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.


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.