Custom 2mm Pencil from IJ Instruments

I’d quite forgotten that I’d placed an order for a custom 2mm lead holder from IJ Instruments until it arrived in the mail a while back. The pandemic seemed to have relented, lulling us into a false sense of security for a while. Either way- this came from Edinburgh in the midst of the death, corruption, and utter madness that’s been wreaking havoc on my country. 

Anyway: the pencil. I like it! The length is perfect, and the weight is just right- not too heavy nor too light, and this is from someone with small, skinny hands. There’s a very neat industrial look to it, with the hexagonal grooved grip zone (rather longer than usual because I like to hold my pencils higher up when loosely sketching). This aesthetic is offset just slightly by the slender, tapering barrel, reminiscent of the dip pens or desk pens that are so beloved by me. 

My usual- albeit minor-  complaints with mass produced 2mm lead holders are all addressed here; no cheap plastic sections, no rattling bits, no dirt getting caught in overly rough knurled grips. It will not fit the Staedtler rotary 2mm lead pointer, but sharpens just fine with standard 2mm lead pointer, unlike my other favourite 2mm pencil, the Forever Sostanza (the pencil grips the lead too loosely in that case, and the only way to sharpen is by rubbing the lead on sandpaper). I opted for a solid push button, because I never use the built in sharpeners in these things. 

If I’m being honest, this is probably the best balance between usability, looks, and comfort that I’ve found in a 2mm. It’s  robust and durable (hello titanium!), utilitarian but attractive and sleek. I took it for a trial run after a long period of only using digital tools and fountain pens, and am quite pleased with it. Here it is next to my trusty Apple Pencil:

If you’re a stationary nut- well worth checking out. If not- what are you even doing here? 

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