Don’t tell Donald Trump that I told you this, but I’ve been ordering more pencils from China. It’s also been a minute since I’ve delved into my giant stash and reviewed one of them. Sure, I’ve reviewed a few pencils that were made in China in recent weeks, but I think it’s high time to look at a another pencil made for China.
A while back, I took a look at the Chung Hwa 101; a pencil which is marketed as a drawing pencil, but is often used for writing. However, China First Pencil Co. also makes a dedicated writing pencil, the Chung Hwa 6151. I picked up a package of these to have a look at, and gave them a thorough review.
Some pencil snobs might bristle at the notion of ordering pencils off of AliExpress. But what can I say, I like to live on the freshly-sharpened edge. I’m also always in search of a good deal. And, finally, I began to think about how remarkable it is that the People’s Republic of China has so many pencil factories that are making products specifically for export to other countries, but even in the world of pencil snobs we seldom hear about their domestic products. Surely people in China write with pencils. What kind of pencils do they use? How do they compare to the ones they’re exporting, and the ones the rest of the world makes?
Those are the things that motivated me to order ten Chung Hwa 101 grade 2B pencils. I had never heard of Chung Hwa pencils before — in fact I just ordered them on a whim from AliExpress without having any clue what to expect — but a little research indicated that they are made by the Shanghai-based China First Pencil Co. The 101 is positioned as Chung Hwa’s “drawing” pencil, and as such as available in a full spectrum of grades; its sibling, the 6151, is better known for writing purposes. Nonetheless, it seems that the 101 gets regular use as a writer in China, where both product lines are fairly prolific — in fact, in 2008 a Chung Hwa pencil was launched into space with the crew of China’s Shenzhou 7.