Twist-action mechanical pencils, with 3mm (or wider – seen it listed as 3mm, 3.5mm and 3.6mm) lead. When retracted, lead is ‘hidden’, so these can be carried in a pocket without marking things or breaking the lead.
Nice and ‘chunky’ to hold, and pleasant to draw with. Available in H, B, and 6B – not a lot of selection, but enough for ‘convenience sketching’. The 6B makes a nice dark line, and gives even coverage quite easily. Not that I’m much of a sketcher, but they feel pretty nice to me. Only problem is that the lead is actually a bit too thick – thicker than a ‘real’ pencil. Good for doing areas, but not so good for any precise bits of drawing.
So what does it do?
It makes marks like these…
(Clicky piccy to see in Flickr, with bigger sizes and any notes and comments.)
See this blog entry for a pic of writing with one of these next to some other pens.
Rough sketching, especially if you’re going for thick, dark, bold lines – the 6B does a great job of this. Filling areas is nice and quick, thanks to the thickness of the lead.
Not Good For?
Even the harder variants are a bit thick for doing anything precise. You’d probably want to keep other pencils for fine detail, though you could just sharpen the Croquis.
Well, we bought a B and a 6B at first. I used the 6B and really liked it for a while. When I stopped using it much, Sam used it one day and liked it, so it went into her kit. I’ve ended up buying another one, as I like it too. My favourite is still the Staedtler Mars 780, but for the really dark bold stuff, the Croquis can’t be beaten.
- Staedtler Mars 780 Leadholder – thinner lead, thinner pencil – clutch rather than twist.