Review – Helix Architects Triangular Scale

Rulers. Well, we all need them at some point. Whether you need to draw a straight line or know the distance between two points, they come in real handy. But sometime the information you need is just not on your ordinary ruler. So you get an architect’s triangular scale. But which one? Let’s look at one of the cheapest: the Helix Architects Triangular Scale.

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First off, the plastic this thing is made out of is very brittle and sharp. Little burrs and notches line the sides. There are no rounded corners, and you can easily stab yourself on the triangle points. However, there seems to be no fear of shattering or snapping in the piece, it is quite sturdy.

The information is printed in a nice, readable black over the very-slightly off-white plastic. From what I can tell (truth be told I’m not entirely sure about what all the sides are for) they are accurate. I have compared them with several other units I have. The ink used is resilient, but also raised and will rub off with prolonged use as will most rulers and the like.

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Overall, for it being fairly cheap, it is a nice piece. It does its job well and will probably serve for several years before needing replacement with proper care, though there are many more comfortable or longer lasting alternatives out there.

Review – X-ACTO 3-hole binder Punch

Sometimes you need to do stuff with your art that isn’t art stuff. Sometimes you need to file it away, or keep it safe in a cover, or organize it in a binder. If you’re looking to do the last one, then you might need the X-ACTO 3-hole binder punch.

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This semi-sturdy piece of transparent plastic is designed to fit in a binder and easily punch holes through a few sheets of paper. I stress a few because on the box it says the limit is three. And yes, even three sheets is very stressful to this thing, and after that it just starts tearing the paper.

I said it was plastic earlier, but the punching apparatus is actually a nice metal piece on a hinge. It is easily as sturdy as any other hole punch I’ve used. The hinge, though, is so close to the paper that it is what you have to use to get a nice clean straight punch line and because it is a hinge this is very difficult.

Off to the bottom there is a guide that you can place your paper on and it works well. There is also a flimsy piece of loose-fitting plastic that I assume is supposed to act as a guide so the paper stays down, though it will hardly do this job well and seems as if it will snap at any moment. It also jiggles unnecessarily. On the front is a 10-inch ruler, which would be nicer if it was ruled correctly, as it is, it is about a quarter of an inch short.

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And finally on the back are a pair of fold-out binder loops that will allow you to stick this thing in any 3-hole binder you desire, though they will make a horrible grating sound and the plastic they’re screwed into looks like it can break in a hurry. They will never break off the binder rings on their own though.

Really this is just a cheap hole punch. The actual punch is quite nice, but its housing is lacking. If you only need to punch a few sheets every once in a while this is alright. Any more hole punching and this thing will be useless. It will certainly break within a year or two but it is quite cheap. So if that is what you want or need from your hole punch, go right ahead, otherwise try something further up the ladder.

Review – Toison D’or 1900 Pencil

This is another pencil review. So I’m gonna skip all the introduction and get right into talking about the Toison D’or 1900 2B pencil.

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It’s a nice pencil, about the size of a regular No.2 pencil. It’s black with gold, easy to read lettering. It has the mildly uncomfortable hexagonal body but with rounded corners.  The end is also rounded, making it a bit slippery. It sharpens well and is high-quality wood. It writes like a regular 2B but slips in the hand sometimes.

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It’s just a pencil. The only really deciding factor here is the black color and whether or not you mind a mildly slippery pencil. It is a remarkably average pencil in every other way.