Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 (Vintage) Review

Introduction

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I’ve been a fan of wooden pencils for a while, so when an opportunity fell into my lap to try out a legendary pencil at a fraction of the price for a brand new unsharpened one, I jumped at it. Here, we’ll be discussing the original Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602. A comparison between this pencil and its remake, the Palomino Blackwing 602, can be found here.

Specs

Date manufactured: 1950s-1970s (my guess is that this particular example was made in the 1960s)
Price: $50-60 (New), $20-30 (Used, depends on length)

Fit and Finish

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Pencil has a beautiful charcoal colored lacquer with gold lettering spelling out the iconic “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed”. Due to age, it appears as though the paint has started to crack down the middle. I would assume that it is cracking where the two halves of the barrel were connected together.

The eraser is held in place with the distinct ferrule. It is easy to replace the eraser if you so wish. Palomino sells many different colored replacement erasers or you can cut one out of your favorite eraser.

Functionality

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The lead is super smooth. There’s a tad of feedback, although none that could be called scratchy. The lead wears done quickly when sharp, so line variation can vary mid-sentence unless you rotate the pencil. However, writing on a dull point seems to alleviate the problem.

The stock eraser test was done out of pure curiosity. Being a vintage pencil, the eraser has surely somewhat dried out so it’s effectiveness has probably been diminished.

Closeups of each section of the writing test are available below.

Conclusion

The pencil has a writing experience second to none. I regularly use Mitsubishi Hi-Uni’s and 9800’s, but they don’t feel as nice as the Blackwing. It’s hard to describe the combination of smoothness and feedback, but it makes it a joy to write with. Plus, the line it puts down is just a joy to look at. While the price of a new pencil may be a bit steep (and it can be a bit hard to start sharpening a brand new one), a used Blackwing 602 is much more affordable and is a great gateway to experience this legendary pencil.

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