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Faber Castell 9000

An abundance of Faber Castell 9000 pencils.

The new Faber Castell 9000 centennial tin has a traditional graphic of mounted knights duelling. What a careful examination reveals is that the knights are duelling with pencils – the victor with a Faber Castell 9000, and the losing opponent a broken yellow pencil. The yellow pencil might represent a rival manufacturer’s product, or the generic office pencil. Whatever the case, there is no doubt about Faber Castell’s commitment to recognizing their product’s history and heritage.

The tin comes with 12 sharpened HB Faber Castell 9000 pencils, and a green plastic eraser. I have a number of original tins, and this newer box is a nice revision. It differs in having an eraser rather than foam to cushion the pencils during transport. (The pencils are thus a bit shorter than their predecessors). This is very sensible – foam disintegrates with time, but the eraser also acts as a cushion to the pencil points during shipment, and is additionally a useful object once the box is opened. It’s also nice to see the commitment to attractive packaging and the upscale market placement of these pencils.

These pencils are also available individually, in a wide variety of grades, and a “matching” eraser (pencil shape) is available. (The Grip 2001 line also offers a matching eraser.)

A variation is the “perfect pencil” – a four function cap that serves as a pencil extender when placed on the pencil crown, a protective cap when placed on the point, a clip provider – and – has a pull out sleeve with a built-in sharpener. With an eraser-capped pencil (with quality white plastic, and not generic office supply store pink), the perfect pencil stands as an incredible pencil innovation, solving several pencil user issues – portability, point protection, pencil extension, sharpening and erasure – in a small logical device that adds very little weight or bulk to a pencil. The ability to create such a brilliant and practical object demonstrates why Faber Castell leads the world in their field.

The pencils? Oh yes the pencils… they are superb. Along with a select few others, they are an art and design staple. They are hexagonal, a handsome forest green (darker than predecessor 9000s) with gold lettering. A URL on the side is a tip-off that they are new. They sharpen without fuss, and I’ve had no lead breakage. The graphite seems to have it all – smooth, non-breaking, keeps a point, and solidly dark for the grade. Even a 4B seems to last quite a while. The casing halves are matched, and the varnish comfortable. It is clearly manufactured to the highest standards.

The looks are traditional compared to a Grip 2001, but a pencil that been made since 1905 is something to contemplate, and the quality is first rate. Overall, it ranks as one of the great woodcase pencils, one that deserves recognition for a century of quality and production. Congratulations, Faber-Castell!

8 comments to Faber Castell 9000

  • Hmmm, I bought tins but don’t remember seeing an eraser. Will have to double check. :)

  • Rita

    where can you buy these pencils in canada ?

  • Hi Rita – the “Loomis and Toles” art supply chain carries them.

  • Mike

    Nice pencil, but if you go on an extended bout of writing and have sweaty palms, the green lacquer will rub off on your hand slightly, which is not the case with Staedtler’s Mars Lumograph. Otherwise, I’d say this is about equivalent in quality to the Staedtler. I like Staedtler’s sharpeners (especially the lumograph sharpener) and erasers better, though.

  • Kevin

    I use both Lumograph and FC 9000 pencils and the lumograph is the better pencil – FOR THE FIRST MINUTE – then the point starts to dull whereas the 9000 goes on and on. Love the 9000 but they are occasionally GRITTY.

  • I have been drawing with a 9000 series for a couple of weeks, and have to say it is my personal favorite pencil of all time. I agree that the point seems to last for a long time with a nice tip, and the lead is wonderful for very delicate shading.

  • [...] sale on eBay. Faber-Castell gave these away at this year’s Paperworld trade fair. Unlike the centennial tins with 12 and 72 pencils, this tin does not contain the normal Castell 9000 pencils you can buy in shops, but [...]

  • [...] Caravan Pencils’, ‘Landscape Pencils’ and the picture with the jousting knights, previously discussed at pencil talk. Leadholder has more information about this picture – a mirrored version has  been used on [...]

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