So, what’s so special about the Blackwing?

If you were to dig into the world of the Blackwing pencil, you would find yourself overwhelmed by an endless blackhole of information, opinion, and history. There are an endless amount of reviews, articles, and blogs about this timeless pencil. If you've been wondering what’s so special about this pencil, we would like to save you the headache—we've done the work for you and compiled the most pertinent information about this favorite tool of artists.

A Brief History

The original Blackwing 602 made it’s debut in the early 1930’s, but by 1998, it was discontinued due to the metal clasp making machine (a signature feature of the pencil) breaking down. Many famous writers (including John Steinbeck and E.B. White), musicians and artists were known Blackwing enthusiasts. Once the pencils were discontinued, people were purchasing single pencils for $55, with some original models reselling for close to $150!  

Blackwing Limited Ed Volumes 1 (1).jpgTHE BLACKWING PENCIL: M.LOVEWELL BLOG

The Come Back

In 2012, Palomino began reproducing the Blackwing 602, and added more varieties of the beloved pencil, like the Blackwing and Blackwing Pearl, each differing in softness and finish, as well as the overall experience of the pencil. 


The Pencil

Each pencil is made of 100% Incense Cedar-Wood, which makes for quick and even sharpening. The graphite core is a special formula that gives the Blackwing a smooth and lasting point; and the metal clamp eraser allows the user to adjust and refill it as needed—something unique to a non-mechanical pencil. The Blackwing is made exclusively in Japan, and matchless in its sleek and minimal design. 

Doing Good

To top it off, a portion of each pencil sold goes to providing musical instruments and curriculum to K-12 students. Their mission? "To empower creativity by making great products, supporting deserving artists, and helping fund programs that have a sustainable, positive impact on arts and music education in schools." Boom (thanks,

What’s New?

Recently, Blackwing updated the look of their Blackwing and Blackwing Pearl. The Blackwing is now offered with a black eraser held by a gold clasp, with gold imprint, and the Blackwing Pearl has a white eraser, gold clasp, and gold imprint. It's sleek and modern look matches its fluid writing abilities—making it a lasting favorite for letterers, musicians, and artists of all kinds. Along with this updated look, Palomino has recently released several Limited Editions


To sum it up, the design, the quality, and the history are matchless, and set this pencil apart from the rest. You won't be disappointed by what the Blackwing has to offer—whether you are an avid journaler, a late-night doodler, or a graphic designer, we have a feeling that you are going to love this tool as much as we do. 

The Blackwing, Blackwing Pearl, as well as the Limited Edition Volumes 530, 73 and 1, along with sharpeners and other accessories are available in the shop and online. You can check out our Blackwing Collection and other pencils in the shop by clicking here!

Sally Kim