Review: Kita-boshi 2mm Lead Holder

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
This is the Kita-boshi 2mm lead holder. A friend asked me to buy this because he wanted to find out that this is.

Kita-boshi Pencil is manufacturer of pencils and drawing equipment located in Tokyo. They are noted for their unique development of recycled sawdust products. This lead holder doesn't look like it's made from sawdust though.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
Inside the packaging are the lead holder and a lead sharpener case.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
The Kita-boshi lead holder uses 2mm pencil leads. It comes with one already inside the holder.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
The leads are sold separately in packs of 5 enclosed in a nice cylindrical cardboard holder. You can use any standard 2mm pencil leads with this lead holder.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
The lead holder uses a beautiful wood-cased design. The wood is shaped like those traditional wooden pencils with hexagonal bodies. Holding it is just like holding the old school wooden pencils. For those who like wood products, this is a nice one.

There are also other colours available, namely red, black and dark blue.

The product is made in Japan and the finishing is top quality.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
Within the shiny nose piece are the jaws that clutch the lead. It's a mechanical lead holder.

It's well balanced, lightweight, just slightly heavier than a traditional wooden pencil, and slightly shorter.

The spring is quite strong, and protrudes the lead about 3-4mm with each press. The jaws are strong so the lead does not rotate when being held. My friend says there are brands with weak jaws and the lead actually rotates when you draw. Personally, I've not seen such weak mechanical pencils or lead holders before.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
The end cap is also shiny and you can easy pull it out to refill the leads.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
This is the extremely portable lead sharpener. Near the opening is the blade. There are actually four cutting edges and you can turn the lead in any direction to get it sharpened. I would turn it clockwise then anti-clockwise and repeat to get it quickly sharpened. This is better than typical sharpeners that can only sharpen in one direction.

Kita-boshi 2mm pencil lead holder
The lead dust falls to the bottom, and you then just cap it up and throw in back into your pencil case without having to worry it's going to make a mess.


Compared to the Staedtler Mars lead sharpener, the Kita-boshi sharpener gives a much shorter tapered edge to the lead.


Kita-boshi sharpener can be used with the Staedtler lead holder, but you cannot use the Staedtler sharpener with the Kita-boshi lead holder. Note that the Staedtler sharpener's top part comes off easier so it's not a portable solution, and you need to block the opening to prevent dust from coming out.

Below's a video I made of the lead holder.

Conclusion

The Kita-boshi lead holder does well in trying to imitate the traditional pencil in design with its hexagonal wood-cased body. It looks good and feels elegant.

Some manufacturers like to sell their sharpeners separately. Because of that, the Kita-boshi is cheaper than the popular Staedtler Mars 780 lead holder because it comes with the sharpener bundled.

If you're in need of a classic looking lead holder, the Kita-Boshi lead holder is a good one to consider.

Availability

The Kita-boshi Lead Holder is available at
Amazon.com (Wood-cased) | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.jp

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