I ordered these pencils from the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada after learning of their new marketing initiative. The pencils have an imprinted slogan, “Saving forests one pencil at a time”, which I found intriguing.
I’ve enjoyed using the ForestChoice pencil, and had hoped this might be some sort of equivalent.
The pencils are round with a diameter of about 7.5 mm. They are unfinished, with a silver coloured ferrule, and a lime green eraser.
When I say unfinished, I mean unfinished. While there must have been some fine sanding or equivalent done, since there are no splinters, there is no obvious lacquer, paint, coating, wax, or any other type of finish on this pencil!
The pencil is also aromatic, much beyond typical pencils. Never mind “whiff of cedar”, this is more like “timber mill floor”. I haven’t decided if I like it, but it is strong enough to be distracting at times.
The feel is rough. I suppose this is the trade off for not using any finish.
The lead – it makes a mark, but it’s rough and scratchy, though not crumbly. It’s not going to be the choice of anyone who has ready alternatives.
One of the most interesting aspects of the pencil is it’s adherence to the FSC’s chain of custody policies. The pencil has an imprinted FSC serial number (SCS-COC-00287) which let’s one trace the pencil’s origins. To my surprise, the manufacturer is the venerable Musgrave Pencil Company of Tennessee!
In the end, I’m wondering how many would choose to use a pencil this raw.