27 Comments

  1. A great review of my favourite pencil! Thanks.
    In my opinon the point retention isn’t too bad. It’s a shame that the Noris is not available in F like its cousin, the Staedtler Tradition.

  2. Sapphire

    This pencil turns up a lot in school rooms in England. I believe Staedtler is an official supplier in many school districts. Perhaps the school pencil is just printed on for that market. The Noris is a budget pencil in this country and features in the sort of pencil, eraser and sharpener blister packs you find in supermarkets next to the baked beans.
    It is fairly dark for an HB grade, much darker than, say, Faber Castell HB and darker than the B grade in the UFO Perfect Pencil.
    It’s a bit rougher and noisier than the Lumograph or even the Tradition, which is priced between these Staedtler offerings. I don’t find point retention a problem but then I twist and turn to get the benefit of all the corners that appear as the lead wears. It’s an unconscious habit probably born of parsimony.
    Nice to see a review of a pencil that’s common here.

    • I think I over-stated the point retention issue. While pencils that can’t write more than a paragraph without needing to be sharpened do irk me for writing, I like when some pencils require the pause to hone the blade. :)

  3. Tim

    There are several vendors on EBay that sell these pencils. I found an EBay store called OMG How Cheap :) http://stores.ebay.co.uk/omghowcheap (I am not affiliated with this store). They appear to have international shipping since I accessed the store through the USA site, and have several types of Staedtler and other brands of pencils. I want to order one of everything!

  4. Thank you for reviewing this classic and iconic pencil, John! I would like to add that the quality of the lead has been improved considerably – just compare the Noris which has the all-caps lettering with the current one. – Re the wood: The old Noris were made from cedar. After that there was a phase (not so long ago) in which they have been made from Jelutong, and the current Noris is made from white fir (however, this only applies for the German Noris; I don’t know which wood has been used e. g. for the GB Noris). – By the way: The dipped cap with the curved border was introduced in 1954 so I expect all pencil aficionados to enthusiastically celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Noris cap next year ;-)

    • Thank you for the info, Gunther, especially about the wood species.
      I volunteer to make Official Endcap Hats for next year. I have some red felt around here somewhere. :)

  5. KostasK

    Thank you for the excellent review of a great sensibly-priced pencil. By the way this is no knight, it is the head of the god Mars, as in Staedtler Mars.

  6. May I add a detail? On the oldest Noris, the one at the bottom in the third photo, is a small, fancy rectangle between “STAEDTLER” and “NORIS”. It encloses the astronomical sign of the planet Mars, flanked by two moons, namely Phobos and Daimos, the two Mars moons which were discovered in 1877 by the American astronomer Asaph Hall (i. e. 23 years before the Mars brand was registered).

  7. Sapphire

    Now you have to get the eraser tipped Noris, the Triplus Noris, the Triplus Noris Jumbo, the Noris Ergosoft Jumbo, the Eco Noris (a WOPEX version with green stripes) and the mechanical pencil made to look like a Noris Noris. :-)

    • WOPEX NORIS?! I need to locate these ASAP! :) Another Staedtler pencil I am really enjoying is the Wopex, which is even harder to get in the States. :)

      • Sapphire

        Cult Pens has just started stocking them. Both WOPEX and all the Noris varients. cult pens.com. I haven’t tried them yet.

  8. dobro

    OMG how cheap claim the Noris is made from California cedar in their product info. However, I certainly am going to take Gunther’s word for it that the newest model is white fir, not some reseller’s unsupported assertion. That said, OMG how cheap is a very likely candidate with affordable shipping for those of us stateside who wish to purchase Staedtler’s incredibly attractive Noris and Tradition lines (£7.99 for all fourteen degrees of the Tradition, anyone?), plus they sell Noris Jumbos in school yellow, and yellow and black. They also sell a very pretty selection of Lyra in blue, Helix Oxfords, and Comrade John’s aforementioned Noris tub sharpener. For the life of me I can’t understand why Staedtler doesn’t distribute their Noris and Tradition over here. They are every bit as iconic as the Mars Lumograph and Faber-Castell 9000. Fine review and commentary everyone!

    • They shipped quickly to me in Maryland. I might add that they did not mention that I bought the Noris School Pencil, which might irritate some folks (and did irritate me for a few minutes).

    • dobro, many manufacturers change their wood – or at least suppliers – now and then, especially with pencils in the lower range, so I won’t rule out the possibility that some newer Noris pencils are (or have been) made from cedar.

  9. Adam

    What a good review. As other commenters have said this pencil is pretty ubiquitous in the UK, and it’s good to see reviews of something that, to me, was an everyday staple of my school days. Even now there’s a box of Staedtler Traditions in the stationary cupboard at work.

    I didn’t realise that these pencils are rare outside Europe. Maybe I should buy a couple boxes and send them over to you :)

    • Thanks, Adam. :)
      Perhaps if we all ask enough on this side of the pond, Staedtler will offer the Noris line here — and the Wopex and Tradition. :)
      (One can hope!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *