Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Stabilo EASYgraph Right-Handed Pencil
Another quick review, this time of Stabilo's EASYgraph learner's pencil. I bought a twin-pack of these from my local stationer's for £2.00 in September 2010.
This pencil is an over-sized "ergonomic" pencil aimed at the early learner's market and is clearly in competition with Staedtler's Noris Ergosoft range. The idea here is that small children have difficulty holding a conventional pencil when learning to write, but can grip an oversize pencil more easily. Ergonomic pencils usually also feature some form of textured grip surface in addition to the larger diameter. Both pencils have the fashionable triangular cross-section pioneered by Faber-Castell. The Ergosoft pencil has a non-slip finish; the EASYgraph is painted in a cool, dark blue with a greenish tinge, and has a series of gouges in the wood, set at around 45°, to guide fingers to holding the pencil at the right angle when writing on paper. These depressions are set so that the pencil may only be held comfortably in the hand it was designed for, so that a right-hand pencil may only be held for a period in the right hand, and the left-hand model held in the left. The right-hand model has the end dipped in red paint; the left-hand model has a yellow dip. The EASYgraph also has a small panel in which the owner can write their name (presumably in ball-point pen).
The HB lead on this right-hand model has a bit of resistance to it, but leaves a dark, thick line: perfect for small children. It's not too shabby for adults who should by now know how to write, either. Some people have criticised the lead for being scratchy but I've not found this to be the case in the short time I've used this pencil.
I would probably not send my children to school armed with one though, because the EASYgraph stands out a mile compared to a conventional school pencil such as the good old Staedtler Noris HB. It would either attract ridicule from classmates for being a "learner's" pencil or would be stolen or hidden; either would be distressing. Children can also be a bit fussy about their pencils as well, and the ergonomic grip may not suit everyone.
This is one of Stabilo's more interesting pencil designs, and shows that there's still new things to be done with the wood-cased pencil. I doubt that I would use this pencil regularly, but I am glad that Stabilo have taken the risk with this design and I wish them well with it. Oh, and it works well for adults, too.