I don’t know why this didn’t hit me before now, but I realized why I have been so taken with wooden pencils: They allow me to write tiny.
That has always been my thing, even since I was a little kid. I always wanted the finest tipped pens and pencils I could find. On the graphite side of the ledger, that meant an 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. I rarely used wooden pencils because they dulled so quickly and sharpeners were generally terrible.
While there were opportunities in the 70’s and 80’s to hunt down wooden pencils and sharpeners that would work for me, they were few and far between. And weren’t a focus honestly. Pentel mechanical pencils were the way to go.
But as the internet tends to do, it opened my eyes. Just how my fascination and exploration of micro-tip gel ink pens came about with this blog, some amazing pencil blogs and fans were spreading the word of the woodcase. I’m glad my ears were clear and my mind was open, because I have found some wonderful writing instruments thanks to these lead-heads.
So, what does this have to do with the Camel HB? I would have never known about this pencil or the company behind it without this wonderful online stationery community we are all a part of. Is it the best pencil I own? No. Is it an excellent pencil? Yes. But to me, the Camel HB represents discovery, learning, and the process of finding the best tools for me.
In my eyes, the Camel HB is a beauty. I like natural looking pencils to begin with, and while this one isn’t raw, the deep caramel lacquer is translucent enough to see the wood grain. And the eraser, well, that’s what made me buy this pencil. I assumed it wouldn’t work or was a gimmick. I assumed incorrectly.
In the pantheon of things that just work, this eraser just works. It erases cleanly with minimal mess, and its attachment to the pencil is rock solid. I keep thinking the other shoe is going to drop, but it never does.
The graphite core of the pencil is very smooth and retains its point well. This goes back to my intro. The longer I can write tiny with a pencil before sharpening, the more I like it. And, the darker the better, which is usually the challenge. And when it dulls, I have several long point sharpeners I can use to top it off, which is a post for another day.
There is something about using wooden pencils. I don’t have to tell most of you that. But for the uninitiated, the choices are as wide and varied as with most pens and inks, and the process of finding the perfect one for you is just as fun.
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