Daily Carry

I have not done one of these in way too long.

Because I mostly use pencils in my pocket sized notebooks I ordered an order of Field Notes; mainly because I was running out and I needed something fast. I got a few packs of Pitch Black, which is really nice. I think this is the first order of a limited edition Field Notes I have ordered since Arts and Sciences. And I still use Leuchtturm1917 notebooks for long form writing and for managing tasks. One lined and one dot grid.

Ink wise I have all of my pens inked up with Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki Shikibu, which is the coolest colour I have bought in a really long time.

I still carry my broad Vanishing Point, my medium Lamy 2000 and my board flex Metal Falcon. And I carry a old school pencil case with 24 Golden Bears(I never run out of sharp pencils).

And I carry spare Field Notes and the pens in my trusty Nock.co Hightower. My current go to pencil sharpener is a Classroom Friendly.

Soft pencils and broad fountain pen nibs

When I first got around to buying a box of Blackwings (after having it on my “stuff to get” list for two years, and I started using them it hit me how similar it was to using a broad fountain pen. They are both messy, put down a very satisfying line and you have to refill / sharpen it all the time. Or at least a lot compared to their finer / harder bothers.

Like I said, they are both high maintenance and very messy. If you use a broad nib you’ll end up with ink all over your hands, and if you use a broad pencil you’ll end up with graphite all over your hands.

I very soon realised that a little bit harder pencils are the thing for me. Because unlike fountain pens, there are much less you can do about it, except carrying a lot of pencils. If you like broad fountain pen nibs you can just get a huge piston filler and ink capacity isn’t a huge problem. Pencils on the other hand requires sharpening. And there is a limit to how many you can carry. How messy they are is also a part of it for me. A fountain pen is messy, but after a few seconds the ink is dry while graphite will smear the same if you drag your hand over for the first time after a minute or ten.

Even though I use Broad fountain pens, I have landed on #2 / HB pencils as “my thing”. Smooth enough for it to not annoy me, while at the same time hard enough to not look like a crazy person while I write.

Erasors on top or not?

Some pencils come with erasers on top, while others don’t. I would personally prefer to not have them there at all, because I just pull them off and sharpen both sides of the pencil. But for those who use them: is it that difficult to make a pencil with one that actually works?

Fine I get it that you have to cut some corners if you make cheap pencils, but when we pay around $2 per pencil I think we should be able to expect the fucking thing to work.

Top 3

My top 3 favourite pencils, in order:

  1. The Blackwing 602
  2. The Field Notes Pencil
  3. The Golden Bear.

The 602 is the better pencil because of how smooth it is to write with, and how comfortable it is to hold, while the Field Notes pencil is even more comfortable to hold but not as smooth to write with. And the Golden Bear is a great pencil, but a much more crude and basic pencil. At the end of the day however, I prefer the Golden Bear because it is much less expensive and I can buy it in bulk. For the price of One and half box of 602’s I can get 144 Golden Bears.

The Golden Bear.

The Golden Bear is a #2 pencil made by Palamino and sold exclusively through Pencils.com. You can get it in blue and orange; I went with orange.

It looks great, and is a fantastic pencil to write long form. It is a little bit harder and more scratchy than the 602. But it keeps a point better. I think the barrel is a little bit more uncomfortable than the Blackwings. But it isn’t a problem.

If I’m going to write long form, like I am doing now, I’d probably pick up this over the 602, because I can get around 30-50% more pages per sharpen. But I kind of prefer the Field Notes pencil to this one, because its round barrel is more comfortable to write with.

One important note however is that the price of this one is around $5 per back, while the Blackwing is over $20. This is the pencil I would buy if I were on a budget. A fantastic cheaper pencil.