Thursday, October 07, 2010


Blackwing Pages

Pencil Talk

Pencil Revolution - where blogs the makers of the new Blackwing


  1. Hello! I'm Andy from Woodclinched.

    I'm curious — what do you like about the round pencils? I, myself, am partial to hexagonal pencils for a number of reasons. Mostly because I equate round pencils with cheap souvenir and advertising pencils (which I know is a fallacy), and hex pencils with the Ticonderoga, the Palomino, the Blackwing, and other "fine writing" pencils. They don't roll off a slanted table as easily. They fit against your fingers easier.

    Again, I know it is all personal preference. I might see why you like round pencils in previous posts, as I am reading back through your blog (which is great, by the way), but for now, I'm interested to know why you vastly prefer round pencils.


  2. Andy,

    Thanks for visiting.

    With a hex, it seems I have to shift it around a bit before beginning to write. Round - there is no difference. This even sounds odd to me as I'm typing, but finding the comfortable plane on the pencil makes me aware of the instrument in a negative way. (All planes the same, I know.) I also noticed I hold a round pencil with a looser grip.

    The new Blackwing doesn't bother me as much as others. Don't know if it's the balance or diameter or what. The planes are the same as the Palomino. I measured.

    It may just be I started with a round pencil back in the dark ages and am slow to adapt. ;)


  3. Robert12:39 AM

    With pencils like the Palomino Blackwing, I said "it's not bad, but it's too soft". I wanted something that would write almost friction-free but wouldn't erode like the PBW and other, better soft pencils. I'm willing to put up with a lighter line for low friction and low wear, but I've just not found such a thing in the woodcased realm. I fully agree that softness may provide smoothness, but is not a complete substitute.

    However, after hooking up with a 2mm leadholder and some Uni B leads, I get a writing experience that surpasses all my woodcased pencils (including my 4B softies), gives me a round barrel to hold, a teeny tiny sharpener with better longevity than any pocket woodcased pencil sharpener, and a pocket clip to boot. The "floating" lead in a heavier pencil body means less pressure and less transmission of vibration. It's not as dark as the Palomino Blackwing or similar pencils, but provides a much nicer glide over better papers, in my experience.

    I'm still attracted to woodcased pencils for romantic reasons (I like the idea of the lead and casing being a primitive integrated whole), but if I had to pick one non-pen writing instrument, I'd go with my leadholder.


Glad to hear from you!