Name: BILT matrix.
Full name and model no: BILT Matrix Charcoal Black HB2.
Manufacturer: Ballarpur Industries Limited (biltpaper.com), 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 with finished cap. 174.5mm in length according to the box.
Appearance: The pencils are hexagonal and unsharpened. The pencil finish is black, with the edges finished in silver. The text is silver, as well as the cap. The unsharpened ends are clean, with no paint spilling over.
The pencil is marked:
bilt matrix Charcoal Black HB2
Other notes: The pencils have a stated price of 3 Rupees each.
Grip: The pencil has a light gloss and is quite comfortable and easy to hold.
Sharpening: Regular readers know I like Carl sharpeners. But the Carl sharpens everything well, so I tried the matrix in an Eisen handheld plastic sharpener. It felt a bit tough to sharpen, though the result was fine. The wood was unfamiliar to me, probably one of the many species native to India.
Writing: I found the pencil to be surprisingly good. On Rhodia paper, the lead seemed somewhat smooth and very stable and non-crumbling for a budget pencil.
Erasure: With a Pilot Foam eraser, removing lines was no problem. The natural rubber Faber-Castell 7041-20 required just a bit more effort.
Overall: While I’m not familiar with Ballarpur Industries, I think they’ve produced a fine product in the matrix pencil – the pencil presents well and has attractive packaging, and writes much better than one would expect from a product that is priced at about seven US cents.
I’d like to thank hemmant for kindly sending me these pencils last year, along with some other Indian pencils. They have been a pleasure to discover.