100th post giveaway

The goodies

It is hardly believable that I have written one hundred review posts, long and short.  I am in a bit shock that I have the perseverance to post my two-cents periodically.  Part of the motivation is from you, the readers, for supporting (and in some way tolerating) the existence of this blog.  As a token of appreciation, I am hosting a giveaway in name of this milestone and the little kit I put together somewhat summarizes what I have done in these one hundred posts.

In this kit, you will receive:
To see what I have said about any of the above products, click on the respective hyperlinks.
Please scroll down to fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win.  This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY.  As long as US Postal Service delivers to your country, I will send it!  It will end July 21st, 2012 on 12AM, EST.  The winner will be announced on July 22nd.  
Thank you again for your support!

Can’t wait for the result? You can get these goodies from the following retailers:

  • Pilot Petit1:  MyMaido
  • “Keep it Green” Alfabet Recycled Notebook:  At most Barnes and Noble stores.
  • Wopex pencils:  Du-All
  • Staedtler eraser: Amazon, and other chained stationery retailers
  • Zebra Surari Emulsion ink pen:  JetPens, Tokyo Pen Shop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Pencil Review: Staedtler Wopex HB Pencil

Good thing frequently comes when you least expect it.  I often find sationery goodies at university bookstores that are not easily found elsewhere.  While I peruse through the bookstore, all of the sudden a beam of green light (very much like the one in The Great Gatsby) shining at the display.  When I look closer, this is what I see:

The surface of the pencil is satin smooth and the texture of the material resembles many pencils that are made of recycled materials that I have used in the past.  Given that Staedtler manufactures great wooden pencils, I decide to give this revolutionary material a try.

According to Staedtler, Wopex pencils are different from traditional wooden pencils in the following respects:

  • Wopex utilizes most of the tree, hence reduce total number of trees involve in pencil making.
  • The manufacturing process uses energy efficient equipment and is solvent free.
  • Lead is break resistant, so it lasts twice as long as traditional pencils.

Click here for complete details from Staedtler’s official website.

As seen from the above picture, these pencils are pre-sharpened thus can be enjoyed out of the package.  First impression is that the lead is as silky smooth as the body!  It offers very little resistance and writing becomes effortless.  The writing experience is summed up with the writing sample below:

Writing sample.  I remember why I like using pencils so much!
For some reason, erasing writing done by Wopex can be tough at time, even Mars Plastic cannot remove the scribble completely.  
I have always interested in pencils made with recycle materials, so how does Wopex compare to its competitors?  I just happened to have a Ticonderoga Renew hanging around in the office, so I scribble with both pencils for comparison:
I like the idea of making pencils out of post-consumer materials, but Ticonderoga does not write as dark as conventional HB pencils, and the writing is tough to remove with eraser.  Wopex, in contrast, writes like a regular pencil if not better, and the writing is relatively easy to erase, in most cases.
One puzzling element about Wopex is sharpening.  The picture below shows how Wopex looks before sharpening:
Original look
This picture shows how it looks like after being sharpened by an electric pencil sharpener:  
A little bit more “up-do” on the sharpening edge.
The plastic coating does not sharpened as well as the wood inside.  With a regular portable sharpener, Wopex does quite well, but the lead is unevenly sharpened, but most likely because of the sharpener not the pencil.
Sharpened by KUM sharpener.
Unlike conventional wooden pencil, Wopex does not have an eraser at the end and I actually prefer that, since most eraser at the end is not of best quality.  The pack I purchased happened to come with five free PVC and latex free eraser topers, which bear the Staedtler logo.  It is a bit softer than regular Staedtler Mars plastic, but it gets the job done a lot better than the little eraser knob.  

Overall, Wopex exceeds my expectation of regular writing pencils.  Its bright shimmering coating definitely uplift user’s mood.  It is dependable, and it seems to stay sharp longer than conventional pencils, so even after extended usage writing remains crisp and legible.  It is the combination of the comfort of wooden pencils and environmental consciousness.

Here are some more reviews on the same product:

Oddly, I can only find a few less-known online retailers for Wopex.  If you have seen them around, please let me know so I can add them to the list of places to buy.