Sunday, December 29, 2019

Review: Koh-i-Noor 5340 Clutch with Magic Leads

The Koh-i-Noor clutch with Magic lead!

You know how much I love rainbow pencils. Santa brought me a new one: a Koh-i-Noor clutch with “Magic” leads! The clutch will accommodate any 5.6mm leads (but why would anyone use ordinary leads if you can use magical ones?). Magic lead refills can be purchased separately.

I already have several woodcased Koh-i-Noor Magic pencils, including a jumbo and some standard-size ones. (Caution: If you shop for these, check the prices carefully on all options… they seem to vary widely for no reason. I’m sure I paid less than what these links are showing.) Unexpectedly, the clutch leads feel slightly softer; I would have expected mechanical leads to be harder than their woodcased counterparts.
From top: Koh-i-Noor Magic clutch, jumbo-size woodcased Magic pencil, standard-size rainbow pencil

The metal clutch is heavier than I typically prefer in a drawing instrument, but the hefty girth makes up for the weight: It’s slightly larger in diameter than a jumbo. It’s a very comfortable size for the loose kind of sketching I do with it.

I like using Magic leads most on toothy paper. On Field Notes’ standard French Opaque Smooth, I have to use more pressure to get good marks than on Stillman & Birn Alpha, which has more tooth.
12/27/19 Koh-i-Noor Magic clutch in Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook

It’s a ton of fun to make small gesture sketches from the book, People of the 21st Century!

Koh-i-Noor Magic clutch in Field Notes Signature notebook


  1. Definitely getting the rainbow pencil and leads! Thanks for posting about them.

    1. I found the pencils and the leads in an Etsy shop based in Germany. Ordered two holders and two boxes of the leads. $35=free shipping and they were less than what Amazon charges, but very limited supply. Arriving sometime in January. Thanks again!

  2. Oooh! I didn't realize they made magic leads. Cool! I have two rainbow pencils and always forget to bring them places with me.


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