Posted in P200 Family, Pentel

My Collection

Before I start getting into looking at the specific pencils I have, I decided I would go ahead and show an overview of my current collection.  I currently have 3 cases that can each hold up to 48 pencils.

The first case contains most of my P205 collection (it overflows into case 2).

Case 1a
Overview of Case 1
Case 1b
Top – 8 -P205A, 4 – P205D, 1 – P205B, 1 oddball P205A, 4 Marble P205s & 6 – Metallic P205s
Case 1c
Bottom – 4 more Metallics, 1 White, 2 more Metallics, Carbon Fiber, 50th anniversary P205, Metallic Graphite and new Silver P205, 5 Gilded series, 5 Singapore releases and 3 from Brazil

Case two contains the remainder of my P205 collection, as well as the P203s, P207s and P209s.

Case 2a
Overview of Case 2
Case 2b
Top – 5 P200’s for Boys and Girls from Japan, 4 Neon P205s from Switzerland, 4 Retro P205s from Switzerland, 3 P203Es and 1 P203 from Brazil, and lastly 5 P207C variations
Case 2c
Bottom – 1 P207C and an oddball P207C, 7 Metallic P207s and the Metallic Graphite P207, 2 P207s from Brazil, 4 P209Gs, 3 Kirari XP209s from Japan and 2 P209s from Brazil

The last case contains all of the non-P200 series pencils that are based on the same body.

Case 3a
Overview of Case 3
Case 3b
Top – 2 variations each of P215, P217 & P219, 5 Stein P303Ss, 3 P323 variations, 1 P327 and 1 that I was sold as a P327 that has no markings
Case 3c
Bottom – 2 P533s, 3 PF335s, 3 PF337s, 2 PF339s, 5 PS315s and 3 PS523s, none of these are the save variation

I have a few more pencils on order that I hope to receive in the next few weeks.

I will be writing more blog posts about these groups of pencils over the next few months.  I hope that you enjoy seeing these as much as I enjoy collecting them.

Posted in P200 Family, Pentel

P200, the Second Generation… and the third…and the fourth… and so on

When I first started to collect the P200 bodies, I saw that there were different molds and markings on the pencils.  Along the way, I started to see the commonality and evolution of the pencils.  As my collection grew larger, I started to codify the “Generations” of the pencils, and finally have settled on 6 different generations of P200 bodies, with 2 minor variation and one mixed generation.

I will go over different aspects and changes for each generation: External Body, Clip, Tip, Cap, Eraser, Inner Body.

One caveat; these observations are all based on observations from my pencil collection.

Generation 1 – Starting 1970

Image - Generation 1

This covers the first P205 that was released back in the early 1970’s.

  • Body – The first thing that you notice (as opposed to the current version you see in the store), is that there is no text printed on the pencil at all.  There is the smooth area (where the print goes on later pencils) between the cutout and the clip guide, but it is blank.  In the cutout, it has the standard “Pentel” on the first line, but the second line shows “P205 JAPAN #”, with the # being the Mark.  If you remove the inner body and look inside the body from the cap end to the tip end, you will see a Retainer Socket for the end of the inner body to sit in that has 6 sides.
  • Clip – This is the initial clip that was used and is the same shape as the modern clip, but instead of having printing on the wrap around edges, they are blank, and the clip itself has “Pentel” running down it.
  • Tip – This is the standard shape of the fixed tip, but it only has a 2mm pipe instead of the current 4mm.
  • Cap – The design of the metal cap itself has not changed in all of the generations.  The difference here is that inside the cap is a plastic spacer that fits around the eraser when put on, but hits the edge of the inner body.  This Cap Stop keeps the eraser from being hit by the end of the cap, and pushed into the inner body.
  • Eraser – This generation originally came with a green eraser and had the cleanout pin stuck in the bottom of the eraser.
  • Inner Body – This body is a smooth finish from the eraser section up to the beveled brass cap that the spring rests against.  In front of that is the standard spring and grip mechanism that has not had any significant changes in all the generations.

Generation 1a – Starting about 1970

Image - Generation 1a

I classify this as a Generation 1 subclass, since they are still using the initial molds, which still included the P205 number in the Cutout.  The changes to this generation were probably made due to releasing other sizes of the P200 series of pencils.

  • Body – The only change from Generation 1 is the addition of stamped text to the bottom of the pencil opposite the cutout.  This text is simply the size in millimeters with a “/” between the 2 m’s; i.e. “0.7 m/m” for the P207, although that number is not anywhere to be found on the pencil at this point.
  • Clip – On my example, they have already switched over to the standard clip with nothing on the clip itself and “Japan” on left wraparound and “Pentel” on right wraparound.
  • Tip – No change: the tip is still a 2mm pipe.
  • Cap – No change. This still has the plastic insert inside the metal cap.
  • Eraser – Green with cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body – Substantially, no change.  The only one I have of this sub-generation is a P207C, and they molded the Inner Body  in blue plastic instead of black.

Generation 1b – Starting about 1970

Image - Generation 1b

This is another Generation 1 subclass, as the only major change to it from Generation 1a, is that they no longer have the “P205” in the cutout.

  • Body – As I stated above, the change representing this sub-generation is dropping the “P205” from the cutout.  It now just reads “JAPAN #” with the # being the mark.
  • Clip – As above, now using the “Standard” clip.
  • Tip – Still using the 2mm pipe on the smaller sizes, but the all of the P209’s I have, have the standard 4mm pipe that the 0.9mm pencils all have.
  • Cap – This is the other area with a change.  They started replacing the plastic insert inside the cap with a metal insert that is also used around the eraser.
  • Eraser – Green with or without cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body – No change, except they are all black plastic.

Generation 2 – Starting between 1971-1972 as a best guess

Image - Generation 2

This is the first major change to the P200 family.

  • Body – Here is where the major change happens that defines this generation.  At this point, there is still nothing printed on the side of the pencil.  The change is that Pentel stopped printing the size on the bottom of the pencil and the size is now molded into the bottom in the same location.  Retainer Socket with 6 sides on the inside.
  • Clip – Standard Clip
  • Tip – All pencils are now starting to use the fixed 4mm pipe.  I have one example that still uses the 2mm pipe.
  • Cap – All caps now have the metal insert inside that stops the cap from sliding down too far.
  • Eraser – Green with or without cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body – They all still have the smooth plastic body, but some are starting a changeover from the beveled brass  spring base to a flat brass base that is crimped into the plastic body.

Generation 3 – Starting about 1975

Image - Generation 3

The change that defines this generation is that Pentel started to print size and model number on the sides of the pencils.

Pentel of Germany - Catalog 1975 Cover

At this point, it looks like Pentel started to release other models of pencils based on the P200 family, such as the PS315 and the PF330 series.  This information and the date are from the cover of a 1975 German Pentel catalog that shows the P200 series still looking like Generation 2 (without print on the side), alongside the PS315 & PF330 series that now show printing on the side.

  • External Body – The mold is still the same for the pencils, with the size molded into the bottom, but now with the addition of the printing on the side with the size (with “m/m”) and model number.  Some of the pencils also print Pentel there as well.  Retainer Socket with 6 sides on the inside.
  • Clip – Standard Clip
  • Tip – The P200 series still uses the 4mm fixed pipe, but Pentel has now introduced the Sliding Sleeve that is used on some pencils.  It slides between 3mm and 5mm and will slide in as you write.
  • Cap – Standard cap with metal insert
  • Eraser – Green with or without cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body – Smooth plastic side with a mixture of the beveled brass and flat brass crimped base.

Generation 4 – Probably starting in the late 70’s

Image - Generation 4

For this generation, Pentel dropped the molding of the size from the bottom of the pencils.

I don’t have a particular date that this started, but this generation went up to at least 1982, as that copy of the catalog still shows the m/m text on the pencils.

  • External Body – Pentel removed the molded size information from the bottom of the pencils, probably to save a bit of money on plastic, since they now print the size on the side.  The same text as generation 3 is printed on the side.  Retainer Socket with 6 sides on the inside.
  • Clip – Standard Clip
  • Tip – Standard fixed 4mm pipe and sliding 3-5mm pipe.
  • Cap – Standard cap with metal insert.
  • Eraser – Green with or without cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body – Smooth plastic side with a mixture of the beveled brass, crimped flat brass and press-fit flat brass bases.

Generation 5 – Starting 1983 or 1984

Image - Generation 5

This generation is where the major changes were made to the External and Inner Bodies.

Dating for the start of this generation comes from the 1982 and 1984 catalogs.  In the 1982 catalog, they still show the Generation 4 pencils with the “m/m”, but in the 1984 catalog, they have changed to the now standard “mm”.

  • External Body – This was a major redesign of the pencil.  Most obviously is the text where they dropped the “/” in the millimeter mark going from “m/m” to “mm”, probably to save ink.  Less obvious, unless compared side by side is that the thickness of the wall of the body is thinner, again probably to save money on plastic.  Another change on the inside is the Retainer Socket is now a 12 point star.  This was probably done to make it easier to seat the inner body during assembly, and thus save time (which equals money).  The cutout still reads “Pentel” on line 1 and “JAPAN ##” on line 2 with ## being an ID mark, the same as it has been since Generation 1b.
  • Clip – Same Standard Clip
  • Tip – Same standard fixed 4mm pipe and sliding 3-5mm pipe.
  • Cap – Here is a change associated with the change to the inner body.  Since production began on the P200 family, the Cap Stop has been inside the cap, being either a metal insert or initially a plastic insert.  This insert would “Stop” the cap from sliding in too far and pushing the eraser into the inner body.  With generation 5, this insert was removed, which takes a step out of the production process, again saving time and material costs.  The Cap Stop has now been shifted to the Inner Body.
  • Eraser – Green with or without cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body – There are two major changes to the inner body with this generation.  At the tip end, the brass base has been removed, and the clutch tip is directly molded and crimped into the body.  Then next change is on the eraser end, where there is now a molded lip that the cap “Stops” on.

My assumption is that all of these changes were made to either save material (ink, plastic, metal insert) or time (12 point vs 6 point Retainer Socket, no longer inserting the metal insert into the cap), which would cut down on costs to manufacture the pencil.

Generation 4.5 – Starting 1983 or 1984 – Concurrent with Generation 5

Image - Generation 4_5

This generation is out of order, so that you see the changes that were introduced in Generation 5 before seeing this mixed generation.

When Pentel made the changeover to Generation 5, from what I can see they made the production cutover based on the 0.5mm & 0.9mm stock.  What I mean by this is they had supplies to run up through the end of a year for the 0.5mm & 0.9mm and the next year started with Generation 5 for these sizes.  But, they still had lots of Inner Bodies for the 0.3mm and some for the 0.7mm.  So the 0.5mm and 0.9mm went straight to Gen 5, the 0.3mm went with the Gen 5 External Body, but the Gen 4 Internal Body.  For the 0.7mm, they apparently had less stock of the Internal Bodies, so moved those to the smaller run pencils (P327 & PF337) and ran the P207 with the full Gen 5 bodies (External and Inner).

  • External Body – (Gen 5) Text uses the “mm” for millimeter.  Wall of the pencil is thinner and it has the 12 point Retainer Socket.
  • Clip – Same Standard Clip
  • Tip – Same standard fixed 4mm pipe and sliding 3-5mm pipe.
  • Cap – (Gen 4) Standard Cap with metal insert.
  • Eraser – Green with or without cleanout pin.
  • Inner Body (Gen 4) – Smooth plastic side with the crimped flat brass bases.

Generation 6 – Late 90’s to early 2000’s

Image - Generation 6

One minor change and a relatively major change define this generation.

I do not have any information on when the change was made for this generation.  If I could find a catalog that shows the changeover from the green erasers to white erasers, that would be what I would define as the date of change.

  • External Body – The minor change to the external body is in the cutout where the second line now reads “JAPAN A##”, where A## is the mark with A being a letter and ## being a digit.  Retainer Socket is still 12 point.
  • Clip – Same Standard Clip
  • Tip – Same standard fixed 4mm pipe and sliding 3-5mm pipe.
  • Cap – Standard Cap without any insert.
  • Eraser – Pentel changed to a white eraser with this generation.  Few pencils come with cleanout pins.
  • Inner Body – The only real change here is that the attachment to the clutch tip is now molded without crimping for the most part.
Posted in P200 Family, Pentel

P200 Family Components

In this blog, I was going to talk about the six “Generations” of the P200 Family, but as I was writing it, I found I was having to do too much duplication due to descriptions of the 6 components of the pencils.  So I decided that I needed to write about the components themselves.

In all cases, these descriptions and examples are what I have seen in my collection.  I’m sure there may be others that I have not found.

Body

Body Top, showing cutoutImage - Component 1 Top

Body Bottom, showing printed and molded sizes

Image - Component 1 Bottom

Differences between Gen 1-4 & Gen 5-6 body thickness

Image - Component 1 Thickness

Inner Body Retainer Slot Differences (looking from eraser end into the barrel)

Image - Component 1 Retainer

The first component that’s generally noticed is the Body (or Outer Body).  This is the primary component for determining generations. There are 6 different iterations of the Body, with a couple of minor variations.

First off, let’s look at what’s common on all versions of the Body.  All of these Bodies consist of 12 sides with 2 of the sides combined down the middle length of the pencil (this is where the normal text appears on most of the pencils).  Also, at the writing end, there are a series of 11 rings around the pencil to provide some grip, and a ridge right at the connection to the tip. They all have a slot cut out for the clip to fit into and stay in relatively the same place, although there is some play to this.  There is also a “Cutout” that changes from pencil to pencil and through generations.  All of these pencils have 2 lines of text on them, with the first line always (at least as far as I have found) being “Pentel”.  The specifics of the text of the second line help define the iterations of the pencil.

Now to take a look at the changes that define the iterations of the Body.

Body 1

In the original Body, aside from the Cutout, there is no text on the body to identify the pencil.  The second line of the Cutout says “P205 JAPAN #”, with the # being the Mark.  I suspect the Mark is the mold number, but I don’t know for sure.  Looking inside the barrel from the eraser end to the tip end, you can see a “Retainer” slot with 6 corners that the Inner Body fits into to keep it from turning.

Body 1a

This body is just a minor variation of Body 1.  The only difference here is that on the bottom of the pencil, opposite the Cutout, is printed text defining the size of the lead, for example “0.7 m/m”.  The Cutout still reads P205, even though in this example, it is a 0.7 m/m.  This probably occurred in trying to get the other sizes to market before they redesigned the Cutout plate.

Body 1b

This iteration, is the same as 1a, with the size printed on the bottom, but by this point, they have redesigned the cutout to remove the “P205” from the mold.

Body 2

The change defining this body is that they removed the printed text from the bottom of the pencil, and it is now incorporated into the mold, so the “0.5m/m” is now raised print on the bottom of the pencil.

Body 3

This is where Pentel started to print on the side of the pencil in the area with the 2 combined sides.  The size is listed as “0.5m/m” with the text on the side varying by pencil series.

Body 4

The change here is that Pentel removed the molded size from the bottom of the pencil.  The text on the side generally remained the same, still using the “m/m” to denote millimeters.

Body 5

This was the first major revision of the body.  At the very least they have a new inner mold for the pencil, since the wall of the body is now thinner and the “Retainer” slot now has 12 corners, making it quicker to seat the Inner Body.  The text on the side of the pencil has now dropped the “/” in the millimeter and now reads “0.5 mm” along with the other identifiers.

Body 6

To the best of my knowledge, this is the current body of the pencils.  The only difference I have found is the inclusion of a letter before the numbers in the Mark in the Cutout.  Of my pencils, 95% of them start with a B, with the other letters being K or P.  All of the Limited Edition colors released after 2010 are of this body type.

Tip

Image - Component 2.jpg

The tip of the P200 family has 2 basic types: the fixed tip, and the sliding sleeve.  I will address these tips by size, as there are different variants for most of them.

0.3 mm

This size only has 2 variants that I have identified.

  • 0.3 Fixed 4mm – this is the standard fixed tip with the 4mm guide.
  • 0.3 Sliding Sleeve – this is the sliding sleeve with the guide that slides between 3mm & 5mm.

0.5mm

The 0.5mm has the most variations of the tip for the P200 family.

  • 0.5 Fixed 2mm – this was the original fixed tip that only had a 2mm guide.
  • 0.5 Fixed 4mm – this is the standard fixed tip with the 4mm guide.
  • 0.5 Gold 4mm – this is the standard 4mm fixed tip with gold colored plating.
  • 0.5 Sliding Sleeve – this is the sliding sleeve with the guide that slides between 3mm & 5mm.

0.7mm

The 0.7mm has almost as many variants as the 0.5mm.

  • 0.7 Fixed 2mm – this was the original fixed tip that had a 2mm guide.
  • 0.7 Fixed 4mm – this is the standard fixed tip with the 4mm guide.
  • 0.7 Sliding Sleeve – this is the sliding sleeve with the guide that slides between 3mm & 5mm.

0.9mm

There is only one tip that I have identified for the 0.9mm.

  • 0.9 Fixed 4mm – this is the only size for the 0.9mm.  It has the standard 4mm guide.

Clip

Image - Component 3

The clip on the P200 family comes off the pencil and rests in a channel that is molded into the body.  Holding the pencil with the tip down, the clip should rest just to the left of the print area, lining up with the cutout.

There have been a few variations of the clip.  I will describe the ones I know of below.

Standard Clip

This is the clip that’s on all of the P203/P205/P207/P209 bodies that are sold in retail and on 90% of the pencils I have.  This type of clip is sometimes referred to as a Deep Carry clip, since the clip comes out of the top of the band and thus sits deeper in a pocket.

Looking at the clip (with the tip down) straight on, the top of the clip portion looks like an arrow pointed down.  On the band that holds the clip to the pencil, it says JAPAN on the left side and Pentel on the right.

A variant of this clip with a gold color was used on the Limited Edition Gilded Series P205’s that were released in 2016.

Initial Clip

The standard clip is not the clip that was initially used on the first generation of P205 released.  The shape of the clip is the same, just the text is laid out differently.

Initially, the band did not have any printing on it at all, and the word Pentel ran down the front of the clip.

Short Carry Clip

This clip is a different layout from all of the above clips.  The text on the band is the same as the standard clip (JAPAN / Pentel), but the clip comes out the bottom of the band, which makes the pencil sit with a shorter distance from the tip to where it would rest in a pocket (thus the Short Carry vs Deep Carry).  As far as I know this clip was only used on some of the P215/P217/P219 bodies.

Cap

Image - Component 4

The cap of the pencil has not changed since 1970, when it was first introduced, other than the gold color on the Gilded Series P205’s.  It is a single piece of metal that is press molded to form the cavity, and has an indention on one side that helps it grip and stay on the Inner Body.

The differences come in what I call the Cap Stop and how it relates to the Inner Body.  The Cap Stop is what keeps the cap from pushing down on the eraser and down into the Inner Body where you can’t get it out.

When the P200 family was first released, the Cap Stop was in the top of the cap.  When initially released, the Cap Stop in the cap was a plastic band that fit inside the cap and when pushed to advance the lead, would rest on the top of the Inner Body, keeping the eraser from being pushed down into the Inner Body.

After the initial release, a change was made to use a metal band in the cap for the same purpose.  This metal band is the same band that goes around the eraser.

Later versions of the pencil did away with the Cap Stop in the cap, and now molded it into the Inner Body.  These caps do not have anything inside them, but are otherwise the same design.

Eraser

Image - Component 5

For around 30 years, the eraser in the P200 family was green.  In the early 2000’s for the latest design change, Pentel made the decision to change to a white eraser.

The only variation from this, is not actually an eraser.  The PF335/PF337/PF339 pencils were designed with a special lead to write on film, and this would not work with an eraser, so these just have a rubber stopper.

One additional thing about the 0.3mm and 0.5mm pencils, is that some of them came with a cleanout pin that was stuck into the bottom of the eraser.  With one exception (a PF337 with rubber stopper), I don’t have any 0.7mm or 0.9mm pencils with this pin.

Inner Body

Image - Component 6 - Full

Image - Component 6 - Detail

The Inner Body of the has changed incrementally over the lifetime of the P200 family.  There have been 5 basic versions, with some minor variations; mostly color of the barrel.  There are two areas that define these versions; the point where the spring meets the barrel, and the open end of the barrel.

Inner Body 1 – Beveled Brass Cap

The front of the body where the spring sits is a brass cap that is beveled.  The barrel is smooth from the front to the other end where the eraser fits.

Inner Body 2 – Crimped Flat Brass Cap

The front of the body of this version also has a brass cap, but it is flat.  Where it joins the barrel, the barrel is crimped.  The rest of the barrel is smooth all the way to the back.

Inner Body 3 – Flat Brass Cap

The only major difference between this body and Inner Body 2, is that it is not crimped.  Like Inner Body 1, the brass cap is press-fit into the barrel.

Inner Body 4 – Crimped Plastic Body with Molded Cap Stop

This is the first major revision of the Inner Body.  The brass cap is no longer used, and the feed tube is crimped into the plastic body.  The spring also rests on a narrow body of plastic that then enlarges to the main barrel.  This barrel tapers from about 5.15mm to about 6.25mm at a lip that is 12.25mm from the end of the barrel, which is the new Cap Stop.  After this lip, the barrel is about 5.85mm tapering down to about 5.65mm, allowing the cap to easily slide on and stop.

Inner Body 5 – Molded Plastic Body with Molded Cap Stop

The only difference between this Inner Body and Inner Body 4 is that the feed tube is now molded into the body, not crimped.  Again, the barrel tapers up to a Cap Stop, then a narrower section for the cap to rest in.

Posted in P200 Family, Pentel

P200 Sharp Family

Over the years, I have collected various mechanical pencils and have a large collection of different brands and models, from the standard Pentels, Pilots and Staedtlers to lesser known (at least in the U.S.A.) Rotrings, TWSBIs and Tombows.  I finally narrowed my collection down to the first mechanical pencil I owned, the Pentel P205 and the various P200 body styles.

I received my first P205 from my dad when I was in high school back in the mid-80’s and I still have it.  I also inherited another P200 body from my dad later on, a PF335 designed to write on film stock (at least the lead was).

In this series of blogs, I intend to go over the various aspects of the P200 series (generations and colors), and into the specifics of some of the pencils I have.

Some of the models I will cover are:

  • P203/P205/P207/P209 – The basics
  • P215/P217/P219
  • P303S/P305S
  • P323/P325/P327/P329
  • P533
  • PF335/PF337/PF339 and it’s special lead
  • PS315/PS523

One thing I have noticed is for years, 0.5mm has been the defacto standard for lead size, and in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the P205 in 2010, Pentel started putting out limited edition P205s in Marble, and a couple of different Metallic lines.  Starting in late 2015, and into 2016, they have been putting out limited edition metallic colors for the P207.  A larger point size as the standard seems to be a trend in recent years especially in pens (listening to my wife rant about it), but I still like the thinner 0.5mm.

Now, the colors I talked about above are what are or were readily available in the United States via retail store, eBay or Amazon.  There are other colors available in other countries that are not available to us in the US.

In Singapore, there are 5 color variations of the P205 (https://www.pentel.com.sg/products/autimaticpencil/p200.html), two of which (Pink and White) are also available in Canada.

In Brazil, they have 3 neon variations available in P205, P207 & P209, as well as 7 colors that are available in P203, P205, P207 & P209 (http://www.pentel.com.br/produtos/lapiseiras/sharp-p200).  I am sure there are other colors and variants available elsewhere in the world that I have not found yet.  There are also special edition pencils, such as the Limitada Brasil collection released for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Switzerland has two different series of P205 pencils, the Neon collection (http://www.pentelshop.ch/p/druckbleistift-p200-0-5mm-fluo-limited-edition) and the Vintage collection (http://www.pentelshop.ch/p/druckbleistift-p200-0-5mm-vintage-limited-edition).

In late 2016, Pentel Japan released the P200 for BOYS & GIRLS (http://www.pentel.co.jp/special/7711/).

TERMINOLOGY

Cap Stop – This is the design feature that keeps the end of the cap from pushing all the way down to the Inner Body and pushing the eraser in too deep.

Cutout – The lowered imprinted area covering 2 sides of the pencil just behind the grip area.

Family – This term covers all of the pencils that share the same shape, internal mechanism and clip (given minor changes over generations).

Fixed Tip – This is a Pipe or Guide that is fixed in length and does not move, such as the standard Fixed 4mm Tip.

Mark – The bottom right most number or letter and number in the Cutout, usually following the word “JAPAN”.  I am not sure if this is a mold number or some other identifier, so I just use the term Mark.

Pipe or Guide or Sleeve – This is the section of the tip that the lead comes out of.  In drafting pencils such as the P200 series, it is designed so that the tip of the pencil does not interfere with your view of what you are working on, and allows the pencil to be used with a straight edge without breaking the lead.  They are usually designated by length, such as a 2mm Guide.

Retainer – This is inside the External Body at the end where the Inner Body pushes against.  If you take the pencil apart and look inside (from the eraser end), you will see either a 6-sided hex, or a 12-pointed star at the end that the Inner Body’s hex shape locks into.  This would be analogous to a wrench socket to the Inner Body’s bolt head.

Series – This is the group of pencils that share a common numbering.  For example, the P200 Series includes all pencils whose numbers are P20# (with # being the mm designator), and would indicate the P203 / P205 / P207 / P209 pencils.

Sliding Sleeve – This is a Guide or Sleeve that will slide up into the pencil tip while you are writing, allowing a longer time between clicking out lead.