After a grueling finals week at school, I am back in action with my reviews! I decided to go budget this week and choose the Prospector. I love the bright green color and the hexagonal barrel-- no semi-hex here. Have I hit gold with a nice-looking budget pencil or have I missed the gold rush? Let's take a look:
Aesthetically speaking, the Prospector looks damn great for a pencil that sells for $2.25 a dozen (that's about 19 cents per pencil). I enjoy the gold foil stamping as it makes me feel as though it was a nod to the fact that the pencil is called the Prospector. The pencil itself is made of basswood and its graphite core is HB. Speaking of the graphite core, this pencil sharpens up beautifully and I had no point breakage while sharpening (I exclusively used the Masterpiece). The darkness is on par for a number 2 pencil and while it certainly does not write nice and smooth, the Prospector is not too scratchy either. There were a few times that I notice a bit of scratchiness in the graphite, but that cleared up with a few scribbles to wear down the rough patch. Point retention is great and I am just about at the Steinbeck stage after using it for two weeks. I did a lot of transcribing by hand (6 to 7 whole pages) and found myself having to sharpen every two pages or so.
The eraser on the Prospector is what you would expect for a pencil that sells for under a quarter. It's good in a pinch, but definitely bring your own eraser to the party. I can really see this pencil entering into my rotation as it is cheap and performs well. Honestly, I think teachers should either be using the Prospector or Ticonderoga in the classroom. You cannot beat the price and value that comes from this pencil.