We'll take a look at a couple of neat additions to my graphite collection that hail from pretty faraway places, so they might be a tad difficult to find stateside. This was my first time trying out the Caran D'Ache Edelweiss 341-1 3B pencil that I believe is the student grade offering from one of my favorite graphite manufacturers. It did not disappoint, so I would not hesitate to pick it up as a sketching tool if it was readily available.This Swiss graphite pencil and Swedish mechanical pencil were included in the last sample pack from Matthias. Dave already posted a pretty thorough photo coverage and detailed description of the Bic Rondo Select 0.5 mm mechanical pencil a couple of years ago.
Thus I will simply focus on how this Ballograf writing product handled some light sketching duty. I did not like the HB leads included with it (the lead felt like it receded a bit under my normal drawing pressure and broke a few times), so I loaded it with a 4B Uni-ball Nano Dia lead that felt sturdier while smoothly producing darker marks. Its rubberized black barrel was quite comfortable and seemed to be fused to the the conical fixed sleeve, for I was unable to disassemble it to take a closer look of the clutching mechanism. The Rondo would make an elegant worthy addition to any mechanical pencil collection if you can still find it. After a quick online search for it that yielded few entries, I suspect it might have been discontinued.
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