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Jumbo Ito-ya pencils

The pencil talk laboratories took delivery of some Ito-ya pencils just over a year ago, and discovered that they were excellent for a house brand pencil. Of course the world’s largest stationery store is no ordinary “house”!

Ito-ya’s jumbo pencil is more than just a variant of the standard sized version.

Available in five […]

Mark Sheet pencils from Japan

These pencils aren’t aimed at writing, yet they are all superb at the task.

Sold to students facing multiple choice exams, they are specialty test pencils. These specific ones are made in Japan, and called “Mark Sheet” pencils.

Of course, test taking isn’t the only possible use, and today we’ll take a look […]

Faber-Castell compass leads

One of the oldest professional uses for graphite, compass leads are still made today.

Cylindrical segments in shape, the face of the wedge is an ellipse.

Pencil review: BILT matrix

Name: BILT matrix.

Full name and model no: BILT Matrix Charcoal Black HB2.

Manufacturer: Ballarpur Industries Limited (, incorporated under a previous name in 1945.

Background: Ballarpur’s website says they are India’s largest paper company.

Weight: The pencils in the box I received ranged from 4.2g to 5.2g, averaging 4.6g.

Dimensions: Rounded hexagon […]

Notebooks from Laywine’s

Between online selling and big box stores, many types of smaller businesses are feeling the pinch today. The independent stationery store is unfortunately a relic in many places. One exception may be New York City. (See these posts at Pocket Blonde. New York looks great!)

One way of fighting back is to move […]

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto multipencil

One more inexpensive multipencil. Please see the previous post on the Uni Style Fit for comparison.

Pilot also makes an inexpensive multi-refill writing implement, the Hi-Tec-C Coleto. Like the Style Fit, any combination of appropriate refills works. There are 2, 3, and 4-refill bodies, and by my count, 45 different pen refills, varying by […]