This week has been quite the experience with the Nataraj. I went into the week not expecting much since the Nataraj is a budget pencil. Boy was I wrong. I have a few gripes with its performance, but let's get to the positives first. I am absolutely in love with the colors this pencil comes in. I seem to be on a neon kick lately, but the colors are vibrant and the matching-- although useless-- eraser is a nice touch. The barrel of the pencil has a sharp hexagonal shape and feels good in the hand.
Writing with the Nataraj is a pleasure; the darkness of the graphite on paper is just the way I like it and it does not feel scratchy or gritty at all. With the smooth writing comes some drawbacks though. I had to sharpen the Nataraj constantly (or so it seemed). For example, I filled up one side of a college-ruled notebook page and I had to sharpen five times. This is not a scientific observation because I tend to press pretty hard when writing and I always like a sharper point on my pencils. The softness of the graphite is not a deal breaker for me, but the Nataraj is not a pencil I would turn to when taking notes or writing for long periods of time. I did use this pencil during my weekly Dungeons and Dragons game and it worked perfectly.
As you can see, the pencil is not made of 100 percent cedar. That is a negative for me since I like the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil. Also, if you decide to pick up this pencil, do not use the eraser. It ripped the paper I was writing on and when it did not rip paper it was all but useless. In conclusion, if you are looking for an attractive, softer graphite pencil at a budget price, the Nataraj is not a bad choice at all. Just don't make it a workhorse pencil because you will be greatly disappointed.