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  I'm a little surprised..., August 1, 2010
I'm a little surprised how little love the Mono 100 has gotten in reviews.

I've been using high-end Japanese pencils for a while, and while I do like the Hi-Uni a lot, I find myself gravitating more toward the Mono 100 for writing. The real-world differences are pretty negligible unless you are obsessively comparing the two back and forth on a variety of surfaces (guilty), and even then the differences are small. They are both smooth as far as HB pencils go, but I find that the Hi-Uni is slightly more slippery on a Rhodia page, while the Mono feels a bit more viscous. Both qualities can be very desirable, and my feeling is that the Mono gives a very slightly superior degree of control and precision for writing. When moving the pencil a lot faster, in sketching for example, the slightly lower resistance of the Hi-Uni might be more appealing. I also have had fewer point breakages with the HB Mono 100 than with the HB Hi-Uni, though both are rare.

Both pencils are excellent, probably deserving of being called the best pencils in the world today. If you're struggling to decide which to get (and can't afford both), flip a coin or choose by aesthetics or brand identity and you won't be disappointed.
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