When I started using pencils in school, they were all yellow cases with pink erasers and a "#2" stamped on the side. Later on, I was introduced to lead grades outside of the standard grade school pencils, and a whole new world opened up. The first time I became aware of anything besides a "#2" pencil was in high school art class. The graphite pencils we used during a semester to try our sketching skills were available in a dozen or so different grades. It was so much fun to use each different grade and see and feel the slight differences between each one.
Today, it's a little easier to find all kinds of pencils at different lead grades. But, if you're new to the concept of hard and soft lead grades, you probably don't know where to begin. Lead grades are a personal preference based on what you like for general writing, sketching, etc. Some grades work well for certain tasks, while other grades work better for others. One of the best ways to try out the different grades is to purchase a bundle of the same pencil in several grades. JetPens offers a bundle with the Uni Mitsubishi 9800 pencils. While the 9800 isn't my favorite pencil to use, it's still a very capable and high-quality pencil. The important thing is that you buy a bundle within the same pencil line. Even though there wouldn't be a huge difference between the lines or brands, it's best to stick to one line for testing.
This particular bundle includes six pencils with a lead range of 2H, H, F, HB, B, and 2B. There are many, many more lead grades available, but this is a great place to start. Once you use these for a while, you'll have a much better idea of how a 8B or 6H might behave.
For $5, you get a bundle of pencils that can cover the vast majority of graphite needs. The 9800 pencils are normally $0.85 a piece, so you're getting a small discount by purchasing the bundle. If the bundle happens to be out of stock, you can always spend the extra $0.10 and purchase them all separately.
On the outside, the 9800 is a standard pencil. It has a black finish with a mix of white and gold lettering on the hexagonal case. The end isn't capped and there isn't an eraser. This really is a no-frills pencil, but it does an excellent job. No matter which grade you use, the lead is smooth and strong. They're a pleasure to write and doodle with.
Personally, I enjoy the Uni Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencils more, but they're almost three times as expensive as the 9800 line. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a great starter bundle for figuring out which lead grades suit you and your different needs. Pick up a bundle today and have fun experimenting on a blank sheet of paper!
(JetPens 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, which I am very grateful for.
Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!