pencil talk‘s fifth anniversary is less than two months away. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment or send an email.
Approaching this milestone, I hope to feature some broader reviews of manufacturers and pencil categories, and perhaps see if we can determine just which pencil really is the best!
I’d also like to have a draw/giveaway or two. If you are a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer who might be interested in donating something interesting, please send me an email.
Today’s mail delivered two prototype Palomino Blackwing pencils. I think first-hand reports on these pencils started appearing online almost three weeks ago, so I am behind the curve, but no less keen to try them out. I’ll soon share some impressions.
And from another corner of the graphite writing world, the Sharpie Liquid Pencil has been making the news in a big way. Sharpie truly succeeded in getting PR for a writing implement launch. That is a story in itself. I hope to take a look at this product when it becomes available in my neck of the woods.
7 Replies to “An upcoming anniversary”
I would certainly be interesting to see which pencil from your vast collection proves to be the best (or even better the top 5 pencils in the world). Looking forward your review of the the new Palomino Blackwings.
looking forward to a review of the new blackwing. Would be cool to see a comparison to the old one if you have one knocking about in your collection.
Tried the Sharpie liquid pencil today at Staples: two-pack, $5.99. It’s hard to say if this writes more like a ballpoint, or more like a roller-ball, but it is certainly closer to those than to a graphite pencil. The best I can say for it is that it erases completely, and because so little pressure is applied in writing, there isn’t even an impression left in the paper. Just as a ballpoint isn’t a true pen, this doesn’t qualify as a pencil. Staples was quite happy to open a pack to let me try one, but even they weren’t impressed. $5.99 will buy four Tombows!
Saumiq, thanks for mentioning your find. I just saw them advertised in a local flyer, so they appear to have arrived in this end of the country also. The complete erasure sounds like a positive benefit.
I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but in addition to finding out some of the top pencils overall for a few different purposes, I think it’d be nifty to get some more discussion on paper choice. I can take 2 different varieties of “smooth” paper, and while one will take a similar darkness line from, say, a Mars Lumograph and a Hi-Uni, the other paper will very clearly distinguish the two. I’d like to get down with a microscope and analyze the way the graphite is deposited on a few different papers, and see whether there are any papers that will take and hold graphite with minimal smearing without sacrificing a smooth writing experience.
A bit ambitious and really geeky sure, but I think it’d be fascinating.
Robert, you are not too late. Any and all suggestions are welcome!
The right paper/pencil combination is a great subject idea. There are a lot of potential pairs – but keep in mind that even six pencils and six paper formats equal thirty-six combinations to test. A comparison of this type could quickly become a large project. The “ambitious” term is quite apropos.
Sadly, I think more rigorous testing of graphite deposition on paper would require a bit of ingenuity beyond the simple mark-and-photograph, as we’d need to find a way to apply a constant load to pencil lead at a constant angle with a predefined point geometry. This could be done with relatively minimal fuss by a big enough DIY geek, but I can’t really think of anyone who is THAT curious. Such a rig could also likely be modified and used to test resistance or friction of lead as well as durability and wear rate. Perhaps one of your illustrious readers would be interested in undertaking such a frivolous project, in the spirit of amateur science! :D
Anyway, I would definitely like to see some updates on old polls, and perhaps some new ones to learn more about the writing and drawing habits of readers here, as well as the influence of nostalgia and novelty on personal preferences. Of course, it’d be fun to go all-out and assess factors like cost, availability, overall aesthetics, finishing quality, lead “performance”, and ergonomics too. I myself was just recently curious about what kinds of point geometries other people preferred for writing.
I think there’s quite a bit that can be done…the question is just where to start.