Posts filed under Staedtler

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead Review

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead Review

I’m still working my way through a good backlog of mechanical pencil leads in an attempt to find a favorite. Next on the docket: The Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon Pencil Lead.

To begin this process, I chose many different brands in varying diameters and hardness levels. Even though I have my own tastes, I wanted to cover the spectrum and make sure I didn’t miss anything. 0.5 mm diameter lead in 2B hardness is not a lead I would ever pick for myself, for example, but I wanted to try it to see what if?

I must say, this one is nice.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead

It is dark and soft, and unlike some other leads I have tested, there is feedback! The last thing I want is a fake plastic-y feeling lead, and the Mars Micro Carbon feels like what graphite on the page should feel like. Maybe it’s their formulation?

It is highly flexible and thus break-resistant. The lead is also environmentally friendly, composed of more than 90% natural raw materials. Plus, it is produced using unique ecologically-responsible manufacturing processes without PVC or softening agents.

Those are words. I don’t know what they mean, but if they translate into “Hey, this feels like writing with a pencil!” then I am in. Now, I need to move down the line to a firmer lead for my personal use. If you like a softer lead that performs great, then this is one to check out.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B

As a side note, I used some fun new products to test this lead out. I had yet to take my Spoke Model 5 pencil for a spin, and to write on, what better than the Huntington Base Ball Co. Hardcover Score Book and Score Card I picked up as part of the Baseball Lovers boxed set I bought from C.W. Pencil Enterprise? A match made in my nerdy little heaven!

Huntington Baseball Score Card

For Spoke Pencil fans, the Model 5 is the ultralight option when compared to the more stout Model 4. I prefer the feel of the 4, but the 5 is light and airy, and I can see why it has been popular.

The Huntington Score Card is very well designed and comes with a tremendous hardcover to use to bear down on when scoring a game. I scored the early Saturday Atlanta Braves at Cleveland Indians game, and everything I had in use worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, they didn’t work well enough for the Braves to win but impressed nonetheless.

Baseball Scoring Notebook

To put a bow on this review, the Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead is a lead I would recommend to others, but not use for myself due to the softness. I’m impressed with the feel and performance of it otherwise, and I already have firmer samples ready to test out.

(JetPens provided the Staedtler lead at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes. I bought and paid full price for the C.W. Pencil Baseball Box. The Spoke Pencil was given to me because I am part-owner of the company.)


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Staedtler Mars Graphite Review
Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Staedtler, Mechanical Pencil Lead.

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Graphite Pencil Review

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencil Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

The Staedtler Mars Lumograph Graphite Pencil Tin Box of 20 is a playground of pencils. I love getting to try new writing tools, and the range of this set includes several grades of pencil I've never experienced before. Disclaimer: I am not an artist, so I can't weigh in on the artitude of these. I've focused instead on their build and function. Overall, they're very decent student-grade tools, but they didn't wow me.

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencil Grades

The build of the pencil is very good. The body is eco-friendly cedar wood from Germany. It's coated in a smooth layer of blue-turquoise paint with silver stamped labels and branding. It has the classic hexagonal shape, so it doesn't roll but the edges are smooth and comfortable to hold. The lead grade is labeled on every facet of the hexagon, which is very convenient and helpful. They are 7.4 mm in diameter and 7" long, so they should fit nicely in standard pencil cases.

They come in a hinged tin case that has a cozy nest for each pencil, so they don't rattle around. The tin is attractive and sturdy and slim enough to fit nicely in a bag alongside a sketchbook. It doesn't have a very strong snap close, though, so if any warping does occur, you might need a rubber band to hold it closed.

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencil Box

The leads are perfectly centered in the wood, easy to sharpen, and I had no breakage issues at all.

The softer shades are butter smooth and create dark areas without crumbling. They shade well but are difficult to erase and blend.

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Lead Grades

There are so many hardnesses here that it's difficult to tell the difference from pencil to pencil, but the overall spectrum is dramatic. The middle range is standard, and all work well. The harder leads create lovely soft shades, but I found them to be very scratchy. And not in a "this is a hard lead so of course it is scratchy" way, but more of a "in order to make this visible I have to damage the paper" way. The hardest two feel like trying to write with an actual nail. The feeling did improve after some use and the point was dulled, but every fresh sharpen starts the cycle over. Even the light tones weren't able to be erased totally cleanly, perhaps because the lines were more engraved than written.

Staedtler Mars Lumograph Eraser

I think the big takeaway here is that I prefer softer lead grades, and this set is so broad in scope that it takes me out of my comfort zone. Which is a very excellent thing!

Price-wise, these are at the more affordable end of the range, so they're a great resource for a student artist looking for some dynamic tools. And I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to experiment with a wide range of lead grades.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Staedtler Mars Lumograph Pencil
Posted on March 29, 2018 and filed under Staedtler, Pencil Reviews.

Staedtler Textsurfer Gel Highlighter Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Where were these when I was in school?

The Textsurfer gel highlighters from Staedtler come in packs of five (yellow, orange, pink, green, blue), or three (pink, orange, yellow), or as individual units. The bodies are plastic, cylindrical, with a snap cap and sturdy clips. The bottom portion is a wide, textured twist mechanism that raises or lowers the gel stick.

The gel is super smooth, like a soft crayon. It glides over the paper like warm butter. It is semi-transparent and almost seems to glow, as if it possesses some neon school supply magic. It even smells good. It's formulated to perform well on thin paper without bleeding through--so it's excellent for use in novels, planners, bibles, or textbooks. They would have been perfect for my Complete Works of Shakespeare with onionskin paper.

The gel works well over a variety of inks and is inkjet safe. The only ink type that smudged under the application was gel pen ink. Even fountain pen and rollerball ink stayed put.

On the down side, the wide rounded tips wear unevenly--so they do not produce a precise line, and the line width can vary quite a bit. They also leave a waxy residue on the paper that adds weight to the page and feels slightly sticky to the touch for a little while. But the lines do go down dry, so there isn't the slow dry time that standard highlighters have, even on coated textbook paper.

Because the gel is so soft, it wears down very quickly. Even coloring a small area leaves a noticeable flat edge on the tip. If your textbook pages look anything like mine did--with nearly everything highlighted but the pronouns and adverbs--you're going to go through these pretty fast. The gel stick is a good length, so I do think they are useful and fairly priced--but I would have needed quite a stockpile of these to complete my coursework. Like Smaug on a hoard of highlighters.

I'll use these for the occasional research project, for marking knit and crochet patterns, and for highlighting interesting quotes in the books I read. All the while homesick for my student days. I think these would be a great gift for any scholar, and I personally prefer them to the standard highlighter marker.

I remember the days of smudged highlighter lines, lines that bled through the page, or wet lines that transferred to the facing page, making it look like I'd marked something I hadn't. Exam weeks might mean the sides of my hands were permanently stained in a neon rainbow. I tried colored pencil highlighters, but they required too much pressure on the page and were rough on thin paper. These smooth gel sticks are a fantastic solution to these common student ailments that went unchecked for decades. I'll file these under "brilliant solutions you didn't know you needed for problems you hadn't thought too much about".

Sometimes it's the little things.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on November 24, 2016 and filed under Staedtler, Highlighter, Pen Reviews.