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Bic Gilbert 33 pencil

pencil talk has some very informed readers! Frank, who kindly sent me two of the pencils that are part of this series, yesterday left a great comment which includes assessments of many of the pencils we’ll see this week – and others.

Today we see another Bic pencil with a longstanding name – the […]

Bic Critérium 550 pencil

Here is the modern incarnation of a classic pencil. The Critérium name dates at least as far back as the 1930s, and has continued through various mergers and acquisitions to the current Bic ownership.

This is a pencil I have sought for years. I’m not sure why, but Bic seems to be engaged in […]

Maped Black’Peps pencil

This is the first in a series on the pencils of France. The series is unfortunately a few years late, as France, like several other western countries, appears to have relocated most pencil production to China.

Maped (Manufacture d’Articles de Precision et de Dessin) was founded in Annecy, France in 1947, and their […]


Apologies for the downtime. An area storm knocked out server power for several hours.

Pencils were reported to have maintained service.

Lyra 334 Profi copying carpenter pencils

Here is one of the most unusual and specialized pencils ever manufactured.

The Lyra 334 Profi is a nicely finished oval carpenter’s pencil, with silver lettering on dark blue. It is manufactured in the extra long 240mm length. That alone makes it an interesting specialty pencil. Yet this pencil is so unusual that the […]

Stonemasonry pencils – the Bleispitz 0341 and Lyra 331 Profi

Stonemasonry pencils were mentioned at this site before I had ever seen one.

Here we see a 240mm version from Bleispitz (the 0341), and a 300mm version from Lyra (the 331 Profi).

With extremely hard 6H leads, they are meant for writing on stone and rock surfaces. Mr. Slate probably used […]