Review – QuanTum Computer Pencils

Recently, I’ve gotten my hands on a few inexpensive pencils from Thailand. And at 12 Bhat (34 cents) for 2 pencils and an eraser, the QuanTum Computer Pencils are fairly cheap and meant mainly for school work. But would they hold up?

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Most of the information printed on the package is in Thai, so the most I can get out of it is that it’s a pencil, but the information printed on the body itself is in English, which is nice for people like me. The bodies are a simple, wooden hexagonal design with one rounded end. The two in my package have silver and gold painted bodies up until the last ½”, where there is a slim band of white paint followed by black for the end. Printed (notably not stamped) on of the facets is enough of the pencil’s information to get you by.

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Out of the package, the tips of these pencils were poorly enough cut that I needed to sharpen them before being able to use them (the lead is centered, just poorly cut). The graphite itself is softer than “standard”, being a 2B, but it’s on the harder side of 2B. The very (tip) point wears off quickly but it takes some time to wear it down after that. Writing or drawing is fairly smooth and getting dark patches for test answers would be/is easy (I don’t have a scantron laying around to try it on, but it gets pretty dark). There is also a black “perfect for 2B” eraser included in a tiny card sleeve. This eraser is surprisingly good, especially with this pencil; it gets rid of almost any trace of writing besides the indent in the paper, and does so quite quickly. It is one of those that seems to evaporate when you use it, though, and there are quite a few “shavings” to sweep away (also the package says “dust free”, and I have no idea what that means).

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I’d call these certainly adequate for what they are trying to be: school test or general use pencils. They function perfectly well but have a few quality mishaps, and I personally am more of an HB to F kinda person for my art/writing. If you run across them they’ll likely get the job done, but there’s no real need to go out of your way (like to Thailand) to find them.

Review – Sanford Design Pencils

Ah, the pencil, the fundamental unit of art (mostly). Many people will try to tell you there is a difference in the performance of different brands of pencils. While there may be it is so small that it is almost unrecognizable. The main difference between pencil brands are the aesthetics and feel. So I’ll leave finding which hardness of lead you prefer and focus on the feel of the Sanford Design pencils.

The lead obviously comes in all hardnesses, and I can verify that it does actually write. But that is not he major factor in choosing a pencil, really. This variety of pencil feels good in the hand to me personally. They are slightly smaller than the regular number 2 school pencil, and maintain the slightly uncomfortable ridges of their hexagonal design. But being small the ridges are less noticeable and help with grip on an otherwise smooth and slippery pencil. The writing on the side is clear but shiny, and in glare is hard to read, but from my experience doesn’t wear off. It has a nice feel in the hand and is not prone to slipping, but after continued use the corners do tend to dig into ones hand.

This pencil variety is my pencil of choice when it comes to art, though it doesn’t have an eraser the comfort and better lead (when compared to school pencils) makes up for it. Although I will admit that the main reason I use it is because the art stores I frequent carry it and not another brand. I recommend trying out a bunch of different pencils to see which you like best.