Notebook out, opened with it’s inner spine revealed like cutting into a moist turkey on Thanksgiving day. You pull out your weapon of choice to begin parting tidal waves of clouded thoughts to let the flood gates of memories flow through you. Your fingers glide across a sleek metallic grey lacquered body. Your eyes catch the light reflecting off of words that you will never forget, “Half The Pressure, Twice The Speed”. Today we take a look at the renown Palomino Blackwing 602. Let’s sharpen up and take a look.
Blackwing goes back to the early 1930’s when Eberhard Faber first introduced the 602 and patented the unique eraser design that was the first to be not only replaceable but you could also flip it around if one end was getting low or messy. Blackwing had many famous people favor the Blackwing for it’s dark and smooth writing experiences. Unfortunately in the late 90’s many factories were closed due to several company acquisitions which resulted in die hard fans hording Blackwings or trying to flip them on ebay for $40 a pencil. Thankfully they were finally revived and re-introduced by Palomino in 2010 with a Californian incense-cedar flavor and Japanese lead. They have continued to lead the scene as a premium pencil and have even started subscription services releasing limited edition pencils inspired from famous people through out history like Dorothy Lange, Joe DiMaggio, John Steinbeck, John Muir, and George Melies.
The Palomino Blackwing 602 is a pencil on the longer scale and can be difficult to carry in some cases due to it’s extra length but it’s 8.125 inches of California incense-cedar is pretty amazing. The incense-cedar gives it a great aroma when sharpening or just smelling in general. I also love how centered the lead in all of the pencils I received which just guarantees a better sharpening experience.
The graphite on the Palomino Blackwing 602 has a pretty great point retention and continues to write dark and smooth. I don’t think Palomino ever states what the lead grade exactly is but I think it is about a 2B.
The eraser is probably the only thing I have mixed feelings about with this pencil. I’ll admit the eraser is super cool and makes the brand easy to point out in a crowd. You can even buy other colored eraser refills to put in your pencils too. However, where the eraser lacks, is the quality of the eraser. It just shaves layers off of it too quickly and even wobbles when trying to erase. To be honest.. I think the eraser is really just there for visual appeal but it would be great to see the quality work put into the pencil be done the same for the eraser. Can’t be 100% perfect all the time right?
- Beautiful feeling lacquer
- Longer pencil that writes longer as well
- Well balanced and great in the hand
- Cool looking eraser
- No big barcodes pressed onto the pencil
- Price hits the wallet hard
- Eraser doesn’t live up to the standards of the rest of the pencil
- Need extra consideration when commuting with the pencil as it is longer and may not fit typical pencil cases
- Only available in 1 lead grade
- Only available in 12 packs
Price: ~$1.8 per pencil and available for $21.95 on Blackwing602.com for 12 pack
Material: California Incense-Cedar
Body: Metallic Grey Lacquered Hexagonal body
Capped or Eraser: Eraser
Dimensions: 8.125 x 2.5 x .625 inches
Lead Grade: 2B
So let’s ask the hard question. Are the Palomino Blackwing 602’s worth the cost? Not taking the heritage of this pencil into consideration and just analyzing this pencil as a just a pencil, a tool used to write, sketch, and color. My honest opinion? Probably not for most people out there. I will admit I believe that everyone should try a Palomino Blackwing 602 just for the experience but dropping between $22-$28 (including shipping) for a 12 pack of pencils is something I think only real pencil enthusiasts would enjoy. Unfortunately these are not available to purchase singularly either. I can see why this pencil is in most people’s top 5 or top 10 lists of best pencils.. The body is great, it lasts long, it has a sexy lacquer, isn’t covered in texts or a barcode, writes great but not being able to choose your preferred lead grade, the kind of crappy eraser, and the extra consideration needed for how you are going to transport these pencils if you are like me and like to take things out around town is all a negative. To sum it all up, I would recommend trying this pencil once for everyone on this planet but I think this pencil is really only worth the cost to pencil enthusiasts. For everyone else, they may not see the value in a premium pencil like this.
This was my first time with the Palominos and I have been using one for the past two weeks. This pencil is definitely in my top 5 but I do have a lot more I plan on trying. Not just other brands but more Palomino products for sure! If you liked what you saw and want to buy some click . Be sure to check out the Blackwing subscription service here. I also want to give a shout out to you guys for being awesome and emailing in so much feedback. It’s been awesome swapping pencil favorites and my list of pencils to try out just continues to grow. Thanks again for being awesome and if you haven’t feel free to contact me here or leave a comment below!