Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Staedtler Norica pencil review

I am a hungry guppy, or just a guy with low morals. The invitation to write a review and get a $5 coupon from Staples was one I could not pass up. An added bit of incentive — write at least 400 characters and get “community points” (huh?) — felt like extra credit. I wrote about the Staedtler Norica pencil:

The Staedtler Norica pencil is a pleasure to write with. Its lead is like the woods in Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”: “lovely, dark and deep.” The Norica writes well, holds a point well, and sharpens easily (because the lead is centered in the wood). The eraser erases cleanly and decisively. I am not entirely sold on the pencil’s design: I’d prefer a painted ferrule. But the combination of black, white, and silver is pleasing, and the pencil is well finished. The price makes the Norica a great value in pencildom. Stock up!
The Norica is indeed a fine pencil. I bought a 36-pack months ago and used just a pencil or two now and then. Then I read a paean by father-son pencileers and thought I should give the Norica a chance. And soon I bought another 36-pack. I’m using Noricas to grade my students’ writing this semester. These pencils make the work more pleasant.

About “community points”: I realized, too late, that they will never turn into money. And that to get my $5 off, I will have to buy $50 worth of stuff. I take back my previous self-characterizations: I’m a gullible pup. And I’ve never much liked extra credit anyway.

[Pencileer is Sean’s coinage.]

comments: 5

Sean said...

An image that popped into my mind after reading the first paragraph: Michael, at his local Staples store, asking the employee behind the checkout counter (who coincidentally is one of his students): "Is there anything I can do for extra credit?"

A cartoon of that might make it into the New Yorker.


Slywy said...

But you never say it's cedar! It must be cedar! (I'm fond of plain cedar.)

Michael Leddy said...

Don’t know. Here’s a write-up that says basswood, maybe. A comment there says jelutong. They’re not as fragrant as, say, a Dixon Ticonderoga.

Gunther said...

I don't think it's Jelutong because the Noricas shown in the review on Pencil Revolution are darker and don't have the pores which are typical for Jelutong (see e. g. here. I rather think it's White Fir which is also used for the current German Noris 120.

Michael Leddy said...

Gunther, yes, the wood on these pencils looks very different from what your (beautiful) photos show.