What is it about the design of drafting pencils that appeals to me so much? There is something about the clean lines, long lead pipe, and knurling found on many of this type of pencil that is so attractive. The Alvin Draft-Matic Drafting Pencil is a recent addition to the lineup at JetPens, and is one of my new favorites.
You would think the banana yellow barrel would blow my design aesthetic theory out of the water, but I find it one of the most attractive things about this pencil. The bright color makes the chrome clip, cap, and knurling really pop. Speaking of the knurling, this is some of the deepest I have used, meaning the grip can be pretty rough on your fingers. It doesn’t bother me, but then again, back in my golf playing days I wanted my grips to feel like sandpaper.
The barrel color sucked me into buying the 0.3mm lead size, but I think I should have chosen 0.5mm instead. For my ink pens, I almost can’t get too small, but the 0.3mm lead width doesn’t suit my writing style as well. I don’t break a lot of leads, but I am overly conscious about it, so the 0.5mm lead would have been better in the long run.
Many people compare this pencil to the Rotring 500 because of the plastic barrel and knurled grip combination, and that is a fair comp. The knurling on the Rotring is not as rough - which some may like - but it is a few dollars more expensive. Either one makes for a great entry level drafting pencil. The Alvin does have four different lead widths available, and you can even save a few bucks by purchasing a two or three pencil set.