Wednesday, August 07, 2013

These are a few of my favorite pencils

A bit ago, Rhodia Drive put out a call for photos of your favorite pencil. Of course I want to participate. But picking favorites is hard! I ended up taking this photo instead: a handful of pencils I've been particularly enjoying. Not sure if it'll qualify or not! I figured I'd share it here as well.

(Some of) My Favorite Pencils
Left to right:
General's Cedar Pointe, Pentel Clic Eraser, Pentel Sharp Kerry, General's Semi-Hex, Palomino HB, Forest Choice HB, and a Musgrave Test Scoring 100 across the bottom.

● The first pencil that popped into my head when considering favorites was the Musgrave Test Scoring 100: that silver pencil at the bottom of the photo. I love these. They may not be perfect, but every time I pick one up, my mind gives a little contented sigh. If I'm ever a famous eccentric writer, these are the pencils people who want to be just like LFP should covet and imbue with magical powers.

● The Pentel Sharp Kerry would have to be my favorite mechanical pencil. It makes for a great pocket or purse pencil since it has a cap. Mine takes 0.5mm leads, which is skinny...but means I can fit long lists or notes on the index cards I carry with me.

● It doesn't really have an eraser, so one of the Pentel Clic erasers accompanies it in my purse pocket.

● The General's Semi-Hex is just a superb all-arounder. Nothing really quirky about it: it's a very high quality classic HB pencil.

● The General's Cedar Pointe is a bit rougher than the Semi-Hex in more ways than one. The lead seems a bit harder than most HBs (which makes it pretty smear-resistant), but can on occasion be a little scratchy. Some days I like that more than others. I love the unfinished cedar, and the way it changes color with time and use. These are so ruggedly handsome they make me a little swoony. They're also reassuringly grippy.

● The Forest Choice HB is also a natural beauty, but with a light seal over the wood so the color remains consistent and they have a more standard smooth feel. These are ubiquitous around my writing spots: early on I bought a HUGE box of them ('cause I like 'em), so I don't feel like I need to ration them. There are Forest Choice pencils in my pencil cups at home and at work, in my carry-around pencil case, by my music stand, in my purse.... They're another reliable all-rounder, they're attractive, and they smell great.

● I feel like the poor Palomino has been a bit overshadowed by its Blackwing brethren. Which is sad, really. These may not get the flashy marketing (as much, anyway), but they are beautiful pencils, nicely finished and smooth writing. One of these days I want to try some 2Bs. Those I currently have are HB.

Although not in the photo, I *could* give honorable mention to serveral others. A few examples: I like Ticonderogas (the Chinese ones), USA Gold, General's Test Scoring 580s, Golden Bears, Helix Oxfords, and yes, the Palomino Blackwing 602s (haven't tried the other flavors), though maybe not enough to justify the price and the fact that the oversized ferrule starts getting in the way when the pencil gets short.

What are your favorites?


Johnny said...

We have some over-lapping, you and I. :)

(General's EVERYTHING, Blue HB Palomino.)

This week (and dang, it changes!) I'd add:
Blackwing 602 (new one); Faber-Castell Grip 2001 2B; Kimberly B; FAT Ticonderoga kids' pencils. :)

Bill M said...

I thought I would at least be able to say I used one of those pencils. They are all nice, but I only use the Pentel click erasers, daily. I use mostly Pentel or Staedler lead holders.

Little Flower Petals said...

I confess, I'm fickle enough that the pencils at hand next week (or tomorrow) could be completely different...though I'm never without the Test Scoring pencils if I can help it, and as I said, I have a ton of the Forest Choice, so they get around. They aren't my favorites (sometimes they have gritty bits that annoy me) but they generally do the job.

Speaking of Staedtler, I gotta far the Noricas are impressing me. I like the feel of the matte finish, and the lead is smooth but not so smooth you feel out of control. And not the sort of smushy, powdery smooth that ends up all smudgy, either.

I are so good at using the correct technical terminology for these things, ain't I?

Anonymous said...

Top choice goes to Blackwing 602s, at least at the moment. They are every bit as good as some Faber Castell pencils I have that are no longer offered. (I'm hoarding them.) They are expensive so I use them sparingly.

I've had great results with inexpensive Write Dude USA Silver, made in this country. They compare well with the Mirado Black Warrior pencils, at least the USA made ones. And they're easier to find locally. My go-to pencil these days.

I have several of the Pentel Click Erasers: one on my desk, one in the art supplies kit, and a couple of others for 'just in case'.

BTW, the Blackwing 602 works especially well on those sugar cane paper composition books. It has the same light, smooth touch of a good fountain pen.

Jeff The Bear

Little Flower Petals said...

I have a USA Golds on my desk as we speak!

You know what one of my biggest personal issues is with the Palomino Blackwing 602? This is silly, and absolutely not a complaint, because ironically it's also what I *like* about them...but one of the main reasons (aside from cost) that I don't use them as much is that they stand out. Big time. Other pencils, to non-pencil people, are just pencils of a different color, but you can't really ignore the Blackwings.

I have the same problem with flashy fountain pens. In general, I'm a lot more likely to use Safaris and the Lamy 2000, because people barely register they aren't your average pen.