Palomino Blackwing 602 - 12 Count
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- PENCILS WITH HERITAGE – First created in the 1930’s, Blackwing built a cult following that included John Steinbeck and Chuck Jones, who proudly used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and many other Looney Tunes characters. Discontinued in the 90’s, devotees paid as much as $40 a pencil. In 2010, we revived the Blackwing brand for a new generation of writers, musicians, and others seeking a more natural existence.
- PERFECT FOR WRITERS AND EVERYDAY USE – With our firm and smooth Japanese graphite core, Blackwing 602 pencils are perfect for writers, musicians, and everyday users. Use when you want a steady, clear line without excessive sharpening.
- UNIQUE ICONIC DESIGN – Blackwing’s unique and iconic rectangular erasers are synonymous with quality. Each of our pencils features a specially designed ferrule, allowing you to extend or replace the eraser.
- COMMITMENT TO QUALITY – Blackwing 602 pencils are made with the finest materials in the world, including Genuine Incense-cedar from California and premium Japanese graphite.
- HOW WE GIVE BACK – A portion of the sales from all Blackwing products benefit the Blackwing Foundation, which funds and develops arts and music education at the K-12 level. Your purchase helps provide, among other things, the instruction, learning environment and instruments children need to participate in the Little Kids’ Rock Modern Band Program
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|Sold By||Palomino Blackwing||Palomino Blackwing||Palomino Blackwing||JAPAN TOY SHOP ZERO||KOOLLU US||Palomino Blackwing|
|Item Dimensions||2.5 x 8 x 0.63 in||2.5 x 8.5 x 0.63 in||2.5 x 8 x 0.63 in||1.85 x 7.76 x 0.67 in||2.36 x 4.33 x 0.47 in||2 x 9 x 2 in|
Praised in the New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and Boing Boing among others, the Palomino Blackwing 602 features a firm and smooth graphite core that helps it deliver on its promise of “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed.” Blackwing 602 pencils feature a gunmetal grey finish and iconic square Blackwing ferrule with a black eraser. Blackwing 602 pencils come in packs of 12. Blackwing pencils were first introduced by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company in the 1930’s. Their cult following included John Steinbeck and Chuck Jones, who proudly used Blackwings to create Bugs Bunny and many other Looney Tunes characters. Over the years, the pencil with the unique rectangular eraser became synonymous with quality. However, due to cost cuts, they were discontinued in the 1990’s. That didn’t stop devotees from paying as much as $40 per pencil for unused stock. In 2010, we drew from nearly a century of experience to access the best materials in the world and bring Blackwing back for a new generation of writers, musicians, and others seeking a more natural existence.
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But it's a great pencil. It is nicely finished in a shiny dark grey with gold stamping on a hexagonal barrel. It says "Palomino Blackwing 602" on one side and "Half the pressure, Twice the speed" on the opposite side. That's the Blackwing's old tagline. It is topped by the Blackwing's iconic rectangular ferrule, which holds a replaceable, adjustable black eraser. Some people think this bulky ferrule makes the pencil top-heavy. Others absolutely love the thing. I am in the latter category. The ferrule prevents the pencil from rolling. The shape makes it possible to erase in a relatively thin line. And it makes the Blackwing easy to spot. The Palomino Blackwing 602 comes with a sleek black eraser, where its forebear had a pink eraser. The black eraser looks great. And you can always change it for pink, white, blue, green, or orange, available from Palomino.
Blackwing pencils have always been ungraded, but the Palomino Blackwing 602 is comparable to a #1 or a B grade. Maybe a weak 2B, depending upon the brand. I compared mine to several #1 pencils, and it was a perfect match in shade, though a smoother writer. I was introduced to premium pencils when I was shopping for someone who can't stand to write with "scratchy" pencils. She would only use the stubs of two old unbranded Japanese pencils that she insisted were not scratchy. I gave her a box of Palomino Blackwing 602s. She loves them. This pencil does wear faster than an inexpensive #1, but I still find it practical for everyday use and so much more pleasant than an ordinary pencil. It doesn't smudge. The "soft" Palomino Blackwing, with black barrel and white eraser, seems to be more like a 4B and is perhaps more suited to sketching.
I think a lot of the controversy surrounding Palomino's Blackwings could have been avoided if CalCedar had simply given their Blackwings different numbers than Eberhard's. If CalCedar had called its Blackwings the 703 and 804, for example, there would have been no confusion with the beloved Eberhard original. Many pencil-lovers appreciate the resurrected Blackwing style and spirit, which could have been advertised as such. Ironically, if Sanford had thought to market the Blackwing the way that CalCedar does, it would still be in production. Hey, if you love those ferrules, save them! You can remove them from a Blackwing stub and swap them for the conventional ferrules on other pencils or even on pencils that have no eraser. And you don't have to worry about the eraser wearing down, as you can replace it.
The only thing I might improve on the Palomino Blackwing is, in fact, the eraser. These erasers are rubber. I prefer vinyl erasers. They are more effective and easier on the paper -but probably too expensive to come standard on the end of a pencil. If you're new to premium pencils, some other very popular contenders for Best Pencil are the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, available in 20 grades, the Tombow Mono 100, available in 17 grades, the Faber Castell 9000, available in 16 grades, and CalCedar's own California Republic Palomino Graphite, which I believe is available in 7 grades. The graphites in the Palomino Blackwing 602, the Palomino Blackwing soft, and in Palomino Graphite pencils are made in Japan, by the way. The cedar wood is presumably harvested in the USA by CalCedar, which is the a major supplier of pencil slats to cosmetic, artist, and writing pencil industries.
I've always had a thing for writing implements, and am very picky about my pencils (don't get me started on the awful office pencils. I buy my own out of pocket). My perfect pencil would be one that held a point without breaking, dark lead, comfortable to hold, an eraser that lasted through most of the pencil, smooth writing. I was happy with my Dixon Ticonderoga Tri-Writes for years. They weren't perfect, but they were. . . adequate.
Then I saw a review for the Palomino Blackwings, and bought them on impulse, not really believing the reviews, thinking I'd debunk them. Even when I hit "Purchase", I couldn't quite believe I'd bought them.
So who pays $24 for 12 pencils? Me, that's who. I'm addicted. The writing is so smooth and easy. The lead is dark, easily readable and doesn't smudge--very important for crosswords!. The lead is probably softer than what you're used to (I think it's #1 vs. the standard #2), but I wound up liking that once I got used to it.
The point doesn't break easily--you really don't need as much pressure with this. It lives up to its slogan. And since they don't break as often as my old pencils, they last longer, so you get some good value for your money that way.
The eraser--the eraser alone is worth the premium. It's extendable so it'll last as long as the pencil. It's rectangular, so you can easily erase fine points or wide swaths--you can even fidget with it like a clicky pen.
I honestly didn't think this pencil was all that great until I tried to go back to my Tri-Writes when I couldn't find the Palomino. It was like going from a Porsche to a Pinto. I stopped what I was working on to search for my Palominos.
My one minor quibble is, although it says it's made of incense cedar, I don't notice any aroma (I love the smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil). Given what a joy they are to use, though, I'll just sniff a cedar block instead.
We live on a very tight budget and non-necessary items are few and far between so... when I spent my Mother's Day gift card on PENCILS and not some other extravagance...you know they must be good.
Thanks for the great product.
That might sound to some like any regular old no. 2 pencil ever, but trust me, the range is much easier to play around with and the darks come out much darker. Your mileage may vary, but I thoroughly enjoy these and they've largely replaced my H4/F/6B combination with just one pencil.
They are a bit pricey, but if you're serious about art (or just a putz like me who pretends to draw) it's worth the cash to try a box. I would be surprised if anyone at least didn't enjoy using them down to nibs even if they didn't find they ultimately justified the price tag and buy more.