Rapid-Pro line

Rapid-Pro line

Lead-holder 0.5 mm [Silver] – Ref. : 1904255

Lead-holder 0.7 mm [Silver] – Ref. : 1904256

Lead-holder 2 mm [Silver] – Ref. : 1904259

Lead-holder Ballpoint [Silver] – Ref. :  1904291

Lead-holder 0.5 mm [Black] – Ref. : 1904258

Lead-holder 0.7 mm [Black] – Ref. : 1904257

Lead-holder 2 mm [Black] – Ref. : 1904260

Lead-holder Ballpoint [Black] – Ref. : 1904292

Production Date : Current production [2015] – Introduced late in 2013.

When it comes to lead-holder nothing can beat a Rotring 600! That’s what I say, that’s what I think. After years of interruption, Rotring produced this iconic pencil once again. I easily admit that I’m a big 600’s snob and I frankly admit that other mechanical pencils doesn’t thrills me that much. The 600 is iconic, a landmark in design and mot of all a superb tool for drafting and drawing, so much more than a « collector item » to place in a display cabinet. I’m using it for more than 20 years now, I broke, lose, destroy, repair a lot of them but I must says that my hand is now « formated » by the 600’s. However there’s only two nib size available as of today (0.5 & 0.7 mm) in two finish (Silver & Black) and I’m also a big fan – and a daily user – of 2mm clutch-pencils. So recently I turned my eyes on the Rapid Pro line of products. Until now I gave little attention to the Rapid Pro line. I must say that I was wrong… really wrong!

First things first. I’ve ordered the full Rapid Pro line on the Rotring website. The line consist of 0.5 / 0.7 / 2 mm Lead-holder pencils  and a Ballpoint pen. They are available in two finishes : Silver & Black. I’ve bought the all lot totalizing 8 items. I’ve read here and there (but is seems to be old messages) that some folks have experienced trouble with the Rotring online ordering / delivery process . I must say that it was not the case for me. I choose Express delivery. I ordered very late (around midnight) on March 17. Rotring ships from the UK, and the parcel was delivered in Paris, France by UPS on March 19th, around 4 pm. So a big thumb up to all the people at Rotring.com, logistic and supply chain… First class service, you couldn’t be more faster. The box is sturdy, there’s plenty of protection materials inside, an invoice is enclosed and the pens reaches me in perfect shape.

Rotring have never been a cheap brand, and the Rapid Pro are pricey stuff. They are all priced at 37 euros each which should be slightly less in $. I’m not affiliated with Rotring in any way, so thanks to my credit card for this review 🙂

The pencils were housed in the distinctive Rotring triangular shaped box. A simple but eye-catching cardboard packaging. Not very easy to open without breaking it, and even harder to properly close again. Inside the box there’s a little promo text in English and German. Outside the box there’s also a little text about the product specifications (see photos). One mention in quite interesting, it reads : « Designed in Germany / Assembled in Japan »… so long for the « Made in Germany »… The pencils are « Assembled » in Japan, but not « Made in Japan », so I don’t know where exactly the various parts are machined-tooled. There’s also included a short « instructions notice » common to most Rotring pencils / pens and of little use (see photo).

Where ever these tools may be made, the first thing that hits you after opening the boxes is the quality of the products and the high craftsmanship involved in. Both the materials used, the design in itself, the quality of the assembly, the smart features, everything is just top-notch. This review will be pictured-based. I found more revenant to showcase the pencils with captions, explaining the features / details. I will mostly picture the Silver finish version as it’s more easy to capture and it reveals the details more sharply. There’s no differences between the Black and the Silver version, so it’s ok for the review. When there’s a difference between the two finishes, I will point it out. So please, see below what I think of this tools.

When it comes to lead-holder nothing can beat a Rotring 600! Is that what I’ve said? Is that what I think… Well let me think again!

1. Rapid Pro Line [Silver]

7. four available models

Hexagonal barrel, knurled grip, all metal construction… Sounds familiar to me, but we’re not talking about Rotring 600. Here’s the four available variations of the Rapid Pro line. 0.5 / 0.7 / 2 mm Lead-holder pencils  and a Ballpoint pen. Below are the main features of the Rapid Pro line, as described by Rotring in their 2014 catalog :

Rapid Pro mechanical pencil

0.5 and 0.7 mm

Mechanical pencil with full metal body and cushion lead mechanism.

• Sliding sleeve and cushion lead mechanism for high level of break resistance and outstanding writing and doodling comfort

• Brass mechanism for precision lead advancement

• Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight and feeling

• Non-slip metal knurled grip

• Built-in eraser under the push-button cap

• Refillable. Loaded with high-polymer HB leads

2.0 mm mechanical pencil

• Mechanical pencil with full metal body and unique precision lead advancement mechanism.

• Unique push mechanism for controlled 2mm lead transportation

• Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight and feeling

• Non-slip metal knurled grip

• Built-in sharpener under the push-button cap

• Refillable. Loaded with rOtring HB leads

Rapid Pro ballpoint

• Top of the line refillable ballpoint pen with full metal body.

• Long-lasting, smooth and precise ballpoint

• Retractable ballpoint pen: pocket-safe

• Full metal body providing ideal balance of weight and feeling

• Hexagonal barrel ensuring fatigue-free writing. Shaped to prevent the tool from sliding when laid down on tables

• Non-slip metal knurled grip

• Airplane-safe

• Medium line width

• Refillable. Loaded with high quality metal jumbo refill, blue ink

2. Rapid Pro Line [Black]

The rapid Pro line in Black Finish. These are strictly the same offering as the Silver Finish. The pens are powder-paint coated [I guess] which give them a matt but smooth finish. It tends to soften the grip on the knurled tip as the thin coat of paint overlap the metal finish.

3. Triangular Shaped Box-A 4. Triangular Shaped Box-B 5. Triangular Shaped Box [Flatened]

The packaging is the standard Rotring triangular-shaped box. It’s a heavy textured black cardboard with silk-screen printing for the marking, texts, logos… It gave the box a real luxurious feeling. It’s not a cheap Offset printing on regular cardboard. It’s hard to open the box without tearing it up and the cardboard remains fragile.

6. Leaflet

It’s the common Rotring instruction leaflet. Not much to says about it and not very comprehensive.

8. 0.5 Tip

Close-up of the 0.5mm nib. The grip is very firm, the chrome is absolutely shiny and reveal the subtle machining of this part. The double cone shape house the mechanism for the cushion lead shock absorber. This is really a terrific feature and a big improvement. Though not new nor exclusive to Rotring, I must say that I love this feature, and I badly miss it when returning to my 600.

9. 0.5 Body

This is a full metal hexagonal barrel. The metal is slightly textured or machined-tooled and have a smooth finish. It’s not bare aluminum or chrome. The angles of the hexagon are also subtle and slightly rounded. This give the Rapid Pro a very nice and comfortable feeling in hand. I haven’t had time to test it for a long drafting session but I’m pretty confident that is a « fatigue free » kind of tool.

10. 0.5 Push Button

The push button is an all chrome piece. Tightly hold in place with no loose. The clip is made of thesame metal as the body of the pen an is a robust building very similar [If not the same] as the 600 series. It cames with a tiny Rotring logo stamped in the metal.

11. 0.7  Tip 12. 2.0 Tip 13. Ball Point Tip

The end of the barrels of the 0.7 / 2.0 mm and Ballpoint Rapid Pro. We can clearly see the plastic red ring at the junction between the knurled grip and the barrel [more on the plastic ring below].

14. 0.5 Push Button-B

The 0.5 mm push-button, eraser and end of the barrel configuration. Everything here is luxurious chrome-platted metal. The push-button is firmly held when put in place. Just missing the small metal wire generally fitted in the eraser. Such a small but sometimes crucial tool. I think for a top of the line product, Rotring should have included it here.

15. 0.5 mm Dismantled.JPG

Dismantled view of the 0.5 mm [The 0.7 mm is similar]. Beside the knurled cap lays the internal part of the Rapid Pro. Here, it’s an all plastic affair. The red ring that exceed outside the pencil is in fact the base of internal mechanism. This is a bit of a disappointment. I found great to remove the red ring from the push-button area [on the 600 series] to the middle of the pen. It a bold design move that ensure the Rapid Pro series its unique design, but having this plastic part clearly visible just in the middle of the pen doesn’t deserve it very much. A metal red ring would have been way more « cool », but I guess economics concerns have been at work here. This is not a major concern, but it’s the only point were I’m a bitt disappointed by this pencil. We can also see the little spring that act as the sliding sleeve and cushion lead mechanism.

16. 0.5 Internal Mechanism close-up

A close-up of the internal mechanism. The red plastic however seems to be of good quality and quite robust. I think it will holds up well in the case of an accidental drop or other « drafting accident ».

17. 2mm Push Button

Very similar to the 0.5 / 0.7 mm, here’s the 2 mm push-button. There’s an internal lead-sharpener included. Although I rarely use this feature [It tends to make the pencil dirty], it can be very useful when you’re drafting landscapes or other outside’s view.

18. 2mm Dismantled

Again very similar to the 0.5 / 07 mm, both in design and in the choice of the materials used. One feature that really makes me happy is the push mechanism for controlled lead transportation. It can’t works more simply : you push on the button => the lead move 2 mm. That’s it ! It really a time-saver feature as you don’t have to manually fine tune the amount of lead that you want to use. To retract the lead, you just have to push and hold the button and retract the lead manually. The kind of feature you badly miss when returning to other pencils.

19. Ball Point Dismantled.JPG

I’m not that much a ballpoint/fountain pen guy, much more on the drawing/drafting side, but I do sometimes need a good ballpoint. The Rapid Pro ballpoint is just perfect for me, because I think i’m using a drafting pen! That the best compliment I can says about it. However, here lays the other disappointment I’ve experienced with the Rapid Pro line. The push-button does not fit very well with the barrel, it’s a bit loose and it shake back and forth. I can’t really explain this because you can’t dismantle it to see what’s going wrong, and the push-buttons on the three other pencils fits perfectly…

That’s it for my review. You may have understood that I’m really impressed by this line of pencils. I was not expecting much and I receive a lot. The Rapid Pro are second to none state of the art pencils. Rotring designers get the best of the 600 series DNA and add some refinements and modern features that make this pencils a total success. I have not tested them on the long run, but they seems reliable ans sturdy tools. I have also bought the Rotring 500 and Rotring 300 series, so say tuned for reviews of these pencils.


7 réflexions sur “Rapid-Pro line

  1. 600 is also available in 0.35mm. I really don’t liked the conical design tip (retracted 800 looks way more Bauhauish), also I don’t liked the plastic internals and I miss the lead indicator. Funny thing is that I consider TWSBI Precision as the true Rotring sucessor (all metal internals but the grip isn’t diamond knurled). 600 still the king.


    • Hello,
      Thanks for your comments. To my knowledge the 600 is only available in 0.5 & 0.7 as of today (on the official Rotring website), truth is you can easily find 0.35 & 2.0 mm via Rotring Japan. The conical design tip is a matter taste I guess, and I’ve finally decided that I can live with the plastic parts. I’ve checked TWSBI website and their Precision model seems to be a very good design (not sure about the junction between the barrel and the grip). I need to test it one of these days. 600 stil the king? Yep, that’s for sure…


      • I don’t understand Rotring marketing strategy with that store. Their products costs way more than any other place (Amazon, Jetpens, Rakuten) and they don’t sell other versions (0.35mm and 2.0mm), they don’t even send their products from Germany…

        Anyways, the 600’s flat design tip is what makes the design so unique and iconic in my opinion. The full sleeve retraction of the 600G and 800 is one of the most beautiful thing I ever seen. It doesn’t even looks like a mechanical pencil when retracted (my friends ask me: « What is that? ») With that in mind, I don’t consider Rapid Pro’s conical tip a Rotring’s further step in aesthetic terms.

        I’m sure TWSBI designed the Precision model with 600 design as a target. They wanted to make a more reliable 800 mechanism, like the Rapid Pro.

        I hope you can make some good comparasions of the 600 against other copies or inspired mechanical pencils like Precision, Rapidomatic, Draftmatic, Hex-o-matic, and the chinese Red Circle 600.

        Nice site btw!


      • As far as i know, 0.35 and 2.0 are branded and sold exclusively by Rotring Japan. Rotring doesn’t ship from Germany because Newell regroup most of it’s activities in the UK, there’s very few which remain in Germany. As I said in that post the Rapid-Pro are « assembled in Japan » without any more quote about where they are truly manufactured, anyway not in Germany for sure. Productions facilities are no longer located there…


  2. I toy with the idea of buying the 2.0 mm leadholder. Does the lead give in, i. e. move into the pencil a little when more writing pressure is applied? And: Is the lead held firmly in place when it is sharpened or does it rotate?


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