Have you ever had trouble deciding if you like a product or not? I’m running into that right now with the Midori MD Pencil.
That makes for a strange review. Do I like it? Do I love it? Do I want some more of it? I don’t know. It’s obviously good and I keep using it, but what is my opinion on it? What should I tell you about it?
It’s a pencil. That’s the hangup for most non-pencil people. “They are all the same Brad!” No, not at all. But this one. This one I can’t tell you what to do.
It’s not as good as my favorite pencils. That list includes the Blackwing 602, Tombow Mono 100, and the Mitsubishi Office 9850 for starters, and even more included in the Pencils For Pen Lovers Sampler Set. And I love using pencils. There is hardly a day that goes by where I’m not enjoying one of the many pencils that live on my desk. I LOVE using pencils!
It’s not as bad as bad pencils. I haven’t tried many bad pencils on purpose, and if you stick with brands that are sold by all of your favorite online vendors, you don’t have to worry about that either. You know bad when you get them. Scratchy graphite, non-centered cores, janky wood quality, and Wopex.
It’s expensive. It’s not egregious at $1.83 per pencil from CW Pencil Enterprise, but that is on the upper end of the pencil spectrum. As a pen person at heart, and as someone who pays hundreds of dollars for a single fountain pen, it is funny to call that expensive. But it matters. Just like any product, price vs. perceived value vs. competition comes into play when making a buying decision.
I enjoyed it while using it over the past couple of weeks. It has good point retention, which is one of the most important features of a pencil to me. Even as a B-grade, which is softer than my preferred graphite hardness. That gives it a nice darkness as well, another favorite feature of mine. The satin finish looks and feels nice, and I’m perfectly fine with the no eraser style. I may even prefer it.
So, what should you do? If you are a Midori fan, then it is a no-brainer. It fits their style and aesthetic perfectly, and, of course, they are high quality. If you are a general nice pencil fan, then there are better options out there. If you want to try good pencils for the very first time, I’m not sure this one should even be on the radar.
Reviewing middle of the road products is the hardest. If there is no one thing that is great, or no one thing that is bad, what do you hang your hat on?
Maybe nothing, other than enjoying it for what it is.
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Each week in Refill, the Pen Addict Members newsletter, I publish Ink Links as part of the additional content you receive for being a member. And each week, after 10 to 15 links, plus my added commentary on each, I'm left with many great items I want to share. Enter Misfill. Here are this weeks links:
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— Ink Review: De Atramentis Pearlescent Cyan Blue (Mountain of Ink)
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— bruce brown… “endless summer” (doane paper feed)
— An eclectic range of zines, books and prints: it’s September Things! (It’s Nice That)
— New Materials and Lots of Updates Coming Soon…. (Edison Pen Co.)
— Frank Stephens field notes, 1908-1910 (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
— Kunisawa Japanese Notebooks Unboxing & First Impressions (Gourmet Pens)
— That Crazy Rock and Roll Baptist Preacher who turned out to be an Artistic Genius (Messy Messy Chic)
— A Sneak Peek Behind Opening the Studio Shop (Wonder Pens)
— Review: Lamy Nexx (Alt. Haven)
— Procyon (Crónicas Estilográficas)
— Doodle The Day Away (Doodlers Anonymous)
— Pen Review: Schon DSGN Classic and Clip Collections (The Gentleman Stationer)
— Personajes con estilográfica: Frida Kahlo (El Pajarete Orquidiado)
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