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Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

As a sequel to our recent look at Mitsubishi’s 10B pencils, here are two special pencils in the 8B grade.

First is the Hi-Uni Super-DX. A few pencils have passed this way since the website started in 2005, and I have no hesitation in stating that this is the nicest, most refined finish I’ve ever seen on a woodcase pencil. There are several coats of lacquer which create an impression of depth, with tones ranging from cherry red to rich maroon popping out, depending on the light and angle of viewing. The advanced craftsmanship that went into designing and creating this pencil’s surface is exemplary. The gold lettering and cap are nicely contrasting.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

The Hi-Uni 8B is one of five new grades that was introduced by Mitsubishi for the Uni’s 50th anniversary, along with 10H, 7B, 9B, and 10B. Premium Japanese pencils all have first rate finishes, and it is a testament to the Super-DX that it makes the Hi-Uni look relatively ordinary.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

The core diameters are quite different – the Super-DX is oversized like the 10B pencils, while the Hi-Uni is closer to traditional size.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

Both are great pencils, leaving super dark and rich marks. Yet – the formulas seem to be different, with the Super-DX being even smoother and waxier. Others who have tried both pencils agree.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

The Hi-Uni Super-DX is an amazingly great pencil. My apologies, as I don’t think these photos give it full justice.

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

(The pencils were photographed on a Maruman Mnemosyne 182 notebook, which seems to handle graphite extremely well.)

8 comments to Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super-DX and Hi-Uni 8B pencils

  • Very cool review and pictures! The Hi-Uni Super-DX certainly looks like a remarkable pencil which must be pretty hard to find. It wasn’t listed in Bundoki nor JetPens like the Hi-Uni 8B. Hard to believe that there could be a smoother graphite than the Hi-Uni’s. Though if anyone could improve upon utter perfection, it would certainly be one of the innovative Japanese companies like Mitsubishi.

  • Gorgeous! The lacquer almost looks like urushi, but that would be awfully extravagant. I doubt that the resemblance is coincidental.

  • mikw

    Impressive as always. Mitsubishi lives up to their reputation.

  • Robert M.

    I adore the look of the Super-DX. If the Super-DX were made in HB or 2B, I would probably do inappropriate things in order to acquire some. In the meantime, I’ll use “standard” Hi-Unis.

    Something that surprises me is that while many types of quality Japanese stationery are available where I am in Taiwan…it seems that top-end wooden pencils are not so common. I’ve seen Mono Js, and I managed to dig up a box of Uni-Stars, but I can’t find a local source for the Hi-Uni.

  • Robert, don’t do anything too inappropriate, but stay tuned for an upcoming look at a highly lacquered limited edition version of the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni (in HB)!

  • Robert M.

    That’s awesome news…I just hope I’ll be able to snag some when they become available! I am a recent “convert” so to speak, and the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni has been one of the things to push me over that edge.

    Oh and a photo tip, if you don’t mind. Looking at the photos taken around the site, I see a lot of good ones that have a bit inaccurate white balance. If you’re processing the images at all (even for just resizing), it could be a good idea to pull up levels/curves (in Photoshop or Gimp), and use the gray eyedropper to set a neutral reference. Since you usually have paper in the background, the paper can be useful for setting white balance and getting more accurate colors (though white-white paper is often slightly blue, which also throws off the camera). I frequently use white balance reference cards to ensure the colors are accurate, but if you have reasonably neutral white paper, it’s generally plenty good. That said, the photos in this post were pretty good, but there are a number of others that aren’t quite right. Perhaps a nitpick, but since the overall quality of photography is high, I thought you may be open to the suggestion. :)

  • Robert, thanks for the tips.

    An absolute amateur, I’ve been trying. When you start talking about white balance and gray eyedroppers – I doubt I could give a completely accurate definition of the former, or properly use the latter. I will try to explore both subjects in the future.

  • plainwhitepaper

    I just got my hands on a full box of Mitsubhi Hi-Uni (HB). They are little works of art….beautiful elegant laquer and fine hand. They’re now locked in my file cabinet; I keep my eye on the one I’m writing with! What a pleasure to own and use.

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