What #2 Pencil Should I use?

What is your favorite #2 pencil?

Ticonderoga (original)
111
32%
Black Ticonderoga
131
38%
Tri-conderoga
22
6%
Blackwing 602
15
4%
Black Mirado Warrior
35
10%
Palomino's Golden Bear
2
1%
General's Semi-Hex
5
1%
Palomino HB
13
4%
Other (post ITT what it is)
13
4%
 
Total votes: 347

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ManoftheHour
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby ManoftheHour » Thu May 30, 2013 1:17 am

I don't know what to do...

Look what happened to my Ticon blacks when I last sharpened them. One side gets all fucked up. I feel like the lead is going to break off. That's going to suck big dick during a LG.

Comparing views (Look at the ones on the left):
Image Image


With less than two weeks before my exam, I don't want to make a last minute change. I wouldn't mind getting a new sharpener, but at this late in the game, I feel that switching weapons would be LSAT suicide.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu May 30, 2013 1:38 am

ManoftheHour wrote:I don't know what to do...

Look what happened to my Ticon blacks when I last sharpened them. One side gets all fucked up. I feel like the lead is going to break off. That's going to suck big dick during a LG.

Comparing views (Look at the ones on the left):
Image Image


With less than two weeks before my exam, I don't want to make a last minute change. I wouldn't mind getting a new sharpener, but at this late in the game, I feel that switching weapons would be LSAT suicide.


MIRADO BLACK WARRIORS. The above is why I switched from Ticonderoga blacks to Mirado Black Warriors shortly before my last test. Very easy transition, and you won't miss the problems with point retention and sharpening difficulties. Run to your nearest Rite Aid or CVS and grab a pack. Seriously. I tried out 800 sharpeners with the Ticonderoga blacks, and the problem is not your sharpener, it's the pencils.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu May 30, 2013 1:40 am

IMO, Don't switch bro. But like the above poaster said, just try the black warriors and if they write better then the ticon blacks, switch. But wut i heard is that there isn't much of a difference.

I think the pairs that you have are anomalies. You should be fine come game day. I've never had a ticon black let me down.

The 602s are great but they take time to adjust; they really aren't that different from the ticon blacks. The only real difference is when you write, like hand write words. So you will be good on logic games since they only require diagramming.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby ManoftheHour » Thu May 30, 2013 1:46 am

Meh. Two different opinions on this matter.

I have 8 PTs left. I'll go first thing tomorrow to buy the Black Warriors (I knew I should have bought them after I first asked about them. I had to be such a cheap dumbass). I'll also buy a new sharpener just in case. My sharpener is pretty TTT. It might be that.

Better safe than sorry.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu May 30, 2013 1:49 am

I think it is better to play it safe. That way you will rid the thought of "what if i had gotten new pencils." You don't want to have that feeling.

and I saw your sharpener and it is really TTT.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu May 30, 2013 1:59 am

Dr. Dre wrote:IMO, Don't switch bro. But like the above poaster said, just try the black warriors and if they write better then the ticon blacks, switch. But wut i heard is that there isn't much of a difference.

I think the pairs that you have are anomalies. You should be fine come game day. I've never had a ticon black let me down.

The 602s are great but they take time to adjust; they really aren't that different from the ticon blacks. The only real difference is when you write, like hand write words. So you will be good on logic games since they only require diagramming.


OMG, you basically just discredited all of your pencil giving advice, past and present. No wonder you didn't see a difference between Ticonderoga blacks and Mirado Black Warriors, if you can't even see a difference between the Blackwing 602 and TIconderoga black. :shock:

Seriously though, the transition between pencils is nothing. Either you won't notice a difference, or if you do, it's because one pencil is noticeably better or worse than the last pencil you were using. If it is the case that one is noticeably better than the other, you keep using the better pencil, or you use the old one. It's as easy as that. You can do a single preptest and have sufficient info to make a decision about whether or not you want to keep using a pencil. No reason not to test out an alternative if you aren't perfectly happy with your current choice.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu May 30, 2013 2:06 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
OMG, you basically just discredited all of your pencil giving advice, past and present. No wonder you didn't see a difference between Ticonderoga blacks and Mirado Black Warriors, if you can't even see a difference between the Blackwing 602 and TIconderoga black. :shock:



lolwut?

both are excellent pencils. It wasn't like i was comparing one of them to a TTT cvs pencil.

I said that because manofthehour probably thinks there is a HUGE difference. And I'm not saying there isn't any difference—there is. But one that manofthehour needn't worry about at this juncture. He has practiced with excellent pencils, and he wouldn't feel THAT different as compared to a newbie.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu May 30, 2013 2:27 am

Dr. Dre wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
OMG, you basically just discredited all of your pencil giving advice, past and present. No wonder you didn't see a difference between Ticonderoga blacks and Mirado Black Warriors, if you can't even see a difference between the Blackwing 602 and TIconderoga black. :shock:



lolwut?

both are excellent pencils. It wasn't like i was comparing one of them to a TTT cvs pencil.

I said that because manofthehour probably thinks there is a HUGE difference. And I'm not saying there isn't any difference—there is. But one that manofthehour needn't worry about at this juncture. He has practiced with excellent pencils, and he wouldn't feel THAT different as compared to a newbie.


I guess our* disagreement lies in the fact that I don't think the Ticonderoga is an excellent pencil; in comparison to the Blackwing 602, I would in fact call it a TTT CVS pencil.
Last edited by TheMostDangerousLG on Thu May 30, 2013 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu May 30, 2013 2:30 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
OMG, you basically just discredited all of your pencil giving advice, past and present. No wonder you didn't see a difference between Ticonderoga blacks and Mirado Black Warriors, if you can't even see a difference between the Blackwing 602 and TIconderoga black. :shock:



lolwut?

both are excellent pencils. It wasn't like i was comparing one of them to a TTT cvs pencil.

I said that because manofthehour probably thinks there is a HUGE difference. And I'm not saying there isn't any difference—there is. But one that manofthehour needn't worry about at this juncture. He has practiced with excellent pencils, and he wouldn't feel THAT different as compared to a newbie.


I guess are disagreement lies in the fact that I don't think the Ticonderoga is an excellent pencil; in comparison to the Blackwing 602, I would in fact call it a TTT CVS pencil.


i see you're good at disagreement LSAT questions :D

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu May 30, 2013 2:41 am

Dr. Dre wrote:i see you're good at disagreement LSAT questions :D


Hah! Nice catch. :lol:

(Apparently I'm bad at grammar though- didn't notice I mixed up "our" and "are" until you quoted me.. I think I need to start getting more sleep!)

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu May 30, 2013 3:16 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:i see you're good at disagreement LSAT questions :D


Hah! Nice catch. :lol:

(Apparently I'm bad at grammar though- didn't notice I mixed up "our" and "are" until you quoted me.. I think I need to start getting more sleep!)


screw grammar—that's for little HS kids. It's all about logical reasoning.

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Balthy
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Balthy » Thu May 30, 2013 5:33 am

^Try General's Semi-Hex. The last few days of using it have confirmed for me that I'll be using this pencil come test day. Just excellent.

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PourMeTea
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Post removed.

Postby PourMeTea » Thu May 30, 2013 7:49 am

Post removed.
Last edited by PourMeTea on Fri May 08, 2015 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Clyde Frog » Thu May 30, 2013 5:57 pm

Gotta go old school with the 90s yikes pencils.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy9_Q6vO2jE

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SteelPenguin
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:37 pm

Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby SteelPenguin » Thu May 30, 2013 5:59 pm

Clyde Frog wrote:Gotta go old school with the 90s yikes pencils.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy9_Q6vO2jE


The Triconderoga is an adult version of these.

meegee
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:00 pm

Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby meegee » Fri May 31, 2013 8:47 pm

http://www.inhabitots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Pencil-Dice-by-Sebastian-Bergne.jpg

The best pencil for taking multiple choice tests.
1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D, 5 = E, 6= Re-roll.

Ahh... I should be studying...

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Fri May 31, 2013 9:15 pm

meegee wrote:http://www.inhabitots.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Pencil-Dice-by-Sebastian-Bergne.jpg

The best pencil for taking multiple choice tests.
1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, 4 = D, 5 = E, 6= Re-roll.

Ahh... I should be studying...


Hah, brilliant. If only it had an eraser.

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sublime
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby sublime » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:31 pm

..

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SteelPenguin
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby SteelPenguin » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:20 pm

sublime wrote:Can somebody do me a solid and just tell me what pencil I should get or the pros/cons of each major ones. I honestly don't feel like wading through 26 pages of talk about pencils (no disrespect). Fwiw I have regular ticonderogas right now.

Thanks!


Blackwing 602s have become popular among users here, but I like the Tri-Conderoga myself. Mirado Black Warriors are supposedly a better option than regular Ticonderogas and can still be purchased at a CVS/Walgreens.

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Balthy
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Balthy » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:49 pm

sublime wrote:Can somebody do me a solid and just tell me what pencil I should get or the pros/cons of each major ones. I honestly don't feel like wading through 26 pages of talk about pencils (no disrespect). Fwiw I have regular ticonderogas right now.

Thanks!



Over the years I've purchased Blackwings, Blackwing 602s, Ticonderogas, Ticonderoga Blacks, EF Mongols, Palomino HBs, Golden Bears, Staedtler Rallys, Forest Choices, General's Semi-Hexes, and more. I've tried all of these and can't find a more balanced pencil, more perfect for an endeavor like the LSAT, than the Semi-Hex. The Mongol is the only one that is comparable, but it's more difficult to get.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:45 pm

sublime wrote:Can somebody do me a solid and just tell me what pencil I should get or the pros/cons of each major ones. I honestly don't feel like wading through 26 pages of talk about pencils (no disrespect). Fwiw I have regular ticonderogas right now.

Thanks!


The best pencil available in stores is the Mirado Black Warrior. If you're willing to pay more and order online, my favorite is the Palomino HB ($13, available on Amazon or at Pencils.com).

A lot of people also really like the Palomino Blackwing 602s, but they are not HB/#2, smudge a non-negligible amount, and cost $20.

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mvonh001
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby mvonh001 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:47 pm

How many people besides us do you think are going into an LSAT with more knowledge about pencils than the average american? Meaning, who is gonne rocking a Palomino -anything- without having read about them on this website?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:53 pm

mvonh001 wrote:How many people besides us do you think are going into an LSAT with more knowledge about pencils than the average american? Meaning, who is gonne rocking a Palomino -anything- without having read about them on this website?


only those who will score 170+

so very very few

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doublehoohopeful
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Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby doublehoohopeful » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:18 am

Hello fellow pencil enthusiasts.

During some time between study sessions today, I decided to do some experimenting with some pencils and to try and qualify/quantify some of the main differences between pencils.

My methodology was pretty simple, first, I sharpened each of the pencils to a fine point with the Kum Long Point. Next, I took off the super sharp edge by scribbling for 10 seconds on a sheet of standard computer paper. Next, I took a Scantron sheet and conducted the smudge test for each of the pencils by bubbling in one circle and rubbing my pointer finger across it 5 times with medium pressure. Finally, I made another Scantron-esque bubble on a sheet of computer paper and erased it for approximately 2 seconds.

My results are as follows, with the pencils being ranked from grippiest to least grippy, as well as some comments on a few in terms of lead grip. Here is the format for each review: Pencil Name: (any notes on lead grip), Smudge Test Result: , Fit and Finish Ranking and Notes: , Eraser Ranking: (Relative Scale out of 10)

Ticonderoga Black: Smudge: Higher than average, Fit and Finish: Weak, small, uncomfortable in hand, Eraser Ranking: 5/10

Palomino Prospector: Smudge: Average, Fit and Finish: Uncomfortable, sharp edges, Eraser Ranking: 5/10

General's Semi-Hex: "grip bit higher than Palomino (HB), but not as refined. great find for four bucks for a dozen", Smudge: Average, Fit and Finish: Decent, although a step down from the Palomino HB, Eraser Ranking: 9/10 (Highest out of the bunch)

Palomino HB: Smudge: Bit less than average, Fit and Finish: Definitely a step down from the 602, although it is quite nice, Eraser Ranking: 6/10

Palomino Golden Bear: Smudge: Less than Average, Fit and Finish: Step down from the Palomino HB, starting to get uncomfortable and sharp, Eraser Ranking: 7/10

Palomino Blackwing 602: "easy, quick, and smooth": Smudge: Higher than average, Fit and Finish: The Ferrari of pencils. Unique ferrule and color that strikes fear in the hearts of other test takers, Eraser Ranking: 6/10

Staedler Rally: "too slick": Smudge: Average, Fit and Finish: Feels smaller and fragile, although not as bad as the Ticonderoga Black, Eraser: 6/10

My conclusion on lead grip is that there is definitely a sweet-spot and that it may come down to personal preference. The time it took to bubble in a Scantron bubble was pretty identical for each pencil, except for the Ticonderoga Black, which took a slight bit more effort and time. Personally, I liked the feel of the Palomino HB and the General's Semi-Hex the best, as they had a good balance of grip. However, the feel of the Ticonderoga black as too grippy and the Staedler Rally as too frictionless was noticeable and not to my liking.

On fit and finish, nothing comes close to the 602. However, the Palomino HB and the General's Semi-Hex are lightyears ahead of the rest of the pack, with the Palomino HB feeling better in hand than the Semi-Hex.

On erasers, the Semi-Hex surprised me on this one and outperformed every other pencil, even my beloved Palomino 602s and Palomino HBs.

Concerning point longevity, this experiment was not designed to test that over the course of a section. However, in my other experience, I like a fresh pencil for each section, with possibly two over the course of LG and three or four over the course of my writing sample.

Overall, on October 5th, I'm going to be leaning towards the Palomino HB for my weapon of choice on the multiple choice sections and the Palomino 602 for the writing section. While the HB's eraser is inferior to the Semi-Hex, I carry a Pentel Hi-Polymer eraser that is even better than the Semi-Hex's eraser, so all I really care about is lead grip and feel-in-hand. I'll also bring some Semi-Hexes just in case I feel like using them come game day or for any tesTTTakers that bring mechanical pencils.

D-Day Lineup as of Now:

5 Palomino HBs

5 Palomino Blackwing 602s

12 General's Semi-Hexes

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:25 am

Re: What #2 Pencil Should I use?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:44 am

doublehoohopeful wrote:Hello fellow pencil enthusiasts.

During some time between study sessions today, I decided to do some experimenting with some pencils and to try and qualify/quantify some of the main differences between pencils.

My methodology was pretty simple, first, I sharpened each of the pencils to a fine point with the Kum Long Point. Next, I took off the super sharp edge by scribbling for 10 seconds on a sheet of standard computer paper. Next, I took a Scantron sheet and conducted the smudge test for each of the pencils by bubbling in one circle and rubbing my pointer finger across it 5 times with medium pressure. Finally, I made another Scantron-esque bubble on a sheet of computer paper and erased it for approximately 2 seconds.

My results are as follows, with the pencils being ranked from grippiest to least grippy, as well as some comments on a few in terms of lead grip. Here is the format for each review: Pencil Name: (any notes on lead grip), Smudge Test Result: , Fit and Finish Ranking and Notes: , Eraser Ranking: (Relative Scale out of 10)

Ticonderoga Black: Smudge: Higher than average, Fit and Finish: Weak, small, uncomfortable in hand, Eraser Ranking: 5/10

Palomino Prospector: Smudge: Average, Fit and Finish: Uncomfortable, sharp edges, Eraser Ranking: 5/10

General's Semi-Hex: "grip bit higher than Palomino (HB), but not as refined. great find for four bucks for a dozen", Smudge: Average, Fit and Finish: Decent, although a step down from the Palomino HB, Eraser Ranking: 9/10 (Highest out of the bunch)

Palomino HB: Smudge: Bit less than average, Fit and Finish: Definitely a step down from the 602, although it is quite nice, Eraser Ranking: 6/10

Palomino Golden Bear: Smudge: Less than Average, Fit and Finish: Step down from the Palomino HB, starting to get uncomfortable and sharp, Eraser Ranking: 7/10

Palomino Blackwing 602: "easy, quick, and smooth": Smudge: Higher than average, Fit and Finish: The Ferrari of pencils. Unique ferrule and color that strikes fear in the hearts of other test takers, Eraser Ranking: 6/10

Staedler Rally: "too slick": Smudge: Average, Fit and Finish: Feels smaller and fragile, although not as bad as the Ticonderoga Black, Eraser: 6/10

My conclusion on lead grip is that there is definitely a sweet-spot and that it may come down to personal preference. The time it took to bubble in a Scantron bubble was pretty identical for each pencil, except for the Ticonderoga Black, which took a slight bit more effort and time. Personally, I liked the feel of the Palomino HB and the General's Semi-Hex the best, as they had a good balance of grip. However, the feel of the Ticonderoga black as too grippy and the Staedler Rally as too frictionless was noticeable and not to my liking.

On fit and finish, nothing comes close to the 602. However, the Palomino HB and the General's Semi-Hex are lightyears ahead of the rest of the pack, with the Palomino HB feeling better in hand than the Semi-Hex.

On erasers, the Semi-Hex surprised me on this one and outperformed every other pencil, even my beloved Palomino 602s and Palomino HBs.

Concerning point longevity, this experiment was not designed to test that over the course of a section. However, in my other experience, I like a fresh pencil for each section, with possibly two over the course of LG and three or four over the course of my writing sample.

Overall, on October 5th, I'm going to be leaning towards the Palomino HB for my weapon of choice on the multiple choice sections and the Palomino 602 for the writing section. While the HB's eraser is inferior to the Semi-Hex, I carry a Pentel Hi-Polymer eraser that is even better than the Semi-Hex's eraser, so all I really care about is lead grip and feel-in-hand. I'll also bring some Semi-Hexes just in case I feel like using them come game day or for any tesTTTakers that bring mechanical pencils.

D-Day Lineup as of Now:

5 Palomino HBs

5 Palomino Blackwing 602s

12 General's Semi-Hexes


Awesome information; thanks for sharing! The General's Semi-Hex is the only pencil I've heard is worth trying that I haven't yet; glad to hear my favorite (Palomino HB) holds up in comparison.

Only other information that I think is relevant to a thorough pencil review is ease of sharpening and point retention, but I don't know how you could design a test for these; they seem to be things you gather over time through experience with a pencil. But if you think of a way, it'd be cool to hear how the Palomino HB, Palomino Blackwing 602, and General's Semi-Hex compare.

By the way, any reason you didn't test the Mirado Black Warrior? I'd be interested to see how you think it fares in these tests.




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