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Derwent Onyx pencil

In 2008, Derwent announced a new graphite pencil line, the Onyx. According to Derwent, the Onyx “… is made from smooth dark graphite and delivers dense, rich, jet-black tones, darker than a Graphic 9B. Due to its non-crumbly texture, the 4mm wide core is capable of sharpening and holding a fine point.” After some testing, [...]

Felissimo pencils

A few people have asked, “What happened to the Felissimo pencils?” About a year and a half ago, I wrote about an unusual offering of 500 colour pencils. (I learned about this set from Japanese pencil blogs.) I was soon contacted by the manufacturer, who were planning a global launch, and was offered a set [...]

A vintage dual function pencil

It looks like the fantastic Tombow Black Red LV-KEV pencil had at least one predecessor. The National Pencil Co. was the location of a 1915 murder that is still resonating.

FILA’s global pencil

Made by the FILA Group, these pencils from subsidiary brands appear to be roughly the same. They are made at FILA’s main plant in China, and sold under established national brand names. Very established brand names – LYRA (Germany) dates from 1806, and Dixon (USA) from 1795. FILA itself is a relative newcomer, established in [...]

Roxy No. 188 12B pencil

It goes to 12! If you think 10B is the softest grade on the market, note that Taiwanese brand Roxy offers their No. 188 pencil in 12B. Unfortunately, the Roxy 188 is a scratchy carbon pencil, leaving a line perhaps comparable to – I’m not sure what. Even “hard” compressed charcoal is smoother and more [...]

Mitsubishi’s extremely soft pencils

For drawing and shading, the super dark marks of the softest grade pencils can be very appealing. These soft grades typically go up to 6B in the ranges of many manufacturers. Anything beyond that can be very hard to find, especially as a traditional graphite pencil. Some manufacturers offer very dark pencils in “carbon” or [...]