As readers of my blog know, I’m partial to fine quality wood pencils as my preferred writing choice. These pencils cost a bit more than your average pencils do so once I’ve used them for a while and the sharpening has stunted them somewhat, I used to grudingly throw them out. I say grudingly because there was another good inch or two of usable pencil and for what I pay for them, I wanted to squeeze out as much use as possible.
Pencil extenders are available at fine stationary stores and the internet and I have some of those but they aren’t the best for just carrying around in your pockets on a day to day basis. Enter the clear plastic pencil point protector and extender from the Pencil Things website. Don Bell at Pencil Things threw one of these in as a gift when I ordered some pencils from him earlier this year. At first, I didn’t think I’d use it but then, I realized I had a great answer for all those pencil stubs I was throwing away. As you can see in the picture, the device holds your pencil stub and effectively extends it so it’s usable for that extra inch or two I mentioned earlier. The protector-extender is 2 1/2 inches long and has a hollow body that hold most pencils securely when they are placed inside of it. When you store your pencil “tip” side in, the device acts as protector and you can slide it in your pants pocket like I do with my note pads or index card stacks that I take notes on. When you want to write something, you simply turn the pencil around and the device then “extends” your pencil so it’s usable. Almost like a retractable pen which I’ve used in the past. The problem I had with many daily “telescopic” pens though was that they leaked (which made a mess in my pocket) and after a short time, they wore out and wouldn’t be retractable for long. This protector-extender fits nicely in my pocket and takes up very little room and the best part is the price. If you buy them on the Pencil Things website, they are only 40-cents each! That’s right…less than a half-dollar!
I’ve used mine for several months now and it’s not wearing out or breaking. The plastic is thick enough to last but not so rigid that it makes the device unusable. Besides, for the price, you could replace it easily and still have some to give to your friends who will admire the “geek” factor of your latest productivity tool. I’ve already been asked a couple of times where these could be bought but no store I know of sells these locally. For me, it’s given the stubs of my Mongol, Oxford, and Palomino pencils new life as “pocket” pencils that I can use for a while longer when writing in my Hipster PDA.