Rotring 800 VS Pentel GraphGear 1000 | Comparison Review

Originally used for technical drawing, mechanical pencils are preferred by those who enjoy high-quality sharpness and practical features in recent times. The classic Rotring 800 and Pentel Graph Gear 1000 deliver promising results as premium writing tools.

Rotring and Pentel manufacture the best mechanical pencils on the market, specifically designed for artists, architects, engineers, etc. 

As a writer, I appreciate a mechanical pencil that enhances my writing experience with its advanced grip and precision. However, choosing the right mechanical pencil can be challenging. 

To guide you, I have compared the Rotring 800 and Pentel Graph Gear 1000 in a similar vein to my article titled “Kuru Toga Vs DelGuard.”  

About Rotring

Rotring has been an unchallenged name in the market for mechanical pencils for the last 100 years. Catering mostly to artists and professionals, Rotring is a household name for the great pencil prototype! With their revolutionary hexagonal design and sturdy metal barrels, Rotring manufactures many drafting pencils that are widely appreciated. 

Rotring 800 Mechanical Pencil Review

rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, 0.5 mm, Black Barrel...
  • An iconic tool meant for a lifetime of use Unique...
  • Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight...

It is one of Rotring’s premium models that is the second most expensive in their numbered range. Rotring 800 is a classic mechanical pencil with a retractable tip or stylus that prevents damage from accidental falls. Its retracting mechanism also offers better storage for the tip, so it doesn’t break or poke you when you put it in the bag.

However, unlike most mechanical pencils, you need to twist the top of the pencil to open the lead sleeve.

Product Features

1. Retractable Tip

It is the main feature of the new Rotring 800 drafting pencil. A tapering brass or gold-colored metal hides the lead sleeve, paired with a golden cylinder that holds the lead. With an adequate size of 4.1 mm, the lead sleeve feels comfortably solid even when I write using more force. 

Even though Rotring 800 is a hefty mechanical pencil, it has a compact size of 5.2 inches when fully retracted, making it easy to carry. Additionally, it comes with a standard Rotring eraser cap.

Material and design
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

2. Material And Design

The metal body of the rOtring 800 Mechanical Pencil is made of solid brass, making it a high-quality yet heavy drafting pencil. It’s a no-brainer that the brass body of the pencil adds to the higher price. However, its weight also means greater durability and a sturdy feel. I’m sure throwing it on the floor with its lead sleeve closed won’t break it.

Moreover, like any other standard model of Rotring, this pencil body has a hexagonal shape similar to wooden pencils. I like how the corners of the pencil provide fine balance and prevent it from rolling away, especially when placed on a slanting surface.

3. Superior Grip Section

While using this drafting pencil, I noticed that its knurled grip is much smoother than the Rotring 600 model. Rotring 600 had a much more aggressive grip that hurt my fingers when I wrote for too long. But the 800 model feels soft to the touch, yet it provides sufficient grip. Though I prefer a thicker knurled grip, this works pretty well.

About Pentel

Manufacturing writing instruments for 70 years, Pentel believes in self-expression, community, and innovative modern style. Their pens and drafting pencils promise high-quality and smooth performance due to their superior graphite lead. Pentel is also known for inventing rollerball technology which has helped them lead the industry. 

Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Review 

The Graph Gear 1000 drafting pencil is lightweight with a retractable mechanism and non-latex support pads. With a beautifully designed metal body, this model has different color schemes for differing lead sizes. 

Even though Rotring pencils have been on the market for quite a while, GrapGear 1000 does not disappoint. It delivers an excellent user experience for woodworking, engineering, drafting, and even sketching. 

Product Features

1. All-Metal Body

The Pentel GraphGear 1000 Drafting Pencil has a sturdy metal construction, making it extremely durable. It has a finely designed metallic grip with comfortable latex-free pads that ensure smooth writing for long periods. 

GraphGear 1000 pencils also feature a sturdy pocket clip, a metal hardness indicator, and a smooth retractable tip which advances more lead with a satisfying click.

Double-knock retracting mechanism
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

2. Double-Knock Retracting Mechanism

The double-knock feature has a two-tier retracting system which prevents lead breakage. First, depressing the top button extends the retractable tip out. Then, you need to press the second push button to extend the fixed lead sleeve.

Moreover, it has a knurled grip along with a rubber one towards the beginning of the retractable tip. So, you have two ways to grip the pencil!

3. Lead Grade Indicator

Besides its intuitive retracting tip, Pentel GraphGear 1000 also features grade indicators that point to the lead thickness. However, these drafting pencils have two kinds of indicators.

The lead grade and size indicator lie close to each other near the top of the pen cap. They both show a lead size of 0.7, which is the standard for this pen. 

Rotring 800 vs pentel graphgear 1000 final thoughts
Ⓒ Architecture Lab | Anton Giuroiu

Final Thoughts On Rotring 800 Vs Pentel GraphGear 1000

Both these mechanical and drafting pencils deliver good performance and smooth usage. The only difference lies in their price and additional features like lead indicators and refillable erasers. I prefer the Rotring 800 since it has an elegant, smaller, hexagonal design and durability, but I admit it can be quite heavy, it’s pricier and misses the lead indicator.

My personal preference is only based on simple activities like drawing or annotating. However, the GraphGear 1000 is an arguably far better mechanical pencil, especially for drafting as the lead indicator is there and the grip seems a bit more comfortable for extended periods of time. And also, it’s way more affordable than Rotring 800.

Ultimately, choosing the right mechanical pencil depends on your preference and what you will use them for. A beginner and a professional can have different features they look for, and the same goes for artists and writers. Moreover, considering your budget is essential when choosing high-end pencils.

That said, I’ll be signing off now. Stay tuned for more pencil articles!

Anton G.
Anton is a RIBA accredited architect, when he's offline, he spends his time with the sculpta.ba architecture practice or in the MKR.S crafting studio, laser engraving and laser cutting architecture models. In his free time he geeks over taking care of his pencil and mechanical pencil collection.

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