The Staedtler Mars Technico 780 is a 2mm lead holder or clutch pencil. This design has probably been around for decades. The build quality is excellent as you would expect from something made in Germany. It's indestructible and will last a lifetime.
These are the various lead holders I have. The brown one is the Kita-Boshi lead holder which also takes 2mm lead. The black one is the Worther Shorty that holds 3.15mm lead.
The grip is excellent due to the rough surface.
The lead can be sharpened to a long point easily with the Staedtler Mars Technico Lead Sharpener or Lead Pointer.
This may be even sharper compared to wooden pencils sharpened in a hand-cranked sharpener.
You can also sharpen the lead using the end cap at the back, but the point will be less tapered.
Unlike mechanical pencils where the lead gets pushed out, the lead here falls out with the help of gravity and you stop it in place with the clutch.
You can use any brand of 2mm lead or even 2mm coloured lead.
The box above is the Staedtler Mars Carbon Lead that's available in HB, B, H, 4H, 2B, 2H, 4B. You don't get the full range or hard and soft lead from wooden pencils. The softest is 4B.
There are 12 leads in a box. I have two boxes, 2B and 4B.
There are certain models of clutch pencil where you can adjust some label on the side of the body to show what lead is inside. For me, I use a permanent marker to put four strokes for the lead holder that has 4B lead.
Interestingly, in the back pocket of the box of lead, there is another end cap that you can use to replace the original one on the lead holder. Not sure why one would want to do that though, and risk losing the original end cap.
The lead holder works just like a normal pencil. But this is noticeably heavier compared to wooden pencils.
You can shade with it as well.
It's a tried and tested product that has worked over decades. You can't go wrong with this.
You can find this on Dick Blick Art Materials (US) or Jackson's Art (UK).
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