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Thread: High-end wooden pencils

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default High-end wooden pencils

    I thought spending $25 for a box of a dozen wooden pencils was bordering on the absurd. I allowed myself to be swayed while trading vintage pens at an event at Bertram's Inkwell months ago, and bought them from Bert's store.

    What was all the hype about? I'm not a pencil collector, so what did I think I was doing? Well, after using them for about five months, I am convinced.

    The Ticonderoga pencils in the kitchen continue to suffer graphite falling apart after sharpening, and sometimes the graphite isn't even centered causing one side of the point to be wood. I don't remember these kind of defects in the past, so quality has declined. But these Blackwing pencils are consistent and reliable, and last and last. I still find it hard to justify the price, because isn't that what all pencils should deliver for half that price? But the alternative is too annoying.

    The erasers are cool. When worn short, you pull them out for more rubber.

    Anyway, I won't have to buy pencils for a long time if these Blackwings continue to deliver.

    Time for the sharpener:
    IMG_4954.jpg
    Last edited by FredRydr; June 2nd, 2022 at 10:16 AM.

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    A colleague turned me on to these years ago, and they're the only wooden pencils I use(although my MB 172s would be great if I could just find erasers!)

    Compared to what a lot of us pay for pens and inks, $2/pencil is nothing(okay, I guess more than that now). I don't use pencils a ton and still have half my first box after giving several away.

    Apparently a lot of the pencil people turn up their noses at these and say they are inferior to the original ones. I can't really judge. The same colleague who got me hooked on these had an original in one of the cups on her desk, and I just scrawled a couple of lines with it. The new ones may not be the same, but they are high quality, are just soft enough to be pleasant to use while holding a point well, and more importantly are easy to get compared to originals. So, without a frame of reference, they're a solid win in my book.

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    We had an interesting chat about Blackwing pencils on the Zoom meet from The Lone Star Pen Club last weekend. I'm almost tempted to try one out. It's difficult to believe that they could be so much better than regular wooden pencils but everyone seems to think this is the case.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    I’m very fussy about my pencils and get through a lot of them, for both drawing and writing. I’ve tried all four Blackwing variants (Matte, Pearl, 602 and Natural). And whilst pleasant to use, none of those come anywhere close to either the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni or the Tombow Mono 100 pencils. They are superbly made; dead-centre leads, top quality casings and flawless finishes. Perfect gradings, with consistently smooth ‘leads’. But then pencils are a very personal thing and I know lots of people swear by Blackwing.

    As an aside I have a treasured box of the original Blackwing Palomino 602 from when they were made by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company. Now those were truly fabulous pencils. It was a sad day when Eberhard stopped making them, back in the late 1990s. Yes, the current manufacturer bought the name, and has tried hard to make a good quality pencil, but it is light years away from the original imho.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by migo984 View Post
    ...whilst pleasant to use, none of those come anywhere close to....
    Oh dear, a cedar and graphite rabbit hole. Will I go the next step? Not until my dozen pencils are about gone.

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    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by migo984 View Post
    ...whilst pleasant to use, none of those come anywhere close to....
    Oh dear, a cedar and graphite rabbit hole. Will I go the next step? Not until my dozen pencils are about gone.
    It’s more black hole than rabbit hole! Definitely don’t go there. 😆

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by migo984 View Post
    ...whilst pleasant to use, none of those come anywhere close to....
    Oh dear, a cedar and graphite rabbit hole. Will I go the next step? Not until my dozen pencils are about gone.
    Fred

    I have tested dozens of woodpencils....



    ...to find out that I like these Mitsubishi 9852 best:



    they write smother and blacker than Blackwings, and the eraser does a better job.

    But with pencils it is like with fountain pens - everyone likes it a little different. What counts in the end is what was written with it....






    ps: ...has anyone told you that you need a high end sharpener for your high end pencils?





    Last edited by christof; June 3rd, 2022 at 09:45 AM.

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    There was a fancy pen, paper and pencil store in NYC that closed not too long ago, but way before that, a pen pal sent me a nice assortment of high-end pencils. There's a Blackwing among them, but my absolute favorite is a pencil encased in cedar. Don't recall the name, but it,s girthy and wonderful to write with.

    I was used to artist pencils, and still have a few. Berol? I think, is one of the makers. The nice thing about drawing pencils is you can select the properties of the lead.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    I can`t say I have advanced beyond those Faber-Castell pencils in green lacquer with a touch of gold lines here and there, and at the moment my local store have koh-i-noor pencils, in black lacquer with a bit of gold paint here and there too. I have reserved "high end" for fancy amplifiers and loud speakers, but it is fun to fuss with pencils and find a favorite. I always get B and HB ;- )

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    [Berol] Prismacolor. Beautiful colors. The great art store here in NE Ohio that had aisles of those and other pencils closed.

    Thankfully they're available online here and on Amazon.
    Bob

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    While I love the way Blackwing pencils write, the erasers aren't so good.

    So I use this one ... bought at Mélodies Graphiques in Paris.Eraser.jpg

    Will try the Mitsubishi 9852's.
    Last edited by BlkWhiteFilmPix; June 3rd, 2022 at 01:43 PM.
    Bob

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by BlkWhiteFilmPix View Post
    [Berol] Prismacolor. Beautiful colors. The great art store here in NE Ohio that had aisles of those and other pencils closed.

    Thankfully they're available online here and on Amazon.
    If you haven’t tried them, Caran d’Ache Luminence are stunning coloured pencils. As are Faber Castell Polychromos.

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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    I only use old growth forest pencils and original Blackwings.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    I only use old growth forest pencils and original Blackwings.
    How does one recognize an original Blackwing?

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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    I only use old growth forest pencils and original Blackwings.
    How does one recognize an original Blackwing?
    The cost😉

    Typos courtesy of Samsung Auto-Incorrect™
    M: I came here for a good argument.
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    A: It can be.
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    A: No it isn't.
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    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    I like the blackwings. A friend gave me a Mitsubishi and it really is a very lovely pencil. Next time I buy pencils I'll probably grab those.

    I got a pack of these triangular Maped pencils (they are gray and orange, vertically striped) and they make a fine daily driver pencil.

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    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    I thought that name sounded familiar. I have a pack of Maped colored pencils in a wish list.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!

    My eBooks. Because why not.

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    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    ……….A friend gave me a Mitsubishi and it really is a very lovely pencil. Next time I buy pencils I'll probably grab those.
    Mitsubishi pencils are really beautifully made. I’ve never been disappointed with any of their series.

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    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    For writing, if I want to use a pencil, I mostly use mechanical pencils. I actually have acquired a collection of those, but I see there's another thread on that.

    I do use a lot of wooden pencils, but mostly for drawing. My most expensive ones are Eagle (Berol) #314 draughting pencils. One of my drawing books recommended these, I went looking for them, and discovered that they were no longer made, hadn't been for some time in fact. So I got some vintage ones. I set an absolute limit for myself of $5 per pencil for these, and have usually gotten them for less, some for around $3 each. There's a modern knockoff of these made by General, but they aren't the same, although not actually bad.

    Other than that, I like Mitsubishi Hi-uni pencils. In a moment of enthusiasm, I bought their full set from 10B to 10H inclusive. In practice, I mostly use 2B, HB, and 2H, and those are the grades for which I have the most spares.

    I have some of the modern "Palomino" Blackwings, and they're nice enough, a step up from your typical office pencil. I've read people's descriptions of how much superior the genuine vintage Blackwings were, but after seeing the prices they go for on eBay, I think I can do without them.
    "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
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    Default Re: High-end wooden pencils

    I use Mitsubishi

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