Review: Palomino Blackwing Volumes 73

It is difficult to review the Blackwing Volumes (BWV) limited edition pencils. The various stories don’t do a great deal for me as I see them as marketing. Divorcing the pencil from the sales hype is a bit of a chore. Add to that the core is one of 4 from the Palomino Blackwing line- soft, balanced, firm, or extra-firm. The wood is always Cal-Cedar so really with a Volumes edition we’re evaluating the paint job, because I don’t think anyone out there would pretend that the Blackwing pencils aren’t quality. So you review the paint job and perhaps the story.

There is always some wild speculation that the core is just slightly softer/harder than the core Palomino tells us is inside. Of course Palomino/Cal-cedar is notoriously tight lipped about the whole thing and any difference can only be attributed to batch variation, or wishful thinking.

I digress, back to the fancy paint job on the 73. The cobalt blue paint is a stunner- bright and cheerful without being garish. The white imprint is perfectly done. The silver ferrule holding a white eraser looks fantastic with the blue and white.

The raised topographic printing looks awesome and feels great. It lends a grippiness to the pencil that I really enjoy. The only quibble that I have is that the seam where the print meets itself is  doesn’t match up. The seam is really obvious and rather unattractive when compared to the rest of the well designed pencil. It seems (LOL) like a poor design choice, but which also makes me think that perhaps the machine used to print on the pencils can’t do a seamless design.

The white eraser is a huge improvement over previous BWV erasers. It actually works and it’s is dust gathering/ sticky. I want these in all colors and for all my Blackwings, please.

I love the new paint job on the soft core Blackwing. It’s pretty, tactile, and the new eraser is sharp. The BWV aren’t a great value at $25 a package but they are pretty and nice. They also donate money to music education, so that’s a bonus.

I’d put up affiliate links so I would get a small amount of pennies if you chose to make a purchase following my links. BUT the 73 is not yet on Amazon. I’m sure there are ebay sales for stupid amounts of money. It’s not a lot but it does help me to fund the hosting for the blog and buy new things to test and review. I bought the goods in this review with my own cash money and no one influenced my review.

  • Finally, an honest review of these pencils. I’d say that I’m looking forward to further Blackwing paint job reviews, but that would imply that you’d be buying more of them in the future, and I don’t want to assume.

    • lessherger

      I only get them if the paint job strikes my fancy. The 205 was boring and their video was pure cultural appropriation and bordering on racist. The 344 red ferrule is pretty. While I found the 530 to be tacky.

  • Guillermo de la Maza

    I’ve read many great things about the current Blackwing pencils, but the “history” appropriation they’ve done with the brand (not unlike Moleskine), and these profit generating jobs they call volumes, really have prevented me from getting near them. Also, considering they outsource their production to manufacturer in Japan, kind of moots the point of resurrecting an iconic American brand.