DOMS was launched in 2007. Or 1976. Or 1974. There's a lot of confusing information out there on the internet when looking up information about this company, but the one thing that is crystal clear is that they make great pencils. This DOMS Groove Slim Triangle is no exception.
According to Bloomberg's financial information on them, the company was founded in 1974. The DOMS website says "The first Wooden Pencil rolled out from our manufacturing unit in 1976". F.I.L.A. Group, the Italian stationery conglomerate that owns Dixon, Lyra, Prang, and a host of other companies, lists that the brand was launched in 2007. F.I.L.A. purchased an 18.5% stake in the company Writefine Products Pvt. Ltd. in 2012 and upped it to 51% in 2015. DOMS must be doing something right. They won the stationery category of India's No. 1 Brand Awards in 2016. So maybe Writefine launched in 1974, their first pencil came out in 1976, they launched the DOMS brand in 2007. That's what I've deduced from all the spread of info out there, but I could be way off.
DOMS stands for Dynamic Organization Manufacturing Stationery. I'm glad they shortened it. I got my first DOMS pencil in the Erasable Swap Box that went around a while back. It was the X-1 Xtra Super Dark. That lone pencil led me to explore DOMS and grab a few of their other pencils off of Amazon, as they don't seem to be available in the US from any of my normal stationery destinations. Amazon tends to be a good deal if you're willing to wait: the Groove Slim Triangle was around $9 for 10 pencils, one sharpener, one eraser, and the box they came in is a hard plastic that is perfect as a pencil case. All for $9, free shipping...I'll take the extra few days it took to get here. I had them in 10 days from India. Remember when you had to get a catalog in the mail and fill out a sheet, write a check, mail it to the company, hope everything you ordered was in stock, then wait "4-6 weeks" for delivery? As the great Lindsey Buckingham sings...Never Going Back Again.
Alright, enough bloviating. Onto the pencil. Wow. I love this thing, and I did NOT expect to. Just on looks alone, I thought it might be a fun pencil to have, but not one I'd use very often. There are 3 colors: 4 silver, 4 gold, and 2 bronze make up the 10-pack. The "Groove Slim DOMS" side is imprinted in silver foil, the section where you can write your name is imprinted in white, and the UPC in black. This is a triangle pencil, so each of those sections have their own side. The UPC is the only section that doesn't look so good. All along the pencil shaft are grip areas where the wood has been taken out, hence the name "Groove". They are just slight divots, all offset a little bit to supposedly aid in gripping the pencil. I usually see something like this and run, but I didn't mind it in the hand. There is no eraser, and the end dip is a bit odd. I've never seen it before, but it's dipped in a clear lacquer that is somewhat bubbly and looks like the end is encased in amber from Jurassic Park or something; very cool looking.
I'm not sure exactly what wood this is. They aren't cedar, they aren't jelutong (like a lot of Indian pencils), and they seem too dark to be basswood. The fragrance is nice, however not strong. With all the grooves and it being triangular in shape, I was surprised by how well it did in some of my handheld sharpeners. Pollux likes it, KUM Masterpiece and Automatic like it. My tester was sharpened in the CP-80, and of course it did fine there. Technically, it's perfectly done; they're all centered and glued well enough that I can't find the seam.
I can't say enough good things about this core. It's not listed on the pencil or the box anywhere, but on the product page on the DOMS website, they list the core as 2B in grade and 2.7mm thick. With a full diameter of 6.9mm, the core is nearly 40% of the pencil. That's about 10% more than their normal pencils. (I wish every pencil manufacturer had these details on their website!) And while this pencil may say 2B, it feels more like a B in darkness, with a warmer, less black tint than something like the Tombow 2558 B. It is smooth, but not as smooth as a Japanese pencil. The point retention seems good, on par with an HB. The pencil that the Groove Slim keeps reminding me of is the Apsara Absolute. Similar in core color, hardness, and thickness. It was extremely erasable in all my testing, using the included eraser.
Being un-ferruled, this is a balanced pencil. The grooves being removed make this pencil even lighter. As I said above, I thought I would hate the grooves, however, they sat in my grip perfectly. I don't have a ton of long-form writing experience with it yet, so this may change, but on my initial 2-3 pages, it felt fine. Also, having used this, I realized I need more triangle-shaped pencils in my life.
More and more, I'm starting to become an Indian pencil fan. Hindustan Pencil brands Apsara and Nataraj, with their many models, are my only experience so far, so I was happy to have found another brand to expand those horizons a little, even if it is a subsidiary of the company that ruined Ticonderoga. The DOMS Groove Slim Triangle is a definite winner in my book, and a pencil I think you'll enjoy as well.
Available on Amazon, $8.96 for 10 pencils, plus eraser and sharpener.