Brothers in Knurling

Brothers in Knurling
“Brothers in Knurling,” inspired by Dire Straits album “Brothers in Arms” (c)
“Knurling” refers to a textured pattern cut or molded into the front section for added grip.

Knurling — You either love it or you hate it

A key aspect to using a mechanical pencil is the grip.  You should be able to hold the pencil easily in a stable manner and not suffer any slippage while writing.  Many non-drafting style pencils don’t feature any grip textures so they end up allowing your fingers to slide down as you write, if you’re writing for long periods.  Drafting pencils are almost always fitted with knurling of many different types.  I won’t go into the enormous range of variations for this installment, but may revisit the idea later.  This photo provided gives you an idea of some more common ones.  The Kohinoor and rOtring pencils use “diamond cut” knurling, as the crisscross cuts create small diamond shapes.  The Staedtler featured here is using a box or grid cut.  Some Pentel and Pilot pencils have used this type as well.  The costly knurling cut process can be avoided by providing either molded plastic/rubber, or simple concentric lines cut into the section.  The Pentel P200 series (the P205 being the most popular in 0.5 mm size) has a grid cut mold in the section area of the plastic barrel that does the job well, part of the reason why that series has become so ubiquitous in the arena of drafting style mechanical pencils.

For most of the metal knurled treatment is done on stainless steel, so there’s no rust to worry about.  Sometimes there can be corrosion or staining, but with the right technique and substance it can usually be cleaned well enough to look almost like new.

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