To begin my holiday “new acquisitions” reviews, I’m going to start off by one of the biggest surprises, the Rotring Tikky.
I received a Rotring Tikky and replacement erasers from my mother for Christmas (thank you Mother!) and I liked it so much that I ordered a second one in a different color. Rotring is German for “red ring”, which is the branding on all Rotring pencils. Gaze on them below:
Note that the text is thicker and richer on the black one. Both came from jetpens.com, so they are both legit. I wonder if the difference is different releases. A key difference is that the black one has the brown spot near the eraser cap.
The short history is that Sanford, the owners of Papermate, owns Rotring and the design for the Tikky. They market them in the US as the Papermate Precision. You can go to any office store or even a big box store and find them. 0.5 mm comes in white and 0.7 mm in maroon. The question becomes: Why not just buy Papermate Precisions?
My concern is quality. Are all of these products made in China? Are the Tikkys made in Japan and the Precisions made in China? Are they both made in Japan? I can’t find an answer online. Where has Sanford made production compromises? The Tikkys are slightly more expensive, but that could be shipping-related. On jetpens.com, if you read the Papermate Precision reviews, several reviewers say that the Precisions are identical to the Rotring Tikky III, minus the red ring, right down to the mechanism. So, maybe I’ll have to check them out since I like the Tikky so much. It will be a while though as I’m pretty well set on pencils. I have a lot to review but not a lot of purchasing plans for a while. I have a short list of about a half dozen I’m still interested in, but those are long term plans.
Its finally time for the review!
The Tikky sports a triangular top half and cylindrical bottom half. The lead sleeve is fixed and the end cap has a simple conical design. The grip is made of a hard plastic, but is very comfortable. It is punctuated by squares of the same texture and color as the body. I find the grip to be very comfortable. Maybe it is the exact best thickness for my tiny man hands. Maybe its the plastic. I’m not sure. I just really enjoy writing with it.
The top half is a solid hard plastic with a very sturdy pocket clip. The eraser cap is solid and protects a tiny little emergency eraser. The eraser cap is hollow at the top so that you can see that you are looking at a pencil, rather than a pen. I don’t like this feature because I would never store a fixed lead sleeve pencil on its tip. That’s how they get bent.
The erasers are naturally proprietary. But, I’ve graduated to click erasers and that is no longer that big of a concern.
One thing that I find interesting is that the click mechanism of the Tikky sounds really different to me. It has a springy sound to it, but not in a bad way. I hear it as distinct from Pentels and most other brands and I find it to be a defining factor of what makes this pencil unique. I don’t possess any other Rotrings currently, but I don’t remember the 600 that I tried out a few months ago as having the same sound.
The lead advance is consistent with most Pentels, about 7 mm per ten clicks.
Pros: Solid grip, unique click sound, excellent construction and built to last, especially for the price.
Cons: fixed lead sleeve, small proprietary eraser
What about the Top Ten? With all of these new pencils that I received over the holidays, I’m definitely going to need to do a big shakeup of the Top Ten. I’m not only going to wait to include it until after I review all of my most recent posts, but there will also be a big shakeup of the list. The Tikky is most certainly going to make the Top Ten. Some of the new ones won’t. Some of the old pencils won’t change spots, some will, and some will make it back into the Top Ten. Several will get booted.
Stay tuned for the updated list after I review all of my other acquisitions!