After much searching for a mechanical pencil with 3B lead I decided to try out the Faber-Castell 2mm clutch pencil with 3B lead. The reason I was on the look out for a mechanical pencil was that I could also have a pencil to hand with a reasonable point when I’m out and about. The usual mechanical pencils with .35mm .50mm and .70mm leads were not suitable as the leads were too thin and did not lend themselves to how I like to scribble 😉 So I ordered the Faber-Castell 2mm along with a sharpening device so I didn’t need to carry a knife with me everywhere.
In the hand the pencil feels a little too plastic – I know it’s plastic but the edges felt a touch sharp and scratchy. It could have done with a clip as well to stop it falling from my shirt pocket, but that’s a minor complaint.
Using the pencil is actually quite nice despite the plastic feel, the balance works well and it’s not too heavy. I tried out a couple of graduations with the pencil before going onto a ‘hat’ sketch (I have a few sketches of Gandalf’s hat now ;-))
I then went on to try a standing stone sketch…
The lead isn’t perfect for me, but it takes to the paper quite nicely, not requiring much pressure at all. I’m going to see if I can get a Derwent Graphic 3B lead to fit, I just need to prize it from inside the pencil first 🙂
Product link Faber – Castell TK9400 2mm 3B Clutch Pencil
This is quite a tiny little sharpener, but then it doesn’t need to be the diameter of a pencil as it’s just designed to sharpen and shape the 2mm lead of the pencil above.
It works okay, and that is probably the best I can say about it. If you are very careful with the sharpener it will give you a reasonable point, but most of the time it judders and shudders and leaves you with a somewhat fragmented point on the pencil. I’ll probably have to go back to my usual knife to sharpen as it’s quicker and more reliable. One thing the sharpener is good for is creating a nice pile of graphite to smudge and darken sketches quickly.
Product link FABER CASTELL TK-LEAD SHARPENER Ø 2 mm