The Apsara Stenographer's Pencil is manufactured by the Hindustan Pencil Company in India. Hindustan also manufactures the better-known Nataraj brand as well. I was a bit curious as to why this pencil was marketed as a "stenographer's pencil" since it seemed like an ordinary pencil to me. With a round barrel and no ferrule, the Apsara is a very light pencil. The finish on the pencil is a nice glossy turquoise with a white stripe at the top where the ferrule would naturally start and gold foil stamping.
After sharpening the Apsara, I did not notice any smell at all so it is clear this pencil is not made of cedar. I presume it is crafted from recycled wood of some sort. When writing with this pencil it was very light in my hand and I found myself without the hand cramping that I am used to. This factor, coupled with its strong graphite, explained why this is denoted as a stenographer's pencil. I experienced no lead breakage ever and the smoothness of the graphite was on point for a pencil that cost 40 cents. Even writing on super toothy card stock was a pleasant experience and the graphite barely smeared. Erasing the pencil was also a breeze and took very little effort.
I cannot recommend this pencil enough for individuals who write a lot. Make this pencil a part of your rotation and you will not regret it. They can be very easily obtained from Caroline over at CW Pencil Enterprise for a mere 40 cents. Overall: 8.0/10