Review: Rhodia Pencil

Rhodia Pencil

While I’ve always been attracted to the look of the Rhodia pencils, I never bought one. I guess I’d assumed it was all looks and little quality performance. Consider this a case of judging a pencil by its flashy looks before actually having used it.

Rhodia Pencil

The pencil features a sloping triangular shape similar to one of my favorite pencils, the Faber-Castell 2001. The orange paint on the exterior has a matte sheen, not a shiny gloss. It reminds me slightly of the texture of the new Field Notes covers, not rubbery per se, but indescribably matte. The wood is linden wood and has been dyed a stunning black to match the black metallic ferrule and matching black eraser. The logo is stamped in black foil on all three sides of the pencil but its quite understated at about 1/2″ wide.

Rhodia Pencil

The Rhodia is a standard HB (#2) pencil and I admit to being surprised at how smooth it was on paper. I ended up grabbing my Blackwing Pearl for comparison and their performance on paper was quite comparable. The Pearl was a little bit darker on paper and a tiny bit smoother on the paper.

As for the eraser, its adequate but when compared with my favorite Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser, there’s really no comparison. It makes me wish the Rhodia pencil skipped the eraser cap altogether and just had a dipped orange finish at the end.

Overall, wow. I’m quite impressed with the quality of the writing experience. And the flashy looks are starting to grow on me. The black wood is a particularly appealing detail.

For more reviews, check out A Penchant for Paper, Pencil Revolution and Pencil Talk.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by European Paper for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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  1. Thanks for the mention, and great review! I think you’re right about the end-dipped improvement, to be sure. Especially given shops were I alwasy see them (art supplies), that eraser IS a little surprising, now that you mention it. They could even do a black one with an orange dip. 🙂

  2. Pencil Talk seems to think the lead may have been improved since their introduction. I remember thinking when I tried out this pencil four or five years ago that the lead was no great shakes. Pretty, and a well executed exercise in premium branding, yes — a great writer justifying its premium price, no. Out of curiosity I dug one out and compared it to a Mexican or Chinese manufactured Dixon Ticonderoga HB-2. The Rhodia is better than I first thought, but though darker, it is slightly less smooth to write with on a variety of inexpensive paper than the Tike; not unpleasantly so like so many inferior and gritty offbrands, it gives the sensation of having a little bit of tooth which some people might prefer. I do like the dark mark it leaves, however, which makes me think it falls a notch or two past HB on the softness scale. I think the Rhodia is a good dollar pencil ( but the Palomino is better). For two dollars, give me any of the Blackwings, or a Mono 100 or Hi-Uni, Conte graphite, Caran D’Ache, etc.

  3. I love this one. I even like the eraser and find somehow adequate for this pencil. I do not think I would like it so much without the eraser. The orange and black combination is perfect and it writes really very smooth. However, it does not hold the tip that long (compared for example with FC 9000, but hey, FC plays in another league :D). I have a little problem with the triangular form – have troubles to pick it with my notsoelegant fingers from the desk :). Unfortunatelly, it is not easy to get these pencils here in Europe…

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