I have been holding out on getting one of the oft lauded Palomino Blackwing pencils. I don’t know why I held out for so long. All my friends said they were great and I knew I loved the Palomino pencils I already owned. I snagged a couple from a friend just to see what they were all about and not sure what to expect. I’m not going to go into the history of the pencil, you can read all about that here. I suspected going into this that this would be a good review. I've got many other Palomino pencils and I really enjoy their velvety smooth graphite core.
When I opened the package they were secured in some bubble wrap. When I peeled that away I was presented with some very unique looking pencils. The black paint on the Blackwing was matte and a nice black. the printing of the logo was crisp, though not indented and I could see where it was starting to flake off already. That doesn’t matter to me but occasionally I’ll notice a fleck of gold on my hand as I use the pencil. Like fairy dust...
The part of the pencil’s look that is the most noticeable is the ferrule that holds the eraser and the eraser itself. The Blackwing comes with a rectangular white plastic eraser set into a rectangular ferrule that turns round to attach to the pencil itself. It’s pretty cool and totally unique. (Of course the history lesson here will tell you it’s NOT unique, but I shall only say here, it’s unique to the market TODAY.) The eraser is easily removed and replaced should you wear it down to a nubbin. You can buy a 12-pack in white, pink, or black. I found the white eraser to work but was not the most effective eraser. I rarely use erasers on the end of my pencils but I found myself using these because they are cool.
The pencil sharpened easily with my KUM long point sharpener. It held that point through a sketching session without breaking at any pressure. The graphite was smooth and dark. Not a scratchy bit to be found during any of my sketching times. Light pressure yielded a nice result and heavy pressure a deep dark mark. Variation in tone was easily possible simply through varying my pressure and layering.
I also had a pair of Blackwing 602 pencils in my package. These have a nice gray paint job and black erasers. The graphite was slightly harder and lighter. It was just as smooth as the regular Blackwing. The black eraser seemed to be slightly gritty but erased much better than the white erasers. Sharpening was a breeze and thought I filled pages in my sketchbook I had no breaks nor crumbles.
I also did a little writing with these pencils, just because I had to. Little pressure produced a nice line. The regular blackwing produced a nice dark line even with little pressure. The 602 needed to be sharpened less often. Both were silky smooth to use.
Overall these 2 pencils are amazing for sketching or writing. They are attention grabbing that’s for sure. I know I saw someone in the coffee shop eyeing my pencils, so I made sure they were secured when I stepped away...
You can get these pencils from the European Paper Company here.
I purchased these pencils for review, they were not provided to me by European Paper Company, however if you purchase them through the provided link I will be compensated.