Pencil Review: Craft Design Technology HB Pencils Set of 3

CDT HB Pencils

Pretty much if you paint something a lovely shade of mint green and sell it in an online stationery store, I’m probably going to buy it. So it was inevitable that I was going to have to have the Craft Design Technology HB Pencil set ($6.50). This set of three hexagonal mint green pencils are perfectly perfectly Japanese. The finish on the pencils is immaculate. The paint is silky smooth and the silver foil stamping is the finest I’ve seen with no imperfections even in the tiniest type. The white cap, which I initially mistook as a painted end cap is actually a rubber eraser that works like a dream.

CDT HB Pencils

The pencils sharpened nicely with my 2-step Palomino hand sharpener and wrote like silk. The lead was a little smudgy on the smooth Rhodia paper I test on but overall, the pencils required almost no pressure to write making the process of writing effortless and incredibly enjoyable.

CDT HB Pencils

Overall, these pencils were an impulse purchase based purely on aesthetics but have ended up being a great find. The smooth writing experience and the eraser-that-actually-works makes them worth purchasing by the gross.

I bought these pencils from our fine sponsor Fresh Stock Japan. While they are a sponsor, I did purchase them. Just so its all clear.

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7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Ana,
    Do you have a preference between mint green and lime or any other green? Can’t explain why I want to know – it’s a surprise.

  2. I liked these when I first saw them. I really like mint green. They seem expensive but I’m still considering getting them.

  3. These CDT pencils are made by the Camel Pencil Company of Japan, who manufacture the same pencil (in different colors) for MoMA. The previous CDT pencil, in the identical mint green but without an eraser, was manufactured by Pentel, though the lead used is indistinguishable. They write closer in color to the traditional HB, which is a bit lighter than the Mitsubishi Pencil Company’s Hi Uni HB or the Uni 9850–all highly recommend. CDT is high-end in what they offer, and $2+ for a superior wood pencil is where the market sits right now. (Though 9850’s run only a dollar apiece, making them the current Best Buy in pencils.)

    1. The lead in the old CDT woodcase pencils were completely different. They didn’t contain clay but polymer as binder, just like the thin leads for mechanical pencils (the same lead was used in the Pentel Black Polymer 999 HB). The advantage was a smoother gliding, a better erasability, a higher break resistance and less wear than clay-bound lead.

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