Another JetPens purchase was a Mitsu-Bishi 9800 HB “general writing” pencil. At a rich price of 70 cents this was the least expensive pencil of my recent purchase. And at 70 cents it was the best value. from what I’ve read the core of this pencil is the same as the Hi- Uni. In use, this HB pencil proved to be just as smooth and dark, at a fraction of the price.The core is well centered in the wood, which you can view at either end, as the “ferrule” end is unfinished, leaving the wood and core visible. I cannot smell if it is cedar or not, but my allergies may be blocking the scent. The wood sharpens easily in my KUM Ellipse sharpener. The pencil boasts that it is “matured.” According to the info on JetPens that is in reference to the graphite core being matured. I assume this has to do with the process of creating the core, perhaps a drying process. Whatever the process it has lead to a strong and smooth core.The graphite core in this pencil holds a point well and is nicely dark. It allows for a range of tone in it’s use, but doesn’t need to be sharpened every minute or two. It’s perfect for general note taking or sketching. Even though it’s an HB it does give a nice enough range of tone. For more finished work a few more grades of pencil would be needed to give those deep dark areas a good drawing needs.These are available from 2H to 2B. It’s a good range for sketching but for deeper darks you’ll need a 4B or 6B or softer from another brand. The HB is perfectly suited for writing as well. It’s a nice dark pencil.
It’s a great pencil at a great price, 70 cents is not a bad price for any art pencil, and when you start to get into “higher’ end pencils, finding a nice one under $1 each is a good deal. It’s not the best looking of my recent purchases, but it’ s a darn nice pencil.