rOtring 600 Mechanical Pencil (Old Style) 0.7mm

I'm not really a pencil guy as I'm sure you've gathered if you've been reading the blog for a while, but there are instances when I'll turn to one.  When making my walnut pen holders or building other project in the workshop, the pencil is my writing instrument of choice. 

Oddly enough, my very first rOtring was a pencil, an older 600 series 0.7mm with a smooth grip and retractable tip.  It was made during the same timeframe as my 600 Lava ballpoint and bares the same design and feel. 

The story behind my acquisition of the pencil started when a friend and coworker (not a pen or pencil “person”) happened to show up to work one day touting this 600 series pencil and I instantly called him out on it.  I’d been eying the rOtring brand for a while, but hadn’t made a purchase yet so it caught my attention.  He was surprised by my enthusiasm for the pencil, but mentioned it was one he’d had “kicking around in a drawer” for years and had no idea where it came from.  After discussing with him the price of these discontinued models, he thought it might be a good idea to part with it because, he not being a writing instrument nerd, didn’t feel a need to be carrying a $75+ pencil around with him.  He said that if I sold if for him on eBay that we could split the money (pretty good deal), but I ended up offering a fair price for the piece and bought him out of his half of the deal instead. 

She isn’t perfect and has a few little nicks and marks, but I’m pleased that this was my first rOtring.  I’d always been very interested in the matte black editions, but the metallic silver versions are quite striking as well.  I enjoy the chrome accents of the tip and knock sections that are just flashy enough to be noticed.  I’m sure the matte black version might hide scratches or dings better, but the silver versions are quite nice.

This particular version of the 600 pencil has a fully retractable tip.  The knock has a sort of dual action to it where a full-on click will retract the tip, but smaller “mini clicks” extends the lead.  Pretty cool.  

Below are pics of the tip retracted and extended:  

Under the current lineup of rOtring pencils, this feature is reserved for the 800 series, which is a bit more reminiscent of the iconic knurled pens and pencils, and still carries the gold accents which are pretty flashy.  I’m sure one of those will grace my collection at some point…

I love the build and weight of these pens and pencils.  They just feel solid and balanced in your hand.  When you pick one up to write with it is impressive how good it feels.  I have since acquired some additional rOtring pencils (reviews forthcoming at some point) and they really have done a stellar job of maintaining the feel and quality of these older models.

One topic that would be great to get into at some point is the pencil softness/hardness scale and how it impacts your writing experience.  H’s, B’s, HB’s… what the heck does all of that mean?  Well, why don’t we just get into it now?  There is another blogger out there, Dave, that is pretty much the mechanical pencil guru.  He has a massive collection of some pretty killer models.  I’m not really even a pencil guy, but I covet (yes covet) some of his pieces.  He did an article several years ago about lead hardness that I would definitely give a look.

Dave hasn’t seemed to post in awhile, but he has a great archive of some pretty awesome stuff to peruse.

Anyway, we’ve detoured from the main topic.  Granted, if you’re not a pencil person, dropping some money on a discontinued model may not really be the best idea unless you get a smoking deal, but I would definitely give a look at rOtrings current lineup of 600 and 800 pencils (also a Rapid Pro pencil that I’ll be reviewing soon).   In those times that you want to use a pencil, you won’t be disappointed with one of these rOtrings.

Thank you all for joining The Clicky Post during rOtring week!  rOtring still has their Tikky promo running through the 15th, so if you're thinking of picking up something make sure to take advantage.