Review by Tina Koyama
Maybe you’ve been wanting to dip one toe into the Blackwing pencil pool without diving into the deep end of the mixed metaphorical rabbit hole. Or perhaps you are already a Blackwing aficionado, and you want to show your uninitiated friend (the one who insists that pencils are for school kids) why you love them so much. I found something for you: a sampler set of the four Blackwing cores in a nice box that will give you or a friend A Taste of Blackwing ($15/four pencils and accessories).
The set contains one each of Blackwing’s four current production pencils, each with a different core: 602, Matte, Natural and Pearl. Also included are four eraser refills in colors to match the originals and a KUM long-point one-hole sharpener. (The pencils and sharpener are also available individually at Notegeist.com, which provided the set; erasers are available in a larger set of assorted colors.) It’s handy to get these as a sampler because many retailers do not offer Blackwings individually.
I’ll be including the KUM sharpener in an upcoming handheld sharpener showdown. (As for those Blackwing erasers. . . well, you already know how I feel about those. A true friend would hack up a Tombow Mono Smart to include with this gift.)
In addition to this gift set, Notegeist offers Blackwing samplers containing “legacy” pencils (with Blackwing’s previous branding) and most Volumes limited-edition pencils. New collectors might find the Volumes samplers an easy way to grab those editions before working on the much harder-to-find early collectibles.
Go ahead – dip your toe in and determine your favorite Blackwing core. For variety, pick out some Volumes in your favorite core. And then you (and your friend, too) might as well start collecting like the rest of us.