Posts filed under Staedtler

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.

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

Staedtler 925-35 2.0 mm Lead Holder Review

(This is a guest post by Nick Folz. You can find more of Nick and his work on his blog, Smallberry Drive, Twitter, and Instagram.)

Staedtler finally pitched me over the edge of Mechanical Pencilville, into Lead Holder Valley. Lead holders, for the uninitiated, are mechanical pencils whose lead is 2.0 mm or larger. They have a couple of lead advancement systems, the most common is a “clutch” system that holds onto the lead like a claw until you hit the knock and then it releases, dropping the lead until you let off the knock and it grabs it again. This is fine if you have a free hand to stop the lead, otherwise it’s hitting the floor. The Staedtler 925 35-20 thankfully has a typical lead advancement, like what you would expect from a regular mechanical pencil; each click extends the lead bit by bit. Its navy blue all metal body and precise construction are attention grabbers from the get go. This pencil is as no nonsense as it is aesthetically pleasing. There are some nitpicks and strange decisions, but Staedtler's 925-35 2.0 mm Lead Holder is one stunner of a tool.

The all metal build is not overly heavy, thanks to aluminum. The knurled grip is a series of textured ring areas. The knurling is not extreme, but just enough to be grippy. The lead guide is fixed, but since it is such a wide diameter it is pocket safe. Toward the body of the pen is the lead grade indicator, so you can mark what type of lead is currently in the pencil (2B for life). The slick blue body features their name and logo. I think just the helmet logo would have looked better, but I am nitpicking.

The clip is okay, not great. It has a tendency to slide a bit, by a bit I mean a few centimeters a week with pocket carrying the whole time. I usually prefer a built in clip so that might be a personal bias. You can remove it if you want. The cap in has “2.0” printed on it, and it has a satisfying resistance to it when advancing the lead.

I am not sure why they opted out of putting a sharpener on the inside of the cap. It is a feature that most mid-level lead holders have, so if you want to put a point on the lead you can do it on the fly without having to grab another tool. I might have understood if they swapped it for an eraser - I would still rather have a sharpener - but even that is absent. The lack of an eraser is not as egregious as the missing sharpener, since it would be eaten alive by this amount of lead. I wound up buying a little plastic sharpener and a kneaded rubber eraser that I keep in an Altoids mini tin. These tins are quickly becoming a favorite storage device of mine.

This goes for all lead holders, but it's worth mentioning, these are garbage for taking notes or writing unless you print very large. I like a thick mechanical pencil lead, .7mm and .9mm usually, but this is too much. I had to adjust the size of my lettering to be able to write anything legible at all. You can get a fine point with a sharpener, but it wears down quick, especially my soft 2B lead. If you are looking primarily for a writing device you should probably look elsewhere, otherwise you'll be sharpening this thing non-stop.

All and all the results are sort of mixed bag. Once I got used to the larger lead size I really enjoyed the experience. I kind of liken it to brushes versus ballpoints, you can get a ton more expression out of a lead holder versus a typical mechanical pencil. The drawbacks weren't enough to keep this thing out of my pocket day in and day out, but if I did more writing than drawing you can bet it would have not lasted long. One of the things that really helps this pencil is the aesthetic and its price. At $20 it is top tier quality at a mid level cost. The blue is very eye catching and the weight and feel is solid. If you are in the market for a quality lead holder that looks as good as it works, this is going to be a serious contender.

The Staedtler 925-35 2.0 mm Lead Holder is available from JetPens and also comes in standard mechanical pencil sizes (which have erasers in the cap).

(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 June 16, 2016 and filed under Staedtler, Pencil Reviews.