Vintage pencil review: Hardtmuth 355 6B Sketching

There’s no way the L&C Hardtmuth 355 6B Sketching pencil was made for writing but I couldn’t resist giving this very old gem a test-drive.

First, the pencil is oval shaped.

It’s not quite as big around as a jumbo but it can’t be too far off.

After writing a few customer letters, I’m sort of wishing there were some oval writing pencils.

The shape feels good in my hand. And, it’s cool to look at.

The lead on this thing is unwieldy for writing.

I have to sharpen the pencil with my pocketknife, which is fine, but the lead is so soft and oddly shaped that you don’t get to write for very long before you have to sharpen it again.

And daddy is a compulsive sharpener!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I loooove soft dark leads.

This baby is about as soft and dark as I have ever used.

I still write with it once in a while when the mood strikes me.

How good it is for sketching, I can’t say because I can’t draw for squat.

I know, everybody says that, but I come from a family of artists and am the only one who can draw only stick figures.

And those badly.

Mostly, this nice old natural wood-finished pencil sits in my old tin soup can, point up, and smiles back at me in a pencilly way.

Published by Ben Gohs

Benjamin J. Gohs is a longtime journalist, novelist, and essayist who writes from Michigan, where he shares an apartment with one very patient woman and two spoiled dogs.

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