Reviewing one of the best pencils around, is like trying to convince a coffee-drinker to appreciate coffee. I always have a stock of Hi-Unis HB around, it’s one of my go-to-pencils for drawings, sketching and nose-picking… well, not really but the top of the pencil is so well made and nice looking that you have to touch it now and then. These pencils just scream of quality. The lacquer, the wood, the lead, the box they’re shipped in, the sharpening, everything says: “You’ll have a creative time with me.”
So how should I review a renowned pencil? Well, as you know my weapon of choice is a drawing. I consider myself a decent drawer, but even one or two of my students are more talented than me, but drawing with the Hi-Uni really seems to heighten my potential, push my creativity. The aura that these pencils emanate is simply inspiring. For someone that spent most of his studies using Mars Lumograph or 9000s, the japanese pencils are kind of mythical, but with the evolving of the internet buying these wood-cased leads has become easier and more affordable.
So how good is the Hi-Uni HB? Is it really that good? Yes! It is a tremendously well balanced pencil. The HB alone covers a lot of territory in possible gradation. It draws a nice black line, stays sharpened for a long time, BUT… yes, there is a slight negative point to this pencil: it is only decently smear resistant. But that has just a small impact on the whole experience with the Hi-Uni. Drawing with it feels light yet there’s a great amount of control, maybe you could call that stickiness to the paper.