Designed for students and demanding artists in search of deep, rich black tones, these breakage-resistant charcoal sticks are smooth, blend easily and provide a diverse range of tonal values. They are made using a proprietary old world manufacturing process that ensures consistency and reliability for artists of all proficiencies. Drawing instructors make Nitram a must for their students because it will not crumble or skip when used expressively unlike vine or willow charcoal sticks. Artists have also found that Nitram charcoal erases better and is easier to work than other charcoal brands. Grade B (soft) is soft, yet is still able to carry a point. Grade HB (medium) is ideal for homogenizing tones and retaining tonal detail. Grade H (hard) can be sharpened to an extra-fine point for creating fine detail, and its hardness makes lighter and mid-tones easier to attain. The square shape makes the stick easier to grip and is ideal for sanding a sharp edge for drawing fine lines. Each package contains five sticks measuring .25" square Ã— 6" long (5mm Ã— 152mm).