I can't tell you much about the 4563 that you can't glean from the pictures in this post. The box is all in Japanese, and I can't find any info about it online. But that's ok! The only thing you really want to know is if this pencil performs well and is worth the money, right? Let's dig in.Read More
Test Scoring. Mark Sheet. Exam Grade. They all mean the same thing, but what do they mean? In the 1930s, IBM developed a scanning machine for standardized tests, however, the marks could only be read using a special graphite that was highly conductive. So IBM had pencils made, and the General Pencil Co. was the one who made them. The IBM pencils are no longer made, but the Test Scoring pencil lives on.Read More
I'm assuming these are both made in Japan, however, Tombow is making some of their pencils in Vietnam now, so depending on the age of my review unit, it could be either way. From all accounts I've read, the quality of the Vietnam-made Tombow pencils have not suffered, so I'm thinking it matters not.Read More
To me, there are few things finer in the stationery world than a well-made Japanese pencil. I don't talk about them too awful much on the blog, what with all the fun Indian pencils and mass amounts of notebooks that are piling up in my review stash. But I would say that not a day goes by that I don't use at least one pencil of Japanese origin.Read More
Today I'll be covering the first in my stash, the Mitsu-bishi KH-20. This sharpener was my first hand-crank long point sharpener...up until I bought it last year I sharpened all my pencils with an old metal Boston sharpener that was screwed to the wall in the warehouse where I worked.Read More
The 9850 was one pencil that I had never obtained via trade or bought as a single. I was scoping for deals on Amazon and saw these for less than $10, and in a fit of having forgotten they even existed, I snapped up a box, thought it would take 3 months to get here, then I'd have a nice surprise present to myself come spring. Five days later, I had my box and 2 weeks later, here we are.Read More
I had a couple woodcased Nano Dia 2B and was wanting to review them, but when I went looking around for info online, I found they had some Bs, but also a whole line of mechanical pencil leads. Went digging deeper and found that they made the leads first and the woodcased were something that came after. I imagine these work well with the Uni Kuru Toga, but I can't stand the looks of that pencil, and haven't ever felt the need to buy one, since I rarely use a mechanical anyway.
I ordered the Bs and the pencil lead in 0.9mm B as well. I like a thick mechanical lead, and have a Pentel P209 0.9mm for testing.
These come in 3 different colors, light blue, light green, or light pink. They are essentially white pencils with a different accent color. The color denotes nothing, it is just a style choice. The pencils are a soft hex, but not quite semi-hex territory. There is no eraser and they are unfinished on the ends. These feel like an entry level pencil that has some quality. They are marketed as "for kids" in Japan. They look like they could be wrapped, as there is a little bit where the design doesn't match up, but I think they are actually painted by rotating the pencil. I'm just guessing here, but if it is a wrap job, it's the best damn wrap job I've seen.
So the thing that's so special about these pencils is the nano-carbon added to the lead to allow for the darkness to still be there, but harden the lead up, which would be good for kids who have a bit of a heavy hand when learning to write. Tiny diamonds in the pencil! Diamond dust, more than likely. In my tests, all the cores performed wonderfully. I personally liked the woodcased B the best, but all were great. Smooth, with good point durability on the Rhodia Graph paper I used to test. Smudging was decent, the B performed pretty well for a writer. When you start to get to drawing pencil grades, you want the smudging, obviously, so the 2B smudged as to be expected. The mechanical B was a bit lighter than the woodcased B, had a little more gray in it. They all erased beautifully. The woodcased don't have an eraser (or even an end-dip) so I used the Seed Radar plastic eraser, which worked wonders.
Overall, I'm on the fence about these pencils. They are good pencils and great cores. But I can't get over the way they look. I wish this graphite core was available in another form from Mitsubishi, then it would end up being one of my favorite pencils. I may end up using these for bullet pencils. I am, however, very happy with the mechanical pencil lead, and can see this being my go-to lead moving forward.