Tag Archives: blackwing

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.

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Finishing Thesis

I’ll be back to regular posting after the middle of April. I’m finishing my thesis and need to fully concentrate on that for the next few weeks. But I’ve got a few interesting tidbits planned for then. More reviews because HOLY COW do I have a backlog of pencils that I’ve got on my desk but also that have met my criteria for review ( I’ve used them for some writing) and are also awesome.

A photo posted by LC Harper (@originallcharper) on


A brief look at the new Blackwing Volumes 24 limited edition pencil.

I’m going to tell you right now that if you like the old Palomino HB in blue or orange, just go ahead and see if you can get a pack of the Volumes 24s. If you don’t want to spend the cash, just buy the Palomino HB. After a few days of using nothing but the two pencils I can tell you the following:

  • You will notice a difference if you are using smooth paper. In that case the PalHB is noticeably soft and smoother. The 24 holds it’s point longer.
  • If like me you use composition books with toothier paper, you may notice a difference, but it may not be by much. In fact, in use on rough copy paper and my comp books I could go either way with the 24s.
  • Blackout finish. My inner angsty 90s teen rejoices, but quietly, because angst.

I’m saying these are super good looking pencils that are great for quick sketches or for long writing sessions. If you want cool kid black pencils, get ’em, if you don’t want to spend the coin, get the old standard PalHB and some bottles of black fingernail polish and paint them up. 🙂

A photo posted by LC Harper (@originallcharper) on