Review: Koh-I-Noor Toison D’Or 1900 Pencil

The Koh-I-Nor Toison D’ Or pencil is sharp looking with shiny black and cream lacquer and a gold imprint of the name and degree indication. I have a thing for black pencils, probably because they were hard to find when I was a kid. The gold foil imprint is sharp and well centered on the barrel of the pencil.Koh-I-Norkoh-i-norI’m unsure of what kind of wood this pencil is made of, but it sharpens easily in my KUM ellipse sharpener.  The core is narrow on the HB and B  but it is appropriate for these grades. In use I found the “lead” to be a grade or two harder than other brand’s grade designations. I would grade the HB as an H or F in any other brand of pencils. The B would be an HB in other brands.Koh-I-Nor

The HB pencil was very hard and scratchy. In fact, there was a piece of grit that didn’t write when I turned the pencils to that part of the point. Quite annoying. After sharpening the pencil there was less grit but it was still very light and smooth but occasionally gritty.koh-i-nor

The B pencil was much smoother and the darkness and softness akin to an HB pencil. The core lacks the smoothness of say, a Palomino or even a Dixon Ticonderoga. If I were to use these pencils for writing, sketching or drawing I’d stick with this grade.  This pencil was quite nice and even after repeated sharpening I didn’t hit any large pieces of grit like the HB pencil.Koh-I-NorI found these to be a mixed bag in terms of niceness versus frustration. Large pieces of grit are something I don’t have a lot of tolerance for in my pencils. With a list price of $1.79/pencil I found the price to be a little high for the quality.  For general sketching pencils I find the Staedtler Rally or Norica to be a better HB pencil at a much better price. Still lower in  price the Palomino HB is a much better pencil. I know these are available all over the place as an art pencil and positioned as a value pencil. I can’t really recommend them as a good option for writing or sketching. Use them if you’ve got ’em but I wouldn’t suggest them as a new purchase.Koh-I-Nor