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Pencils.  That’s right.  You heard me.  I know what you’re thinking.  Is there room for pencils in a world of laptops and smart phones?  Does anyone use pencils in this day and age?  Does anyone even care?

Well, judging from the number of websites devoted to pencils and pencil reviews, there are legions of people who are passionate about pencils.  Let me give you a breakdown.

Some time ago, I stumbled across an article on the legendary Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602.  This pencil, manufactured in the USA, is widely considered the finest pencil ever made.  Eberhard Faber discontinued this pencil some time ago, but Palomino makes its own version of the pencil in Japan, and from what I have read, it remains a high quality pencil in the tradition of the Eberhard Faber version.

If you want the Eberhard Faber version, you can find them on eBay.  I just saw a lot of 20 unused pencils going for $202.00.  That’s not a misprint.  People are crazy for these pencils.

The Palomino version of the Blackwing goes for 19.95 for 12 pencils.  Okay, this pencil is a tribute to a legend, but that’s still pretty pricey.

I’d like to offer a great alternative.  The Papermate Mirado Black Warrior.  This quality pencil offers wax-infused graphite, just like the Blackwings, providing a smooth stroke and strong lines.  But don’t take my word for it.  Read some of the reviews on Amazon.  At the time of this writing, they were a mere $2.30 for a box of 12 pencils.  They’re made in the USA and some come pre-sharpened.  What is this?  The Four Seasons?

Papermate Mirado Black Warrior