The mechanical pencil lead reviews I’ve taken up this year are leading me down an interesting path. I want to find the best lead out there for me - and hopefully you - and so far, I’m waiting for one to jump out the pencil and grab me and say “I am the one!”
It hasn’t happened yet. And I’m wondering if I am being fair to one of the most basic products on the market. I think I am, for one reason alone: Marketing! With their marketing, manufactures are telling me that they are bringing something new, cool, and/or unique to the graphite market. And honestly, I’m buying what they are selling.
That said, the differences between the leads I’ve tested so far is minimal. I can tell a difference between each lead I’ve tested, but are those differences that great to where I can definitively recommend one over the other? So far, no. But I have a lot more to go.
The Tombow Mono Graph Lead HB 0.5 mm is the latest to get the treatment, and maybe the easiest to explain, while confusing me the most. Kind of like I am doing to you in this review.
This is a really good lead, and that is the issue I am finding. They are all really good! Unlike gel ink pens, for example, the differences between the best in show and the worst are as minute as the leads themselves. When reviewing products, it’s a lot easier for me to discuss products that are exceptional. Exceptionally good, or exceptionally bad. Mechanical pencil leads on the whole all tend to fit in a very narrow range of the review scale. I’m looking for the one that breaks out from the pack - figuratively, of course.
This one is not it, but that doesn’t make it a bad lead. In fact, I’m guessing the Tombow Mono Graph Lead is the stock lead for all Tombow mechanical pencils, which is high praise if you think about it. It has all of the characteristics to give a good first impression. It’s good enough, strong enough, and gosh darn it, people like it!
I do too, yet here I am looking for something more. I want a transformative mechanical pencil lead. That may be one of the silliest sentences I’ve written in all of my years of writing. And it may be unfair, because what’s wrong with really good?
I’m determined to get to the bottom of this. I have a good 20+ leads left to test, and maybe one of them will be the one. And if not, that’s ok too. I’m lucky to have a bunch of really good leads handy to use in my favorite mechanical pencils.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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