The Staedtler WOPEX pencil was found because it was coated in my favorite shade of lime green. I was drawn to it across a sea of writing tools at CN Square in Hong Kong. It is about five stories of office supplies, art supplies and paper goods that would make most of my fellow readers weep with joy. Unfortunately funds and suitcase-space was getting desperately low so I had to appease my office supply lust with just the fewest of items but I could not pass this lowly little pencil without purchasing it.
For one, the surface of the pencil had a slightly rubbery texture on its hexagonal shape. The finish has a light metallic sheen. The cap end is unfinished, no paint or metal cap and clearly no eraser. Then looking more closely at the pre-sharpened point, I noticed an absence of wood grain. When I took it home and started writing with the WOPEX, I discovered that, when sharpened, it created long, tight curls of shavings. If you’ve ever wanted to sharpen a pencil and have a perfect little curl of pencil shaving, then this is the pencil for you. But what is this strange creature?
According to the Staedtler web site, the WOPEX (wood pencil extrusion) is an innovative new, natural fiber material made from wood extrusion using 70 % real wood that more efficiently utilizes wood material. Staedtler goes on to tout some of the advantages of this pencil:
- a completely solvent-free production process
- excellent lead stability and break resistance and
- higher write-out length as a comparable wood-cased pencil
I liked writing with it for the exterior texture and lightweight handling but I was not wowed by the writing quality. I missed the true wood casing for its fine cedar smell. The lead didn’t feel particularly pleasant on the paper. This pencil kept making me think of those cheap pencils I got for school standardized test-taking when I was a kid. My 12-year-old self would have loved the sparkly fairy-green pencil that I could jam a big novelty eraser on the end. But adult self though just thought, “Meh.”
I purchased this WOPEX for $4HK ($0.80US). If you’re dying yo try one, CultPens in the UK carries the WOPEX for £0.76 ($1.20US)
(This pen was tested on the Miquelrius medium flexible 300 grid paper book purchased from B+N.)