Paper World

Blackwing 602 Pencil

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Wood pencil with a large, blocky eraser

I use pencils for stories, poems, jottings, sketching, but mostly for musical notation. Finding a great pencil has been surprisingly difficult. Mechanical pencils have their place, but the leads are fragile. The small, plastic containers of replacements are easy to misplace, and the erasers are tiny things.

While there are many excellent pencils that do the wood/shape/graphite combination very well (Derwent, Caran d’Ache, Dixon) finding a one with great eraser is a challenge (an aside: I’m surprised that so many “premium” pencils have no eraser at all. While I could use a separate eraser, I lose those as often as I lose lead containers).

It was with much delight I found the Blackwing 602. It hits every note beautifully. It’s well made, feels great in-hand, and looks sharp. It makes a great, dark, line that is easy to erase with the included eraser. And this isn’t one of those small, round, afterthought erasers, no. It’s rectangular, large, and replaceable. Ideal for edits and reworking a score, or anything else I’m working on. As a bonus, the ferrules rectangular shape means the pencil won’t roll off a slanted desk or music stand. Blackwing regularly releases limited editions with different color combinations, but I’m happy to stick with the basic black.

-- Steve McAllister 06/14/18