A few months ago I won the Rotring Rapid Pro 0.5mm from Dave’s Mechanical Pencils. Jimmy, my husband, is the pencil connoisseur, and it basically became his anniversary gift. We agreed to do a joint review of the pencil, but then…it became now. And Dave, from Dave’s Mechanical Pencils, has had to poke us. Oops. Sorry, Dave. I’m going to let him to do the bulk of the review, since he’s in physical possession of the pencil. You think I’m bad about pens? He’s just as…addicted…to pencils. Is it any wonder we’re a good match?
From what little I got to use the pencil, I liked it. It had a good weight to the barrel and good, solid action on lead advancement. I’m a heavy-handed writer – especially when it comes to pencils – I go through lead quite a bit. The Rotring took a good amount of pressure to snap the HB lead it came with. I know it’s more than a “general writing” type pencil, more of a drafting pencil – so maybe that’s the reason.
The only thing that wasn’t “great” was the grip. It’s a bit hard. I like a softer grip. I also am a tough gripper, it bites in. But that’s my opinion of it. I would’ve used that mechanical pencil for quite a while except for the fact I got “puppy dog eyes” from Jimmy. He entered to win it, too. So now it’s HIS turn for the more detailed review. He’s been a Mechanical Pencil fan and collector for years.
Jimmy here. I am going to do this review as a comparison between the Rotring Rapid Pro and the Rotring 600, since the Rapid Pro seems to be replacing the 600 in the Rotring lineup.
First up, the Rapid Pro, is just a little bit heavier and beefier than the 600. Both are completely metal on the outside, with plastic and metal internals. Both the Rapid Pro and the 600 have a hatchwork metal grip, with the Rapid Pro’s being slightly larger. The Rapid Pro is also a longer (14.9mm fully extended vs. 14.2mm).
Next, did I mention “fully extended”? Unlike the 600, the Rapid Pro has a retractable lead sleeve, making it pocket safe, where the 600 and its ilk were not.
Now, for a couple of changes that I am not so fond of. First off, they no longer have the lead hardness indicator. Next they moved the location of their namesake Rotring (Red Ring). On the 600 (and other series), the ring was at the top of the body right next to the plunger. Thus when you had these in a pencil cup with other pencils, it was easy to spot the Rotring. On the Rapid Pro, they have moved it down between the body and the grip, so that in a cup with other pencils, it blends in.
Overall, it is a very good pencil. It still writes very well and I would recommend it to anybody who likes good mechanical drafting pencils. But, I still miss the matte black of the 600.