Tag Archives: Blackwing

How to Sharpen a Palomino Blackwing Pencil

or, How to Use your Palomino Long Point Sharpener.

Don’t laugh. There is actually a process to sharpening these beautiful pencils.

The Blackwings have wonderful lead that almost never breaks unless you’ve dropped the pencil and it’s landed on its tip. More likely, you would just be sharpening the tip to a point, but just for you, I have very generously sacrificed a Palomino Blackwing and broken its lead tip.



Step 1:  Sharpen the wood. Insert the pencil into the left hold and sharpen like a regular pencil sharpener.


There is actually a gap or trench between the end of the blade and the back of the sharpening area. Sharpen the pencil until it stops on its own – when the lead reaches the back wall.


Lead just waiting to be sharpened!

Your end result will be a long, cylindrical piece of lead with a blunt tip.


Sharpening the lead!

Step 2: Sharpen the lead. For this step, I like to be a little bit careful, as you don’t want to break the lead now. You’ll get quite a lot of lead shavings, and may even shape a bit of the wood.


And your beautiful Palomino is ready to go!


Trouble-shooting: if your sharpener isn’t giving you these crisp points, try tightening the screws holding in the blades – if they loosen, your points can break as you’re sharpening your pencil, which shouldn’t be happening at all.

Note: there are extra blades! They are tucked away by the hinge.

Palomino Pencil Review

Something to bring you back to your childhood…the smell of wood pencils, the recess bells, the anxiety of a math test.

No – the Palomino Blackwing is definitely not the same as your childhood school pencils. These pencils are legendary, truly a premium pencil. First made in the 1930s by Eberhard-Faber, they were discontinued after the company was acquired. After writers and artists began clamouring for that original quality, Cal Cedar began producing a new Palomino, with its eyes on that archetypal smoothness.


The matte black coat on the pencil is smooth, almost like the feel of smooth 100 gsm paper. The weight of it (while it’s still long) is nice – the eraser and holder adds a balance.

The pencil comes 8 inches, from end to end.


An elephant.

This Palomino Blackwing is soft and smooth, gliding across the paper. It’s softer than the grey Blackwing 602, making it great for sketching and drawing. It gives you a dark, rich lead, and you can really get some crisp edges or gentle shading with it (not that I’m any sort of expert – that is my elephant above).Image

The eraser, in its classic ferrule, can be pulled out or extended as your eraser gets shorter and shorter. Extra erasers are available, but I’m sure you won’t make any mistakes.

The white eraser that comes with the pencil is not super. There’s still a little residue left on the paper after some pretty thorough erasing.




Palomino even has its own two-step sharpener (which, evidently, I have yet to master). Don’t want any of those electric sharpeners eating these up.


If you’re going to go for a wooden pencil, there is nothing that beats this. It’s silky, quiet, smooth and reacts to your lightest pressure.