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  Pencils!!! The Mitsubishi Hi-UniMay 24, 2013 3:01 AM PDT | url
 
Added 2 new A* pages:In which I continue the fascinating tale of my journey for the ideal pencil! Yesterday I got to talking about Japanese pencils, and how I found, at a local store, the US market version of one, the Tombow Mono, and it was pretty sweet. I also mentioned the Mono's rival in Japan, the Mistubishi Hi-Uni. (Note that the Mitsubishi Pencil Company is not related to Mitsubishi Group, the automobile manufacturer.) Well, shipping from importer JetPens.com is fast enough that I got my hands on a Hi-Uni—well, a dozen, since that's the smallest amount in which they sell them :P—a few days ago, and ran it in a HEAD TO HEAD BATTLE against the US Mono, a pencil almost 1/3rd the Uni's price.
 
I liked the Mono better. The Hi-Uni, pictured below
 
Image
 
(sharpened with my new imported Uni sharpener, which was a bit expensive ;_; but hey, I suck with a pocket knife, wood shavings, and besides, chances are good a standard sharpener won't fit these slightly wider than normal pencils) was significantly scratchier than the Mono, and lighter, almost as if the "H"-grade Hi-Uni is more like a "2H"-grade Mono or something: harder and not as dark. They both seem about equally smeary, though, which would definitely give the Mono the edge. In any case, the Mono H felt more like the H-grade 0.5 mm Pentel leads I've been using in my mechanical pencils—ie, more like what I'm used to. It was smoother than the Hi-Uni, and, well, I just couldn't find any up-side to the Hi-Uni; not that it's a bad pencil, it just isn't quite as good as the Mono, at least according to my peculiar tastes.
 
So the Mono it was; the handsome box of a dozen imported Hi-Unis was relegated to my bankruptcy-inducing art supply cupboard of shame. However, one nagging thought remained: what if the Japanese Mono 100 *is* better than the plain Mono (or "Mono Professional," strictly speaking) they put out State-side, as some would-be hard-core pencil importers maintain? Why, I'd be using a sub-standard instrument!
 
Perhaps you can guess what will happen in the next installment of the pencil saga...which won't be along until a certain package arrives, probably first thing next week.
 
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Danger with these Monos is overloading on graphite. Kinda did that on page 40 here. Gotta be clearer with decisions when it comes to shading so I don't end up muddling around. Well I suppose that'll come with practice.
 
EDIT: Over a year later, I've actually switched over from a Mono to a Hi-Uni after some consideration and re-testing!
 
 
 
 
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