There are not many drafting pencils that get discussed more around the internet than the Rotring 600. This all-time classic is one of those products that you just purchase and enjoy for years to come.
What makes the Rotring 600 so special? The list is long, but I will do my best to summarize. First off, the design is minimalism at its finest. The smooth brass hexagonal body combined with a knurled grip and lead grade indicator give the 600 a clean look. Add in the iconic Rotring red circle and this pencil has classic written all over it.
As great as it looks, the feel of the pencil in the hand is what sets it apart from the competition. The weight and balance when writing or drawing is perfect. It is heavier than most drafting pencils but since it is dispersed so evenly you hardly notice. Engineers, architects, and artists all swear by it.
Then there is the history and mystique that surrounds the Rotring 600. I won’t profess to know the full lineage of the 600 but for a while it was very hard to find, if not discontinued. The purchase of the original German company by American conglomerate Newell Rubbermaid in the 1990’s only added to the confusion. As it stands right now, the Rotring 600 (and its big brother the 800) is made in Japan only and is imported into the US by companies like JetPens.
Do you need to add a Rotring 600 to your collection? Well, none of us NEED more pens and pencils, do we? But, if you are looking for that one classic that will last a generation then this historic pencil should jump to the top of your wish list.