Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 4


Fourth in our series is the platinum-plate version of the Perfect Pencil. This post has far more photos than in any previous entry, so please let me know if you encounter problems such as the website slowing down.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

This is the currently offered Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil. It is sold alone, and in various sets. I have the wood and green frosted glass set.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

I have seen similar looking tables with dark wood and green frosted glass at furniture stores, and don’t know which came first.

The pencils are like those in our previous post. At a certain price point, I think it is reasonable to expect very high quality from pencils, and these don’t disappoint.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

As well, there are four spare (unsharpened) pencils, and four erasers.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

The pencil supplied with the extender is pre-sharpened.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

The extender mechanism is like that of the aluminum pencil – a tapered fit, no mechanics.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

The clip is the nicest we’ve yet seen, strong and very springy.

Pulling the cap reveals – an aluminum sharpener! With the same form factor as the plastic sharpeners, it can be retrofitted to other perfect pencils. (And, I did order a few from my favourite fountain pen store for just that purpose.)

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

I have used it regularly, just like the silver-plate pencil, but the platinum has resisted tarnish, and it still looks spiffy after some years.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

This perfect pencil is very nice, and I can’t imagine pencil connoisseurs not liking it.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

Now about that case. It is like a house with great “curb appeal” and a broken furnace. It may look great from the outside, but the interior inlay is a cheap piece of dust-magnet plastic. This is a huge disappointment to me.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

The frosted glass is attached to the hinge brackets with glue, and broke off during last summer’s humidity (I left the lid open, the pencils on display). Luckily the glass didn’t break. It reattached with pressure, but doesn’t fit quite as well.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

As a customer, I did find this quite disappointing.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

While I feel the pencil product is excellent, I would avoid this particular case unless you really intend on leaving it untouched on a desk or shelf.

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil

21 Replies to “Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil – 4”

  1. Hi, beautiful perfect pencils. Do they only fit as caps on Faber Castell grooved pencils or will they work on any pencil? Thanks!

  2. I just purchased the Graf von Faber Castell perfect pencil in platinum and I love it but the replacement pencils are about $10 apiece! The above comment says that you can use other pencils, but the diameter of this pencil is slightly larger than most (even larger than the GvFC pencils that come with the UFO version of the perfect pencil). As a result, other pencils slip out of this holder.

    Are you aware of any other manufacturers who make pencils of *slightly* larger than average diameter that I can try with this holder?

  3. Hi Chris, I definitely didn’t want to mislead anyone here. This article was part of a five part series, in which we saw four different mechanisms. Some do take alternative pencils better than others, and this particular version, which relies on the internal tapering of the extender, does seem to have a narrow range of tolerances.

    A micrometer say these pencils are about 8.3mm, which is indeed wider than most modern pencils. I also notice that the internal grip seems to work better with round pencils.

    A Mars Stenofix, at 7.55mm, doesn’t fit as tightly as the GvFC pencil, though they are much cheaper. The wide core (and first rate) Derwent Sketching pencil measures about 8.1mm, and fits very well, though it may not be a viable replacement depending on what you do with your pencil.

    Vintage pencils may be another option. The vast majority were wider than today’s pencils, and a number would fit this extender quite nicely.

  4. Thanks for your response (and for your excellent site). Do you know where I can purchase the Derwent?

  5. Hi Chris,

    I noticed the same price problem. GvFC also makes a large pencil that doesn’t have a eraser at the back (not the No. V with the metal back for the eraser) . They are much longer and much cheaper, although around 5 bucks per pencil still isn’t really cheap. I use the No. V when “on the road” as they are a perfect match and I use the long pencils at home behind my desk.

    Funny thing is that if you buy the aluminium or plastic holder, regular pencils will fit, but then the GvFC pencils are a bit to big!
    I tried the FC 9000 1B, which is an excellent pencil in all ways, but I’m so used to the larger, beefier GvFC pencils that I get cramped by the thin 9000’s, when writing a full page or more.
    So I don’t use them that much anymore, only in situations where I might loose the pencil, or get it easily damaged.

  6. Hi everybody, I live in Rome, Italy
    I would need some help/advise.
    I got as a gift a F-C Perfect Pencil. The model is the one shown on the pictures above. the question is : is it possible to understand which is the version I own ? (i.e. silver plated, platinum plated, etc). I checked with a widener lens but there is nothing on the body of the extender helping me.

    A remark about the pencils that works with this extender. I have also the cheap platinum F-C extender and definitely the pencils for that extender are not working with this one. They are too thin. I guess this is a policy of Faber Castell to force owner of this extender to but only expensive pencils. I m going to look for if there are other pencils in the market with the right diameter. Moreover this extender looks great.

  7. Hi Franco,

    There is a specific Graf von Faber-Castell pencil that is thick enough to work with these holders. Note the difference from Faber-Castell (like the 9000) and the Graf von Faber-Castell.
    There are two types of GvFC, one is pencil no. V, short with the place for an eraser and threads for the cap, the other is the “long pencil”, no eraser, no cap, but it is a bit longer and much cheaper.

    On the road i write with the No.V, when at my desk, I write with the long GvFC (or with a mitshu-bishi Hi-Uni for that matter) as they are much cheaper and an eraser or sharpener is easily found on my desk :D

    I think the tickness of GvFC is not only there to force you to buy GvFC, it also is much more comfortable in my hands when write long texts. But it does help you to buy these € 35 for 5 pieces of wood…… Now that is EXPENSIVE for a pencil IMHO

    If it is sterling, it has a 925 mark at the back.
    if it is silver plated, it will show tarnish/blackening.
    If it is platinium plated it will stay perfect silver colored over time.

    There are differences in shape/design for each material, but that is harder to describe. As there are no marks sterling silver wouldn’t be an option, if around theclip the material darkens it is plated, if it is perfect white/silver it should be platinum!.

  8. Hi Alec
    Thank you very much for the explanation. Meantime I had the opportunity to go in a shop and notice the differences between the platinum model and the silvers model. Definitely the platinum one is the model more “stable” as exterior.

    About pencils: really thanks for the good advice. I saw the “long model” that you mention and , imagine, I even didn ‘t ask the price because I thought they were even more expensive of the short models. I will go soon to buy them if they are cheap as you said ( I hope in Rome they are doing the same price policy….)

    About the price: you are again right. I had to experience that GvFC pencils are more comfotable than the thin one. May be not enough to justify such big price but in any case enough to use them instead the normal pencils. Moreover I agree that on our desk we can use chepaer rubber :-)

    Thanks a lot

  9. Pingback: The Perfect Pencil
  10. In Turkey it is possible to buy a 5pencil spare pack for 25€, but still very expensive. All other graf pens/pencils are expensive to buy but cheap (or as expensive as any other alternative) to use except for the perfect pencil which is a shame because they are really nice :(

  11. Hello, I just purchased a Graf von Faber Castell perfect pencil and cannot seem to find the sharpener in the extender. Is it possible there is no sharpener? That is one of the reasons I purchased the pencil. Thanks!

  12. Hi – excellent write up on the Perfect Pencil. Sadly I came across your site because I’ve used the aluminium version for the last three years – and lost it yesterday! However, I will be buying one of these platinum plated ones in future for the simple reason that I lost my pencil because the metal, unhinged spring clip was so tough, it was hard to get it to clip to a shirt or jacket. So, for what it’s worth, the extra money for the sprung clip is probably worth it!

  13. Hello

    I agree they are truly georgous & i have a a set in silver & wood case with a certificate (individual number & signature). I have no date would you be able to advise me of how I can look this up as I would greatly appreciate your assistance.


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