Graph Gear 1000 Vs. rOtring 600

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

rOtring 600 Pentel Graph Gear 1000
Barrel Material Metal Metal
Grip Material Metal Rubber
Knurled Grip Yes Yes
Lead Advance Mechanism Top Button Press Top Button Press
Eraser? Yes Yes
Tip Material Metal Metal
Clip Material Metal Metal
Weight 22g 20.1g
Pipe Type Fixed Fixed
Lead Pipe Length 4.2mm 4.0mm
Retractable Pipe NoYes
Length 14.1cm14.9cm
Cleaning Rod? NoYes

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

rotring 600 mechanical pencil review

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. 

rotring 600 mechanical pencil review

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 600 Mechanical Pencil 0.5 mm Black
  • 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 designRounded knurl can create irritation with long use
Nice weightTip isn’t retractable
Knurling grip that’s longer than usual
Good balance
Thin tip for good visibility

Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Features

Holding a Pentel Graphgear 1000 Pencil

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. 

Pentel Graphgear 1000 Pencil Tip

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. 

Pentel GraphGear 1000 Automatic Mechanical Drafting Pencil 0.5 mm - Includes Lead Refills & Eraser - Chiseled Metallic Grip with Soft Pads
  • 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 individualsNo spring-loaded tip
Refillable eraserPlastic thread prone to breakage
Color coding and hardness indicatorEraser is small
Dual action retractor protects pencil lead and storage areaHardness indicator does not stay still
Rare lead breakageLengthy tip wastes some lead
Good weight and balance

Final Thoughts

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.

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