A regular request since the blog started has been for sources of all-black pencils with black varnish and black dyed wood. I’m not sure why they’re so popular, but I do believe that someone taking the time to write often represents a “tip of the iceberg” phenomenon. It might be the pure aesthetics – or maybe there are circumstances that require “low-profile” woodcase pencils.
Here are five possible choices:
Faber-Castell Design pencil. It looks like the Grip 2001, but the varnish goes over the grip dots. We previously looked at the pencil here. It is triangular with a finished cap.
The Nava pencil. Round, they are a very attractive pencil. We took a look at them in the blog’s early days. They also come in anthracite, silver, and white.
The Dong-A Black Wood. Unfortunately only available in Korea. Seen here.
The Biella Bundesordner. This is a pencil that comes with Canteo notebooks, but can also be purchased separately. It has a white vinyl eraser and silver ferrule.
The Graf von Faber-Castell No. 5 pencil – a Perfect Pencil refill. A very classy pencil that features an unscrewable platinum-plate cap housing a replaceable eraser. It is round and oversized with a ribbed pattern.
The Kirin Black Pal is a pencil that I wish was in this list – I just ordered some from pencils.jp, the new English language site from our friends at Bundoki. I’m sure that news of this site will delight some!
Overall, this is a really nice group of pencils. Probably 90% or more of modern quality pencils are hexagonal – yet this group is dominated by round and triangular shapes. The ones that can be found in North America or Europe are also on the more expensive side and harder to find.
As writers, all seem high quality. The Bundesordner has the softest lead, followed by the Nava. The Faber-Castell Design is the hardest, with the other two pencils falling somehere in between.
The dying of the wood has some effect, yet the results hard to quantify. In the Carl DE-100 sharpener, there were no sharpening problems with any of the pencils.
Do you like or use these pencils? Black dyed wood is of course not limited to all-black pencils: