Tag Archives: apsara

Review: The Curios Pencil by Apsara

The Curious is a shop run by Suraj Singh on Facebook. He specializes in pencils and pens made in India. You purchase by messaging him, asking him for the price list, then sending him a request with the items. You get a general idea of the cost from the price list. Prices are cheap, but shipping is not. That said his prices are fair and comparable to everything I’ve seen on Amazon, and in some cases better. Depending on how many items you order from him you get your items packaged in bubble wrap and inside a plastic case.

I ordered 50 of “The Curios” pencils and a few others. The case is a nice hard translucent plastic that seals shut with two tiny clasps. The 50 Curios pencils arrive with 5 Apsara Long POint Sharpeners, a decidedly nice cheap plastic sharpener. Cost varies for person to person based off your address. The cost for me to an East Coast US address was $33.50, and that includes shipping and handling, with tracking from India. Suraj was quick to ship and kept me updated with shipping info.

It took awhile for the pencils to get here, a little less than a month. They were well packaged and safe in the plastic box.

Inside the box were 50 pencils, as requested. The pencils had cores that were, kinda centered. None of the pencils in my package were horribly centered or unsharpenable, but some were pretty off center.

The pencils appear to be made of basswood or linden. They are coated in a thin clear lacquer that is glossy and well applied. The imprint is well applied on most of my pencils, off-center on a few, but not enough to complain. The ferrule is a rose shade of gold and holds an Apsara white eraser. All the usual complaints about Apsara erasers apply here, they are ok but not exciting.

Inside the pencil is smooth and dark for an HB, it is darker and smoother than the Apsara Marbled, but not as soft as the Super Dark or Extra black pencils. They hold a point for a long time and are great for writing.

These are a lovely pencil for the price. You get a slightly more even product than purchasing the Apsara Marbles, for a little more money. I’m a fan of lightly varnished naturally colored pencils and Apsara pencils in general, so these tick a lot of boxes for me. I see them as well worth the cost. If I wanted to cut costs, I’d buy a buck of the Marbles on Amazon and have a similar writing experience.

Find Suraj on Facebook here.

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Review: Apsara Beauty Dark Writing Pencil

The Apsara Beauty, or as I often mistakenly call it Black Beauty in some sort of homage to my childhood spent wondering why so many of my classmates loved the book and the movie Black Beauty while I continually thought to myself, man, shoveling horse poop is hard work.

Since these arrived on my doorstep I’ve had one in my hand, in my pocket, or in my pencil case every day. These tick several boxes for me- no eraser, mostly black, nice dark core. I love pencils without erasers. They are mostly black. I’ve written about how black pencils satisfy my emo goth inner child so I won’t digress. They have a jaunty little red end dip that makes me super happy. The imprint is gold, but there is a simple little double red foiled bar on the pencil. That red foil logo is awesome. The looks of this pencil hits every happy pencil look that I want. I love how these look. The lacquer is thin and the grain of the wood is visible, but it’s super glossy.

The included pencil sharpener is the Apsara Long Point sharpener. It does a decent job for a freebie. The eraser is the Apsara Non Dust Eraser, I reviewed that over here.

Inside the delightful paint and foil is either pine, linden, or basswood wrapped around a smooth dark core. The core has decent point retention/durability when compared to other Hindustan pencils, so I’d rate this a B core. It’s smooth on all the paper I’ve tested them on, and also nicely dark. It does smudge on some paper, so it does lay down quite a dense line. It sharpens well in almost everything thing I’ve used. I did have one pencil with a partially shattered core that my Pollux ate up, but another pencil did a-ok with the Pollux. I suspect the core not the sharpener.

The one thing that I don’t like about this pencils but other will find as a plus- it’s super lightweight. They feel like nothing in my hands as I write. I prefer a little more weight to my pencils but these write so well I forgive their lack of weight.

As for price I picked up 2 boxes, so 20 pencils, 2 sharpeners, and 2 eraser for a mere $5.23 for those of us keeping track at home, that is 22 cents per item in the box, if you discount the sharpeners and eraser then you are looking at 26 cents per pencil. I love these and they have taken the place of the Casemates premiums as my favorite super cheap pencil. Continue reading

Review: Apsara Non Dust Eraser

These tiny erasers arrive bundled with Apsara pencils along with a sharpener. The NDE measures 35X12x18mm*. It is just small enough that it can disappear in my pocket but is just barely big enough that it’s easily found, so long as my pocket isn’t full of junk. It is white with a blue, green and white sleeve for protection. The sleeve does wear in through use, but it gets a nice patina that I pretty much love. 

The NDE is, as the name implies, a sticky eraser in that it doesn’t make crumbs and what it does make sticks to the eraser. It does exactly what the name implies- no dust and it sticks. As sticky erasers go this is quite firm, quite a bit more firm than the Sakura Foam or the Matumaru I reviewed previously. It does a decent job on smooth paper but on rough paper it does not clean as well, because the firmness prevents the eraser from getting deep into the fibers. That said, as far as sticky erasers go, if you are erasing on writing paper this will do the job well enough. No need to spring for a more expensive eraser to protect the paper in a Field Notes. This will more than do the job and keep eraser crumbs from messing your desk.

This is a great eraser for pocket carry. It works great as a fidget and also as an everyday eraser. Like most of the Apsara or Nataraj erasers you can find packs of 20 for sale on Amazon, but the prices fluctuate from $7 up to $50. The good thing is that if you order a pack of Apsara pencils, there is almost always an eraser and sharpener in the bundle, which makes them a good deal. Continue reading

Comparison of Sharpeners: Long Point

Here’s a little reference of points produced by long point sharpeners.

Included are:

  • Carl Angel-5
  • KUM  Automatic Long Point
  • KUM  5L or Stenographer
  • KUM Masterpiece
  • Apsara Long Point

These are all sharpened on a #2/HB Ticonderoga of som sort. The natural wooden pencil in the various pics is a factory sharpened General’s Cedar Pointe #1