by Scribble Monboddo

If you're a fan of pocket-size notebooks - which seems a fair bet, given you're browsing Nero's Notes - you'll know that some pencils are just a bit too long to sit comfortably with them. Well, here's the perfect solution.

Koh-i-Noor make some of the best 2mm graphite there is, in a range of hardnesses too. As custom dictates, you can choose 2B or not 2B - all the way up to 8B. It's also remarkably affordable, which is a bonus, but don't let that fool you; this is the real deal.

Accommodating a length of 2mm graphite is often the job of a traditional, long-barrelled, clutch pencil, and Koh-i-Noor make those too but that's not necessarily the perfect formula for carrying in a pocket. So the Versatil 5608, to give it its proper name, takes a different approach altogether. Firstly, it's a bit shorter, which makes it easier to carry it around. Secondly, rather than the slippery clutch of old this uses a standard mechanical pencil system, advancing about a millimetre per click, so you're always in control.

The result writes very nicely, of course, and is generally very easy to live with. There's a handy added extra right on the button, too; a hidden lead-pointer to keep the tip sharp even when you're out and about. It's a bargain, it works extremely well, and looks like a bit of a modern classic as well. Terrific.