THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT Palomino Blackwing pencils! This one (in matte black) is
the first, which has a soft lead and writes with a dark line. Customers
expecting a pencil more like the original EF Blackwing wanted the shiny
not-quite-black finish, the Half the Pressure slogan, the pink eraser, and a
harder lead that wouldn't dull so quickly. A year later, CalCedar issued the
Palomino Blackwing 602, which is closer in appearance and performance to the
90's era EF Blackwings (40's era Blackwings reputedly had softer leads). The
Palomino Blackwing 602 doesn't write as dark a line as the Palomino Blackwing,
but it holds its point longer. In my opinion, both write better than the
original late-era EF Blackwings I've purchased off of eBay. As penciltalk.org's
admin wrote in his 7/22/09 EF Blackwing post, "...the past achievements are
acknowledged and celebrated, but decades of engineering advancement just can't
This pen SHOULD have received several 5-star reviews by now. Not only is the
writing smooth and the ink vivid (I've tried Blue and Purple), but where else
are you going to find an ink reservoir a large as this? Only on an eyedropper
pen is the answer. Nathan Tardif has shown that rollerballs use ink far more
efficiently than fountain pens, so an eyedropper rollerball represents the ideal
in longevity. Though this pen isn't refillable, it has the
eyedropper-pen-reservoir's volume--at only $1.55! The MG Mach II is notable
among disposable pens; kudos to JetPens for recognizing it.
EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE to write with, esp for extended sessions. The mechanism is
reliable and it works as it should. As a bonus, it seems to act as a shock
absorber for the lead, which reduces the incidence of breaks and snapping. Faber
Castell of Germany uses a shock absorber in its much-acclaimed Vario line. The
Vario is made of plastic, too, and costs a lot more than this one does. If you
can live with a non-retractable lead protecting tube (as it's called in US
Patent 3914059), this is an excellent choice for everyday use. The Vario's lead
protecting tube is also non-retractable. If you need the retractable tube, I
suggest either the Pilot Vanishing Point pencil or either of the the A.G.
Spalding mechanical pencils available here at Jetpens. (The white rubberized
body is comfortable too, but the mechanism can play havoc with the lead. I once
had to delay the start of a monthly Library Board meeting I was taking the
minutes for, while I cleaned lead pieces out of the nose cap. That only happened
once, and maybe because of the soft 2B lead grade.) The Kuru Toga has joined the
white AG Sparlding and FC Vario as my favorite everyday mechanical pencils.
A.G. Spalding manufactured the first baseballs and continues to supply the major
leagues. The Beige color suggests a baseball bat. While other colors may be more
attractive for a casual pen, Beige is the color most appropriate to this
particular pen. People should know that these pens take the Pilot Hi Tech C
Cavalier refill. While ordinary rollerball pens are a dime a dozen--common at
any rate--Hi Tech C's are not. I've had a blue HTC Cavalier refill in my Orange
pen for six months and it works great. (Beige gets the black Cavalier refill.)
If you want to REALLY impress people, use this pen with a Pilot Hi Tech C
Cavalier refill. The needle point protruding from the end always gets noticed.
And the cap on these pens has an insert to keep the rollerball refill from
drying out. Regular roller ball pens are everywhere; the specialized Hi Tech C
refills are different, they're not good in other pen/cap designs even if they
fit, but they work PERFECTLY in this pen. (A droplet of ink may develop in the
insert, which adheres to the point, but this is only temporary.) The A.G.
Spalding name + Hi Tech C refill (in Cavalier!) makes for an impressive package.
Note: Geometry and dimensions of the Hi Tech C Cavalier refill are identical to
those of the Pilot G2 refill; Hi Tech C represents a step up.