Ticonderoga Noir 2Hb
This pencil looks rather garish at first glance: silvery holographic paint on the hexagonal shaft, incongruous patina-green ferrule with mustard-yellow stripes, wood dyed jet black and a matching eraser. Not a pencil I’d be caught dead with in a seminar. But despite its ugliness, it does have some pluses. It sharpens amazingly well to a needle-sharp point, which is for me the second greatest quality in a wooden pencil.
Secondly, it maintains its point for an extended period of time while continuing to lay down a medium-dark line. As I discussed in my review of the Delfonics mechanical pencil, I tend to prefer softer (and therefore darker) leads to standard 2B or 2HB pencils, but this achieves a good balance for more practical note-taking: dark enough I don’t feel compelled to press hard, and durable enough not to smudge the instant you turn the page.
The eraser is a bit dusty but as you can see in the test above, it does the trick.
Since I got the pencil back in June, I’ve kept it in my primary pen cup and have been using it enough that it has kinda grown on me. Yes, it may remind me of those weird pencils that grade-school teachers gave out as prizes, but unlike those, this guy sharpens reliably every time! It’s a keeper.
Thanks to my good friend Maria for the pencil!