My Best Pencil Ever

For some reason I don't recall now, I studied technical drawing and drafting in high shool. One of my fondest memories of that experience was ordering my own STAEDTLER pencil. I used this pencil for everything and there were a group of us geeks that always had them out for all of our classes. I even used one of these in my first year of college when I studied art, but I lost track of it when I transferred to UW Madison my sophomore year.

STAEDTLER Mars technico 780 C
I've thought about getting another one of these on and off for years, and two recent stories that I read made me think about this again. First, there have been reports of people paying top dollar for Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencils, which I understand were discontinued in 2002. (That must be some pencil!) Second, I read a funny post by Danny Gregory, where he explains the tools he uses to create his amazing artwork. (Read it all the way to the end.)

I finally picked one up this weekend at Office Depot for $8.00, which included a box of leads and an eraser. (Not too bad for what I consider this is the finest pencil I've ever used.) I'm really having a good time with it. The only thing that drives me nuts is that I need to carry a separate eraser as there isn't one on the pencil itself. Note that I went to high school in the early 80's, so this probably isn't the exact model I used, but it's very close. I seem to remember the metal holder near the tip being a little more coarse and sharp (as in, cutting into my fingers sharp) and I don't recall a lead sharpener in the push-button.