Delfonics wooden mechanical pencil in natural finish
+ Pentel Stein .5mm 3B lead
Length: 162mm (just under 6.5in)
A while back, the Well-Appointed Desk did a review of a letterpress shop in Kansas City, MO called Hammerpress, and I knew I had to check it out the next time I made a trip out there. With my work, I end up making a couple trips to KC a semester to take people to and from airports, so I figured I’d get there early some day and stop by the shop. But as it happened, the first opportunity I got, I was accompanied by my husband, my mother-in-law, and my best friend, whom we were taking to her very first pro baseball game. (It was my first, too — shh, don’t tell.) Fortunately, Hammerpress has such diverse stock that even the non-stationery-fans enjoyed themselves!
When we left the shop and headed to the Royals-Mariners game, we had a poster and a bag full of postcards (all beautifully letterpressed) in tow — as well as this pencil I picked up for $10. I’ve only been in the pen game since March, but apparently that’s long enough to inure me to sticker shock. It’s really not much, especially for a piece of this quality and charm.
Delfonics is a Japanese brand that has reached cult status internationally for its fine stationery products, but they can be difficult to get hold of outside of Japan. This particular pencil comes in a wide variety of colors, and of the others I saw, the paint is bright and well-applied. I grabbed the version with the natural wood finish, because the simplicity of the design complements the bare wood look. It is very lightweight, no heavier than an ordinary wooden pencil, and its low-gloss finish doesn’t leave your hands feeling sticky in hot weather. Its clip is reasonably tight and friction-fit around the pencil’s barrel, kind of like the optional clips available for the Kaweco Sport. All the hardware is made of the same bright chrome — the clip, the cone, and the lead-advancement button at the back of the pencil, which can be easily pulled off to refill the lead.
Since I added it to my Nock Co. Hightower bi-fold (for which, admittedly, it is a touch too long for the flap to fold over properly), the Delfonics pencil has been my constant reading companion. Usually I don’t use pencils because I prefer a darker line than standard 2B lead provides, but I ordered some 3B lead from JetPens and that was the best pencil-related decision I’ve ever made. Additionally, since the pencil does not come with an eraser, I ordered Pentel’s small hi-polymer plastic eraser in white, which I can also recommend, especially for this softer lead.
* Low-gloss finish
* Tight, friction-fit clip
* A real looker!
* No eraser.
* Soft wood body = easily marred.
* Narrow = requires tighter grip than I’m used to (could easily be remedied with one of those mushy grips made to slide onto a pencil)
BONUS PICS: I’ve been using this pencil exclusively when I game, so I have a couple spreads from my Field Notes (standard graph edition) that I thought I’d share. That 3B lead is perfect for sketching, in my opinion.
Are you familiar with the Delfonics brand? Would you buy one of their pencils? I think the next Delfonics product I get will have to be their A5 linen diary in chambray gray….