Pencil Review: Milan Graphite B from RAH

I am a believer that receiving surprising mails and packages will elevate the dopamine level, though I do not have concrete scientific evidence.  One day, I found a small package from Rad and Hungry (RAH) in my mailbox.  Puzzled by it, since I did not recall ordering anything from them, unless I did sleepshop.  When I opened it, I found a simple triangular shaped pencil with a handwritten note, then I recalled that I have enrolled in the Pencil Pals hosted by RAH awhile back.  Pencil Pals essentially is a pencil exchange program, where you will receive a pencil from one of the participants, and you will need to send one back in return.  This initiative mimics RAH’s concept of traveling and stationery because it is open world-wide.  Neat idea, right?
Here is the mighty pencil:  Milan from the sourcing trip to Spain!  The design is simple; the body is in alternating gray and green stripes.  Its triangular shape is ergonomic and comfortable to hold.  According to Milan’s website, since all products by Milan are meant for children, therefore, the varnish coating is non-toxic.  The company is also dedicated to environmental preservation that the wood source for the pencil is not extracted from rainforest.  Most fascinating of it all, Milan is a family-owned business rooted in Spain, and currently is managed by the fourth generation of family.
One façade:  white “MILAN” imprint, plus the grade of the pencil

The other façade:  barcode with possible item number.  
The end of the pencil.  
When I put Milan close to my nose, all I can smell is faint fragrance of the wood.  The wood grain is smooth to touch, no rough spots that could put splinter in your fingers.  That also means it is easy to sharpen. 
Got a quick haircut by KUM Sharpener.
Not the best sharpening job, at least the wooden part
is not completely eaten.
Closer look of the wood.

One of my odd test to see whether I like a pencil is to sharpen it by blade, mainly to get a sense of how the wood sharpens and feels.  The pencil sharpens without much force applying to the blade; the wood slides right off like butter.

How does it write?  The B lead is as glossy as its finish.  It is not as soft and dark as the one in Japanese pencil, but it is still prominent on paper.

Pardon my rudimentary drawing.  

From the above writing sample, Milan’s lead hardness is between Wopex and Blackwing, which is expected since the lead grade is B.  Though the lead is on the softer side, it does not smear easily so lefties do not need to fret about leaving a graphite trail on paper.

Here comes to the challenge.  It is possible that my Internet search skill is questionable, I cannot find online stores that sell Milan pencils.  According to the distributor’s website, Dick Blick Art Supplies sells it, but I cannot find it on its website.  If there is one near you, give it a call before you head in.

If you are ready for a unique pencil adventure, check out RAH’s Pencil Pals program!

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