We’ve looked at the plastic and aluminum perfect pencils – today we’ll look at the silver-plate version.
My sense is that Faber-Castell is withdrawing their silver-plate products, probably for some of the reasons that we’ll see in this article.
First, let me acknowledge that I don’t have an anti-tarnish regime, and have not thought much about establishing one. I’ve also held off on this post for some time, fearing that it might not be fair to the product to present it this way. But pencil talk has never displayed manufacturer photos – nor do we just link to random websites and say “cool product” – we use and write about pencils from a personal viewpoint, and hope that readers are aware of this practice.
So that said, I love and regularly use this pencil, but don’t polish or maintain it. I feel that a pencil should be “low maintenance”.
The pencil extender may have been sold alone, but I bought a set – a wooden box with hinged lid.
The pencil arrives sharpened, in the ribbed Graf von Faber-Castell style. This model is black with black dyed wood. There is also a natural finish (wood undyed) version. The pencil crown has a cavity for a replaceable eraser. The eraser is covered by a screwed on cap, also silver-plate.
Kudos to Faber-Castell – the long standing complaint about worn-down erasers has been solved!
There are also two unsharpened replacement pencils in the box.
The extender operates by twisting and untwisting the midsection – no removable parts to lose. Note that is this is the third (and not the last) extender mechanism we’ve seen.
The extender cap pulls off to reveal a sharpener – the same one seen in our other pencils.
The clip has a very nice spring action, of the sort used in Faber-Castell’s finer writing implements.
The product is very functional, and a great celebration of the woodcase pencil. I think it looks great, even unmaintained.
Still, I think I may want to buy a silver polishing cloth – carefully examining the pencil has made me want to get it ship shape.
7 Replies to “Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 3”
If you keep this pencil in the bag shown, or in its box, then I’d recommend obtaining the sheets of anti-tarnish silver protector paper that one can buy to keep with silverware in cutlery canteens. They’re a dark grey colour, about 5cm x 15cm (can be cut, of course), and I believe they operate on the same principle as the magnesium flags that protect underground petrol tanks: as a sacrificial object that “tarnishes” or reacts in preference to the silver object. Silica gel has a role to play too. I have always kept these items in my flute cases over the years, and while the occasional wipe and clean (mild detergent+warm water) is still necessary, it makes a huge difference.
Actual use makes a difference too: the places where a flute *doesn’t* tarnish are the places where the hands or face are regular touching the surface. Be very very wary of silver polishing cloths, especially if you are dealing with silver plate. Those things can be horribly abrasive and you could end up losing your silver finish altogether. Similarly, avoid the mashed-banana-and-baking-soda recipes, as baking soda is enough to abrade the silver. Rubbing with scrunched aluminium foil will work for chrome tapes but is best avoided for silver as it will pit the surface. Chemical dips work but you risk removing the lovely patina you have happening there.
To be honest, it doesn’t actually look like you have a tarnish problem (i.e. no purple or black areas, although perhaps you hid those?). Rather, through your regular use, the pencil has acquired a lovely soft patina, which I think is actually more attractive than the bright and shiny of these things when photographed new. So all you need to do is (A) store with a protective paper esp. if not using for a time, (B) wash/wipe very occasionally with warm water and a mild detergent – a tricky process, I’ll admit, (C) polish it up with a soft, plain cloth, and (D) keep right on using it. (Oh, and don’t eat too many eggs!)
I don’t own one of these, but would dearly love to! Meanwhile I make do with the bottle green plastic one, which gives me great pleasure.
Thank you for the insights. This is obviously not an area I know too much about. “Patina” has a much nicer ring to it than “tarnish”!
I like to thank you a lot for writing such beautiful, detailed and personal reviews of perfect pencils. It was very helpful when I was seriously confused by different versions. I most certainly agree that a pencil should be cheap to maintain and this pen gets a rich patina with use.
Me and perfect pencil was love in first sight. I have spent many many hours on ebay to find one that I can afford. Well my effort paid and now I have four different versions; silver (without the sharpener, sterling silver, silver plated, platinum plated). It was pure luck I came into good deals, I will keep one and sell the other three. This is one I am most likely to keep.
Mine came in a small all wooden box. It says “verlangerer mit eingebauten Anspitzer 3 Taschenstifte Nr.IV”. Which I think roughly translates to; extender with inner sharpener 3 Nr.IV pencil. The pencils are different to yours; the bottom part where the eraser is placed can be unscrewed so, at least in theory, they should be cheaper to produce than the ones where that part is built in. I wish faber makes affordable spare pencils for these sets because they are a joy to use and I dont want to give up and sell them all at the end just because I can afford to use them. I am also very unhappy about the sharpeners. Such a shame. Hence I call them the “almost” perfect pencil :)
craniopath, thanks very much for your kind comments. I have corresponded with others, including the manufacturer, about the variant you have. Faber-Castell didn’t tell me too much, but acknowledge it as a discontinued predecessor version of the current offering.
Craniopath, can you say more about the sterling silver one? Is it hard to find refill pencils and erasers for it?
jackie, the precious metal versions all take the same refills.
After much thought and use I have come to realize that I use the Perfect Pencil 9000 the most due to its light weight but my favorite Perfect Pencil so far is this silver plated version. Why? because it is so far the ultimate wood pencil users fiddlers delight. It has 4, count em’ 4 twisty bits and one springy bit. How can any true fiddler resist such an item? You twist the two part clutch to remove and replace the pencil. You twist off the cap to get at the sharpener. You twist the pencil in the sharpener to sharpen your pencil. And, to get at the eraser you get to twist off the eraser cap. Now don’t forget the springy clip which is perfect for mindless fingernail entertainments in the pocket or under the desk at meetings and while working. But best of all, and I don’t believe that anyone has mentioned this before, is that thanks to the two part clutch mechanism the silver plated Perfect Pencil can be used as a vertical pencil holder while seated at desk or table. The other versions while extremely beautiful and useful just don’t have the added allure of all the twisty bits, and none of them can be used as a vertical pencil holder, as the silver plate version can. And another added benefit of the two part clutch mechanism is that it is so far the only version of the Perfect Pencil that I have come across that doesn’t dent or damage the pencil’s finish as a result of friction fit as all the other versions have a tendency to do.