The Rotring 600: Mechanical Pencil Gateway Drug

In my daily carry I typically include a mechanical pencil in case I want to just sketch out some ideas or doodles in one of my notebooks. One day I was trying to dispense more lead and almost the entire piece of lead just fell out of the sleeve. While being frustrated at how low performing my cheap, dollar store, mechanical pencil was I decided that this pencil would forever just be a plastic paper weight.. which was also a poor use of it as well, I was determined to go on a journey and find a nice mechanical pencil that I could use on a daily basis for years to come.. A pencil that could take a beating, look and feel beautiful, and would fit my personality. The Rotring 600 was my gateway drug into the world of Mechanical Pencils.  Let’s dive in!

Rotring 600 mechanical pencil

Rotring is a German technical writing and drawing instrument company founded in 1928 originally under the name “Tintenkuli Handels GmbH” (They made the right decision with the name change. HAH). “Rot ring” translates to “Red Ring” after the symbolic red ring that has always been included in their products and eventually was adopted as the company name in the early 70’s.

Rotring 600 mechanical pencil

The Rotring 600 is considered a best seller in the drafting mechanical pencil world. What makes a pencil considered a “drafting” mechanical pencil or just your ordinary mechanical pencil you ask? Typically they have a more solid build and are designed for precision.. For example the 600 is made of brass and feels almost indestructible. It also has an extra long lead sleeve to provide a clear view of the paper so that you can be a precise as possible. This long lead sleeve also helps prevent the pencil from having issues like getting caught on the lip of a ruler when trying to get a straight line. Also drafting pencils typically come with more variations of lead size capacities so you can write with the sizes you want.

Rotring 600 mechanical pencil

This sexy machine weights in at about 0.8 ounces with it’s all black powder-coated, hexagonal shaped, brass body. This pencil is also about 5.6 inches long.The Rotring 600 features a knurled grip section that feels amazing in the hand. The same knurling can be found at the end of the body on the lead grade indicator.

Rotring 600 mechanical pencil

Rotring 600 mechanical pencil

The eraser is also a replaceable eraser that can easily be swapped out. To be honest I don’t typically use the erasers on my mechanical pencils. I usually always have a block eraser with me. I don’t know if it is because of how my brain works but it is quicker for me to put my pencil down, grab the eraser, and then swap back to the pencil when I am done compared to flipping the pencil around to one end and using the eraser on it.

Rotring 600 mechanical pencil


  • Love the black powder-coated body
  • Love the weight of the Brass body
  • comes in .35mm, .5mm, and .7mm lead sizes


  • I don’t like how there is not a lead sleeve cover. It makes carrying in the pocket a Russian roulette game of “which step will you take that will end up being the one that will cause it to stab you in the leg or break the lead sleeve all together”.

Rotring 600 

Price: ~$20

Lead Sizes: .35mm  .5mm  .7mm

Styles: Comes in Black or Silver

Length: 5.6 inches

Weight: .8 ounces

Lead Grades: F, HB, B, 2B, 4H, 2H, H


Overall I really love the Rotring 600. It has quickly become one of my favorite things to carry with me every day and keeps me wanting to find reasons to bring it out to doodle and write with it. I’ve never had the time to get into researching mechanical pencils or even woodcased pencils but I will definitely be open to trying more drafting pencils and adding to my collection. I would highly highly recommend this pencil to anyone.. especially if they prefer keeping their writing materials at their desk and not carrying it around. I have a pencil case for my bag so I don’t fear breaking the lead sleeve too much but it is always in the back of my mind.

Thanks as always and let me know in the comments below or in the contact tab what types of drafting pencils you’ve used or are thinking about using! I’d love to hear.

Be sure to check out Rotring’s site for some of their other wonderful products!

5 thoughts on “The Rotring 600: Mechanical Pencil Gateway Drug”

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