Several years ago, thanks to the folks over at Pencil Talk, I discovered the Sanford NoBlot. It was, at the time, one of the last available “indelible pencils”. If you’re not familiar with indelible pencils, they were meant to be a sort of permanent pencil; something that couldn’t be erased without leaving a visible mark though there are several theories about why you would want a pencil that did not erase. (Check out a post I wrote several years ago for some of the uses.)
Unfortunately, the Sanford NoBlot Ink Pencil 705, is no longer available for sale so I’ve been on the hunt for other options mostly because the NoBlot don’t smudge very much when I write which is great for a lefty. Pencil Things carries two varieties of graphite-based indelible ink pencils that I decided to test side-by-side with one of my few remaining NoBlots. Both are listed as “copying pencils” (for more information about on the barrels rather than “indelible” though on the site, Pencil Things refers to them both as indelibles.
On the left is the PencilThings.com Select Indelible Ink Pencil DCB3-217. The body of the pencil is a pleasing iridescent metallic blue with white lettering, round barrel. It writes much softer than the Sanford NoBlot and smudges easily. In the far right is the Jolly Copying Pencil B+U 1925 made in Austria. It has a gloss black, round body with gold metallic writing. It writes a little lighter than a NoBlot but the graphite is quite smooth.
Neither the PencilThings Select nor the Jolly Copying have that fabulous turquoise color when wet which was a disappointment.
Of the two, I think I prefer the Jolly Copying Pencil though I’m holding out hope that another box of NoBlots might one day magically appear in my mailbox.