Posts filed under Mechanical Pencil Lead

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm HB Review

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm HB Review

I think we are on to something here.

Towards the beginning of this project, I reviewed the 0.7 mm H-grade version of the Uni NanoDia lead. It was good, and I saw why it was popular. It just wasn’t for me specifically. Little did I know that a lead one size and one hardness away from that one might be the one I have been looking for all along.

The Uni NanoDia 0.5 mm HB lead is my favorite lead I have tested so far. Many of you are yelling at me right now saying “We told you so!” But, I’m stubborn. I had to find out for myself. I actively avoided choosing to review it too, knowing that it is one of the more popular leads on the market. It only came up this time because I chose to make a blind choice for this review, reaching into my pouch of 15-plus packs left to review and sticking with whatever came out.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm HB

I’m glad this one did. Being 0.5 mm and HB makes this one of the most standard leads on the market. The middle ground, stock lead, if you will - but with added diamond particles for durability! From the moment I loaded it into my Pentel P205 I knew it was going to be good. The darkness was right, and most importantly, the feel was right.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead 0.5 mm

I’ve said in nearly every mechanical pencil lead review I have done that I want the graphite to feel like graphite, not plastic. There has to be feedback and texture. I understand that additives are required due to the fragility of the individual sticks of lead, but they can’t feel fake. This one delivers on that feeling of authenticity.

Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead

This is the first lead I have wanted to keep loaded in the pencil after I was done with the review. That surprises me because I thought for sure I would land on the harder end of the graphite scale. And maybe I will as I continue to go through these tests. But until then, the Uni NanoDia 0.5 mm HB is the best lead I have come across.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Uni NanoDia Low-Wear Pencil Lead Review
Posted on May 14, 2019 and filed under Uni, NanoDia, Mechanical Pencil Lead, Pencil Reviews.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead Review

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead Review

I’m still working my way through a good backlog of mechanical pencil leads in an attempt to find a favorite. Next on the docket: The Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon Pencil Lead.

To begin this process, I chose many different brands in varying diameters and hardness levels. Even though I have my own tastes, I wanted to cover the spectrum and make sure I didn’t miss anything. 0.5 mm diameter lead in 2B hardness is not a lead I would ever pick for myself, for example, but I wanted to try it to see what if?

I must say, this one is nice.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead

It is dark and soft, and unlike some other leads I have tested, there is feedback! The last thing I want is a fake plastic-y feeling lead, and the Mars Micro Carbon feels like what graphite on the page should feel like. Maybe it’s their formulation?

It is highly flexible and thus break-resistant. The lead is also environmentally friendly, composed of more than 90% natural raw materials. Plus, it is produced using unique ecologically-responsible manufacturing processes without PVC or softening agents.

Those are words. I don’t know what they mean, but if they translate into “Hey, this feels like writing with a pencil!” then I am in. Now, I need to move down the line to a firmer lead for my personal use. If you like a softer lead that performs great, then this is one to check out.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B

As a side note, I used some fun new products to test this lead out. I had yet to take my Spoke Model 5 pencil for a spin, and to write on, what better than the Huntington Base Ball Co. Hardcover Score Book and Score Card I picked up as part of the Baseball Lovers boxed set I bought from C.W. Pencil Enterprise? A match made in my nerdy little heaven!

Huntington Baseball Score Card

For Spoke Pencil fans, the Model 5 is the ultralight option when compared to the more stout Model 4. I prefer the feel of the 4, but the 5 is light and airy, and I can see why it has been popular.

The Huntington Score Card is very well designed and comes with a tremendous hardcover to use to bear down on when scoring a game. I scored the early Saturday Atlanta Braves at Cleveland Indians game, and everything I had in use worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, they didn’t work well enough for the Braves to win but impressed nonetheless.

Baseball Scoring Notebook

To put a bow on this review, the Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead is a lead I would recommend to others, but not use for myself due to the softness. I’m impressed with the feel and performance of it otherwise, and I already have firmer samples ready to test out.

(JetPens provided the Staedtler lead at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes. I bought and paid full price for the C.W. Pencil Baseball Box. The Spoke Pencil was given to me because I am part-owner of the company.)


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Staedtler Mars Graphite Review
Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Staedtler, Mechanical Pencil Lead.

Pentel Super Hi-Polymer 0.5 mm 2B Lead Review

Pentel Kerry Sharp Super Hi-Polymer Lead

Over the years, one of the things I’ve discovered that I am good at is turning the most basic, boring stationery products into fun stationery reviews. I find it easy because I care about this stuff on a (probably) unhealthy level, and enjoy talking about the minutia around each and every product.

I also think I’m good at it because I lived it. I grew up using many of these products in the 70’s and 80’s, and it is a testament to many of them that they are still around and thriving, like Pentel’s standard mechanical pencil lead - the Super Hi-Polymer.

Pentel Sharp Hi-Polymer Lead

If you have been into mechanical pencils, or even stationery as a whole, you have seen the classic, clear, diamond-shaped lead holder that Pentel uses for this product lineup. It is as ubiquitous as the Pentel Sharp P-Series mechanical pencil that is often paired with it. If fact, did you know the P-Series pencil barrels are color coded by lead size, and the caps of the lead holders are colored to match the pencil barrels? Well, now you do.

Another thing Pentel does within the Super Hi-Polymer lineup is offer then in a huge range of hardnesses - 12 by my count on the 0.5 mm product page. This variety was mind-blowing to young me when shopping at the campus bookstore, even though I wasn’t brave enough to test any of the far end of the scale ones out at the time.

Top Secret, for Pentel internal use only, Paper Straw Holder edition.

Top Secret, for Pentel internal use only, Paper Straw Holder edition.

I am now, and even though this 2B graphite isn’t far past the middle, the quality of the product is as good now as it was back then.

My preconceived notion was that 2B would be too soft for me for regular use, but that hasn’t been the case at all. It is soft and dark - as it should be - but the point retention has been better than expected. I think I only extended the lead once on my written review page. My lines were tighter than I expected, too.

Although this lead isn’t “The One,” I am compelled by how much I like it versus how much I thought I would like it. That makes me anxious to try two things: The firmer side of the scale in the Super Hi-Polymer lineup, and Pentel’s higher end Ain Stein graphite lineup, which features long words about how special it is. Since none of the other fancy-named leads haven’t blown me away, maybe Pentel holds the key to what I am looking for in this experiment.

(Pentel provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Pentel Sharp Hi-Polymer Lead Review
Posted on March 11, 2019 and filed under Pentel, Mechanical Pencil Lead, Pencil Reviews.