Most geeks have that one smell they just love. Well, I’ve actually got two, but one is the winner by a slight margin: The Dixon “Ticonderoga” pencil. This pencil has to be the single greatest pencil of all time. It writes so smooth, it erases so completely, and, oh! The smell of its shavings! I’ve long been a writing utensil geek. On the quest for the perfect pen I’ve come across some good ones and some hideous ones. But the quest for the perfect pencil has come to a close.
It didn’t take very many practice strokes with my freshly sharpened 1388-2/HB for me to be hooked. The “lead” is almost at the perfect balance between soft and firm, leaning a little toward soft for my taste. The only downside to this softness is the point doesn’t last as long. However, a terrific bonus is it lends a silky-smooth stroke. The letters flow off the tip of this pencil like butter. And that eraser! Most pencil erasers aren’t worth the effort to turn the pencil over. I think some companies only include them for a counter-balance. I typically end up using my Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser (which, by the way, is the single greatest stand-alone eraser of all time. That quest is also over.) However, with the Dixon Ticonderoga I can choose to leave the Hi-Poly in the drawer if I so desire. The eraser on the Dixon is not quite as good as the Pentel, but it does a great job for a built-in. However, it’s the wood the pencil is made of that has me hooked.
This pencil isn’t made from your standard pine, or whatever those other guys use. No, this pencil is made of cedar. And when you sharpen a Dixon Ticonderoga, that wonderful aroma fills the air. I’ve got about a third of a box left from my last purchase because I’ll randomly sharpen my pencil for no other reason except that I love the way it smells…that, and I have to have a perfectly sharp pencil. I want it just shy of slicing the paper. Now, if I could just find the perfect envelope, I’d be set.