Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mitsubishi 10B - Part 2

Well this is a follow up to my posting just below on the Mitsubishi 10B woodcase pencil.

First a little extra information from my friend in Japan. The pencil is called the "fude-enpitsu". In Japanese "Enpitsu" means pencil, and "Fude" means a calligraphy writing brush. Thus the pencil is intended to offer a fude-like writing experience. The retail is about 450 yen (US $ 4.30). That’s per pencil, not a box full of them! I imagine you'll need to get them from one of those specialist Japanese online retailers rather than your usual local pencil sources.

Dimensionally the pencil is relatively normal – 176mm long, 7.2mm across the hex flats. I estimate the core diameter at about 4mm, well a lot more than 2mm anyway!

I guess every now and then you’ve got to take one for the team, and it appears now is my turn. So, out with the sharpener. A trusty old 2-hole DUX 1128-NB, made in “W Germany” so that dates it a bit.

Sharpening went smoothly. Piles of graphite shavings, lots of long twisting wooden spirals, heady scent of cedar – well I’m guessing it's incense cedar.
I haven’t ever used a fude, but writing with this pencil is smooth. Mighty smooth. But that lead wears down a bit faster than average. A few comparisons below. I just hit “Auto-Correct” on my photo-editor and it shows up the differences in the leads quite well. Really we are talking about how black is black here, so it’s a bit hard to show in photo’s. Well with my basic camera anyway. Mitsubishi 10B versus Faber-Castell Goldfaber 1221-HB and Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100-5B. Writing with the 10B was noticeably smoother than with the 5B.




For comparison of woods, the lighter coloured shaving in the centre is from the Staedtler Mars Lumograph 5B.




PS - completely unrelated, but there's a little something new over on my Lead Free blog. Specially for all the Canucks out there.

4 comments:

stephen said...

Thanks for posting this. It looks very interesting. And quite the expensive pencil!

Henrik said...

The team is very happy with you now. Good show - the true spirit of rugby. Did you perform a Haka first? ;)
Good of you to sharpen the thing and perform the comparison test just because we were curious, thanks. It looks better, when sharpened IMHO. I guess it would be a bit messy for everyday use.
Regards Henrik

Germ said...

Don't we use wood for out stoves and to build houses? :)~ Nice wood pencils, I must say.

Blog Trotter said...

The Mitsubishi HI-UNI HBs are the best pencils I've ever used, and probably ever will own. The HI-UNI[s]sell for about 2.10 a pencil. Still very pricey for a pencil, that's why I won't be purchasing any more for a long while. Whoa man, they are smoother than anything, and look and feel magnificent! If only I had a pile of cash to burn.