General’s Cedar Pointe 333 pencil

General's Cedar Pointe 333 pencil

Here is a pencil that I know many pencil talk readers already know and like – the General’s Cedar Pointe 333 pencil.

It is a “natural finish” unlacquered pencil that emphasizes the pencil’s cedar origins in both name and appearance. Note how prominent the woodgrain appears. And for anyone who enjoys the traditional cedar aroma of pencils – the way they used to be – this pencil delights.

General's Cedar Pointe 333 pencil

The HB lead seems strong, and lays down a relatively dark line, though it is not the smoothest. The eraser, in black (from Factis?), is quite effective. The pencil sharpens easily.

I’m not sure if this pencil can be purchased at retail. Has anyone seen it in a real brick and mortar store? Online, it sells for a relatively modest price. You may want to get a few.

General's Cedar Pointe 333 pencil

Overall, quite a nice pencil.

20 Replies to “General’s Cedar Pointe 333 pencil”

  1. A dozen Cedar Pointes cost less than a cup of cappuccino (at least where I live) and may offer rewards for a number of years. I can’t see anyone who likes writing with pencils not liking them.

    They are, like the Musgrave HB, a great creation from an independent company.

  2. For all the readers in Chicago, you can buy the Cedar Pointe from Utretch Art Supplies in Chicago. They are about 30-40 cents a pencil, I purchased about 18 of them 6 months ago.

  3. I like General’s but I hate these natural finished pencils. I bought pack of Megabrands Green pencils, and I just don’t like the way they feel. I probably would still buy these anyway if I saw them in the store. Just to support General’s, I like that company. I still hope this natural finish trend goes away however.

  4. Just yesterday (11/19/08), I bought 1 of these for 39 cents at the Utrecht at 13th & I Streets, NW, Washington, DC. They only sold them individually, but had a couple dozen or so in stock.

    What I really would like to find the General Semi-Hex 2HB school pencils for sale at a brick-and-mortar. Online, after shipping, they are a bit pricey and you have to buy 3 dozen, which is more than I can reasonably use.

    Isn’t it true that General is the last U.S. pencil company still manufacturing in the US? I wish they sold them more places. Chinese-made Ticonderogas are a disappointment.

  5. Thanks for the comments and tips! This “Utrect” sounds like an interesting store.

    Brian – Musgrave, an even smaller company than General, still makes pencils, as do Sanford and MegaBrands. These latter two are large conglomerates, not just “pencil companies”.

  6. Brian – If you have a Pearl art & paint supplies store in Washington (I know we have one in Chicago) – you MAY (please note may in caps) find the Semi Hex there. Give it a shot.

  7. I found them at a store in Burlington Vt. Other than the old Venus Velvet #2’s, which I do not believe are made anymore, these are the best pencils!

  8. Greetings all,

    General is the LAST U.S. pencil company still manufacturing in the U.S. That is why I have decided to swing them all my pencil business, such as it is. I know what Brian means about buying them online and paying the shipping- that is a drag- but I think it’s important that we support the last American pencil company the best way we can… buy their pencils before they go the way of Eberhard Faber and Dixon.

    Best wishes,


    PS: I have no affiliation with the General Pencil Co., I just don’t want to lose another American product to China.

  9. I want to love these pencils, they look terrific, and they are certainly not bad tools, but the lead is a bit scratchy. I do however buy them when I find them at places like Utrech’s. A pity that General’s doesn’t have wider distribution.

  10. My fellow pencil aficionados:

    For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, I happy to report that I purchased four of the “Cedar Pointe” at Flax’s Art and Supply store on Market Street in San Francisco. This is a delightful pencil and I plan to return to Flax’s soon to purchase a larger quantity for my collection.
    I have also used the General’s “Semi-Hex” and found it to be very good on each of my “preference index.”
    I’m very pleased to learn that General Pencil Company is the last-standing U.S. manufacturer of pencils—that fact further attracts me to their products.

    Carl L. Williams

  11. Order up these pencils folks! General Pencil is the last major pencil manufacturer still making all parts of the pencil in the USA. And they are fine pencils for the price. Maybe the best natural wood pencil made here…I especially like how they become a deeper color from use.

    If we don’t support them, they will go the way of Dixon, Eberhard Faber, Venus, and all the rest….

    I think I read recently they were giving up the yellow #2 school pencil because they are not able to compete with China due to unfair tariff regulations. May need fact checking on this….but they are focusing on specialty drawing pencils to keep going. Musgrave is also making pencils here, but one look at their website shows which way they went to keep afloat (silly foil kids pencils, etc….). We can keep General from that fate. :-)

  12. I’d love to support them as well, but General’s don’t ship overseas. They do sell a fair deal of General’s in their various sketching kits, but thats not what I want.

  13. I just purchased 3 dozen General Semi-Hex No, 1 and 3 dozen no. 2 Semi-Hex directly from General. I spoke with Ingrid about their Supreme pencil which they had sent to me earlier in a set of samples. I liked the Supreme but they are supposedly only available in college bookstores, or I could buy a gross directly from General. Alas, that won’t be happening.

  14. I am a pre-med student and my nerd friend and I spent all of organic chemistry (which burns through pencils like none-other) searched for two whole terms, going through every pencil, and we found that the cedar pointe is undeniably the best, especially with the sharpener that it comes with.

  15. I just purchased 3 dozen of these Cedar Pointe pencils via their website online store. I’m curious to see how they compare to the Musgrave natural finish HB pencils (white eraser).
    I like how General Pencil Company has revamped their online store since my last purchase of semi-hex pencils years ago. Too bad the Supreme pencil isn’t available at the online store in groups of 3 dozen like the others.
    It is obvious that they are stressing their art products line, but it is what has kept them in business.

  16. I found these pencils in north Texas at a chain craft store called Hobby Lobby. Priced $3.99 for 12. The store also had a good selection of other General pencils as well.

  17. Yeah, I found them there as well recently. I bought more as someone related that the pencils reminded him of the old Blackfeet Indian pencils.

  18. The General Pencil Co. is NOT the last U.S. company that manufactures pencils. The J.R. Moon Co. manufactures pencils and they are located in Lewisburg, Tennessee. They make the U.S.A. Gold among other pencils.

  19. I am on the blog tonight trying to figure out what it is about unlacquered natural wood I prefer. It occurred to me with the Faber Heraclit that I’ll choose it over a laquered yellow every time. Feel lightweight, cedar fragrance, bold line, and my hand finds them generally fantastic!

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