When you see someone using a Palomino Blackwing, it is hard to mistake it for any other average wood cased pencil. The striking glossy color (Silver, Black and White) and rectangular eraser certainly give it away. But why does one choose to use one of these legendary pencils? Are they really worth the hype? Well I guess the answer to that can only be answered once you pick one of these up. They might just be able to turn me into a wood pencil person and I have never gone for any wood cased pencils, mechanical pencils were the only thing in my world until this nice 602!
The Blackwing pencil has a long and interesting history. The line started in the 1930’s was discontinued in 1998 and prices skyrocketed for a single pencil. Then in 2010 the brand was revived and the pencil went back into production and still seems to have a solid reputation even in this new run.
I know this review is a bit out of the norm of my usual pen reviews, but I think a lot of pen collectors also would enjoy a good pencil or two!
Now as I said before, I am not a wood case pencil person and while I do like pencils (mechanical mainly), I don’t choose to use them on a daily basis because I don’t like them to smudge and in order to help stop smudging you need a harder lead and harder leads lead to lighter lines. So you see the vicious cycle continues. On top of that I can’t stand most wood pencils because the erasers are not replaceable and don’t last the life of the pencil before being completely gone and my perfectionist ways don’t allow for an uneven or non-uniform sharping to be acceptable.
But much to my delight the Blackwing just might revive hope for a wood cased pencil in my life. The really smart thing about this pencil is the eraser! Yes the eraser is replaceable not only is it replaceable but it is not round. Why would think a round eraser is the way to go? We write in lines does’t the shape of the Blackwing eraser really make more sense? I think it does. It is stylish, comfortable and super light weight. The polished finish not only gives it looks but makes if feel like a polished product. It writes like a dream, smooth and consistent, erases well and is likely the best wood pencil I have used.
I know many people out there know these comments about the Blackwing are nothing new, but in me they have a new fan and customer. This pencil just may have renewed my faith in wood pencils and became my new go to drawing pencil in one new experience!
Thank you to @FountainPenGuy on Twitter for this 602.
You can read more about the history and story of the Blakwing pencil: