Uni Pencil, 2B, Set of 12 with Eraser
Uni pencils have been a popular and sought-after product since their 1958 launch, and as the decades have passed, they've become both a design icon and a ubiquitous tool in Japanese classrooms and offices. Both Mitsubishi's ultra-premium Hi-Uni pencil and its student-grade Uni Star pencil are derivatives of this original design. Mitsubishi commissioned famed designer Yoshio Akioka, who also designed the well-known Asakaze Blue Train, to lead the Uni project, and the resulting design is a midcentury classic.
Uni pencils feature extremely consistent graphite, capable of making dark and distinct marks even with harder grades. Point retention is very good, not quite as supernatural as that of the more expensive Hi-Uni pencil (introduced in 1966), but still longer-wearing than 95% of pencils sold today. The core is somewhat slicker than Hi-Uni graphite, which means Uni moves faster across the page. That can be an advantage for rapid note-taking or five-minute sketches, but in our experience, there is a slight tradeoff in neatness.
Made to extremely high quality standards and industry-leading materials, Uni pencils look and feel better than their competition. Lacquered in Uni maroon, with gold foil stamping and a black band, they're very nice to handle. And they're made with the same premium incense cedar as Hi-Uni, so they sharpen just as well (and they smell lovely, too.)
This set of 12 includes a functional, attractive plastic case with hinged transparent lid. Inside are a dozen unsharpened Uni pencils and a soft vinyl eraser with reusable case. We absolutely love this eraser, which looks a bit like a skyscraper and erases graphite cleanly and completely.
Made in Japan.
About Mitsubishi Pencil Co., Ltd.:
Founded in the 19th century in Tokyo, Mitsubishi Pencil has been one of the world's leading pen and pencil manufacturers for generations. Well-known around the world for their Uni brand of pens and pencils, Mitsubishi continues to innovate and release new products, like POSCA paint markers and an ever-expanding lineup of writing pens.
Fun fact: "Mitsubishi" means "three diamonds," and the name and three-diamond mark of Mitsubishi Pencil predates the better-known Mitsubishi Group by ten years. Despite sharing the same name and symbol, Mitsubishi Pencil is not related to any of the numerous other Mitsubishi companies in Japan.
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