Tombow’s Mono 100 Drawing Pencil is a world-class drawing and drafting pencil, which has been the gold standard among artists and animators. When production was discontinued in the US, thousands of letters poured into Tombow begging to bring it back. Well, it’s back, and it has been relabeled as the Tombow Mono Professional pencil. Is the Mono professional pencil as good as its predecessor?
Tombow USA insists that the pencils are the same, but there are those who just don’t believe it. Since I had samples of both pencils, I thought it would be interesting to compare the abilities of each to see if they are the same or different.
I tested the F, B and H leads of both pencils. I compared the sharpness of the lines, the depth of shading, blending and ability to erase. I also noted any difference in the feel of the pencils as I was using them. I sharpened each pencil using the same sharpener to the same thickness of point to start. These were my observations:
- Overall, the lines and darkness of the leads were equal in appearance, however the Mono Professional pencils produced slightly smoother appearing blends and gradations.
- I was able to produce smoother finger smudges with the Mono Professional pencils than I could with the Mono 100 pencils.
- All of the Mono 100 pencils had a softer feel in the hand, the F lead feeling the softest. However, you would not know this by looking at the drawings since the Mono Professional pencils appeared smoother overall.
- The Mono 100 pencils wore down more quickly than the Mono professional.
- There was an equal ability to erase the gradations of both pencils, but the lines drawn by the Mono 100 pencils erased easier.
- Darkness of heavily-colored areas was consistent for both the Mono 100 and Mono Professional.
- The length of the Mono 100 is a little more than 1/8″ longer than the Mono professional pencil.
- Lead diameters appear to be the same for each lead.
Overall, I found very little difference between the pencils. Both performed equally well and the drawings I produced looked the same. The only difference I can point out is that the Mono 100 felt slightly softer and wore down slightly faster, but the fact that it is slightly longer makes me think it will last just as long as the Mono Professional. In conclusion, I believe the Tombow Mono Professional pencils are as good as Tombow Mono 100 pencils and will perform equally well.