December 27, 2014
As with my experience with this pencil's H-hardness sibling, the wood seems
brittle. The wood tends to chip or rip rather than smoothly be shaven off. (Of
all the pencils I've used with this sharpener, this is the first pencil to do
The general appearance of the pencil is disturbingly like the classic yellow #2
pencils. When compared to its H-hardness sibling, its finish is better with
consistent enamel and well-lain stamps. It does have a bit of an "upgraded feel"
to the #2 pencil.
The eraser does not work as well on the HB as it does on the H. With HB, the
eraser leaves ghosting. This is another eraser that will work in a pinch, but
would probably leave the paper muddled otherwise. The eraser has poor durability
This pencil's softness is more suited to my pressure during writing, which is
light from years of fountain pen use. On the whole, the lead does have some bite
to it, but not all that much -- about on par with many other pencils. The lead
does not keep a point for all that long, but the draft of this post was written
with only one sharpening. The lead is harder than its Mono cousin of the same
grade; but despite this, it appears darker and keeps its point longer. When
compared to the Mitsubishi 9850 (HB), it is also darker under pressure. The
order ends up being: 2558, Mono, then 9850.
In regards to usability, something is "off" about it. It doesn't scream "Write!"
or "Draw!" to me. Maybe it is the unnerving similarity to the yellow #2 pencil
and the associated hours of drudgery, but it generally doesn't "feel"
inspirational. While on the whole it is a good pencil, it won't be in my
rotation due to this last quality.