Although the Rotring range of mechanical pens and pencils has been underrated for years, they have been slowly building up their market share and reputation and this has slowly led to the huge surge in popularity of their range over the last year or so. Due to more and more people looking to make the switch from a regular pencil or pen over to a mechanical variant, specifically one from the Rotring range, we have noticed more and more people reaching out for a dedicated Rotring 600 review.
Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over our own review of the Rotring 600 in the hope that we are able to help as many of our readers as possible who are considering adding one to their stationery collection. The low price tag, great performance, and excellent reputation of the 600 amongst the community has solidified it as one of the best options and although the Rotring 600 mechanical pencil is the more popular variant, the Rotring 600 ballpoint pen is slowly growing its market share too.
As we are reviewing the model in general, we will be covering both the mechanical pencil and the ballpoint pen variant in this article. This shouldent be much of an issue due to both variants having very similar builds and designs. We will specifically mentioned the sections of our article where the actual performance of the pen changes or is specific to either variant of the pen
The Rotring 600 Nib
Due to the price point and pen pen type, the ball point variant of the Rotring 600 has a standard nib like the vast majority of the competition on the market right now. In all fairness to Rotring, we see no reason to try and innovate on the nibs of their 600 series and think that it is fine to stick to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. The nib on the ballpoint pen variant performs perfectly and lets you get the job done without them having to hike the price tag up.
When it comes to the mechanical pencil variant of the Rotring 600, it has the standard stainless steel nib that acts as the housing for the lead as you write. Although the nib on the mechanical pencil variant of the 600 series does get some criticism about the non-retractable nib, you have to factor in its target price range in the market. If you do want a retractable nib on your mechanical pencil to stop it from poking you when you have it in your pocket then you will have to go with the Rotring 800, the big brother of the 600 series and pay that little extra.
Due to the stainless steel nib on the mechanical variants of the Rotring 600, you can rest assured that it is able to take plenty of bumps or knocks without bending and causing issues with the performance of the unit. Due to the popularity of the product amongst building trades and other jobs where the nib of the pencil may be open to more punishment than expected, this helps to extend the usable lifetime of the product and ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.
The Barrel Of The Rotring 600
Keeping with the robust build quality of the Rotring 600, the barrel of both the ballpoint pen and mechanical pencil variants of the 600 series are made from high-quality brass. This offers the advantages of being cheap yet tough enough to take plenty of punishment without breaking but on the flipside has the disadvantage of being heavier than plastic or resin.
Unless you are using the Rotring 600 for design work or general drawing the heavier barrel shouldn’t be much of an issue as you will probably not be using it long enough for fatigue to build up anyway. If you are using the Rotring 600 for design work while you draw out building plans or anything like that then across the span of a working day fatigue can build up in your hand but you are able to opt for the slightly lighter Rotring 800 if you feel this may be an issue for you.
Unlike some of their competitors, Rotring has planned ahead during the design stages of the 600 series of their range and made the barrel hexagonal to prevent it from being able to accidentally roll off a table when not in use. Although this may sound like a small thing, it really does make a difference, especially if you are looking to use the Rotring 600 for years to come as most pens/pencils get damaged or go missing due to rolling off tables.
As the design of the Rotring 600 prevents it from rolling due to its hexagonal barrel, this helps to increase the expected usable lifespan of the pencil. On top of this, Rotring have also use a standard cylindric knurled grip on the barrel near the nib where you will be gripping during use. This offers you the advantage of having a cylindric grip that tends to feel more natural in our hands during use offering you the best of both worlds in one device.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the knurled grip on the barrel of the pen has been perfectly designed in our opinion and the vast majority of the community seem to agree with it being one of the main reasons that the Rotring 600 is recommended over the competition time and time again. The knurling feels natural in your hand and it is not as coarse as some of the grips on mechanical pencils from other brands that can start to irritate over time.
We don’t know if this was actually intentional on the part of Rotring or if they stumbled upon it by accident but they have done a great job. As the 600 series is a popular option for building trades that may be working outdoors in the rain, the grip on the barrel allows you to accurately control the nib during use while your fingers and thumb are wet too.
The barrel of the Rotring 600 comes with a black coating with the standard red ring around the clicker of the device that is the trade mark of Rotring that actually means Red Ring in German. As this is more of a practical pen or pencil for work rather than a luxury fountain pen that may also be used for pleasure, we see no problem with the standard design of the pen with no variation available and don’t mark the 600 down for it.
The Rotring 600 Clicker
The clicker on the mechanical pencil variant of the Rotring 600 has one of the best designs available at the time of writing in our opinion and it actually beats both the design and functionality of mechanical pencils with higher price tags. The adjustable lead hardness indicator is a solid feature that is missed off some competing mechanical pencils at this price point in the market too helping to score the Rotring 600 even more points.
The clicker works with a standard lead advancement system that is common for mechanical pencils at this price point in the market and allows you to quickly and easily push more lead through the barrel by pressing the clicker. As you would expect from any modern mechanical pencil on the market, the clicker also contains an eraser to allow you to correct any mistakes and although the eraser is of good quality, if you are working on some important work then a high-quality eraser will be a better option to avoid the slight smudging that can occur with included eraser.
The eraser in the clicker of the Rotring 600 is removable and the compartment under the eraser can be used for lead storage for your spare lead barrels. Lead storage is a standard feature of modern mechanical pencils though but we just wanted to confirm that the 600 series from Rotring does have one and it has plenty of space to store your lead within the pencil.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Rotring 600
As always, we like to try and share external opinions and views on any product that we review to help our readers get a more balanced opinion of the product. Due to the Rotring 600 having such a great reputation it is hard to find any reviews that have many negative points but we feel that the review below is probably one of the better ones available if our review has not been able to answer all of your questions.
That brings our Rotring 600 review to a close and in our opinion, both the Rotring 600 ballpoint pen and Rotring 600 mechanical pencil are excellent options for drawing and writing and will make a great addition to your stationery collection. There is a reason that that the Rotring range has such a great reputation amongst the community and that their market share continues to grow with each passing month due to anyone who tries a Rotring usually sticking with the brand and keeping them as their mechanical pencil of choice.