I picked these up for a variety of reasons, first I’d ever seen them in any store. Which is not a difficult task. I haven’t been looking at pencils in stores in a long time. At $2.99 for 12 these are priced in line with many other school pencils, though it seems clear that these are meant to be a bit more adult. The package makes a LOT of claims- BREAK RESISTANT LEAD! Reinforced! Strong Lead!
These claims led me to believe this would be a hard light lead.
Let me tell you the good about these pencils. They are made with bass or linden wood, so they have a pleasant odor, not cedar though. The ferrule is recognizable and the Mirado ferrule. The paint is a nice deep yellow. The eraser is plastic and works wonderfully well. The pencil sharpens really well in every sharpener I own, including the Pollux.
The core is hard and light but not on every paper. On the slick smooth paper of my current composition notebook it left a line that looks like an F or number 3 pencil would make. It was displeasing and difficult to read. In another composition notebook, one with toothy pencil friendly paper, it left a nice line but still held a point for a reasonable amount of time. The core is silky feeling, and smooth. It’s hard to describe this as feeling silky when it is such a hard pencil, but it is. I’ve had other H leads and they felt like scraping the page with a nail. This reminds me of polymer leads.
The lacquer was thin and rough. And the pencil itself felt undersized in my dainty lady paws. I cannot imagine someone with large hands attempting to use this toothpick tin pencil.
Overall, this pencil is a solid meh. If you have a nice toothy paper it’s okay, but not great. The core is confusing in that it feels terrible on some paper and okay on others. I wanted it to be dark to match the polymer like feel on toothy paper, but instead it ended up too light to use on some paper. I won’t keep this in my pencil rotation and can’t really recommend anyone buy it.