Pencil reviews here on Office Supply Geek are few and far between, and I think I’ve made it pretty clear that the Uniball Kuru Toga is by far my favorite (although mechanical) pencil, but it is worth noting that plenty of people enjoy using a classic cedar pencil that has to be sharpened. For that reason I wanted to share what may consider a great value and a great pencil, the Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior.
The Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior #2 pencil has a dignified look, and is actually full of features as far as a cedar pencil can go. The body of the pencil has a nice matte finish to help keep a good firm grip, while the lead is wax infused to make for a smooth writing experience. In addition to the grip and writing experience, the pencils are also adorned with a soft Pink Pearl eraser that does a fantastic job of erasing the lead marking with no destruction of your paper. Also of note, the Mirado Black Warrior Pencils come pre-sharpened. On a side note, these are great pencils for me just because I always love the all black look, although on these I don’t love the gold stamped writing on the side. One other thing that is a toss up about these pencils is the cylindrical bodies, which have their positive and negative points. On the positive side, they don’t have the traditional hexagon shape, so you are not locked into one of eight different positions which that shape forces you to hold it in. On the negative side, the cylindrical bodies tend to roll if you leave them on a flat surface. Personally I put more value into the round shape allowing for less “locked in” positions that you are forced to use when holding the pencil.
Writing with the Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior pencil proved to be a pretty nice experience. I’ve always been reluctant to use pencils because of how you have to constantly rotate them to keep a consistent point, so I wont let that bias of mine hurt the review here. The nice thing about how this pencil writes is that the lead actually has wax in it to help make it glide across your paper more smoothly than a regular cheap-o pencil. I was a little skeptical of this claim, but having written with it for a bit (more than what you see in the writing sample above) and comparing it with other generic pencils, you can really notice a bit of a difference. The generic pencils get that hollow scratchy feel every now and then but with the Mirado Black Warrior, I never felt that while I was writing with them. Overall if you are looking for a nice and reasonably priced pencil that provides a writing experience that is superior to that of a standard pencil, the Black Warrior is definitely a great option. Also, check out the fantastic review over at Pencil Revolution, where they reviewed it years ago when it had a slightly different body.