One day I woke up and had a Koh-i-noor leadholder family. From top to bottom: tiny Koh-i-noor 2mm for planner fiends; 3.8 mm with curvaceous clip for those who find 5, 5.5 and 5.6 mm way too much; green 5.6 mm; green 2mm with knurled grip.
The Lamy Scribble in stealth black is great for what itâ€™s named after. 3.15 mm lead, sharpener bought separately but had to be bought because it was red.
Usually, leadholders come with built-in sharpeners. I couldnâ€™t resist picking these up anyway. The big one is for 5.5/5.6 mm lead; the Faber-Castell takes 2 and 3mm.
The most unusual leadholder in my collection is the Cleo Skribent Der Gessner. Daveâ€™s Mechanical Pencils blog has a comprehensive review. My version is the cheaper one, with a rustic hessian pouch instead of leather.
Holding the lead in place is a tapered inner sleeve.
It slides down the hollow barrel until it reaches the wide part of the sleeve. A little push and twist, and itâ€™s secure.
Today, historyâ€™s first modern pencil (designed by Conrad Gessner in the 16th century) seems quaint, a toy for the nostalgic. The practical-minded will certainly prefer the regular wood-encased pencil. Still, Iâ€™m happy to live in a time when pens can write upside down in space and companies recreate 16th century pencil technology. Efficiency makes life easy, but it is poor food for the spirit.