Erlangen-based KUM was founded in 1919. Originally a plastics and metalwares factory (or Kunststoff- und Metallwarenfabrik - KUM), the company spent its early years producing only pencil sharpeners before moving on to make a range of products such as globes and drawing instruments, writing aids, school and fine art brushes, writing pads, paintbrushes and scissors. The pencil sharpener has remained an important product throughout the past century - one that has retained its cult status among artists of all stripes. Why? Because it does its job, sharpening pencils the way it should without the leads breaking off in the process. The key to the very high utility of this writing instrument is the special manufacturing philosophy: When it comes to quality, nothing is left to chance. That is how KUM came to develop its very own tool and mould making department early on. To this day, the injection moulds, as well as the vast majority of the machines, are designed and built in-house. Just how seriously KUM takes the issue of quality is best exemplified in the production of the Masterpiece sharpener. Each sharpener goes through eight different quality tests, one after each step in production.
Reading and writing together form the basis of people’s ability to engage with culture. In the art of reading, these skills are combined at the latest in the annotation and extraction of information from a text. Traditional stationery shops, whose job it is to sell writing instruments, have slipped into a sleepy routine. This is where we come in to revive the scene with products developed in-house and a highly cultured offering. Starting with the writing tools drawer, in which you can “configure” your own pen using the best refills and beautiful casings, we then gradually fill other drawers with instruments for gathering, organising and storing information – both manually and digitally. The vast majority of the items below are made in Germany or by specialists in Europe, Japan or the USA. We develop selected products under the established Continental brand.