This review is by Alex Melillo in Italy. Grazie, Alex!
Material: Really don’t know, looks like cedar and smells good.
Shape: Triangular with rounded edges.
Finish: Black and Yellow stripes, a traditional Staedtler finish.
Core: Unknown; feels between HB and B graphite.
Markings: E4 (engraved) STAEDTLER triplus (in golden letters) and, on
another side, Art.Nr.119 and a codebar, in white.
Packaging: Varies. Often unpackaged/open stock.
Origin: Made in Germany.
Availability: In Italy in office stores and stationer’s shops.
Ten minutes. It’s all I had to wait to fall in love with this pencil: Staedtler Triplus. Actually, Staedtler has a whole range of items labeled “Triplus”, and most of them aren’t even pencils; there are mechanical pencils, pens, markers — all sharing the very same attribute: their cross section. Just like the well known Dixon Tri-Conderoga, the Triplus section is triangular with very comfortable rounded edges allowing a good grip without effort. Writing with it cannot be tiring or annoying; it’s a pleasure to hold it for long stretches of time. It’s good to have one for technical drawing as well, because its firm grip helps in tracing sharp straight lines. The Staedtler Triplus is 10 mm wide and 170mm long, showing a 4 mm lead which is of an unknown hardness. In fact, there isn’t any visible label to show it. To be honest, on the Staedtler homepage the Triplus pencil doesn’t even exist…but the pencil is labeled as art.nr.119, so that they *must* have classified it! The feeling is that of a B lead, pretty black and soft enough, but I wouldn’t swear it, as it could be a harder lead as well and have a softer feeling just because of its dimensions.
Staedtler products are easy to be found in Italy and, I presume, in the rest of Europe as well. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be the same in America, and it’s a pity, as this pencil is really a good one.
Writing with a triplus is half-way between a traditional pencil and a thicker sketching lead, and it may be somewhat uncomfortable to write with when the tip gets blunt. Nothing to worry if you write in pretty large letters, but if you, as I do, write on small notebooks just like my UNI A6 Hipster PDA it may be odd if the pencil isn’t perfectly sharpened. It’s great to sketch brief visual notes — I’m an architect after all — and a Triplus is pretty useful to have my ideas quickly fixed on paper, and it won’t even roll away from my table! A bad note is that it doesn’t sharpen very nicely, the wood, I mean. While the lead has a good grain, the wood seems to be quite crumby when you sharpen it, but it might be due to several factors, as my sharpener — though it’s a brand new Staedtler Graphite — or its odd triangular shape.
[Images and text, A.M. Used with kind permission.]