After reading some of...
, May 11, 2009
After reading some of Alberto's reviews about the Uni, praising it compared to
the Staedtler, Faber-Castell, Koh-I-Noor, etc. alternatives, I decided to give
them a shot, since I hoped for a dark, smooth lead that would compare with my
high-end pencils (Hi-Uni, Palomino, Craft Design Technology).
I was a bit reluctant at first since Mitsubishi also had marketed a Hi-Uni lead
alongside the standard Uni, and also for a brief time sold a variety called the
"Uni Artis". Both were higher-priced and supposedly came with correspondingly
higher performance, but now both are discontinued and becoming rare. I lucked
out and sourced some of all three offerings, and spent some time comparing them
to discern differences.
While there were some slight differences between the leads, I think that much of
it is negated through the use of a substantial leadholder (I use a Staedtler
925-25). The Uni holds its own pretty well, and in HB is quite good. This was a
bit of a relief, since I don't know how my luck will be in sourcing the
That said, I would still prefer the Hi-Uni or Uni Artis leads if they were
readily available and cheaper, but since the Uni is much cheaper, much easier to
get, and very very nearly as good as the "premium" versions, it seems to be a
no-brainer for anyone who wants to use high-end tools without fear of suddenly
running out (Blackwing 602 lovers know what I'm talking about).
6 pieces for $3.50 is...
, October 1, 2008
6 pieces for $3.50 is quite a deal, at least for where I live. (10 pieces of
Faber-Castell cost me $9.25.) The lead is all I could ask for: it writes smooth
and consistently, and leaves a nice dark line. Compared to Faber-Castell and
Staedtler lead of the same hardness it's noticeably darker, and consequently it
wears down a little faster, but not by much. The lead can fit with the stopper
in my Staedtler Mars 780 and my Rotring 300, though it has to be modified to fit
into a Caran d'Ache Fixpencil 22. Compared to Caran d'Ache's lead, which isn't
easy to find and costs quite a bit when found, the Uni lead costs about half as
much for the same amount and of the same quality.