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When I bought these,...
May 17, 2012
Verified Purchase
When I bought these, I ideally wanted to use them for notes or homework. Keep this in mind, because I'm no artist.

I love how dark and smooth these pencils are, but they're a bit impractical for everyday use. I write extremely lightly, but the lead still loses its point pretty quickly. Even if I rotate the pencil at the end of every word, the line becomes thick very quickly. The only solution is to sharpen the pencil every couple minutes. Also, the unique design of the eraser doesn't really help, since you won't be able to use a pencil holder to make use of that last inch of precious lead.

I find that writing with my Rotring 600 with .5mm 4B lead works much better. It's just as smooth, if not smoother than the Blackwing, and there's no need to sharpen every 20 words.

Overall, I'm sure the Blackwings have their use for artists or the occasional bold word, but they're not the best for notes.
9 people found this helpful
Easy on the hand as virtually...
November 9, 2014
Verified Purchase
Easy on the hand as virtually no pressure required to write. Regular item for me. Love the erasers. Worth the price. Won't gouge paper in my books when jotting notes. Wish they made a fatter version but these will help save your hands from cramping.
3 people found this helpful
Ghost Plane
The ultimate luxurious...
April 22, 2013
Verified Purchase
The ultimate luxurious crossword experience:
Scan the puzzle, laser print it on HP Premium Choice (32lb.) laser paper, use a quality clipboard and a Palomino Blackwing pencil, sharpened with a KUM or Palomino long point sharpener. Life is good!
5 people found this helpful
Butter smooth, dark,...
November 25, 2012
Verified Purchase
Butter smooth, dark, and well centered. These sharpen up beautifully. I love the extra long eraser, and the way these sketch with ease and swiftness.
3 people found this helpful
I find these are really...
December 27, 2011
I find these are really nice for shading they are very dark compared to most other pencils I’ve tried but there also very soft so there not my first choice for sketching. The erasers actually pretty good and also removable so that comes in pretty handy. It’s a very well made pencil the lead cores been dead center all the ones I’ve tried. I’m definitely going to keep a few in my pencil box from now on.
3 people found this helpful
I was super intrigued...
October 20, 2016
Verified Purchase
I was super intrigued by the Blackwings since everyone seems to hype them up so much, so I bought a case of these and the Pearls to try out. I'm going to try to be as thorough as I can for those of you still mixed about trying these out, as I did a LOT of research and read a lot of written and video reviews before committing to two 12-count boxes of this Blackwing brand. These are based on my personal experience of them, so here we go;

I'm an artist, and it's just my personal preference to draw with softer leads ( I prefer working with 4Bs and up) because I like getting dark dark lines with very little pressure. In this regard, the Pearls (being the balanced lead of the Blackwings) were just a little too firm for me (It's pretty much equivalent to a 3B) but they are quite smooth still, and I still enjoy using them. It is still a very nice pencil! What I like best about it might just be the beautiful lacquer finish instead of the actual lead itself though. The finish is smooth and so comfortable to hold. So, if you are an artist and/or writer who likes a dark line and likes a slightly softer lead instead of a very firm one, I highly recommend the Pearl.

As for these regular Blackwings, these are much more my speed. They are a bit softer to write/draw with than the Pearls, and are about equivalent to a 4B. But because these are soft, the point will wear down faster, so these are probably more suited to artists instead of writers, unless you don't mind sharpening your pencil frequently. The black matte finish is also very nice! It gives you a nice grip as you write/draw. So, if you prefer soft lead and very dark lines without applying much pressure, don't mind sharpening the pencil frequently, and aren't concerned with keeping a sharp point, go with these, the Regular Blackwings. Suitable to you artists out there; writers be wary.

I do NOT like firm lead pencils, which is why I didn't buy the 602 box set and can't really give a review on them. But based on the info provided, they are the firmest of the three (about 2B equivalent), so in my opinion, if you like a very firm lead that still makes a dark line, go with the 602. Probably the best for writers.

The Cedar incensed wood is also a nice touch; it's a very good type of wood, which makes these easier to sharpen than most other pencils, as they won't break or splinter like some other brands do.

One thing to keep in mind with these pencils is that the added ferrule and eraser at the top adds a little extra weight to them, so these pencils are a bit top-heavy and might take some getting used to at first.

In regard to the erasers; I find that they work just fine! They erase pretty well, as long as you don't press down on the pencil to hard. I'm not sure why people shoot them down so much. Blackwings are meant to be darker lead pencils, so it's sort of obvious that ANY eraser isn't going to fully erase lead this dark. Take it from someone who also uses Uni Boxy erasers. I put the Blackwing eraser and the Uni Boxy to the test with these pencils, and found that they both erase the lead the same amount; the only part that didn't erase was where I pressed down on the lead super hard. So like I said, they will erase very well as long as you don't put too much pressure on it as you write/draw. Also keep in mind what paper you are using. The more textured/toothier it is, the harder it'll be to erase, no matter what brand the pencil is. The smoother the paper, the better it'll erase (I like Marker paper because it takes pencil very smoothly).

The last thing I want to cover is the 'buttery-like smoothness' everyone seems to talk about... I really wouldn't go that far. When I ordered these I also ordered a 4B Tombow pencil, which in all honesty, is much, much smoother to write/draw with than these regular Blackwings. So if your all for the 'smoothness' of a pencil as you write/draw, look into Tombow pencils instead. These are not like writing with butter. Truly.

So all in all, 4 stars out of 5, because really; they are just pencils, and whether you'll like them or not is going to just come down to what pencil lead grade you personally prefer:

If you like firm but dark lead (2B), consider the 602.
If you like very soft, very dark lead (4B), consider these regular Blackwings.
If you like dark lead that is not too firm nor too soft, (3B), consider the Pearl.

Otherwise, if money is a concern and you don't want to splurge for a box of 12 of these, just stick to what you use that you know you like. These really aren't the 'Holy Grail' of pencil brands like people make them out to be. In the end, they are just what they are; pencils... pencils they make you buy in boxes of 12 instead of as singles *eye roll*

Looks fantastic on paper....
August 17, 2016
Verified Purchase
Looks fantastic on paper. Great conversation piece in my studio. I use it to write lead sheets (music). Too soft for general writing, though. Needs constant sharpening. I have switched to the Palomino 602.
These pencils are exactly...
August 6, 2016
Verified Purchase
These pencils are exactly as the reviewers described. Worth every penny. LOVE THEM!
Simply the best pencil...
July 1, 2016
Verified Purchase
Simply the best pencil made on the planet.
Unique rectangular and replaceable eraser. Someone finally figured out we erase more than we write:-)
These pencils write smooth...
June 16, 2016
Verified Purchase
These pencils write smooth and dark and the erasers actually work. I am glad I tried them out!
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