These thick core pencils from Tombow are somewhat hard to find. Not sure why, since their popularity would make one think more shops would carry them. But, these are primarily artist pencils, although I know several past Notegeist customers who bought them from me and like to write and doodle with them.
So are they worth all the hype? Are these cores as buttery smooth as you’d expect from this graphite core grade? Let’s check them out not via an extensive test, but more of a first impress and feel test.
The Sharpening Test
This core sharpens like a firm graphite. Seems very stable, and as shown, easily produces consistent points. I sharpened these with my Afmat sharpener to get these beautifully long points (my favorite sharpener for all my pencil uses). As the sketch test will show, the point retention is surprisingly good for a core I would expect to blunt-up quickly.
The Quick Sketching Test
As expected, the cores are reliable and smoothly consistent. I like how varied a texture I can get with varying pressure, although this is not uncommon with some other thick-core pencils. I’m not an artist, although continue to be a wannabe Urban Sketcher! A more extensive experiment with a full sketch taking much longer might reveal some other concerns, but I’m betting these would perform well in such a test.
I can see how people like using these beyond just sketching. They feel more firm like a writing pencil, but go down dark, hold their point well, and that pressure thing is cool to get varying looks. Fun pencils to have in one’s arsenal for pure pencil pleasure or full-on artist work.
I currently carry both grades in my Notegeist shop, in both single pencils and dozen boxes. If you’d like to try some, here’s the link to order them.