kuru Toga in terms of my overall impressions, at spot number two right under the Pentel GraphGear 1000. The Triplus beats the Kuru Toga on eraser and retractable graphite sleeve, but the Kuru Toga feels better in my hand and has a far more satisfying and higher quality mechanism.