Midori MD Pencil Review


Midori is very famous for their Traveler’s Notebooks and their brass products. While they have produced pencils in the past, for their brass pencil extenders, the Midori MD pencil is their first full size pencil. The MD line (which I believe stands for Midori Diary) is known for its simplistic design and light colors. Does Midori pull through with their first full-length woodcased pencil?


Shape: Hexagonal
Length: 176mm
Diameter: 7mm
Weight: 5g
Place of Manufacture: Japan



The pencils come in a pack of six within a slim plastic package. There is a small label in the packaging, similar to those included with other Midori MD products. As always, there is nothing gaudy about the packaging.

The writing on the label is playful and is meant to mimic handwriting. Luckily, it is not hard to read. The back of the label only has a barcode and some recycling information.

The pencil itself is very simplistic. The barrel is hexagonal and is a light cream color. The paint is matte and does not reflect any light. While it is smooth, you can definitely “feel” the pencil between your fingers. There is no ferrule.


There is black lettering on one side of the pencil with the words “Midori MD” as well as “B” to indicate the hardness. There is no other writing or imprinting on the pencil.

Fit and Finish

The pencils feel solidly made, although the paint is not the best. It appears as though the paint rubs off easily, as seen in the above pictures.

The lettering is pretty good, although not that sharp on the edges. This might have been done on purpose as part of the font, but it looks a bit sloppy.

The two halves of the barrel are matched well and the core is well centered. However, the paint around the edges came chipped. It is not apparent whether this happened during manufacturing or during packing.



Sharpening the pencil in my Carl Angel-5 was very smooth and easy. As expected, the pencil left some bite marks in the barrel. It did not expose bare wood, but, instead, the marks were paint filled.


The point was moderately long and well rounded. The barrel did not split upon sharpening. There was no excess shavings hanging on after sharpening.


The core is a tad harder than most Japanese pencils of hardness “B”, writing closer to a Mitsubishi Hi-Uni “HB”. The writing experience was “all right” at best. It is better than your run-of-the-mill dollar store pencil, but, at least for me, the amount of feedback the core was giving me was somewhat unpleasant.

However, a few days later, I was curious enough to pick it back up and give it another go. During my second attempt at using it, I found it to be better than I first thought, and definitely usable, although it will not be winning any awards in my book.

I will note that my opinion on the tactile feedback that the pencil gives is just my take on it. I am sure some will appreciate it.


That being said, though, I do like how dark of a line the pencil puts down. Furthermore, it erases easily and point retention is pretty good.


I am a bit disappointed by these pencils. The quality was not as good as I was expecting and the writing experience was not not up to par in comparison to Midori’s paper offerings (in my opinion). Aesthetically, once you get over the dirtied surfaces, the pencil is elegantly simple and is comparable to the Mitsubishi White Pencil in looks.

I probably won’t be picking any more of these up in the future. I’m still on edge about whether I’ll keep the ones that I have. To each their own, though.


Midori Brass Pen Case Review

originally published 1/26/2016
last edited and revised: 8/3/2016


Among my most prized stationery possessions is my Midori Brass Pen Case. It’s a little hefty, has some sharp edges, and doesn’t hold the most, but it has built a personal connection with me, during the time that I’ve owned it, that gives it a special place in my collection.

Check out my current EDC rotation to see how it fits in with everything else.


Dimensions: 5cm (width) x 17cm (length) x 1.8cm (height)
Weight: Around 160g
Place of Manufacture: Japan
Price: $76 (retail), $30-50 (street)



The pen case comes in a nice cardboard box made of two halves. They are well fitted, albeit on the loose side. The top of the box has black lettering that is imprinted into the cardboard. The words are sharp and legible. The text itself is in both Japanese and English.

English text: “The appearance of Brass brings you back old memories and fascinates you deeply. Long time use changes the material quality, turning it into a precious tool.”


Inside, the pen case is wrapped with with a paper sleeve. The sleeve unfolds with some instructions on the inside. It is written in Japanese, so I am unable to read what is written.

Fit and Finish


The pen case is built very sturdily. There is very little flex when bending the lid and practically none with the base. The two halves fit together very well although there is a bit of wiggle room when the lid is attached. I assume that if the tolerances were any closer, it would be much harder to place the lid on.

The issue with the pen case are the sharp edges. Both the top and bottom halves are made of one piece of brass and, as such, the top and bottom edges are rounded and smooth to the touch. However, the open edge is extremely sharp. It would appear as though there was no finishing done to the edge after the metal was cut. While not sharp enough to cut one’s skin, it is uncomfortable to brush your hand up against it. It has somewhat smoothed out with use though.


The pen case does not have a large capacity. When considering length, it is not long enough to hold an unsharpened or newly sharpened pencil. With length and width, one can stack around 8 pencils.

I usually keep:

  • Rotring 600 0,5 mechanical pencil
  • Staedtler Mars plastic push eraser
  • Mitsubishi Hi-Uni 0.5 HB pencil lead

The items do rattle and there are a fair number of scratches from the knurled grip of the Rotring.

If I want to bring woodcased pencils out, I have to select pencils that are short enough to fit. However, it will comfortably hold 2-3 with a small eraser and a single hold sharpener.

I was initially concerned about possibly denting the pencil case when I brought it out. The case is quite thick, but as a student, there are many opportunities for my backpack to be bumped into and stepped on. I recently saw a dent in one of the corners of the case.


It is not very obvious, but it just goes to show that the case is not bulletproof and is subject to damage.

I was surprised when I figured out that the pen case fit almost perfectly in the largest slot of my Pilot pen roll (Item number PCS121-80.). Since then, whenever I bring the Midori pen case out, I stuff it in the pen roll and throw it into my bag.


I love this pen(cil) case. There’s no doubt that Midori has produced a well made, durable container that will serve me well. I don’t see how it can ever be damaged to the point of not being usable (sans extreme destruction). I will definitely be keeping it and using it for years to come.