The Mongol 482: New and Old

The Mongol is one of those classic pencils that conjures up fond memories for many.

While often thought to be no longer made, a post at the excellent Timberlines blog shed much light on branding in the global pencil industry, and the fact that these pencils are still alive and kicking on two continents!

A second event happened – online retailer PencilThings started carrying the Amspec version, making the Mongol available to those of us who miss the original, and those of us who missed the original!

About the pencils – both new and old are a goldish yellow with black stamping. As well, they both have markings pressure-pressed (no paint used) on their cases.

The Mongol’s ferrule – two tone with a middle brass coloured ring – is considered unique and interesting. The new Mongol is certainly very shiny. The original not so much. After decades in the box, this is understandable. It looks like the original ferrule might be constructed out of two pieces of metal, but I’m not going to break it apart to find the truth.

The pencils have these markings:

Old Mongol:

Obverse: [Woodclinched Complastic Lead] MONGOL * Eberhard Faber U.S.A. 482 – No. 2 –

New Mongol:

Obverse: [Woodclinched made in Phil.] EF Mongol 482 2 K6

The square braces indicate stamped text, with no paint used. I appreciated the restraint in not covering more edges with text.

The new Mongol has a quite bright pink/red eraser – the brightest I’ve seen outside of novelty pencils. It actually works quite well, which surprised me. The eraser on the original is dried up, and wouldn’t erase anything.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when sharpening the old Mongol, but the results were pleasing. The wood remained pliable after all these years, and there was no problem at all sharpening the pencil. I immediately put it to paper, and thought “Wow, it’s true, they did make them better in the old days.” The lead is rich and smooth. Though a “No. 2”, it’s more like a 2B by modern standards.

The Amspec Mongol also sharpens easily. It’s not at all a bad pencil – in fact it’s rather nice. But having just used the excellent vintage version, this newer model is markedly more scratchy and rough on paper. Perhaps related to the smoothness, the vintage pencil seems just a shade darker.

Verdict: The original based on superior lead quality.

Some Links of Interest:
Mongol 482 from Sanford Venezuela
Mongol 482 from Amspec Phillipines
Mongol Pencils at Pencil Pages – Many Photos

30 Replies to “The Mongol 482: New and Old”

  1. I’ve compared the new one with other kinds of normal size and the new one is bigger! was the old one supposed to be big?

  2. Hmm. In the pic the new one looks noticably bent.

    Can’t say I’m suprised considering who owns the Mongol brand nowadays (Sanford). Amspec makes them under a licensing agreement. Maybe Sanford made it mandatory for Amspec to make bent Mongols so people would continously be reminded of who owns the brand (see the post about the Black Warriors!! for more details)

    ok ok, I’ll be good…

  3. Hi Dave – I’m not sure that too much should be read into that image. I usually use digital photos on the blog, but was experimenting with a scanner for a while last year. The scanner may be distorting the image, or it might be the result of some type of “operator error”. :-)

    I will say that I like the design of the boxes.

  4. I am mother of 2, 16 yrs old and 13, i am 46 years old and can i say that i am “laking mongol” i am just wondering that we can’t find mongol now because they told us that Tpencil is mongol now. Is it true.

  5. Hmm, I have read that Amspec stopped production of the Mongol. Is the Tpencil identical? I don’t know – I have never seen one.

  6. I have a box EF Mongol 482 pencil with HB instead of 2 being engraved near the ferrule. Any idea about this ?

  7. Great site, Bobby! I got to see where the old Reliance Riviera I have came from. Just found an unsharpened one in a moving box tonight. Think I bought it in the mid to late 1970’s.

  8. Since when has Amspec stopped making the Mongol? Does this mean that this brand will suffer yet another disappearance? I was quite pleased with the Philippine Mongols—I didn’t find them that far off from the American vintage. I suppose Pencil Things will stop carrying them, alas. What a pity.

  9. Adair, Amspec stopped making the Mongol perhaps one to two years ago. The brand seems to still be alive in Venzuela. Pencil Things seems to have a good supply, though they ceased international shipping years ago.

    The Amspec Mongol seemed more about capturing the look rather than function of the original. Let’s hope that if a revived Blackwing appears, it will be of high quality.

  10. Some days ago I bought A Mongol in a stationery store at the University, when I ordered the one of the shelf It was a “Papermate Mongol” but when the salesgirl hand me the pencil ¡what a surprise! It was a new “Eberhard Faber Mongol”, what a find but I wondering how is it possible It was there waiting for me because It´s not made anymore under EF brand.I´ve not trying it yet It look well made as a regular Mongol but I think there is a possibility that It was made because is a sure sale made by a factory that used to manufacture EF Mongols.
    Other find was a “Made In Phil.” Mongol in my country a secretary was using it and I ask her for it, she told me that was office supply and she gave it to me, very nice. There is a strange mark it´s not labeled EF but EE a mistake? maybe somebody have seen this before?

  11. What a pity. I must say honestly that I cannot tell a huge difference in performance between the Amspec and the vintage Mongols—the vintage ones are a slightly bit darker and smoother, it is true, but nothing that I can say is a dramatic difference. Just my experience. And compared to the average pencil available today, the Amspec strikes me as a superior pencil for daily use, especially the #1. I wonder how the Venezuelan Mongols are, and if Pencil Things might be able to start importing them.

    As for the Blackwing, is it true that California Republic might be doing their own version?

  12. I’ve been your avid consumer back from the days of my childhood and up to now.I think nothing can beat the consistency of mongol quality.Even in its last drop of lead-its satisfies me.You just need a very good commercial to subdue all wanna bees.Keep it up!

  13. AMSPEC is no longer the manufacturer of OLD Mongol Pencil, i think it is imported from China… So, go for T-Pencil now it is Philippine made and came from the number one manufacturer of pencil (AMSPEC).. Help uplift the living conditions of the Pilipinos by purchasing our own brand… go for T-Pencil…..

  14. I am looking for the old mongol gentian violet pencils that were used in dental offices. Anyone have a clue where I can begin searching for them?

  15. Hi! Indeed, AMSPEC is no longer the manufacturer of Mongol Pencils in the Philippines. However, it is still very much alive and active in the stores. Just saw it in National Bookstore. Its new distributor, Star Paper, has launched campaigns utilizing Mongol’s reach to help educate children and to help them achieve their dreams. I personally think that Mongol’s good quality, and the good that is being done with the brand through advocacy campaigns to help Filipino children, is my Mongol made even better! :)

    Links on some articles where I found out about the campaigns:

  16. Hi! Am part of the team handling the Mongol brand under Star Paper and Newell Rubbermaid.

    Would just like to thank you for the post. I have grown with Mongol and now that I’m handling it, I delight in finding interesting infos such as this about the brand. :)

    @Mary, thank you very much for acknowledging what we have been doing with Mongol. We are continuously extending the reach of Mongol to be able to help more Filipino children. This year, we are partnering with CEAP to help school children in partner schools.

    Again, thanks! We shall continue to uphold the Mongol we love and trust.

  17. Who owns the Mongol pencils in the Philippines. is there a certain company that manufactures them or they only have a distributor and manufacturing is in another country?

  18. Hi,

    I worked in Amspec for almost 17 years, I’m in the design team for how to manufactured MONGOL FOR KIDS, I design the tools, manufacturing machine set-up and prototyping of the Big MONGOL. When the Star Paper got the distribution rights for MONGOL brand, many of AMSPEC workers included me lost the job. MONGOL is not made in the Philippine now, they import it in CHINA, T-PENCIL which is the same quality of the old MONGOL is the local Pencil that made by AMSPEC. My collection of old Mongol pencil is now display in my house. I’ve been working now in the middle east to survived our daily livings.

  19. When at the local thrift store just last night, I scored some new old stock Mongol 482 No.3 pencils made by Eberhard Faber. They also have “Woodclinched USA” stamped in them. The 10 unsharpened pencils look like they just came out of the package. They are probably still around because they are less popular No. 3 pencils. I have other older brands in No. 3 as well.

  20. About 15-20 years ago, I did some watercolor drawings using a large variety of Mongol colored pencils, which at the time were the only brand I had ready access to. Within five years of their completion, the drawings (which were done on different types of paper) had begun to fade, and now they are barely visible. In the meantime, I’ve been using some other brands of watercolor pencil. These have held up very well, all of them for at least fifteen years. Given the poor colorfastness of the Mongols, I wonder why so many people seem to like them.

  21. Dear sir:
    Our factory is specialized in basswood soften pencil board, we have strong production ability, the soften technology is top-ranking. The basswood forest can supply the wood for 50 years. We can constantly provide products. We promise the quality, have FSC forest certification, SGS test report, product safety meets the requirements of EU and USA and All the export goods qualification authentications. Hope you can contact us when you need, we can provide the sample. Wish you happy life. Please keep my contact information. Thank you again.
    If you are convenient, pls help me send email to purchasing manger . thank you.

  22. I have 12 eberhard faber pencils in the original box No.#2 3/8.
    Are the worth anything? They came from 1950s

    Thank you,


    I also have a box (6) stenographers pencils from the American
    Lead Pencil Co. (Venus Velvet)

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