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Eagle Draughting pencil

Eagle Draughting pencil

The Eagle Draughting pencil is a treasure from the past.

The pencil is round, with a core just over 3mm in diameter.

It has a dark wood stain, and is imprinted:

Made U.S.A. [logo] EAGLE “Chemi*Sealed” Draughting 314

This pencil is absolutely delightful to use – it has a super smooth creamy black lead, with great historic style. The lead does wear down quite quickly, so a nearby sharpener can be handy at times.

Eagle Draughting pencil

I am a bit curious about how it is a “draughting” pencil. More recently (this pencil may be several decades old) a drafting pencil has typically had a hard, faint lead. This would be sold as a pencil for artists, were it sold today.

37 comments to Eagle Draughting pencil

  • How in the world did you sharpen the tip to a point so long without having it chip? It looks absolutely huge. That is awesome!

  • kiwi-d

    Whoa – back then the Americans at Eagle knew how to spell ! :-)

    He ducks, he weaves, as Websters dictionaries fly at him.

  • Boris, a KUM 400-5L acute or “long-point” sharpener was used. The wood may a be a bit dry after all these years. I would guess it is Eastern Cedar.

    Kiwi-d, get one of those giant 17-volume Oxford dictionaries to defend yourself. :-)

  • EdieB

    Where can I buy these great pencils, my local Office & Art supply store did even know the name. They recommend it on Wet Canvas and Rudy De Reyna in his book “How to Draw What you see” . That is a great point.

  • Hi EdieB, this is a “vintage” pencil, last sold at retail many years ago. I did not know it was recommended so widely, but am not surprised.

  • EdieB

    Thanks for info – the search for this pencil has been good – I found your blog. -What a great learning experience-

  • Bob Searle

    Hi-

    Do you know where Eagle 314′s can be purchaced today? Anyone out there sitting on a stash of them?? I used them in school many years ago and would like to find them again.. Could you offer up a suggestion for a reasonable replacement?

    Bob

  • Hi Bob, There is a successor Sanford 314 pencil which can be found on the web. I have not seen one in person, but it might be worth a look.

  • gari

    i am looking for some eagle 314′s do you know what websit sells them? thanks-

  • LostValley

    They are still available under the Sanford name:

    Sanford Draughting 02237 (314)

    I have been using them for over 30 years, can’t stop now.

    p.

  • Guest

    Some other online retailers (example) seem to be claiming that the General’s Draughting pencil is a replacement (the replacement?) for the Sanford-Berol pencil, which could very well be true.

    (Granted, I’ve never actually seen either one in the wild, so I can’t really verify anything much.)

    At the very least, there’s a website with an actual photo as opposed to General’s default computer-illustrated one. This, along with the model number, seem “close enough…”

  • Dianne

    I found your blog while looking for replacements for the ‘just-nubbins-now’ pencils I inherited from my dad in 1985.

    Dad used the Eagle Draughting pencils in layout work at a newspaper. The soft lead works well on the rough newsprint — I use them now for my daily newspaper Sudoku puzzle.

    I am sorry to learn that they are no longer available. The pencil the art supply store suggested wasn’t as soft, and I didn’t like it as well. I don’t know what brand it was. I’ll look for the Sanford Draughting 314.

    Thank you for the information.

  • I used the berol 314′s for years when I worked as an illustrator from the late seventies and early 80′s. When I learned they were to be discontinued, about 1980, I think, I bought up all I could find- about 100 of them. I still have 50 or so in a drawer. Never found any other pencil that could come close to the smoothness and lack of graphite dust. They still sell them under the same name and number, but they’re not the same pencil. I never use them anymore, as I decided I needed to become proficient in something I could continue to buy.

  • Bob

    I remember reading an article in which Charles Moore, FAIA said he couldn’t draw without the 314.

  • Krista

    I was in school not that long ago and we were taught sketching using a berol 314. I was totally hooked on them, I can’t draw with anything else.
    I had no problems finding them in RI where my college was or in NYC where I eventually moved. But they have since been discontinued, maybe about 5 years ago.

    I am now teaching and I have my student buy General’s 314 Draughting which as far as i can tell is the same pencil. However, this semester, they have been having a hard time locating them.

    It’s kind of sad…there really is no substitute.

  • Lyndon

    Actually, drawing = faint and hard, drafting = dark and soft, at least according to Staedler, that I know of.

  • David

    Hi I found your website when looking for more information about the Sanford 02237 (314)’s. After reading some of the comments here I was wondering if you or anyone else knew where they still sell the Sanford 02237 (314)’s. My architecture professor bought 4000 off someone online and gave me some but I want to know where I can get more. Any help is appreciated.

    The General Draughting pencil IMO is NOT a replacement for the Sanford 314. It is not nearly as smooth as the Sanford pencil is.

  • 4000? Now that’s a stash of pencils!

  • I love these pencils and am finding it harder and harder to find them. I had a few in stash, perhaps 4 (?) and got to my last recently having picked up my art once again. I even loved the sound of the pencil in my pencil box. Silly perhaps, but I’m sad to read the above. Has anyone found an approximate to this pencil? The weight, color and smoothness are so addicting. I am looking at the Prismacolor “Ebony” but haven’t pick one up to try it yet.
    If you would, perhaps a note at my blog or an email?

  • Jim

    I have tried the Sanford 314, General 314, and Sanford Ebony pencils and have this thought. In my hand the Sanford 314 performs similar to a 6B and the General 314 similar to a 4B pencil… the General 314 is harder graphite, scratchier, and not as dark. When you compare the two side by side the Sanford 314 is a much nicer pencil… darker with a much smoother lay down. The Sanford Ebony pencil is close to the Sanford 314 in performance with two main differences that I see: 1) It is blacker (not darker, blacker); and 2)It is a little softer as observed by the point wearing down a little faster. The Sanford Ebony was my favorite inexpensive drawing pencil until I encountered the Sanford 314 which has taken the “favorite” position. Unfortunately the Sanford 314 is no longer available (enjoy whatever stock you have or can find). When I run out of Sanford 314’s I will go back to using the Sanford Ebony. I really have no interest in the General 314. Having said all this, I realize I am “picking nits”. I can draw just as well (or just as poorly) with any one of these 3 fine pencils. It’s just the Sanford 314 feels so nice.

  • Jim, thanks for sharing your deliberations. I will have to try and find some Sanford 314s.

  • Jim

    The Sanford 314 is being sold on Ebay right now if you are interested.

  • Neko2

    If anyone would like to split one of the 72 count Sanford 314 pencil listings on ebay let me know. I’d like 36 but 72 is too many for me…

  • Spoonless Eddie

    These EAGLES were my favorite pencils in the 60s and 70s. When I found them again in the 90s, they said BEROL on them. Today I see some that say GENERAL on them. Everybody says they are not the same anymore, and I believe it. Too bad. You wouldn’t think making a damned pencil would be so difficult that we would forget how, but evidently we have managed.

  • Steve

    These are my favorite pencils, for sure, and I use them for creative work such as sketches on my son’s lunch bags, rough ideas that need to be looked at in the garden or around the house, and my annual goal statement for business. I consider the last to be of prime importance: making a statement with such a lovely pencil casts it as art, and a real thing. A goal writ by a 314 is a done deal. (I understand the quote by Charles Moore, FAIA, whether he said it or not.)

    One day I woke up and worried they had stopped making them. Bought a dozen that afternoon.

  • micky g

    I don’t know for sure but I guess that the original Berol was made in Germany as were many of the fine drafting instruments in the mid 20th. c. I didn’t know that I had such a rare pencil in my possession but I did know it is tha best sketching pencil I’ve ever used. Great for broad concepts with quick execution. Has anyone checked if the German’s make anything comparable.

  • Pencilwhipper

    The 314 was first made by Eagle in about 1895; there was also a hex barrel version, the 514. Eagle continued production of the 314 with some very minor changes in barrel and lead thickness right up until the company was bought out, in turn, by Berol and Sanford. Take it from me: the Berol wasn’t a bad version but the Sanford (and now, the General) are nowhere near as good as the old-school versions. As the quality of mined graphite has decreased — across the board, not just for the 314s — the older pencils are more highly valued because of their superior leads. I hope it’s not too cheesy to self-promote here but on eBay in the coming week I am selling a bundle of a dozen 514s that date to about 1905-10. The quality of the graphite is amazing when compared to modern sketching and art pencils.

  • Allan

    Does anyone remeber a “Flamingo” pencil? And, it did have a pinker casing. Is there an equivilant to that? I found that to be as good. It’s so long but I actually think I liked that the best.

  • I have to agree with Pencilwhipper re: the decline in quality of the graphite cores. I have some of the Sanford edition, and a couple of the older Eagle version reviewed here, and the difference is startling; the Eagle version has much smoother lead than the Sanford, and the Sanford a certain crumbliness to it not present in the Eagle. The Sanford is slightly darker, and still a nice pencil.

    One thing’s for sure, though: the Eagle is a beautiful-looking pencil, whereas the Sanford errs on the ugly side of utilitarian.

  • BillyBob

    There was a sweet pencil called the “Eagle Elite”. It had a thick fat lead and the lead was nice and soft. Though it said 2HB on it a more accurate hardness as a drawing pencil would be 4.5B or so. They were good looking pencils not painted but cased in some sort of black composite black all the way through with silver lettering and a silver ferrule holding the pink eraser. The company has now been bought out several time and so far none of the pencils they have offered as replacements comes close to being what I want. I bought a gross before it was discontinued, thank goodness, and I won’t give out any of the few I have left for love or money.
    If you are looking for a fat soft lead I suggest the Dixon Ticonderoga 1388 1B ex-soft. Really it’s more like a 5b. It can’t be beat for the price and if you want an eraser on the end of a soft drawing pencil it can’t be beat. Period.

  • ALDO PORCO

    I have some eagle #314 pencils on ebay

    if you interested send an email or call 201-280-1780

  • fisk

    $8.99 for two?

    Keep reaching for that rainbow.

  • ALDO PORCO

    I GOIN TO LIST 3 FOR $9.99 THE ARE VERY HARD TO FIND.

  • Bruce

    Went looking for some Eagle Draughting 314s, Didn’t realize things have changed since Stussy or Elgart recommended them at UCLA about 1962. Nice to read the comments: they were like no other pencil. I have about four left ~ guess I’ll frame them.

  • Roxann

    Does anyone out there have any vintage Eagle 314 draught pencils (black). email me at roxyjoefrankie@yahoo.com…… Thanks ahead of time. Any help locating them would be great.

  • I found the Eagle Draughting 314 at a yard sale in a bunch of art stuff. I bought the lot thinking it would be a good investment. Today I sketched with the 314 and then used my sketch and wash pencil and low and behold the 314 works about the same, but turns PURPLISH BLUE like a blueprint. It is water soluble and looks fantastic except I was doing a portrait and the face turned a ghostly shade of blue.

  • Kim

    I bought several cartons of Berol 314s in 1981 and am working my way through them. I had them shipped from an Art Supply store in Buffalo as they weren’t, and still aren’t, available in Canada. I am a landscape architect and together with yellow trace, they are my most important design tool.

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