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!

10 Kommentare zu „Schwarz und Rot“

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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