We looked at the famous IBM Electrographic pencil a few months ago.
Other pencils whose marks will be read by machine scanners are still made today.
I am happy to be able to present the Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencil made by the Musgrave Pencil Co. of Shelbyville, Tennessee.
While the finish of the Musgrave HB is delightful and superior, and the Unigraph 1200 is okay if not nice, the Test Scoring 100 pencil’s finish seems very thin and cheap. The pencil’s varnish is silver with black lettering, with a small nod to the pencil’s function – some checkboxes, one filled in.
The pencil’s shape is like the HB’s – a sharp hexagon, with little rounding.
The pencil sharpens easily, revealing that nice cedar grain.
The lead is less crumbly than that of the HB, though nowhere near as dark and rich. For those who would use it as a writing pencil, it does seem rough and scratchy compared to the HB. Presumably the pencil’s main value is in the readability of the marks.
Overall, the pencil is a disappointment.
I’m not sure where (or even if) these pencils are sold at retail. Musgrave’s products are very hard to find, and the company does not exactly welcome enquiries, even commercial ones, in my personal experience. I bought a couple dozen of the Test Scoring 100 from pencilthings.com, before that company halted their international sales.
10 Replies to “Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencil”
I agree with you on the finish of the pencil and the difficulty in tracking it down, but I found the lead to be quite smooth and considerably darker than the Musgrave HB’s. Maybe I should do another side-by-side comparison, though…
I have always found the lead of the Musgrave Test Scoring Pencil to be exceptionally smooth and dark. The finish isn’t exciting, it is true, but this inexpensive pencil is probably on par with the Palomino for velvety dark lead. I wish that you could try another batch!
Sorry for a delayed reply.
This past weekend, I directly compare the Test Scoring pencil with the Palomino and the Musgrave HB. Maybe it is the batch that I have, but I don’t see the comparison.
Thanks for sharing your findings!
I have done a quick comparison this week between the Palomino 2B and the Musgrave pencil and can tell no difference in the quality of the ‘lead’.
I also wanted to note that I’ve compared Musgrave’s HB, 2B, and 4B and found them to be essentially the same. If they weren’t stamped with their grades, one would have no idea that they were supposed to be different. The lead diameters are the same also. Perhaps I’ve gotten a bad batch. Perhaps Musgrave’s quality control is amiss.
I find the lead in the Musgrave Test Scoring Pencil to have a more scratchy feel than the Palamino 2B or HB. It is equally as dark as the 2B. (The behavior of lead can vary wih humidity and I am in a dry climate). The Test Scoring Pencil has a thicker stock than the Palamino. What I dislike about the feel of the Musgrave in my hand is the fact that the corners of the hexagonal shape are not rounded. This makes the ridges on the pencil feel too prominent. The Palaminos don’t have this drawback.
I don’t know why anyone would complain about this pencil. I love it! I had one, it was my favorite at work, and I lost it. Thanks for sharing the link for where I can buy more!
Anyone ever tried the Musgrave Hermitage Thin Red and Blue combination pencil. I have used a couple so far that I got from Pencilthings, and the lead comes right out, like it is not attached. Is this a common problem?
For anyone looking for these, Pencilthings.com has them.
I find these pencils pretty nice to write with. Between an HB and a Palomino Blackwing, with a little crispness. I haven’t run into any grit yet, but I agree the finish is lackluster.