Thursday, July 11, 2013

Caran d'ache fixpencil 77 leadholder

You might have already noticed that I love leadholders, but in the amazing world of leadholders, there is one lead size that I'm especially in love with: 2mm! I think my addiction to 2mm leadholders is based on the fact that these pencils are almost always very long and very thin, which -I think- makes them look very elegant! So while I like my fountain pens to be fat, I like my leadholders to be nice and skinny!

And this one is certainly long and skinny, 16 cm/ 6 and a half Inches long and only 7mm thick (less than 1/4 of an Inch!)

It has a solid aluminum build. Even the inner lead tube is made out of aluminum, which is pretty uncommon nowadays. Because they used light aluminum instead of brass for the inner parts , the pencil is surprisingly light.
The pushbutton is the only plastic part, which is a little sad, because Caran d'ache actually makes very nice push buttons for their classic ballpoint range, which is basically the same model as this one. So with a little modification, they could easilly make them fit on the fixpencils!
The clip is made from shiny chrome, and even though it looks removable, it isn't! The hexagonal barrel is easy to hold, even though there is no obvious grip section.
Another weird thing: the company name and model name are printed underneath the clip, it's probably done to keep it clean, but it looks a  bit strange!

With the body being made out of Aluminum, which is a soft material, it is a little less sturdy, and it is more susceptible to scratches and scuffs. And because mine didn't come in a box, it was already scuffed and scratched when I received it. As you can see in the picture below, mine had a pretty large scratch near the clip.
To the right of the clip, there is a pretty big scratch!

However the mechanism is very sturdy, and if a part breaks (which probably won't happen!), chances are high you can easilly find a replacement part for it, as they are sold separately.

The lead I used in this one is Faber-castell HB lead. It writes very smooth, but it is a little less dark than Staedtler HB lead.
It might not be the fanciest, or most scratch-proof leadholder you've ever seen. But it performs well, and the interresting size gives it a nice balance when sketching.
This pencil will set you back about 17 Euros/ 22-25 USDollars, which isn't too expensive, but keep in mind that the body will get scratched and scuffed after use.

2 comments:

  1. "...The clip is made from shiny chrome, and even though it looks removable, it isn't!..."

    Fortunatly, although quite tight, the clip was removable on both my green pushbutton Fixpencil 77 and my blue pushbutton Fixpencil 22 (a shorter version of the 77), as i prefer almost all my leadholders without clip. Maybe there is a difference in the models or it just needs a little bit more push to get it removed.
    Good review of a leadholder classic.

    p.s. Not that Faber-Castell is a bad choice at all but Caran d'Ache makes leads too.

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  2. How do you sharpen it like that (forget that horrible cap lead pointer)

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