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General Information for Writing Instruments

Fountain Pen Information
The essential nature of fountain pen writing is that wet ink is fed to a chisel point by capillarity. The chisel point varying from very fine to extremely broad allows the writer to control his or her hand and as a result of resistance to the paper to give thick, thin or angled lines.

Fountain pens consist of a barrel, nib section, feed, nib and cap. The barrel contains a reservoir of ink that flows to the nib through the feed. The reservoir is either an ink cartridge or a twist siphon mechanism.

In a properly adjusted fountain pen, the forces of gravity, capillarity and air pressure, are under control. Hold the pen, nib downwards, and the ink will not leak. Once the nib touches the writing surface, the ink will flow.

Iridium tipped nibs offer less resistance to the paper and give a smooth ball type writing feel. The feed consists of a series of baffles and fins, that control the flow of ink to the nib. It fits snugly into the nib section. The flow is controlled by adjusting the nib and feed in the section.

The fountain pen is different from other writing instruments in being very personal to each user. When purchasing a fountain pen most suitable for each individual, the following points must be considered: Nib size, pen size, filling method and instruction, care and maintenance. As the pen is written with, the nib will begin to take shape based on the users writing style.  It should not be written with by others.

Ballpoint Pen Information
In 1949 the ballpoint pen became increasingly popular and A.W. Faber-Castell was the first German manufacturer to include ball pens in its range.

The ballpoint is the most all-purpose pen available. It is also the lowest cost, the toughest and the most widely distributed. Anyone can write with a ballpoint. Because it writes with a ball, and not a nib, it does not need to be "worn in" like a fountain pen. It will not wear down like a felt-tip and it can be held at almost any angle.

Ballpoint ink dries virtually on contact, does not bleed through paper and leaves a mark which photocopies well. A ballpoint withstands neglect better than any other pen. It has a tough, stainless steel or even tougher, tungsten-carbide ball, and thanks to the special properties of the ink it uses it should still write smoothly and consistently - even when left in the open position for long periods of time. The ballpoint will typically have a longer writing life compared to a rollerball pen.

Rollerball Pen Information
The rollerball pen was first launched on the Japanese market in the latter half of the 1960's.

The rollerball pen is unmatched for its smooth writing action and densely colored writing line. It writes as clearly as a fountain pen, but with little maintenance. Anyone can write with a rollerball pen. Because it writes with a ball, not a nib, it does not need to be broken in like a fountain pen and it will not wear down like a felt tip. It can be held at virtually any angle and its ink will still be fed to the point.

As a drawing instrument, a rollerball pen can be used for most types of drawing including superfine lines. It does not blob and it produces a line which, because of its density and definition, photocopies particularly well. A rollerball ink is slower to dry on less-absorbent surfaces such as glossy paper or printed matter such as magazines than a ballpoint pen.

The quality of the writing ink is not only determined by the pen. It will also be affected by individual writing pressure, the softness of the paper used and to a lesser extent, whether prevailing environmental conditions are dusty, dry or humid.

Fine Lead Pencil Information
In 1960, the first "fine lead" pencils were introduced.
The advantage and most important benefit for the fine lead pencil is that they enable the user to draw or write with a constant line width, without the need to sharpen the lead. There is minimal waste, erasable lines and maximum convenience.

Key User Groups of the Fine Lead Pencil:

  • Technical Drawing
  • Designers, Illustrators
  • Offices, commerce, industry
  • Schools
  • Financial, Accounting
  • Puzzlers

Faber-Castell Fine lead Pencils are filled with Super-Polymer Leads. Super-Polymer lead is composed of graphite and synthetic polymer resin.
The 0.7mm Leads are available in 5 degrees of lead hardness. (HB, B, 2B, H and 2H). B is equivalent to a No. 2. The leads are exceptionally smooth. Each individual tube contains 12 leads.

0.7mm leads are used in all Graf von Faber-Castell and Faber-Castell Fine Writing Mechanical and Propelling Pencils with the exception of the e-motion, which accepts a 1.4mm lead only. 0.7mm mechanical pencils can also be found in our General Writing line as well.

Dealing with a spent or broken lead inside the pencil may cause slippage. If this occurs discard the stub of remaining lead and continue to advance the lead with the push button or twist mechanism. The next stick of lead will be advanced ready for use.

Leads which protrude too far from the tip are more prone to breakage.