I picked up a few neat pencils in a trade with PencilRevolution‘s Johnny Gamber. One of those pencils was the BIC ECOlution. Like the Staedtler Wopex, it’s extruded. Unlike the Wopex it is flexible. Similar to the weird flexy extruded pencils of the 90s, you can really bend this pencil as you write. Unlike the weird extruded pencils of the 90s this flexing doesn’t seem to break the core. So though it has bends as I write, it sharpens to a nice point every time.
Speaking of sharpening, it has a weird melted plastic smell as I sharpen it. It’s almost a burnt rubber smell. It’s not noticeable except for right after I’ve sharpened the pencil. Like the Wopex, the end tends to chip off. This leaves me with a slightly blunted point. Which is fine for notebooks with larger ruling or sketching, but horrible for college ruled or Field Notes. If I’m more careful as I sharpen the pencil, it doesn’t chip. Let’s face it I don’t use this sort of pencil for sketching. It’s simply too light for anything but very cursory and initial sketching. For writing it’s just fine.
In fact I like it quite a bit for writing. It doesn’t smudge in my notebook or when my hand runs over it. This is a great pencil to pair with a Field Notes and Fauxdori style cover. the fact that it doesn’t smudge while your notebook rides in a hip pocket is a fantastic feature.
The pencil is a nice bright teal color. One of my favorite colors. the imprint is gold foil, and done very well. The core is well centered. The ferrule is nice shiny silver and attached to the pencil very well. The eraser is a nice white plastic eraser that does a good job on the Ecolution’s core.
The hard part about this pencil is finding one. The only place you can find one is on eBay and by international sellers. The prices are pretty reasonable, it’s the shipping that kills the deal.
This pencil has 3 major downsides- the weird melted plastic smell when sharpened.* It’s bending is something that I find odd in a pencil. Pencils are supposed to be hard, not bendy. Finally, It’s unavailable on the regular US pencil market and must be found on eBay by international sellers. Even with those downsides, I really like this pencil.
*If I can smell it right now it has to be a strong odor. My allergies have left me pretty much unable to smell much of anything this summer.