I’m just going to put it out there: the Mitsubishi 9800 is my favorite production everyday use pencil of all time. I’m not going to say it is better than a Hi-Uni or Swiss Wood or vintage Blackwing, but for the normal workday (or school day), this pencil excels.
Place of Manufacture: Japan
Price: $7-8 for a box of 12
When purchased in a box of 12, you get a nice vintage looking box.
Fit and Finish
The pencils have relatively good fit and finish. The paint is consistent and the gold foil is crisp. The quality of the wood is not always the same. Some halves are darker than the others. While it makes no effect with the writing experience or sharpening, it can be a bit of an eyesore. The leads are well centered.
Around the ends, there are times when the edges have chipped paint. I would guess that it occurred either from cutting the wood or when the pencils were being packaged. Once again, it’s not much of a functional issue, but it does affect the aesthetics.
The pencil features a no-nonsense design. There is gold lettering featuring the company name, model and lead hardness. There is no eraser.
I love this pencil because of its workhorse abilities. The pencil is light and well balanced because of the lack of ferrule and eraser. One can sharpen it from both ends for long, uninterrupted writing sessions.
The pencil comes in many different lead hardness grades (is that a word?) including HB, B, 2B, F, H, and 2H. I personally like the HB and B grades. The B grade gives a much darker line than the HB grade while the 2B wears down super quickly. Furthermore, the 2B smears very easily. With decent pressure, the HB gives
I use this guy for everything. It’s not supposed to be a safe-queen and you shouldn’t treat it as one. I love it because it’s cheap and reliable. If I could have one pencil in the world, I’d choose a Mitsubishi 9800.