06 February 2011

BIC Criterium 2.0 mm Mechanical Pencil

I was looking for another mechanical pencil to go with my Slimline Filofax the other day. I've been a long time fan of the Pentel P200 series of pencils and I have them in various sizes (0.5, 0.7, 0.9 mm).

However, I was looking around a stationary shop whilst out the other day, I spotted some Quo Vadis planners... but I digress! Anyway I was looking through the pens and pencils available in the store and I spotted this BIC pencil with a 2mm thick lead and I wondered what my hand writing would be like with something a bit thicker.

The end of the pencil pulls off and it contains a pencil sharpener and a pencil eraser. The pencil also came with a case of ten HB pencil leads.

My first impressions are very good, it feels a lot smoother when writing on paper, less 'scratchy' than the much thinner mechanical Pentel pencils I have been using.

Here are some samples, first the Pentel 0.7 mm
And then the BIC 2.0 mm

Err now you can see why I was looking for tips on improving my handwriting... thanks for the feedback! Actually I think I have worked out why it looks so untidy... but another time...

May be the difference between these two pencils doesn't show up from the scans, but in use I'm going to give the BIC an extended long term test.

Unfortunately I've not found this particular model for sale outside of France, unless you have found it for sale.


  1. I use a Staedtler Mars Technico with 2mm lead. Bought here in the back of beyond interior of BC usually called "beyond Hope" (look at a map of British Columbia and see if you get the joke) so I'm sure they are available everywhere. The fatter lead mechanicals are usually called "lead holders" for some reason.

  2. Fantastic post, Steve!
    I've been carrying my first Pentel since junior high!
    I don't think I would go for a thicker lead than the typical 0,5 but I must say the BIC is looking much nicer than the 0,7.
    I believe Lamy has one of those lead holders with a beautiful fat lead. I've been coveting it for over two years now!

  3. i think for pencil writing in the ff, .07 is best but it does really depend on the person. plus the lead grade. i'd like the lamy scribble in .07. it also comes in 3.15 but lately i've been drawing on smaller sized paper, so i've been into the smaller diameters. i think the main issue with writing with a leadholder in a ff would be the fact that you'd have to sharpen it a lot or make sure to turn the pencil in your hand a lot for the sharpest part of the lead. most leadholders have a built-in sharpener in the cap. caran d'ache makes some really nice affordable leadholders (fix pencils) (not to mention fine fine writing instruments) that also vary in length. i think uni-ball has some super new mechanical pencil that turns the lead for you which would be cool if you write furiously and can't be bothered.


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