Der EPCON-Bleistift Büro-Bleistift 

Schwarz und Rot

Einer der für mich schönsten holzgefassten Stifte ist der Tombow LV-KEV aus Japan.

Schwarz und Rot

Das Besondere an diesem Stift ist, dass 70% eine Graphit- und 30% eine rote Farbmine enthalten; beide sind 3 mm dick.

Schwarz und Rot

Der sechsflächige, 175 mm lange, 8 mm dicke und aus Abfallholz gefertigte LV-KEV ist ge­schmackvoll gestaltet. Fünf Flächen sind in den Minenfarben lackiert, wobei nur der rote Teil bedruckt ist. Die sechste Fläche ist naturbelassen und enthält die üblichen Angaben. Als Härtegrad ist HB genannt, was etwa B bei deutschen Bleistiften entspricht.

Schwarz und Rot

Wie von Tombow nicht anders zu erwarten ist die Qualität von Material und Verarbeitung ausgezeichnet. Die Minen gleiten leicht über das Papier und haben einen sauberen Ab­strich; Holz und Minen lassen sich sehr gut spitzen.

Schwarz und Rot

Schwärzung, Farbsättigung und Radierbarkeit sind hervorragend (auch die Farbmine kann man mit einem guten Radierer weitgehend entfernen, wenn man beim Schreiben nicht allzu fest aufdrückt).

Schwarz und Rot

Der Schwarz-Rot-Bleistift (黒鉛筆, kuroaka enpitsu) wird nur für den japanischen Markt hergestellt und kostet im Dutzend umgerechnet knapp 9 Euro.

Schwarz und Rot

Ein großartiger Stift!

Nachtrag vom 20.1.15: Den ersten Graphit/Rot-Stift Japans gab es 1975 (von welchem Hersteller, weiß ich leider nicht). Tombow hat damals erwogen, ebenfalls einen solchen Stift zu fertigen, diesen Gedanken dann aber verworfen. Fast dreißig Jahre später kam man darauf zurück und brachte im Februar 2004 den LV-KEV auf den Markt; 2013 wurde die Produktion gestoppt. Die größte Herausforderung bei diesem Bleistift bestand in der Fertigung der HB-Mine, bei der die Gefahr der Rissbildung aufgrund der Dicke und dem ho­hen Tonanteil größer war als bei Standard-Graphitminen. – Danke an Sola für diese Details!

Stichwörter: Farbstifte, Tombow

10 Kommentare zu „Schwarz und Rot”

  1. Sola

    I have this too! A friend gave it to me saying that it was unusual to find graphite and colored lead combined in a pencil (whereas blue/red pencils abound), but I have come to love it for the quality of the lead. For me it is better than the Mono 100 :)

  2. Lexikaliker

    I am happy to hear that you have this great pencil and that you enjoy it too! The quality of the lead is excellent, and so is the design of that unusual pencil (at least to me).

  3. Sola

    I have just realized that the special thing about this pencil is that it combines graphite lead and colored lead that usually exists in different diameters. Since they could not make the unbaked colored lead any thinner, Tombow opted instead to make the HB lead thicker, in order to match the vermilion…

    It says here that to make a thicker HB lead requires special skills and considerations. Since HB lead incorporates a significant amount of clay, just rolling the lead thicker will result in a lot of cracking when it’s baked. Tombow went to all this trouble, though, because they thought that while pencils were not in much demand per se, people still used them for short note-taking in combination with other colors.

    So this is probably why they’ve discontinued this pencil so soon. Sometimes it’s a bit depressing, not only because pencils get discontinued, but also because it takes me so much time to cotton on to things :(

  4. Lexikaliker

    Thank you for these details, Sola! I have noticed the larger diameter of the graphite lead in the LV-KEV but failed to recognized the challenges of producing it. At first I thought that there are many pencils with thick leads but all which came to my mind are much softer, i.e. contain less graphite and are therefore less prone to crack during baking. I find it always amazing how many exciting details can be hidden in a pencil!

    I became aware of that website through the book 文具上手 – Tadashi Tsuchihashi, the author of this book, is the one behind the website. I wish all of his work was available in English too!

    Tombow Germany has confirmed that the LV-KEV is no longer in production (I haven't doubted your information but have hoped for remaining stock somewhere). What a pity that this great pencil is discontinued! I have noticed that it is still listed by Tombow USA – maybe they still have some.

  5. Sola

    It also says in the Tombow press release that the HB lead uses graphite recycled from the factory. So it’s not only the wood that is „eco-friendly”. It had a nine-year run, so I guess it wasn’t too bad, but I feel I should have appreciated it more when it was still there…

  6. Lexikaliker

    Yet another unusual aspect of this unique pencil! Yes, the nine-year run indicates a certain suc­cess. And I should have bought one more box … – By the way, the only available pencil with graphite and red lead I know of is the Perfetto.

  7. Sola

    Hi Gunther,

    I was re-reading Fred’s Pencils today and I came across this picture which suggests that this tradition of coupling graphite and red leads in a pencil is not that new. The technology must have been there before too - but whether it is any different from what Tombow tried with the LV-KEV, I do not know.

    BTW did I mention the reason Japanese pencils employ more vermilion than scarlet or crimson in their red/blue combinations? In all probability it’s because the standard red (”aka”) is written 赤, and denotes that particular red ink with which your personal seal is stamped, which has a definite vermilion hue. I notice that old Western manuscripts employ vermilion and black in their most basic formats too.

    There are so many blogs with such invaluable information and I cannot hope to keep track of or remember it all! I really should make a habit of re-reading entire sites regularly, including yours ;)

  8. Lexikaliker

    Hi Sola,

    Thank you for the link to the page on Fred's Pencils! you're right – it really looks as if this com­bination is available for quite some time.

    Thank you also for the details regarding vermillion vs. crimson! This is exciting, and I haven't heard about this before.

    It is indeed very difficult to remember all these details scattered across numerous blogs (I use a web-based bookmarking system with tags but it only works so-so). And it is a pity that every weblog can disappear any minute …

  9. Sola

    Re the vermilion: google „朱肉”(shuniku) and you will have an idea of what the stamp pads look like. The traditional ones have a texture like that of moist clay.

  10. Lexikaliker

    Beautiful and – at least to me – very unusual!


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