The rOtring 600: a classic mechanical pencil now made in Japan

The legendary German rOtring 600 mechanical penicl is now made in Japan. I had to have one.

I once spent a day of wandering around London because my girlfriend had forgotten her .3mm architects pencil that she just neeeeeeded for whatever reason. She stayed in our AirBNB, drank tea, and probably read books all day while I looked for mechanical pencils. When I finally found a shop that carried more than just Pentel in plastic bubble wrap, I was given a lesson in the style and quality of automagic penciling — evidently my Autopoint is for low class Americans and anyone with any taste or style uses a rOtring 600.

The rOtring 600 is all metal. It has an octagonal shaft, and a lovely, finely textured grip. The eraser holder has an indicator for lead hardness, much like an old camera did for ASA. When you click it pencil lead comes out, and those clicks are precise. This is a well made mechanical pencil that will last for ages. The rOtring is only $16 in .5mm.

You can find this model in lead thicknesses of .3mm, .5mm and .7mm — .5 writes at about the same thickness as my Autopoint .9, with my hand.

If you like the feel of a tiny, pencil making very precise scratches on paper — the rOtring 600 is for you. If you want a big honkin' AMERICAN pencil, get an Autopoint in .9.

The rOtring 600 inspired one of my favorite two daily use fountain pens, the Levenger L-Tech 3.0 in stealth.

Oh, and I got the woman a Pentel P203. She is long gone, but left the pencil behind.

rOtring 600 0.5mm Silver Barrel Mechanical Pencil via Amazon