Posts filed under Blackwing

Blackwing Volume 10 Pencil Giveaway

The latest release in Blackwing’s limited edition series, Volume 10, shares the story of Nellie Bly, an investigative journalist in the late 1800’s whose important work set the stage for many journalists after her. Not only is it a great story, these are great pencils - some of my favorites that Blackwing has made. I’m giving away a dozen to one winner, so read the rules below and enter away.

Posted on July 16, 2019 and filed under Blackwing, Giveaways.

Palomino Blackwing Natural Pencil Review

Palomino Blackwing Natural Pencil Review

The Palomino Blackwing 602 has been my pencil of choice for years. I use pencils that are firmer, darker, lighter, or better looking on a regular basis, but I always go back to the 602. There is something about the feel and style of the pencil that draws me in. Blackwing’s Firm core has been perfect for me.

Based on my pencil core likes - firm, dark, good point retention - you think I would have latched on more permanently to Blackwing’s Extra Firm core when they first introduced it a few years ago in the Blackwing Volume 24 edition. I loved it, of course, yet for some reason, I kept reaching for the 602.

Palomino Blackwing Review

I think the reason was psychological. What if I use up all of these pencils and there are no more? So I wouldn’t use them. This errant line of thinking has been something I’ve been trying to erase from my stationery mindset over the years. Use the things I like whenever, wherever, and however I want, no exceptions.

Palomino Blackwing Natural Pencil

In the case of the new Palomino Blackwing Natural, it took a stock offering of their fantastic Extra Firm core to save me from me. This core may be better for me than the Firm core in the 602, and I’ve been too stubborn to find out.

The Blackwing Natural was announced at the National Stationery Show back in February, and since their initial retail release in March, have been exceedingly hard to come by. They’ve appeared and vanished at all of my favorite retailers faster than I could buy them. It took a post-Atlanta Pen Show trip to Archer Paper for me to accidentally stumble on a box to purchase. Yes, a box of a dozen. Single pencils begone!

Palomino Blackwing Natural Writing

I took the Natural out for a spin last week to use with my CW&T Studio Sketchbook at my son’s baseball practice. This notebook is an excellent choice for pencils with its textured paper, and I have been using it for brainstorming product ideas and general doodles.

As I began writing, I just kept saying to myself “Huh.” As in, “Huh, this is better than expected, “ and “Huh, I’ve been missing out.” Don’t let the Extra Firm designation trick you into thinking the Natural is something along the lines of a 4H grade pencil. As someone who enjoys those H-grade nails, this is nothing like that at all. Palomino’s Blackwing designation of Extra Firm is in relation to the other cores in the lineup, which range from Soft to Balanced to Firm, to now Extra Firm.

Palomino Blackwing writing samples

Comparing one pencil core to another can be difficult when they are somewhat close. Slight differences in hand pressure can change everything, so view my tests and commentary with that in mind. That said, the Natural is as dark, or darker, than the 602. That is what’s confusing me. Can this really be firmer and darker than the 602 at the same time? And keep the same, or better, smoothness? Maybe so.

(Note: I ordered and tagged the Pearl and MMX incorrectly on the page. The Pearl is the Balanced core and the MMX is the Soft core, and they perform exactly that way.)

Palomino Blackwing Tip

This brings me back around to the 24 edition. Did I miss this the first time around - over three years ago - because of some weird limited edition angst? And, miss future opportunities with the release of the 530, 54, and others, for the same reason? I only have my mindset to blame.

Palomino Blackwing Eraser

Visually, the Natural is everything that Blackwing fans have been clamoring for from the beginning. It was inevitable that Palomino would release a raw barrel in the lineup. It was also inevitable that once they released the Extra Firm core in the Volumes lineup that it would come to the stock lineup eventually. The combination of those two things is why they have been running behind in production and are hard to find right after release.

I still think the 602 is better looking, but I do love natural barrel pencils. I upgraded this one with an orange eraser, as I also do for my 602 pencils. All that’s left to wonder is if the Natural will take the top usage spot over from its stablemate in the long term. It may already have.


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Palomino Blackwing Natural Page
Posted on April 15, 2019 and filed under Palomino, Blackwing, Pencil Reviews.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook: A Review

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Review

(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

The Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook is a 7.5 x 10 inch notebook with 160 pages. The cover is gray with a soft, velvety feel to it and it’s flexible. The only branding is on the back cover where “Blackwing” is inscribed.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook
Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Cover

The inner cover is printed with a place for one’s name, notes, start and completion date, and contact information.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Inside

The first page is a “Notebook Log” with columns for date, content, and page numbers. Unfortunately, the notebook itself is not paginated, so you will have to write the page numbers in yourself.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Log

The book lays flat when open thanks to the sewn binding. There’s a pink ribbon bookmark that complements the gray cover well.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Flat

The ivory paper is 100 GSM with gray lines spaced 6mm apart. There are 36 lines per page.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Lines

Blackwing notebooks are, of course, meant to be used with Blackwing pencils. Unsurprisingly, the paper and pencil combination works perfectly.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Pencil

But, I wanted to test my notebook with fountain pens and other writing instruments, just to see how it held up. The paper is smooth and thick and worked well with all the fountain pens I tried. I noticed a little show through and a tiny bit of bleed through with my wettest inks, but it was so minute, it didn’t show up in photographs.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Fountain Pen

With other writing instruments, the paper works equally well. The only pen that bled through was (as usual) the Sharpie. Highlighter did not bleed through, though I should have waited a bit longer to let the ink from my Pilot G2 dry (the smudging is my fault).

Other Writing Instruments

The Blackwing Summit is a no-frills notebook. It doesn’t have a pen loop or cover pockets or page numbers or any other bells and whistles. That suits me just fine. It feels nice in the hand, the paper is good quality, and the notebook should stand up well to abuse. I like the size because it’s portable yet large enough to write lengthy passages. It’s become my new Pen Addict review rough-draft notebook.

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Writing

You can purchase this notebook from Vanness Pens for $21.95. It comes in blank, lined, and dot-grid versions.

(This notebook was purchased at a discount from Vanness Pens.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Blackwing 602 Summit Notebook Sample
Posted on April 12, 2019 and filed under Blackwing, Notebook Reviews.