Koh-I-Noor Toison D’Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900 review and a sketch

Koh-I-Noor Toison D'Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900 review

This is the catchily named Koh-I-Noor Toison D’Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900. Toison D’Or means Golden Fleece and that means that this is a posh pencil (at a very reasonable price). Toison D’Or is French; Koh-I-Noor is Persian(?) for Mountain of Light (it’s a diamond) and the company is Czech. Linguistically speaking this pencil is keeping its options open.

It’s a 2mm clutch pencil, as the name suggests. The clutch mechanism works well and I find that 2mm is a good size for drawing with. It’s also a fairly standard size so all kinds of hardnesses are available. My pencil came with HB lead but I swapped it for 2B.

Koh-I-Noor Toison D'Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900

The barrel is metal, hexagonally shaped, and looks like the kind of pencil you used to find in your grandad’s pencil case. (The one he kept in his shed.) Classic. The construction is okay – there is a wobble and rattle here and there. I think this pen can get away with it because it just reinforces its back of the shed drawer vibe. The push button unscrews to reveal a scary looking but utterly functional sharpener.

Koh-I-Noor Toison D'Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900 sharpener

I love clutch pencils because there is something deeply fundamental about them. They hold onto a length of lead for you so you can use it to draw and write. This pencil gives me great pleasure. It makes me feel as if I’m continuing a tradition. It’s comfortable to hold, it does what its job and it makes me want to pick it up and use it.

Koh-I-Noor Toison D'Or Clutch Pencil 2mm 5900 sketch


  1. Koh-i-noor is old traditional brand here and I am using Toison d’Or Clutch for more than twenty years, with various hardness of lead, and I never had problem with it. Also love classical Toison d’Or wooden pencils, also the combination of colours works for me 🙂

    1. That’s really interesting. I really like the design and the feel of it. Must look out for the pencils!

  2. Would it have killed Koh-i-noor to have included some sort of lead grade indicator on this lead holder? I use several grades of lead (each in a different lead holder) in many of my drawings, so knowing at a glance which lead holder contains which grade of lead is sort of nice. Sure, I could write “2B” or “HB” or whatever on a piece of tape, and stick that to the lead holder, but that just strikes me as an unattractive kludge of a solution. Particularly when various other 2mm lead holders in the Toison D’Or’s price range offer an indicator. Heck, the Uni Mitsubishi 2mm lead holder has the lead grade visible not just on its barrel, but also on its color-coded cap.

    1. Yes you’re right. It’s surprising how few pencils, mechanical or clutch, include this. Many don’t have lead pointers either. Since I wrote this review I think I’ve raised my expectations and I’ve recently received a bunch of pencils from Cult Pens that I’ll be reviewing over the coming months. I’ll have a look at the Mitsubishi one. To be fair, though, in the UK it’s almost twice the price of the Koh-I-Noor.

      This pencil still has a lot of charm and I love to use it but I’m inclined to agree with you about the necessity of a grade indicator.

    2. Personally, I found mine cheap enough to add a lead hardness guide myself (I wrote “H” on the one I use for hard leads – the soft lead pencil remains unadorned).

  3. I didn’t know that about UK prices, ian. In the US, the Mitsubishi can be had for $8-9, while the Koh-i-noor’s closer to $10. So they’re in the same price range, with the Koh-i-noor, if anything, being the slightly more expensive of the two. Mind you, neither has particularly wide distribution.

    I hear you about the lack of a built-in lead pointer. Not that any build-in lead pointer is all that great, but sometimes you just don’t want to tote around a stand alone lead pointer, and on those occasions I can understand the value of having one built into the pencil.

    I suppose if I could have both lead grade indicator and built-in lead pointer, that’d be nice. However, I’d much rather give up the built-in lead pointer, than the lead grade indicator. But that’s just me; the next fellow may feel differently. (Maybe he uses one grade of lead almost exclusively, or frequently takes to the field and wants to keep the accessories he totes along to an absolute minimum.)

    And I look forward to your upcoming reviews of the recent haul from Cult Pens.

    1. I suspect import costs are pushing up the price of the Koh-I-Noor in the US. Yes a pencil with a pointer and a grade indicator is the ideal. The only one I’ve found that has both is the Rotring 300 but the indicator stops at 2B, which is annoying for me as my most commonly used grade is 4B. It would drive me mad to have the wrong grade being indicated!

      If anyone knows of a 2mm clutch pencil that has a pointer and a grade indicator that goes down to 6B or so, I’d love to hear from you.

      1. I’ve just answered my own question: Cretacolor Totiens 2mm Leadholder. But it’s a little pricy and has poor quality finishing, so I guess the quest continues…

  4. Thank you for this particular review. I just bought this pencil and had no idea about the push button.I unscrewed it once but completely confused about it. Now I know!

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