Review by Tina Koyama
One distinctive characteristic of the popular Palomino Blackwing pencil is its trademark large, flat eraser and ferrule that make the Blackwing about an inch longer than conventional woodcased pencils. While I have many pencil cases, most are not quite long enough to accommodate new or freshly sharpened Blackwings. I’ve been looking for a trim case to neatly tuck away the several Blackwings I regularly have in rotation. The Sonic Kodawari ($22) seemed to fit the bill, especially since (according to JetPens) the word kodawari means “fastidious”!
Available in pink or black, the plastic-covered case is lightly textured. When the case is closed, it does, indeed, look fastidious. (I like to keep it on my desk upside-down, as shown in my photo; according to JetPens’ photos, the clasp would be on top.) The case stays secured with both a magnetic closure and a clasp.
I appreciate details such as the red top-stitching on the black case and the retro design element inside.
Inside are sensible compartments that keep things from shifting around too much and becoming disorganized. A hinged upper compartment holds six pencils.
The small compartment on top is just right for most bar erasers. I was eager to see how the Blackwings would fit, so I filled the lower space with six. Standard pencils would fit better below the eraser space, but the longer Blackwings lean against the eraser compartment wall with no problem.
I filled the hinged, upper compartment with six standard-length pencils. Although the ends lie on top of the Blackwings, the cover still closes adequately (there’s a tiny gap, which would be eliminated if all pencils were standard length).
Just for fun, I also tried filling the upper compartment with a few colored pencils. (This would be a sweet minimal portable sketch kit for me!)
Then I tried a different setup: several pens in the lower compartment and Blackwings in the upper hinged compartment. Everything fits better in this arrangement, with no gap when the cover is closed. (Pens will not fit in the hinged compartment’s slots.)
So – Blackwings, other pencils, a few pens, and an eraser, all in a sleek box that’s secure enough to toss into a backpack or large bag. Looks good – but if I were really going to take it with me, I’d want a small sharpener, too. Sadly, a KUM Blackwing 2-step sharpener does not fit, but a one-hole or two-hole wedge sharpener would easily fit in the eraser compartment.
I am using this on my desk, though, instead of taking it with me, so the sharpener doesn’t have to fit. The Sonic Kodawari is a tidy place to store a few favorite pencils.
(When I was a kid, I had a small box for my “special” pencils and erasers – back when I had so few special pencils and erasers that they would all fit in a small box. Not so anymore – I need a storage bin for all my “special” pencils and erasers and pens and . . .! But sometimes I long for the days of such simplicity. The Kodawari box gives me that illusion.)