Sunday, 4 March 2012

Staedtler Mars Technico Review

Key Info
- Standard Old Clutch Design
- Lead Sharpener
- Pocket Clip
- 2mm Lead
- Plastic Tube
- Knurled Metal Grip

So why review a pencil?? All pretty much the same aren't they?? Well as you're here reading this, I guess you agree they most certainly are not!! The Staedtler Mars Technico is simple technology. It is not new and has no fancy clicky lead dispenser. Basically it has a sprung loaded button on top, like most automatic pencils, which when depressed, directly depresses a tube attached to a set of jaws. These jaws (three segments) are spring steel, held closed by the tube at the very end of the metal grip. When the jaws are pushed out of the tube they open, when the button is allowed to retract, the jaws are pulled back in and close. When open, the lead is allowed to come out between them (care is needed here, as if you simply face the pencil to the floor and push the button, the lead will fall out completely!!) and when the button is released, the lead is gripped, or clutched, in the jaws. Simple! The beauty of the system is indeed its simplicity. Nothing clever, it just works!

The button doubles as a lead sharpener. When the lead is exposed, you can pull the button from the top and poke the lead through the hole in the very end and sharpen away to a good sharp point.

The pocket clip does exactly what you would expect and works admirably.

The thing that moved me to write this review is simply that these type of clutch pencils are not the norm anymore. 30 years or so ago, they were common. I remember having one at school for technical drawing. However, of recent years, the usual clutch or automatic pencil has been the clicky type. The two things I don't like about these are the fact that they don't seem to last me very long before the 'clicky' mechanism clicks no more! The other problem is hat the lead in these pencils is too darn thin! I find I snap far more than I wear out, but then the pencil rarely seems to last long enough wear all the leads out anyway! This pencil has nice 2mm thick leads. This doesn't mean you have to write or draw in thick lines as you can sharpen it to a good sharp point. It does mean they do not snap and the nice simple and effective mechanism means it will last years.

These German pencils are strongly made and good quality, as you would expect of lots of German products. It has lots of applications from DIY through sketching to writing music. They are readily available online but I have found they are not stocked by the usual high street stationers. Well not the big name ones I tried anyway. Amazon have a good supply.

I have spent over double the amount I paid for this pencil on the other types of clutch/automatic pencils and all have broken. This one.....well it's still going strong!

Bottom line is don't waste your money on anything else, grab a Staedtler Mars Technico from and you can't go wrong! 

1 comment:

  1. I agree. For a start, the technico 780 is almost indestructable. I recently drove a truck over one of mine that I have had for at least 30 years. Two small cracks in the plastic barrel. It still works, but I decided it was time for a backup. I no longer use these for drawing (I do everything on CAD these days) but this pencil is indispensable for carpentry and joinery. With a bit of practice, you can extend the 2mm lead out up to 50mm (2"), scribe drill marks through a previously drilled item and be sure of getting an accurate alignment for things like right-angle joins.


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