Up until this point I’ve only ever tried Tombow’s MONO 100 but there are several others in the same line, including the MONO, MONO-R, MONO-J, and the MONO-RS to name a few. I can’t speak to the others but the MONO-R is a great pencil, just as you would expect from Tombow.
Everything about this pencil is high-quality, and I would be hard-pressed to describe the difference between the MONO-R and the MONO 100, Tombow’s masterwork. I suppose you could say the MONO-R is a little less smooth, but it is negligible.
Going by the rule of thumb that Japanese pencils tend to be about one grade darker than American pencils, this HB is a little closer to what I would call a No. 1 pencil. Even so, it retains its point very well—great for writing and for music.
Thanks to Tombow USA for sending the MONO-R pencils.