Another classic of the American pencil industry, the General's Semi-Hex, with its school yellow and retro box to match, harkens back to an earlier time. Unfortunately, issues with its finish and core prevent it from attaining the ranks of top pencils.
Fit/Finish: The rounded hexagonal shape is back, and the barrel is comfortable to hold. The foil stamping is not even, and paint on the ferrule has chipped off with barely any use. Though the cedar smells and sharpens great, with the core perfectly centered, it looks like a second-rate product.
Performance: The lead goes down nice and dark, with a dense, easy-to-read line. I have encountered more than a few rough spots, though, and the point is wearing down quite fast. The lead smears a lot when in a notebook, and I've had a couple sets of class notes rendered illegible as a result. How about erasability?
On both fronts, there is a bit of ghosting. By all accounts, this lead rates no more than "average" in my book.
Overall: Because of its disappointing fit/finish and performance, I was not very impressed with the Semi-Hex. This is the third one of the box I purchased, and the previous two had similar issues. For the price, I think you can do better (for example, with the excellent Cedar Pointe by the same company) - but it is by no means a "bad" pencil. The cedar is very fragrant and easy to sharpen, and not once did I have any off-center or breaking lead.