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While we’re on the topic of pencils (were we on that topic?), I feel like I am supposed to like Blackwings, but every time I try one, I don’t really understand the hype.

If I had to pick my favorite traditional wood pencil, I’d go with the Tombow 2558 HB:

tombow pencil sitting on hobonichi techo planner

I bought a box of them a few years ago on a whim and have kept one in my planner every since. The graphite is perfect and always on-center; I have never had a tip break off while sharpening or writing with one of these pencils, or found the wood going halfway up one side of the tip. The erasers are great too—unless one of my kids goes crazy erasing a whole section of a drawing, they last lifetime of the pencil and are just the right texture to thoroughly erase a line without covering the page in bits of rubber.

They’re not super-expensive, either. More than a box of Ticonderoga #2s, sure, but not markedly so, and the quality is vastly better.

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