I’ve always liked Rite in the Rain notebooks. While I’m not particularly outdoorsy (I choose to be called an indoorsman,. like most good bloggers), I love the durability of their paper and the retro aesthetic of their yellow or suntan products, and of course, the gorgeous script typeface in their logo.
That’s why I was excited that they introduced a series of mechanical pencils. I’ve always found it a little bit ironic that they have a wooden pencil in their logo, but had no graphite options in the writing equipment they sell.
I know, I know — I’m a wooden pencil stud, and this is a wooden pencil blog. And this product movie doesn’t help make the peace:
But still, this pencil is gorgeous, and fits with their market truly well. It’s the same yellow, but in a slick sturdy plastic, and a slate grey eraser. Like their notebooks, they’re inexpensive, but well made. And, I imagine, very durable.
This pencil comes in three varieties — a yellow barrel with black lead, a black barrel with black lead, and a crimson barrel with crimson lead.
This pencil was developed along with, and manufactured by Autopoint. which makes sense — it indeed fits within their wheelhouse. This was a good fit.
I’m not a hefty fan of how broad this core is — it’s 1.1 mm instead of the lean 0.Five or 0.7 mm that is often found in mechanical pencils. I can appreciate why it’s broader, however — it’s less prone to breakage, and shows up darker if writing fatter. Sure enough, it didn’t snap once when I was testing it.
The graphite was nice and slick, and dark. Especially on the paper in this Rite in the Rain notebook, it glided across the page.
The crimson core, on the other palm, was a fairly unpleasant practice — the pigment is way too light (as you can see in the picture), and waxy to the point of feeling gummy. It dulled much quicker than the graphite core did.
The only other complaint I have about this pencil is the sturdiness of the twisty point. As I’m writing, it sometimes creaks in an alarming way, like I’m stressing the little contraption inwards that advances the core when I twist it. Nothing seems to be affected or violated, however, so it may just be a natural result of having two chunks that fit together like that.
I truly like how it feels. It reminds me of a Bic Clic, and I hope they don’t take that as an insult. For the price, a Bic Clic is one of the most attractive, best engineered pens I can find. It’s shaped beautifully, performs consistently and admirably, and even tho’ it’s plastic, it’s truly high quality. I’ve never seen a flaw in one.
This pencil feel much the same. It’s a little bit thicker than a Bic Clic’s widest segment, and it’s just a little bit longer than the Bic. It feels indeed nice in my mitt, and I imagine if I was someone who had to scribble notes in the rain, it’d be good to hold onto.
I think my beloved part of this pencil is the eraser. I don’t think I’ve seen one like it before — it’s grey, and I was expecting it to be very pumice-like and gritty. It’s not, however. It’s super-smooth, but truly effective. It fondles off cleanly, almost like a vinyl eraser.
Sure, I’d like to see Rite in the Rain introduce a wooden pencil. But honestly, it’s no big deal if they didn’t. They produce a good notebook, one that any pencil would work well with. They lent their philosophy to this mechanical pencil — a quality, durable implement for not a lot of money. I think it holds its own indeed well in their product lineup.
You can buy these mechanical pencils for $Ten.95 each, and refills for the core and the eraser, on their website. And for that 6×9″ top-spiral-bound notepad I used to review it? It’s $9.95available from their websit e .
(Disclaimer: These products were given to me, free of charge, for review purposes. Thank you, Rite in the Rain, for these samples!)
UPDATE: A few readers have written to me that that the Autopoint All-American Jumbos are identical and cheaper. I don’t know if they are identical, and the RiR pencils are merely privately labeled, or if there are manufacturing differences/improvements. I intend to get an Autopoint-branded pencil and check it out. So in the meantime, I’d recommend that you hold off on your purchases of either .
Are these a fresh design by Autopoint for Rite in the Rain or are they just rebranded All-American Jumbos? The All-American Jumbo is half the cost on the Autopoint website. You can get it in different colors, including yellow. You are paying an extra five dollars just for the Rite in the Rain logo. The All-American Jumbo is a superb pencil but you are right about that puny design quirk at the peak; it can be a little annoying when it acts up. I also agree about the Bic Clic-a superb pen!
I just noticed your photo of that back of the Rite in the Rain pad, with all the info on it in old-fashioned advertising rhetoric. This must be fresh, and it smacks of the kind of self-conscious irony that I hate on Field Notes. Rite in the Rain should be a serious contraption, not self-referential or a «post-modern» retro gimmick. I hope they go back to plain yellow, sunburn, or green covers, unless they print info on it that is truly useful (measurements, etc.).
I can tell you that on the very back, there is a ruler in inches and centimeters, which is useful:
Come to think of it, I don’t reminisce that stuff being on the other ones, either. When I get home I’ll check my other RiR notebooks in the collection and see if they have it.
Andy, from looking at the photos cautiously, I’d say the difference inbetween the Rite in the Rain mechanical pencil and the All-American Jumbo is the form of the barrel: the All-American is hexagonal, while the Rite in the Rain pencil seems to have a thicker, round barrel. Whether that translates to a major difference in writing spectacle I can’t say. A review suggesting a direct comparison might be interesting. And there might be other differences that I can’t tell from photos.
You’re absolutely right! I am actually awaiting an Autopoint Jumbo right now! I’ll attempt to have something up next week.