Caran d’Ache Grafwood 775 pencil


Caran d'Ache Grafwood 775 pencil

The Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencil is intriguing.

The pencil is a rounded hexagonal shape, a millimetre or two wider than the Technograph.

Caran d'Ache Grafwood 775 pencil

It has a silver finish, with the very interesting feature of the finish colour corresponding to the lead degree – lighter pencils in a lighter silver, and darker pencils in a darker silver. Each pencil degree is slightly different. This is a great feature, and a huge advance over a degree marking (e.g. ‘B’), possibly hard to read, on the pencil. Of course, this comes at a price to the consumer.

These pencils remind me of Derwent’s offerings. I am remiss in not yet having written about a Derwent pencil here, though I regularly use them.

Caran d'Ache Grafwood 775 pencil

Derwent has a ‘Graphic’ line, and a ‘Sketching’ line. The Graphic pencil is hexagonal, in a typical pencil diameter. The Sketching pencil is round, slightly larger, with a larger graphite core. The idea is that the form factor supports rich lines and easy freehand drawing.

The Grafwood is similarly conceived – a larger diameter pencil (though hexagonal), for easy grip and sketching. Visually, it appears to have a larger than standard (i.e. 2mm) core, but I don’t really want to sacrifice one of the few I have just for dissection.

The lead seems to be at least of the same calibre as the Technograph, and possibly better.

Caran d'Ache Grafwood 775 pencil

At a 2B grade, the graphite seems to be much more solid and non-crumbling than the corresponding Derwent pencil, while giving just as dark a line.

I really like these pencils, and I encourage Caran d’Ache to seek more distribution for their products – I haven’t yet seen anything from their graphite pencil line that isn’t first rate.

16 Replies to “Caran d’Ache Grafwood 775 pencil”

  1. Your postings always intrigue me, but this is a bit more special. I’ve never heard about this pencil before, and, information about this pencil is hardly found by googling. Your compelling posting makes me to try international shopping once again.

  2. Hi Kent,

    Thanks for your comment! Apart from the pencil quality, I forgot to mention how nice they look, finished in a single solid metallic colour. I’m not sure that the photos convey this.

    I predict you will enjoy them.

  3. I’ve finally sent an order form to a Japanese e-store who ships abroad. But, the only available lead grades are HB, B, 2B and 3B. Do you know which grades of this pencil are produced?

  4. You’re missing a key piece of data: both the Derwent Sketching line and the Caran D’ache Technograph line are water-soluble graphite. (That’s why both have the little wet brush icon). This is great for a lot of line-and-wash techniques, and I use ’em a lot for watercolor-style effects when drawing on the go.

    I know you tend to shy away from some of the more art-supply type pencils, but there’s a whole world of water-soluble pencils. There’s watercolor pencils, that are basically loaded with hardened watercolor (Caran D’ache has a great line of them; so does Faber Castell); and there are some new Derwent lines that are probably my favorite – their Graphitints (colored water-soluble graphite) and Inktense (colored water-soluble ink). I do a lot of outdoor sketching with this stuff.

  5. Caran D’Ache has the full range of lead ranges. Their Grafwood B has been my favorite drawing lead for a while, supplanting Faber Castell’s 3B.

    If you’re in the States, some art stores carry Caran D’ache pencils. Dick Blick is probably the biggest chain. Strangely, I think their online site doesn’t list the pencils, but all the storefronts I’ve been to do.

  6. Hi rorschah – the Derwent Sketching line has both regular and water soluble versions. I was referring to just the regular variety, with no brush icon.

    As to the Caran d’Ache Techograph – the ones I have definitely don’t have a brush icon either. Do you mean the similarly named Technalo line?

    You are correct – there are definitely all sorts of art oriented pencils that haven’t been discussed here – charcoal pencils, chalk pencils, hybrid charcoal/graphite pencils (often called ‘carbon’ pencils), water soluble pencils, and of course, the immense world of colour pencils. And that’s not the end of the list. I started working on a draft for a charcoal pencil post some months ago – maybe I’ll revive it.

    Good for you – it sounds like you enjoy working with these types of media.

  7. Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils can be bought at the Dick Blick store in Columbus, OH. I’m not sure if you can order from their on-line store. I use Conte a Paris 601 graphite pencils and find them to be a little softer than the D’Ache, but similar. Caran d’Ache is attempting to market in the United States and hopes to get the word out as best they can.

  8. I have noticed that this pencil doesn’t fit properly into a standard pencil sharpener (I have tried several by KUM and M+R). It can be sharpened by a Dahle 0230 electric sharpener but only with some small damages few centimetres from the tip. Sharpeners for larger diameters are for colour pencils and produce a more blunt tip. Is there a sharpener for pencils with, let’s say, a diameter up to 9 millimetres?

  9. I just stumbled across this website a few days ago while looking for a source for my favorite Bruynzeel Design 8615 pencils, which I suspect I can’t get anymore. After doing a side by side comparison, the Grafwood is high in the running as a replacement. They’re a little harder than my few remaining Bruynzeels, but very smooth. I have also gotten mine at Dick Blick. If anyone thinks there is a smoother pencil for sketching, I would love to hear about it. I’ve never tried the Conté à Paris Graphite 601, but I definitely want to…. If I can find them.

  10. I just found this site, and must say that I’m in pencil heaven! In a late response to Gunther’s question about sharpeners that fit the Grafwood pencils, here in the US I’ve found that the Foray Multi-Hole Electric Pencil Sharpener (model #879138) accommodates larger-diameter pencils and does a lovely job on the Grafwoods. The battery-operated sharpener I use when I’m out and about with my pencils is the Stanley Bostitch Battery Desktop Pencil Sharpener (model #02697). This one is a tighter fit, but doesn’t damage the pencils. Both make a beautiful long point for drawing, and are fairly easy to find online. Happy drawing to all!

  11. Thank you, Pencil Me In. Approaching three years old, I would love to update this post with better photos and newer information – and I hope to. The Grafwood appears to be a great pencil that has received wide acclaim, even though it commands one of the highest price points of any graphite pencil.

  12. The Grafwood line are EXTRAORDINARY pencils. Thanks to Pencil Me In for the sharpener tip. I was using an old issue school hand crank which had multiple guide holes…

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