My high school’s arch rival’s school colors were orange and black. I later taught at the rival high school and on spirit day I wore my letter jacket… from my old school. Good fun. If that school could have a pencil mascot it would be the Rhodia pencil.* This triangular pencil boasts a snazzy bright, nearly fluorescent, orange body with a sharply painted black ferrule. It’s fitted well to the pencil. The eraser, also black, is round, and is secured to the ferrule with 6 divots pressed into the ferrule. It’s overkill and finishes the otherwise beautiful pencil off roughly. But it can’t all be perfect.
Inside the pencil is wood that is dyed black. From what I can find, it is not made of cedar. According to PencilRevolution, it’s linden wood. Whatever it is made of, it sharpens with ease and quickly in my KUM Ellipse sharpener.
The core is dark enough . I favor darker cores (leads) as my use is primarily drawing and sketching. I prefer a dark core for it’s range of darkness and lightness. I can get light shades from a dark core, but not dark shades from a light core. So darker is better in my book. Additionally, a nice dark core allows for easier writing. Anyway, the core is dark enough, and hard enough that it holds the point well enough. I didn’t find myself sharpening my pencil after every word or minute of drawing. The core is scratchy. It doesn’t glide over the paper like a Palomino. It gives a lot of feedback sort of like writing on rough paper but finer. Some people might like this but I am not a huge fan of the feeling.In fact the grittiness of the pencil makes it well suited for rougher papers, like that which is in my Staples 100% Recycled School Year Planner. It also performed well in a Staples Composition Notebook
With both the included eraser and a stick eraser the pencil erased cleanly from paper. Leaving behind a slight trace of the word removed. The included eraser is gritty but not gritty enough to damage paper with general erasing, though, I suspect repeated erasures would leave a hole in more delicate papers.The triangular shape of the pencil was comfortable to hold and doesn’t roll off my table or desk.
This is a very good looking pencil that is gritty in performance. If you favor smooth pencils like the Palomino Blackwing series, you might not like this pencil much. But, it is a good pencil to try out. It’s available from Jetpens as a single only (great for an add-on item to get your order to $25 for free shipping.) but is available in other places by the dozen or at Bob Slate in Cambridge, MA.
* Except for the fact that that the Rhodia pencil is WAY too expensive for that school.