I honestly cant remember the last time I owned a compass, so when I saw this Stad Compass with a built in mechanical pencil over on Jetpens, I figured it was time to add one to my collection of writing tools. In addition to the compass itself, you do also get 5 leads that come with it too. For total transparency too, this item was provided compliments of Jetpens for the purpose of this review.
If you have ever needed to draw a perfect circle you probably know how difficult it can be without using some sort of home made concoction, something to trace, or an actual compass. Now the occasion doesn’t arise often for me, but it does happen every now and then so I definitely view this as a ‘good to have’ type item just in case the need does come up. As you can see from the two pictures above, the compass expands and the needle folds out, which is nice because it is safely tucked away when you are not using it. The entire body of the compass is made of metal so it has a nice heavy and solid feeling. One nice feature of the Stad Compass is that when it is completely closed up, it does also function as a pencil as well. One thing that I remember having on a previous compass was a small gauge built in that would actually let you select how big of a circle you were going to draw, which this one does not have.
When using the Stad Compass I was mostly happy with the performance, however I would have liked it much better if the top black part that you hold onto and twist to make your circle had a better grip to it. It is actually just made of a hard plastic, which sometimes is not as easy to hang onto and turn. I think that had this part been covered with some sort of rubber-like grip it would have been much easier to use. If you take a look at the writing sample above, you can see that I was easily able to draw circles that ranged from .25″ all the way up to about 10.25″. I probably could have gone slightly larger (but no smaller) if I had bigger paper. Overally this is definitely a great tool to have on hand, but as I said, the lack of a rubberized grip is a bit of annoying on the Stad Compass. If you think the lack of a rubber grip might be annoying to you, you can always also check out the Kum PenPass, which I’ve never used but it does appear to have a rubber grip on it.