Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Pencil Recommendation?

  1. Sep 26, 2005 #1
    This may seem like a weird question, but ****... I'm just going to throw it out there. I do a lot of writing. Lots of math, physics, and tiny little symbols that are just friggen annoying to write with normal #2 pencils. Thus, I mostly use mechanical pencils, and these work fine for the most part. Except the damn lead always breaks. Yes, I know I can not push as hard... blah blah. I was just wondering if anybody out there has a recommendation on a specific pencil? Like is there some 10 dollar pencil that will rock the socks off of my BIC #2 mechanicals?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2005 #2
    I've always been partial to the Pentel mechanical pencils (the ones where the lead clicker is at the base of the pencil, rather than the top). IMO, even a fancy schmancy $20 mechanical pencil isn't going to keep you from breaking the leads don't write properly.

    Keep the amount of exposed lead short and don't press too hard
  4. Sep 26, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  5. Sep 26, 2005 #4
    Get the Zebra M-402 or whatever. I've been using these for the past ~7 years. They rock.
  6. Sep 26, 2005 #5
    For an extra $10 you can get the extended cartridge and hollow points. :rofl:
  7. Sep 26, 2005 #6
    I agree; the Zebra M-402 is an excellent pencil. I've been using the same one for over a year. They're highly durable and the .5 mm graphite never seems to break for me.
  8. Sep 26, 2005 #7
    Cheap pencils work for me, considering how often I have to sharpen them. The erasers are not the best though, too easy to create unsightly smudge marks. 0.5 mm graphite lead isn't fine enough for my liking, opting for 0.2 mm or smaller is usually what I try to have at all times, due to the size of my handwriting.
  9. Sep 26, 2005 #8
    I like the papermate phd (One I have had for about 2 years or so, and is still running flawlessly). It is wide though, not sure if you have some preference for width.
  10. Sep 26, 2005 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have two of those...one for home and one for the office (fine point rollerball pens too). I love them. And I'm just not going to say a thing about my preferences for width. o:) :biggrin:
  11. Sep 26, 2005 #10
    I refuse to use anything other than the Pentel P-205; I have hundreds of them.
  12. Sep 26, 2005 #11


    User Avatar

    I'm into pens, for a cheap pen I like the BIC Z4 0.7 mm ballpoint pen, I buy them in boxes.

    For an expensive pen, the Millennium II Fisher space pen. ~80 years of ink, writes through grease, underwater, upside-down, very indestructible, thixotropic ink in a hermetically sealed and pressurised reservoir, writes at -45 to 120 degrees Celsius, no ink leakage, writes on plastic and numerous other surfaces, and writes in space! ($140?)

    They also make a special "carpenter's pen," which has about twice as many features.

    I have only one right now, an "economy" one, with less ink, not as indestructible, and cheaper ($7-14).
  13. Sep 26, 2005 #12
    Atomos: Since you have hundreds, you wanna mail me a few? :smile:

    I was expecting everyone to be like, it's not what you are writing with, it's what you write which gives you the answers... or something like that. Anyways, I think it's awesome that people really do have a preference and are willing to share it. 140.00 for a friggen' pen though, that's just crazy. I can't imagine losing it :) Cool, well it looks like I'm going to have to try a few of these out.

    motai: Do you have to write really light with the .2mm leads? Do they write dark on the paper?
  14. Sep 27, 2005 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I hate the leads that come in 0.5mm mechanical pencils. I think they are HB. Blecchh...
    I toss the leads immediately and replace them with the softer B leads. You don't have to press so hard to make your mark. I used to use 2B leads... but they smudge too easily and tend to break more easily.

    Here's my favorite pencil (tiny, stainless steel... enlarged photo)
    http://www.pilotpen.co.uk/products/index.php?size=&search=Mechanical Pencils
    which I bought in New York.

    my $0.02
  15. Sep 27, 2005 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm just shocked that so many people can give the model number for their pens and pencils! Other than the PhD pens and pencils, which had a very memorable name, I never know what my pens or pencils are...I just have to hunt around until I find the one that looks the same again when it's time to buy more if I like a particular one. I have a friend who collects those ridiculously expensive pens. I just can't imagine they could write that much better than one that's 1/10 the price to make it worth the extra expense, and then he takes them to work and goes nuts looking for them when he forgets them somewhere.
  16. Sep 27, 2005 #15
    Same here. I actually looked up the name of the phd online, just to make sure it was the right name. In fact, the name on the pencil is the only thing that has worn out over the last 2 years of use :smile:
  17. Sep 27, 2005 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I prefer the RCA Slide Rule pencil.

    The colored bands correspond to the colors on resistors - just slide the scales around to match the colors on the resistor and you'll know the size of the resistor (just in case you couldn't remember that on your own).

    There are two, two - count them, very cool things under the black cap. First is a solid cylinder made of a rubber like material. It removes erroneous pencil marks - Brilliant! Second is an insulated screw driver - just perfect for adjusting variable resistors and other variable electronic components. It even works great at prying off electronic components that you want removed from your circuit.

    Best of all, if you look closely, there's a small silver clamp that will hold the pencil in your pocket - even when you're bent over under the desk looking for small electronic components that fell off the desk!

    Oh, yeah, the lead is about 1mm thickness, so it almost never breaks.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook