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Review: Koala Tools The Bear Claw 2B Pencil

The Bear Claw is a fat triangular pencil. If were round it would be a jumbo but the triangular shape makes it feel like a semi-jumbo in my hand. I keep writing that I’m MEH on triangular pencils but I keep liking them when they have rounded corners, this is no different, I really like it’s rounded triangular shape. It feels awesome.

The pencil is made out of redwood. It has a lovely pink color that contrasts nicely with the black paint, gold printing, and ferrule The green eraser is round and looks okay with the rest of the printing. I think a black or pink eraser would look a lot better with the color scheme. The printing on all of mine is pretty janky. The black paint is thin and reminds me of an over applied stain that wasn’t wiped off properly. The gold imprint is off on most of mine, with half of the pencils having only half a print. The ferrules are well affixed, but hold the eraser rather loosely. In fact the eraser is so loose that in use I’m worried it’s going to work its way out of the ferrule. One of my pencils has a deep split up the side where the wood split and then was painted over. The final coat of varnish is thin in places, thick in others and there are runs on some of the pencils. On some the runs are actually raised and can be felt.

The redwood is hard and really resists sharpening in my Dahle 133, but does sharpen up nicely once you get past the resistance.

The 2B lead is smooth and dark and feels good on smooth as well as toothy paper. The core is the best thing about these pencils. It’s soft and really is a B pencil rather than a 2B and doesn’t hold a point for very long. I’ll get over that because the core is so dark and smooth. I have to say that I rather like the core, it is a redeeming core for such a shoddily made pencil.

A 6-pack at the MSRP is $5. Not a bad deal if you can find them for that price. Mine were $7 at Black Ink in Cambridge, MA.

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