Faber-Castell 1.8mm mechanical Exam Pencil

Originally published at: Faber-Castell 1.8mm mechanical Exam Pencil | Boing Boing


This looks really cool! But isn’t the no. 2 pencil lead grade roughly equal to HB, not 2B? That’s what the internet tells me, at least.


Wow, I’ve never seen a mechanical lead like that. Can you share samples of the writing? As a fellow fowl draftsperson, I am interested.


Well Done Reaction GIF

This is the writing I come to BB for. :joy:


Had to consult the Oracle at Google b/c I honestly didn’t know what grade matched a No. 2 lead. Found this article that states:

In reality however, there is no specific industry standard for the darkness of the mark to be left within the HB or any other hardness grade scale. Thus, a #2 or HB pencil from one brand will not necessarily leave the same mark as a #2 or HB pencil from another brand. Most pencil manufacturers set their own internal standards for graphite hardness grades and overall quality of the core, some differences are regional. In Japan, consumers tend to prefer softer darker leads, so an HB lead produced in Japan is generally softer and darker than an HB from European producers.

So I think you’re right on the grade, but this being a Chinese domestic product, it could be Faber-Castell’s No. 2 variant for China. I started to write a post about this and abandoned it, but the title was going to be “Who does Number 2 Work For?!?” ^___^

Domo Domo! Here’s the obligatory minimum:



So you got what you wanted then, yes?


The 1.8mm? I had (maybe still have?) a drafting set that used it. It came with a little sharpener, sized for that lead.

(Maybe it was 1.5mm? Anyway the lead was about the size of what would be in a wooden pencil, not mechanical ones I’d seen before nor since)

But dang if I know where I left it… :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

1 Like

The Muppets Agree GIF by ABC Network

Now if only they could make a 1.8mm variant of the Pilot FriXion erasable pens…

1 Like

It’s rectangular in profile though! So more like a calligraphy nib or a piece of charcoal. If I’m seeing that right, it’s neat!


I get the sensation it’s a triangle in profile, but maybe I’m wrong… maybe there’s some other reason it doesn’t seem to lay flat?

1 Like

Ah! I completely missed that (either way). Completely!


Exactly, here’s some pics of the lead and the opening it comes out of:

The edges are rounded so it is almost reminiscent of dry linguine noodles.


Didn’t know mechanical pencils with that size lead existed. Just put a set of 3 on my birthday list for my daughter. She never knows what to get me.



Pentel makes a 1.3mm called “Mark Sheet”. And of course there are HI-UNI 2.0mm lead holders that are very nice (different beast though).

1 Like

I totally remember using those in high school drafting class with the little fiber plug inset into the sharpener lid for poking the lead into before ritualistically blowing on the tip. Those lead holders were messy AF, requiring constant sharpening even with rolling one’s wrist/fingers to keep the tip sharp; and we had to use little pads to rest our hand on so as not to smudge the vellum. Glad that I started with T-Square and vellum, but would never go back after AutoCAD. ^____^


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.