A2F: What a piece of junk!

Borrowing from Luke Skywalker, there.

I was browsing around Staples today, as I just love a good meander around office supply shops, and saw a Staedtler lead-holder with some leads and an eraser for a decent price. I put down my $10 and decided to give it a shot as I've been meaning to get a hold of a 2mm lead holder for a while, and the Staedtler 780, from what I'd read, is sorta the industry standard. Arriving back home, I opened 'er up and started the test-drive.

This is the cheapest piece-of-crap pencil I've ever laid hands on. Honestly, it looks like something you'd buy at a 99¢ store. Where the end of the plastic barrel meets the grip/collar, things are not flush and the edge is sharp -- the farthest thing from comfortable; and the metal grip/collar is textured such that it's actually more slippery than it would be if they'd left it smooth. The push-button cap, which functions as a sharpener when removed, is so tightly fitted to the barrel that I have to remove it with my teeth. As though this weren't insult enough, the lead that Staedtler has included in the package is lousy, inconsistent, and scratchy.

My mistake seems to have been a lack of scrutiny over the packaging, as the pencil turns-out to be a Staedtler 980, not a 780. I'm sure it's no coincidence that they're made to look the same. To be fair, the package does say "Technical Pencil Value Pack", and whenever you see the word 'value' on a piece of merchandise, you can be sure it's cheap shit. Thus, there's little justification for outrage, or even mild shock. I was going to just grab a new 0.9mm Pentel Sharp today, before I saw the Staedtler and changed my mind. That'll teach me to impulse-buy.

While I'm still a bit grumpy that I dropped ten perfectly good dollars on this turd, it does hold lead, and that's all it really needs to do; but it's a little like paying five bucks for a shot of decent scotch and having it served to you in a Dixie cup. This set should retail for $4.99, not $9.99. The good news is that after a few wraps of electricians' tape, the pencil provides a more-or-less a comfortable drawing experience.

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