Since starting this blog, I realized that I have a lot of pens and a lot of paper but the few pencils I have either belong to my kids, I picked up on my work travels, or are my mechanical pencils (which I will cover in a future review). And so I decided to kill two birds with one stone by buying and reviewing a set of pencils (yes, yes it is retail therapy).
So I found on one of my favorite retail sites a collection of pencil. Jetpens has an incredible collection of everything you could want to put things down on paper. So I sprung for the Wood Pencil HB Sampler set. I was very pleased with the package when it arrived and have been working through to decide which ones are my favorite and which ones might deserve a re-order in bulk. Nothing fancy, but all pencils in good order, some sharpened and some not.
Oh course, after ordering the pencils I started to do some research on graphite grades. For those interested, the http://www.pencil.com website has a great review of graphite grades and explanations. I will have to compare graphite groups later, but for now all of the pencils reviewed here are HB (Hard and Black) type graphite.
The models I received were two Staedlers, 4 Mitsu-Bishi and two Tombow pencils. I did have three decent pencils at home, so included them at the bottom and they included a Staedler, a Faber-Castel and the lone American model – a Dixon.
Here is a look at how the pencils look in use.
All were nice and dark, with the outlier being the Staedtler Wopex that was the lightest of the group, with a high silver sheen appearance. The Mistu-Bishi 9800 was the darkest of the lot with some minor variation in between.
Some immediate impressions are captured here and it was interesting for me to do on the spot comparisons among such a large group. There are several variations including feel on the paper, density or hardness and hand feel.
Again, you can see the Staedtler Wopex is the outlier in looks. However, the graphite had a nice hard feel and solid flow on the paper so if you are looking for a lighter silvery look, this might appeal. So much of the review is subjective, but I tend to like a dark, firm, hard graphite and a very smooth flow with a crisp line. So, where did that leave me?
My top two pencils are:
The big differences for me were both darkness, density, hand feel and flow. The Mitsu-Bishi had it all, with the sole exception that it does not come with an eraser, but I did order a few of those on the side and will review those later too. The Staedtlers were also able to look and feel right in my hand. The Tombows did not have the right heft or feel for me, being a little wide and a little soft. I had never thought much about my pencils before, but enjoyed this and what says pandemic time filler more than conducting a pencil review.
I purchased these pencils with my own funds from Jetpens.com. I receive no funds or benefits from this review. Pencils used on Tomoe River Seven Sea’s Notebook from Nanami Paper.