Comparing the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 to the rOtring 600 is like comparing a shiny new, Marine Corps recruit to a grizzled, old veteran of the Vietnam War. The rOtring has longevity on its side but that doesn’t mean that the Graph Gear doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Both of these drafting pencils are outstanding in their own right, with the “double-knock” feature in the Graph Gear being the primary separator. However, the double-knock feature that truly separates the Graph Gear 1000 from the rOtring 600, is also Graph Gear’s downfall, in terms of competing against the rOtring 600.
That being said, both of these drafting instruments are excellent mechanical pencils, each with its own little features that are sure to please their respective owners. Both pencils also feature exceptional build quality and will stand the test of time for long-term users.
Head-to-Head Comparison: rOtring 600 vs. Pentel Graph Gear 1000
|Pentel Graph Gear 1000
|Lead Advance Mechanism
|Top Button Press
|Top Button Press
|Lead Pipe Length
As you can see, both mechanical pencils are fairly similar in terms of usage and construction. The major difference between the two is that the Graph Gear has a retractable tip.
rOtring 600 Features
The rOtring 600 has a lot going for it. For one, the design and construction of the rOtring 600 have been in circulation since the 1970s. A pencil that sticks around that long says a lot about how popular and desirable it is and still remains to be.
It has a very nice weight to it and it exists in that fine space that makes you think of solid quality, but not so heavy that it is cumbersome or creates a deal of hand strain. It lacks a retractable tip, however, the tip design is very minimal so it doesn’t hide the lines you draw.
The hexagonal body has a nice feel to it but there is no rubber grip. Instead, the rOtring is designed with a knurled grip at the bottom, so if that is something that you prefer over rubber, you’ll appreciate it.
The grip is a little thin and the only real complaints about the rOtring 600 seem to coalesce around that one factor. Without the rubber, long-term use may become slightly uncomfortable, but it’s really a minor thing.
There is also a rOtring 600G available, which some might find intriguing. However, the ‘G’ version is mostly available as a collector’s item these days and is not something that you will find on the mass market.
- Rotring pencil technology. Rotring brass mechanism for precision lead advancement. Fixed lead guidance sleeve preventing...
- Ergonomic metal barrel. Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight and feeling. Hexagonal barrel ensuring...
- Lead hardness grade indicator. For a rapid identification when working. Lead hardness grade indicator to identify and...
- Lead hardness grade indicator to identify and adjust lead
- Comes in a black finish and holds 0.5 mm lead
|Sturdy, durable design
|Rounded knurl can create irritation with long use
|Tip isn’t retractable
|Knurling grip that’s longer than usual
|Thin tip for good visibility
Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Features
The double-knock feature of the Pentel Graph Gear 1000 is a unique addition and separates the Graph Gear from the rOtring 600. However, the only, major complaint about the Graph Gear 1000 is that the retractable tip sometimes doesn’t operate as it should.
It’s a rare complaint, so it’s not something that most people should expect to happen but the mechanism that allows this function is known to fail sometimes. The double-knock feature is nothing more than depressing the top button, which pushes the retractable tip out. A second top button press extends the graphite lead.
The Graph Gear comes with a rubber grip but it also has a rounded, knurled grip towards the farthest edge before giving way to the retractable tip. So, you have two methods for gripping the pencil, whichever floats your boat.
The Graph Gear is exceptionally durable, with an all-metal body (excepting the rubber grip) and a sturdy construction overall. It weighs a little bit more than the rOtring, but not so much that you would notice the difference if you held both pencils, one in each hand.
It’s also known as a beginner pencil for those who are just getting into mechanical pencils and drafting. Also, it only costs around $10, so you can expect to get a lot of longevity for a very low price overall.
- Drafting Made Easy - Pentel Graph Gear 1000 is Best for engineering, architects, woodworking, students, and drafting...
- Use It With Your Tools - With a 4mm tip length, this Pentel mechanical pencil is easy to use with rulers, protractors,...
- Designed with a finely chiseled metallic grip with soft, latex-free pads, and Built-In lead Hardness Indicator. This...
- Keep Your Lead From Breaking - Our automatic pencil is equipped with a dual-action retractor, which advances and...
- Quality You Can Trust - Pentel has been supplying the world with quality products for over 70 years now. We're the only...
|Great feel and grip, which provides comfort for more individuals
|No spring-loaded tip
|Plastic thread prone to breakage
|Color coding and hardness indicator
|Eraser is small
|Dual action retractor protects pencil lead and storage area
|Hardness indicator does not stay still
|Rare lead breakage
|Lengthy tip wastes some lead
|Good weight and balance
Ultimately, the rOtring 600 is probably the better drafting pencil but only by a hair. That is mostly because there are known failings with the Graph Gear 1000 double-knock feature. However, both pencils are excellent, solidly constructed, and perform very well in the long term.