Review of Write Dudes USA Gold Pencil.

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The USA Gold pencil from Write Dudes. Comrades have probably seen this now ubiquitous yellow pencil around big-box stores and schools. To my knowledge, this is the most widely-available USA-made pencil on this continent. But are they any good?

In short, for their price, target market and audience, yes.

These pencils have a barrel that’s noticeably more narrow than most other pencils. I’m not sure why they are made that way. I have moderately beefy fingers (and hand injuries to boot), but I didn’t find the narrower barrel to be uncomfortable in any way. For reference, they are a bit thinner that the current incarnation of the Castell 9000, which is a little thinner than, say, a Staedtler pencil.

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The core! This is a standard HB/#2 core. I can’t tell if the core is waxed or not, but they have a very nice texture and darkness. They feel somewhat like a General’s core, which is to say, not waxy, but not scratchy. The darkness is pleasant, running a nice balance of point retention and darkness. It’s a much better core than the current Ticonderogas from Mexico, both in terms of smoothness and darkness, among cedar pencils found in schools. For being relatively dark, smear resistance is quite good. Our review pack had pretty well-centered cores. A few are perfect, a few “off” enough to be annoying, but none were unusable.
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The finish can leave a little to be desired. The Mega Brands URL detracts the most, making the pencil look a promotional pencil for that website. The foil stamping is inconsistent, though Edit: I heard back from Write Dudes today that they are not going to put the URL on the pencils anymore. This is great news! I do like the fonts and choice of colors. The paint is acceptable for the price, and usually very good. The ferrule features a navy blue band that complements the color of the lacquer nicely; the band is applied evenly.
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The erasers are short for some reason, where Dixons are a little long. They perform surprisingly well, especially for an included eraser. If Write Dudes were to remove the website and stamp the pencils a little more neatly, this pencil could certainly compete better with with higher-end pencils. But by no means is the pencil ugly or shoddy.
I was formerly under the impression that the name referred to the color of the paint: yellow-gold. But there are a few other finishes under this series. I assume the defining feature of this series is the incense cedar used in their construction, and that’s a good thing. They sharpen perfectly and smell great.
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Seeing as how easily these pencils are obtained and how inexpensive they are, I really hope they stick around. Touring pre-schools lately, I’ve noticed these all over the place. I hope they take the website URL off of the pencil and perhaps address the stamping issues. However, given the price point, I can certainly live with the stamping.

Many thanks to Write Dudes for the free review samples – and for keeping American produced pencils easy to find!

17 Responses to “Review of Write Dudes USA Gold Pencil.”

  1. Great review! I’ve always enjoyed these pencils, although it’s mostly for their high-quality core. I think they can be ugly as all get-out due to the stamping issues — plus, the “look” of the pencils seems to change constantly. Don’t know what’s up with that — maybe different production sites? It certainly doesn’t lend itself to the consistent look one associates with most brands, especially pencils. Still, I would pass up MANY pencils out there today to cross the street and get one of these to write with!

  2. Brian says:

    John, what type of camera do you use for your blog pics? They always look so crisp and real!

  3. Trish says:

    I picked up a pack of these at my local Target just for a look-see. I have to say they’re not too bad. Definitely not my holy grail favorite, but a solid workhorse that I wouldn’t get sniffly about if I lost one.

    American made to boot–always wins my vote.

  4. steve gunter says:

    I bought a pak yesterday and have used them constantly since…right there with General 555 or Tombow 2B or General Cedar Pointe in my humble opinion…

  5. Amin says:

    i live in Iran and i think USA is a heaven for pencil lovers. hear we don’t have many pencils or sharpeners you have reviewed, for example KUM sharpeners, i like them but thre is not any in Iran or these yellow pencils either. at last i enjoy your website. because of the word “revolution” in your site name hear it has been filtered and it’s hard for me to reach hear :) but i enjoy reading your website

    sorry for my weak english

  6. Definitely a great review. I’ve definitely noticed these at Target, and have stayed away from them because, well, they look and are priced like those crappy Office Depot-brand pencils, so I just assumed they performed like them, too! I’ll have to pick up a pack next time I’m at Target.

  7. [...] Write Dudes USA Gold Pencil Review (via Pencil Revolution) [...]

  8. [...] I review a pencil, usually there is one thing that is the star of the pencil. USA Gold and Silver pencils, which we reviewed recently, feature their nice cores as the star. Some pencils [...]

  9. Mary says:

    I buy these pencils because they are made in the USA. I always look for products made in America and will buy them exclusively if the price is not too high. I have spoke with the manager of the bookstore at the college I attend about selling only American made pencils. She checked with her suppliers and none of them had an American made pencil in the supply menu. I gave her the names of the companies, including this one, that make pencils in the US, and she is checking into it. You should have someone in your marketing department promoting these and other American made school supplies to the school supply companies. I am planning on promoting them myself to the local school districts.

    • John says:

      Hi, Mary. Very glad to hear about your enthusiasm for American pencils. I feel the same way. We’re not the manufacturer, but I’ll pass your suggestion onto our contact at the company who sent us the pencils. While not the greatest pencils in the world, the Write Dudes pencils put USA-made pencils in the big-box stores where so many people do their back-to-school shopping. If not for these folks, an entire generation would miss out.

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