Thursday, November 13, 2014

David Hayward Design Hexagonal leadholder

I seem to be in a leadholder frenzy lately, I mean I obviously liked them for a loooooong while, but I recently thought it was about time to catch up on leadholder reviews here on the blog!

And thus it was inevitable... At some point I had to review, what I think is, the holy grail of leadholders, The David Hayward Design 'Hexagonal' leadholder!

The what?! Ok, I must admit David Hayward Design isn't THE most well-known brand on the planet. But there's actually a pretty good reason for that! David Hayward is a designer/ goldsmith based in the UK. His products aren't mass-produced, they're all handmade, piece by piece. He makes a variety of products including fountain pens, pencils, desk pens and also jewelry! But his leadholders are the main attraction!

There's not a whole lot of fuss about this brand, so I take it not many people are familiar with Hayward's products, especially if you're not into leadholders! However... look in the right places, and you'll see I'm not the only one to speak highly of Mr. Hayward's work!

The hexagonal is hefty, that's the first thing you notice, and the only thing really! Other than weighing in at over 60 grams (You read it! 60!) It's a pretty nondescript, satin-silver (brushed nickel-plated) hexagonal pencil.

It's also quite long (not long-long, but definitely longer than eg. Kawecos leadholder offerings! It's about the same size as the Koh-I-Noor 5312 I reviewed a few weeks ago. But the quality, and attention for detail is in no way comparable! The hand-brushed nickel finish is simple yet elegant. The brand name etched along one facet of the barrel is stylish and gives the pencil a subtle twist.

Everything fits together perfectly, the rubber O-ring (that admittedly doesn't improve on the clean looks of the pencil) makes for a tight fit. Tolerances are high, and it doesn't seem to rattle unless I start shaking it like a fool! As with a lot of other leadholders, the pushbutton unscrews, and acts as a sharpener. I've never been a fan of this kind of sharpeners, because they produce a very blunt tip. But it's always good to have a backup when you don't have a sharpener with you.

The Hexagonal (as well as the other models) comes packaged in a simple textured black gift box, and come with a cool little plastic container that holds a spare lead. As for the leads, they feel a bit harder in comparison to most other 5.6mm leads I regularly use, they feel more like HB/2B. Which is a good thing if you're like me, and you use leadholders mainly for writing!

In a time where everything is mass-produced by machines, David Hayward goes for a radically different approach. This isn't an off-the-mill pencil, it's a work of art, finished by hand, made with 'honest' materials. If you want a pencil that will outlive many generations, and looks good as well, I'd consider this one. 

Unfortunately, as always, quality comes at a price. By no means these leadholders can be called cheap, at 66£ or 85 Euros  for the hexagonal.

Note: this pencil was sent to me by David Hayward Design, free of charge, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, nor was I monetarily compensated. The opinions shared in this review are completely my own!


  1. Dear leadholder fellow enthusiast, the holy grail of leadholders clearly is a TK9400 in sterling silver:

    For you cannot buy them but you have to hunt them down :-)

  2. Nice to find someone else who raves about David’s products! Have had a Scribbler on my desk for over twenty years: and it has never let me down… – a product that no doubt my son will inherit and use. (If you’re ever in Cheltenham, UK, it’s worth making an appointment to see his studio, as well as all the other products he makes… – he is a very talented and lovely man.)