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Midori Brass Bullet Pencil

Midori Brass Bullet Pencil

Originating in the rural US Midwest, the classic bullet pencil is reinterpreted by Japanese stationer Midori.

This particular item is part of a larger series of brass products meant to be accessories to the highly popular “Traveler’s Notebook”.

Midori Brass Bullet Pencil

The sample shown is almost brand new, yet already shows signs of tarnishing or brassing. There are painted versions (brown and white) that should be more resilient.

The included cedar pencil is beautiful and first rate – one wonders if a full size version could be made available.

The brass is what makes this product really different. It has a truly metallic look, feel, and aroma. While some may love it, this finish will definitely be a matter of personal preference.

Pencil and eraser refills are available. The pencil branding is hidden once inserted into the holder:

Midori Brass Bullet Pencil

It might just be the perfect thing for someone on the go who wants a very sturdy yet inexpensive pencil holder.

Midori Brass Bullet Pencil

I think Midori have created a very interesting interpretation of a classic.

16 comments to Midori Brass Bullet Pencil

  • Sean

    Thanks for this post, I’ve been wondering about this pencil. Could you describe the sense of weight it has? I mean, apart from actually weighing it, does it have some heft to it, or would it be likely to go unnoticed in your pocket?

  • Robert M.

    Sean, I think it would be relatively unnoticed. In fact, that was one of the big things that prevented me from buying it. I’ve taken a look at them a few times, and every time I was put off by the flimsiness of the brass barrel. Given the price, I expected something with a little more substance and refinement, but instead felt it was just an overpriced gimmick like their $30+ slab of leather they call a traveler’s notebook (which obviously has a bit of a cult following among some of the new hipster crowd).

    I’ve got some of their better paper, and it’s pretty good, and I’m sure the little bullet pencil stubs are fine quality, but unless you’re a big fan of brass or the bullet style, I don’t really recommend it. A generic metal pencil point protector is equally sturdy and much cheaper.

  • It is, to my perception, lightweight.

    Also, for those attracted to the form, though not to used pencils, it is one of only two modern products on the market.

  • It looks very nice! Do regular round pencils fit too? – Re the tarnish: It could be possible that the material is very sensitive to hand perspiration.

  • Robert M.

    Gunther: I think the susceptibility to tarnish/patina is intentional, as it tries to appeal to the same “old world” aesthetic of the folks who buy the traveler’s notebooks, which also scratch, scuff, and otherwise show damage easily. The more damaged it is, the more “character” it has. You can buy one of them, go to the park every day for a week, and the notebook and pencil will look so weathered that people will think you were a great wilderness explorer.

  • Robert M., thank you for sharing your observations – I am not familiar with the image of the Midoro products, and it sounds very plausible. – I prefer products that age non-accelerated ;-)

  • I’m just glad to see anyone making a pencil in this style these days that isn’t the cheap “ref” version one can order in the USA. Field Notes has expressed interest, but there are no American-made versions to be had these days.

  • Thanks for this review. It sure looks attractive. What price are we talking about?

  • David O.

    They could simply do a clear lacquer coat (like a brass instrument) and have a nicer looking, longer lasting finish, but as you note it is likely intended to tarnish to have a rugged appearance. I’d probably prefer a coated version.
    Now a days the brass instrument manufacturers bake on the finish, which gives you a very tough lacquer coat. Even my acidic sweat (play trombone) doesn’t take off the lacquer like it did with the older horns.

  • Gunther, any round pencil of similar diameter should also fit.

    Palimpsest, I am recalling the vicinity of $12.

    And… I just noticed something on the blog interface …

    pencil talk’s 5000th comment! Thanks all, and especially to David for help in reaching that plateau.

    David, I will send you a small prize related to this post:

  • This pencil is the perfect companion to Traveler’s Notebook from the same company. All those products belonging to these series look tarnished and used, and I think it is the motivation behind it. You can get the idea from here: What’s in my bag Feb/Mar 2010 by Patrick Ng, on Flickr

    In my opinion, they are still of good quality. I once bought chinese copy of Traveler’s Notebook and the leather slab never come so close in quality to the original one. Personally, I love Midori products, for their flexibility in customizing to your needs. You can go thru’ many such customization here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/travelersnotebook

  • Calculi, your comment was edited to correct the HTML in your first link.

  • Thanks for the tip, this will make a grate gift.

    EWian

  • Tim Wilhite

    Good article. Is there a US distributor?

  • David O.

    Thanks for the link, Gen. I didn’t realize what they sold for. I won the white and brown ones shown above, and actually used the brown one a bit when we went looking for another car for my wife.

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