Ohto Comfort Sharp Lead Holder – 2 mm – Gray Body

17 03 2012

Testing a new out-and-about portable scanner for these writing sample scans. The jury remains out on how color-reliable the combination of scanner + mini laptop (using GIMP instead of Photoshop) is, compared to the desktop. Thus ends a caption full of minutia that you probably didn't care about!

Prior to the Ohto Comfort Sharp / Comforcil (why JetPens calls it one name while the pencil calls itself another is beyond my understanding/Googling capacity), my only experience with lead holders was an art-store whim purchase: the Prismacolor Turquoise Lead Holder. Lead holder, it turned out, was a misleading name. The Prismacolor Turquoise is really a Lead Projectile-Launcher. To give you an idea of how often that comes in handy when sketching, note that I have no idea where the Prismacolor Lead Holder even IS right now. It probably launched itself into the sun.

The pencil obviously self-identifies as the Comforcil. Seems a little rude to not respect that, no? Gotta stop being so PENdernormative (HYUK HYUK SOMEONE STOP ME)

Given my experience with the Prismacolor weapon, I came into the Comforcil thinking that lead-shooting was just some peculiar norm of lead holders. I don’t want to overgeneralize, with a sample size of only two, but I can confidently say that the Comforcil exhibits no such violent behavior.

But it does have a strong clip. And a baby-smooth body. Some kind of soft matte finish?

Once you get the Comforcil clipped on, it isn’t going ANYWHERE. I don’t know if that rigor mortis grip will get any weaker over time, or if the plastic holding the metal will just break off, or what, but I’m hoping it will at least get to the point where I don’t need two hands to clip it on and take it off. Many times I have tried to pull the Comforcil out of the pen pockets of my Nomadic bag, only to remove the lead sharpener, leaving the rest of the pencil behind. The clip is pretty much my only complaint though. Let me get the other out of the way: there’s a crack in the plastic, you can just start to see on the bottom of the picture above, that sort of abnormal-looking line in the light grey. I’ve had this pencil for a couple of months now, and is has been in heavy rotation since I picked it up. Maybe this won’t be one of those structural-integrity-compromising problems. But if it is, this pencil is only $3.30 to replace.

Useful bonus: instead of a microscopically tiny eraser hidden under an easily lost bit of plastic, you get a lead sharpener!

Now, I’m not an architect, draftsman, professional artist, or whoever lead holders are normally intended for. The number of lead sharpeners I own: one.

Warning: lead-sharpener plastic may be very delicious to cat teeth. Try to take commemorative photos of your writing utensils before leaving them laying around in feline territory.

There it is. You’re looking at it. I’ve seen some people complain that the Comforcil yields an uneven or unreliable point. I can’t advise on that, professionally speaking. However, as an amateur sketch user of this lead holder, I feel it satisfactorily does exactly what I want it to. It sharpens the lead. Observe:

Open side windows to conveniently sprinkle graphite dust into a trashcan, if you're responsible, or onto the floor around you, if you're me.

Extend lead. Insert lead into sharpener. Twist. Continue twisting until lead is sufficiently pointy.

Make sure to push the lead back in after you sharpen it. Trying to draw with half an inch of lead sticking out can be cumbersome and awkward.

For writing, meh whatever who cares. I don’t use this pencil for writing (except writing captions and speech on doodles). I use this pencil to draw, and for drawing, I LOOOOOVE it. The thickness of the lead (like a wooden pencil in this respect) facilitates quick, smooth drawing (mechanical pencils, being so much thinner, can be a bit scratchy, and tend to make me draw on a much more cramped and smaller scale). The knock mechanism eliminates the biggest drawback of the wooden pencil (CONSTANT SHARPENING—lookin’ at you, Palomino Blackwing) while retaining its benefits. I am drawing more, because this pencil makes drawing that much more convenient.

DRAWINGS! Again, from the mobile scanner. Cream colored paper, you seem so classy, but you make scanning and color balance so awkward.

Bonus! Have some of my personal art. Trying to come up with a new hairstyle for a character a couple months ago.

Once more, with feeling: I LOVE THIS LEAD HOLDER. Whenever this one kicks it, I’ll be buying another. If they ever threaten to discontinue it, I’ll stockpile. It’s an excellent value for a great performer. And if you try it and don’t like it, then give your Comforcil to me.

Ohto Comfort Sharp Lead Holders – 2mm – at JetPens




7 responses

17 03 2012

I care about the minutiae :) I just hauled my not-so-out-and-about not-mini scanner to a B&B so I could post art while off in the wifi-enabled wilds on a writing weekend, and I’d love to find something smaller but reasonably reliable. Any recommendations?

I’m intrigued the little sharpener on this lead holder and by its baby-smoothness. I don’t need a lead holder, at least not until I use up some of my insane collection of pencils. But I might need to add one to the arsenal anyway.

By the by, I’ve been loving the daylights out of your blog, silently, for a long while now.

19 03 2012
Monday Grab Bag of Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge

[…] Pens / Writing. Pilot Varsity and Noodler’s HoD revisited Ohto Comfort Sharp Lead Holder – 2 mm – Gray Body New old ink – Leigh Reyes Ink Links – The Pen […]

26 03 2012
Monday Morning Review Round-up « European Paper Company

[…] No Pen Intended: Ohto Comfort Sharp Lead Holder […]

16 04 2012
Nicole Aptekar (@nicoles)

I picked up one of these based on your review, and I *love* it! It may be the perfect pencil for me. Thank you~~

26 04 2012
Monday Morning Review Round-up | The European Paper Company

[…] No Pen Intended: Ohto Comfort Sharp Lead Holder […]

3 08 2013
Ink Drop Soup: Category Killers | No Pen Intended

[…] (though the Palomino Blackwing is pretty strong), lead holders (though I have a soft spot for the Ohto Comfort Sharp), highlighters … I don’t yet know the end-all champion in those realms (gel pens may […]

22 01 2016

This sounds good. Going to K-Town in Los Angeles, I’ve found the ssueim & cclim Mechanical Pencil 2.0, really good. Of course, the lead is bigger than 2.0, but so what? Sharpner/Eraser in the end there, and triangular plastic grip. Can’t Lose With This One. Have No Idea Who Makes It. But it is Really Cool!

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