Giveaway: Ten Years of Pencil Blogging.

Okay, ten years, one month and a few days. Moving with two kids was tough business!

So, we have four giveaways!

We are giving away three boxes of Pencil Goodness to three lucky USA-based readers. And, not to leave out our international Comrades, we are giving away one special package of pencils available here on our shores which folks outside the USA might find it difficult or impossible to obtain. The exact contents are still being determined, i.e., I’m still sticking stuff into these four boxes.

To enter: Just leave a comment, including your current country of residence. (Entries without nations and duplicate entries will be disqualified.) I’ll leave the entry period open for ten days, ending on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. Charlotte will help me randomly select three winners from the USA pool and one winner from the International Contingent, and we’ll notify winners and head to the post office in a timely manner.

Thanks to all Comrades who have been reading this humble blog and helped to keep it alive!

Father and Son Pencil Ranking, Part II.

Then later there’s running and screaming.
[Continued, from Part I. Stephen Watts and his son Hunter have done the most exhaustive ranking of pencils I have ever read. Check out Luke’s excellent site for the full original ranking. Many thanks to the Watts for sharing their experiences with some seriously nice pencils. No spoilers! Read their report in their own words below:]

My 17-year-old son Hunter and I previously reviewed seven pencils, ranking them in this order:

  1. Staedtler Norica HB 2
  2. Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 (the only one currently not available, thrown into the mix knowing we were risking blasphemy)
  3. Palomino Blackwing 602
  4. Mitsubishi 9850 HB
  5. General’s Semi-Hex 498-2 HB
  6. General’s Cedar Pointe #333 2 HB
  7. Dixon Ticonderoga HB 2

Torch-carrying mobs descended on our house after we placed the 14 cent Staedtler Norica HB 2 above the original Blackwing 602, Palomino Blackwing 602 and Mitsubishi 9850 HB. Charges of heresy were levelled against us and one particularly annoyed person suggested our review was a closeted advertisement for Staedtler.

Many people helpfully offered alternatives for our consideration and, after giving up on my wish to fall in love with one of the made-in-the-USA General’s pencils, I decided to follow-up, go all-in and broaden our horizons with a larger selection of premium pencils in a second comparison.

Some responded to our earlier review with comments that it’s virtually impossible to have one clear favorite pencil. Some have a favorite pencil for each type of paper, or writing surface, or whatever. I think that’s great, but what we were after was our take on our single favorite pencil. If we were to be marooned on a desert island for four years with a good pencil sharpener, a volleyball named Wilson, a suitcase full of various paper samples and a gross of ONE particular model and grade of pencil . . . which pencil would we want? The following are criteria important to Hunter and me in a writing pencil, listed in order of importance: [Read more…]