Review: Hardtmuth 110

I have worked with some pencils, big known brands, Tombow, Faber-Castell, Mitsu-Bishi, Staedler, Palomino, etc. The great thing about doing these reviews is that I “force” myself to sketch with pencils that seem interesting or that I have simply aquired on the Bay or elsewhere. I recently aquired a box of these Hardtmuth 110. A short and fruitless research, erm, typing the words into a search engine, I came up with no infos about these.

The pencil is thick, way thicker than the normal thickness that we are used to. The edges of the hexagonal shape are sharp, the coating is unspectacular to say the least, despite the golden lettering perhaps. To say it shortly: pure understatement.

As I started sketching it became quickly clear that this is an exceptional pencil, not due to its outer characteristics, but the lead, the weight, the thickness, all came together for a brilliant smooth, gliding, yet still a bit gritty experience. For a “2” pencil it is perhaps a bit too soft, but the lead delivers its graphite graciously without loosing the freshly sharpened point. It just feels great and very inspiring.

This last sketch really shows the qualities of the 110. Easy shading, nice dark bold lines with some pressure, thin airy lines, all is possible and that with excellent erasing quality and still being decently smear-resistant. Its a great drawing and sketching pencil. It lacks a shiny outer shell and a flashy ferrule, but compensates that with outstanding drawing qualities. If you happen to come by some, don’t hesitate!


    1. Your quess is quite right. But I don’t know if it is better than the actual Koh-I-Noor pencils, because I haven’t tried one of those. My guess is that the 110 will be better, because I’ not aware of talks about the present Koh-I-Noor being specially good… but I am more than willing to be corrected. I’d just have to try some new ones.

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