Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kaweco Special 2mm leadholder

It has been an awfully long time since I last did a review about a pencil, so this week, I'll be reviewing the Kaweco 2mm Special leadholder! Yet again, big thanks to Kaweco for sending me this pencil!

I'm quite a big fan of 2mm leadholder pencils, I have quite a generous amount of them (Although I didn't review most of them yet!). I really like the way they look: sleek, long and extremely thin. Though this Kaweco Special 2.0 leadholder doesn't completely fit the above mentioned description! It isn't as thin as I expected it to be, with a diameter of 10mm, while most leadholders tend to only be around 7 or 8 mm thick! This doesn't sound like a big deal, but in person, the difference is quite noticeable! However, the fact that it is a bit bulkier than most other 2mm leadholders, makes it far more comfortable to hold.
It's a little over 14cm long (5.6 Inches), so it's rather long for a mechanical pencil, though it's still a bit shorter than the average leadholder.

Something I didn't expect is that the pencil appears much lighter than it actually is! It weighs in at 20g So it really isn't that light, but I expected it to feel much more substantial because of  it's rather chunky appearance. When you open the pencil, you can see that the mechanism is made out of brass, but the barrel is quite thin, so it barely adds any weight. Don't understand me wrong though, It's still a sturdy pencil, and in fact, it probably wouldn't be as nice if it was heavier, because it would almost certainly throw off the balance! 
The mechanism is very solid, with a smooth action. Unlike most other leadholders, it isn't a drop-lead mechanism, but rather a click-advance, meaning that it will dispense a certain amount of lead with every click (or knock, however you want to call it!).

A small detail I really like about the Special leadholder, is the fact that the shape of the tip of the section acts as a little lead pipe (I don't know if it is visible in the pictures). It's very narrow, and it appears to be machined to a high tolerance, meaning the lead won't wobble at all when you are writing. 

The Special pencil is very nice to use, the front part has a nice texture to it. However, most people would probably grip their pencil well above this front section, so it would have been even better if the barrel also had this texture, because the annodized aluminium isn't extremely grippy. As I mentioned before, it takes 2mm leads, though it's also available as a 'normal' mechanical pencil (0.5mm/ 0.7mm/ 0.9mm). The lead that comes with it is very good, it's smooth and reasonably dark, so I didn't feel the need to swap it out with something else.

However, there are a few things I didn't like about it: The design of the knock cap, and the fact that it rattles like crazy! The first thing is just a matter of preference, I just don't really like the way it looks. But the second problem is a bit worse, I'm pretty sure nobody likes a rattling pencil! I personally don't really mind the rattling too much, but I know some people can't stand it.
According to Edjelley, the knock button is made out of plastic, though I'm rather convinced that it isn't!... Anyway, it feels solid, and it looks good, so if it really is plastic, at least it's a good quality plastic!

At 40 Euros (45 USDollars), it isn't exactly cheap, though most other leadholders I own are also in this price category. How I see it, it's not really designed as a full-on drafting leadholder, it's better suited for general writing or sketching, though the build quality is very good, and it certainly can be used as a drafting leadholder if you like!

Note: this pen was sent to me by Kaweco, free of charge, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, nor was I monetarily compensated. The opinions shared in this review are completely my own!.


  1. I think I was half right...

    The way top piece with the grippy part and the Kaweco logo insert is plastic, but that piece is glued into a metal piece.

    I can't deal with the rattle, so this one sees pretty minimal use.

    1. Yeah, the bottom part is definitely metal, the top part on the other hand... I don't know, it looks and feels like metal, but it sounds like plastic if you tap it onto a metal surface, I still haven't figuren it out! About the rattling though, I don't know where I read this, but you should try to insert a small piece of foam inside the barrel, and poke the mechanism through it, that should work quite well! All in all it's a pretty nice pencil once you get over the rattling!

  2. Has anyone else noticed that other 2mm leads -- Turquoise, Uni (with end cap removed), etc. -- won't advance properly? I received a new Kaweco Special AL 2mm Lead Holder yesterday and tried it with these other leads. It accommodated them, but won't advance them or 'click'. When I reinserted the Kaweco lead, it worked just fine. Is it just my lead holder or is this standard? If it's standard, it seems like a pretty significant limitation, only being able to use Kaweco HB leads. Thoughts or suggestions?