Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

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Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

Yesterday, I mentioned pencils made from wood scraps.

Well, I just found another – the Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil.

Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

Mitsubishi’s product page is here, and the page includes a small diagram that appears to mention the construction method.

The pencil has a very nice woodgrain finish. The text is in green, with colour markings in green, and a bar code in black. With text (both English and Japanese), barcode and associated numerals, and graphic markings, the design seems a bit “busy” to me, yet I like it very much, and it is a very unusual pencil.

Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

The photo below shows the pencil on a highly textured (“toothy”) Fabriano sketchpad, but I would say that the markings are even richer and more saturated on ordinary office paper.

Mitsubishi 2667 EW red and blue pencil

It is a very good all-round red and blue pencil. The only possible issue is that the non-traditional colouring doesn’t provide as much of a visual cue about which end is which.

Mitsubishi 4563 triangular pencil

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An old friend was just forced into mandatory retirement. Though still sharp as ever, he was deemed to be worn down. But we know he’s still got some lead left in him, and we’ll no doubt hear more from him in a future role.

Faber-Castell Grip 2001

There’s also a new cohort just starting. Also triangular, they have unfinished ends, and act like they were made for work.

Mitsubishi 4563 triangular pencil

Hailing from the venerable Mitsubishi Pencil Co., the 4563 in 2B lays down an incredibly rich, smooth, dark line. The shape is a rounded equilateral triangle, and if the pencil went back to complete its cap and get a more sophisticated colour, it would be able to compete with the best in the field.

Mitsubishi 4563 triangular pencil

Arriving half green and half yellow, they quickly impress, and will no doubt get the sort of use that will also push them towards retirement soon enough.

Mitsubishi 4563 triangular pencil

Mitsubishi 4563 triangular pencil

Mitsubishi Uni M-552 drafting pencils

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Mitsubishi Uni M-552 drafting pencils

The Mitsubishi Uni M-552 is another inexpensive drafting pencil.

Lightweight at about 12.5g, they come in five lead diameters. I bought all five. I may soon regret this, as the 0.4mm pencil does not have refills available in Canada. On the other hand, it’s not too often that I’ve found myself saying that I need a 0.4mm pencil for a particular purpose.

The tip, grip, clip, and cap are metal, and the barrel is plastic.

The lead advances by clicking the cap. A thin plastic ring, the pencil’s only colourful element, is the pencil’s lead grade window.

The grip, very lightweight, screws off of the plastic barrel (see photo). Why a removable grip? I’m not sure, but if the idea was to make available a choice of grips to suit individual preferences, that would have been an excellent offering.

Mitsubishi Uni M-552 drafting pencils

The grip superficially resembles that of some expensive drafting pencils – which is probably the intent. But it doesn’t at all have the smooth feel of the Staedtler 925 95, for example. In fact, I found the 552 quite unpleasant.

It seemed to be a pencil that had a lot of attention paid to the cosmetics. Unfortunately, the looks don’t achieve much in person, and I would rate it lower than the A120 – though there is a 0.4mm version, if that is important to you.

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder (and Nikka Single Malt 10yo “Yoichi” Whisky)

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Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

If you think luxury writing instruments and leadholders are mutually exclusive categories, look again.

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

The Mitsubishi Pencil Company offers the Pure Malt leadholder, with the body made from oak reclaimed from Malt Whisky casks! (The clutch, tip, clip, and cap are metal.)

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

It has a very sleek, clean appearance. The woodgrain is dark, smooth and elegant. Plus, it was made from a whisky cask!

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

It has the great feature of a retracting clutch, making it quite portable and pocket-safe. (See photos.)

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

I found the hold and feel quite comfortable, and like the manner in which it carries off being both a leadholder, and a fine looking writing implement.

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

Mistubishi Pure Malt 2.0mm leadholder

The small instruction booklet indicates there is a matching lead pointer, in a cask shape! I would love to get that item, but have not seen it for sale.

The unusual materials motivated me to seek out some actual Japanese whisky. Living in a place with a government liquor monopoly, my choice was the usual – no choice. Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.’s 10 year old single malt is the sole current offering. So Nikka it is.

(I have no knowledge of which distillery, Nikka or otherwise, provided Mitsubishi’s wood.)

Nikka Single Malt 10yo Yoichi Whisky

The bottle is a pleasing shape, and the stopper seems to have a deep coating around the cork – something I’ve never before seen.

Anyhow, on to the whisky. It is a dark straw or tea colour. The nose is pleasant to me, but at a time of year when a “warm” day is -8 degrees, I won’t claim that I can discern much. The taste is full of nuts, toffee, and fruity notes. It’s a very nice dram – as smooth as a Tombow 6B pencil. The character is very much that of a nice scotch whisky, though made many miles away.

The bottle will certainly not survive as long as the leadholder.

Two great products, not necessarily for enjoyment at the same time!

Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Photos

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In response to a request, here are some more photos of the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencils and their packaging.

It’s a lot of packaging for a dozen pencils. The good thing is that this box seems to actually protect (as opposed to just house or congregate) the pencils. Even with several pencils removed, the remaining ones don’t roll about, due to an insert that separates the pencils. It seems much more useful for travel than just a loose pencil case.

Okay, on with the show.

Here is the green sleeve alongside the pencil box:
Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencil box.

The green sleeve has a cutout that corresponds to a degree marking on the box:
Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencil box cutout.

The box is black plastic with a clear one-third length lid that flips open:
Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencil box lid.

They’re a nice set of pencils:
Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencils.

Here is Hi-Uni next to a Tombow Mono 100. Two great pencils.
Mitsubishi Hi-Uni and Tombow Mono 100.

Top Japanese Pencils: The Mitsubishi Hi-uni and the Tombow Mono 100

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Hello, it’s been a while since this blog has been online or updated. Good news: The server hosting the blog survived being in storage, and has again been cranked up and placed online!

Thank you to those who wrote notes of encouragement about the blog. They were definitely appreciated.

Even better news is that there are lots of things to write about. I thought I would start with two top Japanese pencils. A couple of years ago, these were very hard to acquire in North America. Thanks to the internet, they’re now possible (though still far from easy) to source.

The intriguing cap of the Tombow Mono 100

The intriguing cap of the Tombow Mono 100


The Mitsubishi Hi-Uni is the top woodcase pencil in the Mitsubishi Pencil Company’s line. There seems to be no doubt that mechanical pencils are much more widely used in Japan, with woodcase pencils like these considered niche products.

This pencil’s packaging announces it – a light green cardboard sleeve with a cutout that lets one see a half dozen pencil crowns. Taking off the sleeve, there is a black plastic box with a clear plastic lid that pops up to allow access. The interior of the box has a many-spoked divider that keeps each of the twelve pencils separate. It’s heavier than any pencil box I’ve encountered, and definitely indicates that the contents are valuable.

The pencils are offered with a heavily varnished maroon finish, topped by a black crown. The stamping is gold, along with a white barcode. The pencils are also distinguished by the orange dot on their tops.

The intriguing cap of the Mitsubishi Hi-uni

The intriguing cap of the Mitsubishi Hi-uni


They sharpen easily, and in HB have a very rich dark lead that doesn’t crumble. On paper, the markings seem reasonably smear proof. I look forward to trying some other hardnesses. I haven’t spent too much time with them yet, but hope to soon give them a lengthier workout. I’ve found that some pencils which do well for a few jottings aren’t necessarily great all day writers.

The Tombow Mono 100 is a legend, especially in the animation field. It has a reputation as a high quality professional pencil. Dick Blick calls it the “gold standard.” I’ve spent quite a few dollars not getting this pencil – ordering it and being sent something else. Anyhow, I’m glad to finally have a few in my stash. They’re black, with gold band, and a white stripe that traverses the pencil’s cap.

They’re just a wee bit longer than any non-erasered pencil I have. A slight compensation for their price, I suppose.

They sharpen well, and like the Hi-uni, have a dark rich lead. I have tried them for a sufficient period of time to confirm that they make a great writer.

To my eye, the finish of both pencils is disappointing. Maybe I was expecting too much, but they’re overcrowded with too many font faces – both of them. A pencil just doesn’t have room for six different fonts without being very distracting. And of course the almost ubiquitous bar code makes them less sleek. They do have superior paint finishes, though.

Now as pencils – they’re really good. They seem to have the dark lead (the right combination of graphite, clay, wax, and other ingredients) that’s so pleasing to see on paper, without the crumbling or quick point erosion that some other attempts at dark leads have seen.