It is a great pleasure to be able to write about this new pencil.
Craft Design Technology is a Japanese brand which produces home and office goods with an emphasis on a consistent, clean design aesthetic. They are associated with a number of manufacturers. If my understanding is correct, the brand is oriented towards functional and aesthetic goals, rather than “luxury”. Most of their website is in Japanese, which I am not able to read.
Luckily for pencil aficionados, their products include item 17, which are HB pencils.
The pencils are unsharpened, and richly varnished in a vibrant light green – almost a washed mint or green tea ice cream colour. Very unusual and pleasing. There are no bands or cap markings, and text is thankfully minimal, in black:
Obverse: Craft Design Technology
Reverse: Made in Japan [logo] item 17: Pencil – HB
High end Japanese pencils use gold or silver colour paint for lettering, and the black is a nice alternative on this already attractive pencil.
The pencil sharpened easily, and the lead was exceptionally dark, smooth, and rich, with no crumbling. CDT’s website says the pencil is made by Pentel, and Pentel’s name and logo are on the box. In my opinion, this is the right way to do it. I don’t like mystery pencils, and If I had a pencil made, I would absolutely want the provenance known. I appreciate CDT’s disclosure.
After trying the pencil, the next thing I did was reach for a Pentel Black Polymer 999. I was really astounded – I believe the CDT pencil to be noticeably smoother that the 999. And that is saying something. I next reached for an HB Tombow Mono 100 , and I had the impression that the CDT could keep up. While I haven’t put them through any lengthy paces yet, my sense it that this really is a first rate pencil.
It comes in just HB, so it’s not aimed at artists and designers. But as a general purpose office or writing pencil, it is a remarkable new entry in the market.
If you decide to buy some (I doubt you’ll be disappointed), be aware that they should be a normal price for a quality pencil – I’ve seen them offered online with astounding markups.