Thanks for your opinion on this pencil. I think I should start sharpening a few more of my 6903s to see how they compare. The one I use has very red wood. I was able to find a join/seem, but on my pencil that seems to possibly have been caused by the two halves of the pencils not have been glued together smoothly. I assume they could do a better job, but not if they want to keep the price down..