Though Staedtler and Faber-Castell may get more attention here at pencil talk, the Bic name might be better known to global consumers.
Famous as producers of disposable ballpoint pens, Bic also make woodcase pencils.
The Bic 101 is made in China, and is sold in a box that lists distributors in Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and China.
It has some interesting claims:
A couple of notes – first, the statement about the wood species is a welcome disclosure. Second, regarding “Fumigated wood” – this isn’t generally a consumer concern, but I’ve bought enough “vintage” pencils to confirm that like old books, mould can become an issue over time in pencils.
The box also states “Exam Grade”, “Low Breakage”, and “2B Superior Quality”.
There seems to be some new Asian pencil trend focused on “Exam” pencils. Does anyone know more about this? The 101 is yet another entry in this category.
The pencil has a sparse finish – black with grey cap and white cap ring.
The lettering is in gold, and states: “Bic 101 Superior Quality – 2B”.
Okay, down to business – the pencils sharpen easily and perform very well, laying down a dark, rich line. This was a complete and welcome surprise to me, as I really expected budget performance from this budget pencil.