Tuesday, 4 October 2011

General's Semi-Hex 2/HB Soft


  1. Great review, and I’m glad you liked the Semi-Hex. I’m a big fan of them, b oth because of their quality, their slightly fatter diameter, and their cont inuation of the American tradition of pencil-making. I especially like the eraser.

    The only downside to them is that they’re *very* hard to get hold of this side of the pond. I had to import them from the US when I ordered my Palomino Blackwings a while back.

  2. Thanks for the review.
    Coincidentally, my package containing Semi-Hex just arrived this afternoon, maybe even while you were writing this review!

    A comment on the paint:
    When I opened the shipping package flakes of chipped yellow paints were everywhere, even more came out when I opened the box. None of the 12 pencils in the box has an evenly painted black band around the ferrule, patches of paint was rubbed / peeled off. Now that yours doesn't have significant paint problem, maybe I just got a bad patch, maybe the shipping did it, or maybe it's the age (box says 2006)... The yellow body of these pencils look quite nice though, far exceeded what I expected from a 'yellow pencil'.

  3. Thanks for this review. I used this pencil for a few months in the office, my experience: I like the black strip on the ferrule. The green-silver labels soon changed to silver as the green was rubbing off. It is a nice pencil, but I don't find it anywhere near as smooth one of its direct competitors, the yellow Ticonderoga. I really hope they'll keep selling enough to keep production in the USA going.

  4. Next up is a review of the "new" Palomino Blackwing 602, the one which is closer to the original.

  5. Recently I ordered several dozen of the Semi-Hex No. 1's directly from General's. They are substantially smoother and darker than the No. 2's, without that ocassional grittiness that mars the No. 2's. However, despite the excellence of the graphite, I was appalled by the shoddy construction of the pencils themselves: just about each of them had cracked yellow paint, was shedding flakes of yellow enamel, had blurry printing on the barrels, and rough, jagged edges where the ferules are inserted. They also had sloppily applied brown bands around the ferules.The quality control must virtually zero. This is troubling. For General's to survive in this niche market, they must show themselves as superior in quality to the Ticonderogas and Papermates made abroad. If this is "Made in America" quality, we are in big trouble!I hope that General's pays closer attention to the details. Still, despite everything that I have noted here, the graphite on the No. 1's is wonderful!