Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
It's time for more pencil talk! A few weeks ago, we discussed the ever so popular Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil. Today, we'll take a look at another type of Blackwing: the Palomino Blackwing Pearl!
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
The Pearl comes in a pearlescent -somewhat metallic- white finish, with the typical blackwing brass ferrule and black eraser. Finish is one of the aspects Palomino really got down. The laquer coating is absolutely flawless, which can't always be said about woodcased pencils. 

Personally, I like the white pearlescent finish a bit better than the metallic grey 602. I really like how the white finish is contrasted by the black imprint and eraser. I would have loved it even more if they had replaced the gold-colored ferrule with a silver one. But then again, production of a new ferrule would've definitely upped the production cost on an already fairly expensive pencil. 
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
The unique ferrule on the Blackwing is what differentiates a Blackwing from the rest, at least on a visual level. But it also changes the way it feels in the hand. Woodcased pencils in general are very light, so the larger ferrule on the Blackwing adds a small but noticeable amount of weight. Because of this, the balance is ever-so slightly more towards the back, which gives it a more substantial feel in the hand. 
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
When it comes to performance, the Pearl is a bit of a special one in the Blackwing lineup. Its graphite core is situated somewhere in between the extremely soft Blackwing Classic, and the relatively firm 602. In practice, this means that it's slightly smoother, and darker compared to the Blackwing 602, which can be confirmed from the results of my test below.

Other properties of the Pearl lead, such as smear-resistance, and erasability, are almost similar -if not identical- to the 602. Point retention is better than I expected, as it can hold a point almost as good as the 602, even though the graphite is noticeably softer. Overall, the better darkness and smoother overal writing experience, combined with pretty decent point retention, gives the Palomino Blackwing Pearl a slight edge over the 602.
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
Comparing the Blackwing to normal HB pencils shows that the blackwing indeed provides a much darker line. There's a noticeable difference when it comes to point retention, erasabilty and smear-resistance, which is to be expected due to the much softer lead (Blackwings don't come with a lead grade indication, but I'd guess the pearl is somewhere around 3B or even softer!). 

As I probably already mentioned in the review about the blackwing 602, the special flat eraser is quite a nifty feature, and it performs quite well on small tasks. I definitely find myself using the on-board eraser more often than I would with other pencils. For more serious erasing tasks however, I still prefer a decent block eraser.
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil
Point retention test. L to R: Blackwing classic, pearl, 602, Faber-Castell Design, Staedtler Noris.
I'm quite a sucker for smooth writers, and the Pearl definitely delivers just that. It does smear a bit more, and it won't retain a sharp point as long, compared to a regular #2. But if you're looking for a really smooth pencil, it probably won't get much better than this!

All three blackwing styles come in at 22 USD/ 20 EUR for a pack of twelve, which is just under 2 USD per piece. Blackwings aren't exactly the cheapest pencils around, but they aren't the most expensive either, and you get a great pencil for what you pay. 

Note: these pencils were sent to me by Firehose, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own!
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil written review
Palomino Blackwing Pearl woodcased pencil test

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