I have a thing for nice white pencils. Not just any ol’ white pencils. They have to be good writers, but with a good look. The Palomino Blackwing Pearl, while not the iconic 602, stands out when you see it. The gold ferrule and shiny white body shimmer in the light and it looks like no other. But what about the writing experience and the ergonomics? Read on to find out more.
Place of Manufacture: USA
Price: $25 for a box of 12
The Blackwing Pearl comes in a silky smooth finish. There is a shimmer in the finish which can only be seen when the pencil is held at an angle.
The lettering is black, providing a deep contrast with the pearl white barrel. “PALOMINO” is written in a thinner and wider font than “BLACKWING” and “PEARL”, which appear to also be bolded.
The ferrule is gold colored and houses a black eraser. As with all pencil in the Blackwing line, the erasers are easily replaceable. I have had a few people ask if I swapped out the eraser on this pencil, due to the existence of a white eraser, but the pencil came with the black one. While I have no objections with the black eraser, I might try out a white one at some point purely for style.
Fit and Finish
I general have pretty good experiences with Palomino products. I purchased this particular Blackwing Pearl at the Maido in Santana Row. I was unaware at the time, but the paint is partially chipped near the ferrule. However, on my other Pearls, this problem is not seen.
The lettering is not as sharp as I might expect from Palomino. I believe that this might be because the lettering is printed, instead of foiled, on the pencil. The corners are a bit rounded and there are pseudo-sherifs due to smearing.
On the Pearl that has the chipped paint, the ferrule is not oriented correctly. This makes it a bit annoying to rest the pencil on a desk as none of the hexagonal sides are aligned with a flat edge of the ferrule. This problem is not seen on any other pencil. Though it is a possibility that the problem is only with that particular pencil, it brings up some questions about quality control.
The pencil is a joy to write with. Its hardness is supposed to be midway between the Blackwing MMX and the Blackwing 602. I find this to be mostly true. The line is quite dark, although not as dark as the MMX, while the lead wear is almost the same as the 602.
Writing with the pearl feels much like the 602. It glides like rubbing a marble on a sheet of paper. The body is slick, but it is easy enough to get a good grip.
I believe that the wood is the same cedar used in the MMX and the 602. Sharpening is a breeze with my hand sharpener, electric sharpener and knife all gliding through the wood.
Erasers can easily and completely erase any but the heaviest marks made by the pencil. As always, the Blackwing eraser on the back does an all right job, though not the best.
I’m a fan of the pencil, when it doesn’t have the manufacturing problems. A perfect example has a nice feel in the hand and performs well. However, a defective pencil can ruin the magical experience. At ~$2 per pencil, I’ll inspect each pencil in a box before I buy them and add them to my collection.