It was a matter of time before I tried the Palomino HB pencil, since I like the new Blackwing models made by the same company, and I prefer bright colors. I ordered them in orange:
- Pretty much exactly the same lead as their Blackwing 602 pencil. Sometimes I feel like the 602 is a tad harder, but mostly I cannot tell them apart.
- The finish is very nice. The paint is luxurious, and the lettering has a decent indentation. But despite that, the gold flakes off eventually. I’m not sure why this is such a challenge with Palomino when it’s not for other brands, but it’s not a big deal to me.
- The eraser seems to be the same formulation as used on the Blackwing erasers. Better than a standard pink, but more abrasive than a vinyl eraser. The problem here is the ferrule that holds the eraser is not firmly crimped onto the pencil. It was loose immediately, and so far the three pencils I’ve tried have been the same. A letter to the company confirmed that they were aware of it, and if they found product that did not have the problem they would send me some. They offered to refund my money if I returned the pencils. Then the next day I got a notice saying an order had shipped, which I assume is replacement pencils, so they are responsive.
I love the color, and I love writing with the pencil. If the ferrule problem is solved, it’s a winner for me.
If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to Palomino’s Blackwing 602 I think this is it.