Review: Kitaboshi Wooden Lead Holder with Clip

My first impression of the Kitaboshi wooden lead holder was that it was very pretty. The warm pinkish hue of the cedar matches Kitaboshi wood pencils perfectly. The chrome hardware goes with this wood perfectly. This lead holder is gorgeous in it’s simplicity.KitaboshiThe clutch holds the lead tightly and does not slip at all, no matter how much pressure I put on the lead. The knock deploys 2mm of lead with a satisfying click. The knock itself is a simple mushroom shape that wedges into the internal plastic mechanism. I really like the look of the knock and how it’s simplicity works with the overall design of the lead holder. The clip design is also simple but it works with the overall look of the pencil. It’s strong enough to hold the lead holder to a pocket notebook without excessive overhang. Kitaboshi Kitaboshi KitaboshiWhen I first received the lead holder where the nose met the wood there was a slight overhang where the wood was slightly larger than the nose. This slight overhang was barely .5mm, but it was just where my fingers rested as I wrote.  Because the wood is cedar and soft this soon wore down with regular use.Kitaboshi KitaboshiThe lead holder is almost exactly pencil sized. It is so similar to a regular wooden pencil in weight and feel that transitioning to it from a regular wooden pencil is no problem. It is well balanced and feels good in hand. Because the lead holder is just over 6 inches in length the clip doesn’t press into the soft bit of my hand, so that is a definite positive.KitaboshiThe only downside I can think of with this pencil is that because it is made of soft wood it dents rather easily. While the minor dings and dents that have appeared as I’ve used the pencil might drive some people nuts, I am not bothered by them. They aren’t as bad as the bite marks my Carl A5 makes as I sharpen regular pencils, and aren’t noticeable.KitaboshiOverall, if you are looking for a good lead holder to help you to transition from wood pencils to lead holders, this is a good option. I find it good looking and comfortable to use.

I picked up mine form Jetpens with my own cash money. Or well cash money I had deposited into Paypal, which I then used electronically to pay for the leadholder. Whatever, you know what I mean, I paid for this.


A few side notes: The lead that arrives in it is Kitaboshi, I assume HB grade, and is very soft and dark. I love it. Jetpens also offers a kitaboshi sharpener that looks like a mechanical lead container. It’s horrible. Putting on the dullest shortest point possible. Awful, and not worth the cash I spent on it. Save your money and spend it on another pointer, the KUM automatic with pointer is a good option.

  • Guillermo de la Maza

    I just got my Kitaboshi Lead Pencil (clipless version) and totally concur with your observations. I also find the transition between wood and metal on the tip to be rather intrusive to my fingers, hopefully it will worn out soon too, and then again, I can always hold the pencil a little higher.

    Being a fan of clutch lead holders, I found this particular lead pencil quite interesting for a number of reasons: while it’s a clutch mechanism, it has lead advance as opposed to the lead drop found in most 2.0mm lead holders, this makes it more suitable for writing than for sketching, since it takes longer to adjust the lead for shading purposes. Another aspect to consider is that the very shape of the metallic tip makes it a little harder to use for shading at a very steep angle. Both my Mars Technico and my Fixpencil 3 seem to be better designed for this.

    The lead while unmarked, it’s stated as B on the packaging and I found it to be really smooth and dark. So much that I kind of prefer it to Steadtler’s HB or even Technograph’s 3B grades.

    All in all, this seems to be more of a great writing tool suitable for carrying along with your notebook, rather than a tool that could replace a good drafting pencil.

    • lessherger

      I agree with all you say. I ended up rolling the intrusive bits where wood meets metal on a hard surface at an angle so compressing the wood to the same height as the metal. This worked a little faster than just allowing my fingers to wear it down.

      • Guillermo de la Maza

        Nice trick, will try that! Thanks!