Up for a look today are several items I received in a sampler pack from Andy at Pencils.com. Pencils.com is the web store of the California Cedar Products Company, which produces well-known brands such as Palomino, Generals, and Kum. Thanks to Andy’s generosity, I have a Spangle “Mini Jumbo”, Forest Choice, Prospector HB, Golden Bear Triangular HB, Palomino HB, and a Palomino Blackwing to try out today!
First off, we have the very blue Spangle “Mini Jumbo”. It’s a beginner’s pencil, manufactured specifically for little hands with its thick body and lead. It is larger than the normal sized pencil sharpener (I had to sharpen it with a razor knife which happened to be laying beside me on my leather table), but after sharpening wrote very well (although it did smear a bit).
Secondly, we have the ForestChoice pencil. Made from FSC-certified Incense cedar with a natural finish, which sharpens beautifully and smells amazing (unless, of course, you’re allergic to real cedar like my mother-in-law-to-be, which sucks, lol), this pencil is sure to a favorite. The #2 HB lead writes amazing well, with very little smearing.
Next up, we have the Prospector, CalCedar’s cheapest pencil. At less than $.15 each ($.13 to be exact), these pencils offer excellent quality while not breaking your budget. These green coated pencils (which also come in green triangular form and a natural finish) sharpen well and write very smoothly, especially for a budget pencil.
Fourthly, we have the Golden Bear. CalCedar claims this pencil to be “equivalent to, perhaps, a Dixon Ticonderoga”, and I can definitely agree! With a beautiful orange finish with gold foil lettering, this triangular pencil really stands out in a crowd. While the sample I was sent is triangular, it’s also available in regular orange and regular blue forms.
Next, is the Palomino HB. Termed “the pencil that started it all” by CalCedar, this pencil is definitely a piece of work. With a glossy, lacquered, Incense cedar barrel surrounding a deliciously smooth graphite core, you can expect a beautiful, dark line with very little effort and a tip that stays sharp for longer than the average pencil.
Lastly, we have the crème de la crème, the recreation of a pencil long sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike, the Palomino Blackwing! Based on the original design of the Eberhard-Faber Blackwing 602, the Palomino Blackwing’s frictionless, buttery lead lays down a dost, smooth, dark line. The unique eraser ferrule and eraser allow you to extend it for longer use, and the matte black body with gold accents makes this an instant conversation piece. Want to add prestige to even the most mundane Post-it? Grab a Blackwing. Want to add class to a quick note to a friend? Grab a Blackwing. Got the picture yet? Get some Blackwings! They truly are beautiful pencils (albeit a little costly), but they are definitely worth the price!