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 at them from a writing perspective.
The pencils are:
Mitsubishi Uni 100 Mark Sheet pencil, HB
Pentel CBM10 Mark Sheet pencil, HB and B
Tombow LM-KMS Mono Mark Sheet pencil, HB
All are hexagonal with finished caps, and sold unsharpened.
The Mitsubishi is grey, with a black dipped end and blue ring. The lettering is white, and the pencil states, “Hi-Density Lead for Mark Sheet.” The cap is stamped “HB”.
The Pentel is navy blue, and has the slogan, “the best quality for OCR sheet marking.” The blue is offset by two silver rings and silver lettering. The HB has a marigold cap, while the B grade sports red.
The Pentel has a vivid bright blue finish, with a matte silver dipped end and silver ring. The lettering is in white.
All three pencils have nice finishes, and sharpen easily.
Certain pencil/paper combinations really shine (a subject for a future post), and on a Maruman Mnemosyne notebook, all three pencil brands are exceptional in their non-crumbling adherence, smooth application, and dark rich black lines. The best? For me, the Pentel, and especially the B grade version, stood out as a super-smooth writer.
Specialty pencils of course have specialty erasers, and the Uni Mark Sheet eraser does a great job. The formula seems somewhat different than other familiar erasers from Pilot or Tombow – more crumbly, but possibly even more effective.
(Pentel also make a “mark sheet eraser”, but I haven’t seen it in person.)
All are first rate, but writing with the Pentel CBM10 Mark Sheet pencil in B is an experience I especially recommend to all pencil users!