Low-Tech Luxury: The Tri-Conderoga pencil

12 10 2007

Think fast.

When’s the last time you actually wrote with a wooden #2 pencil?

Can’t remember? Neither could I.

Actually, I can, now that I think of it. I was making measurements with one on a sheet of drywall.

I was at an office supply store last night and I was looking for an eraser in hopes to find one from a mechanical pencil that might fit in a 1939 Parker Vacumatic mechanical pencil that’s on its way to me. Didn’t find one of those, but I stumbled across a 6-pack of Dixon Tri-Conderoga pencils with the “soft touch” coating.

They were $3, including a sharpener. I figured that I couldn’t lose, and since I’d recently been hearing so much about the virtues of writing with a super low-tech item like a wooden pencil, I decided to try them.

Sharpened one up last night. Amazing.

Do you remember what it smelled like when you sharpened a pencil in school? That familiar smell of cedar and graphite? Yeah…it’s back. Smells better than ever, too, because Dixon made this pencil with high(er)-end incense cedar. They actually designed this pencil from the ground up to be really comfortable to write with. The pencil is triangular in grip, and just a little larger than your average #2 hexagonal pencil. For me, having used a Lamy Safari fountain pen with a triangular grip before (and still today – it’s one of my favorite pens), I felt right at home with it. The black “soft touch” coating has a velvety feel to it, and they weren’t kidding when they say that it’s “The World’s Most Comfortable Pencil!” It’s an awesome writer, too!

Here’s a profile-ish view of the triangular shape.

So next time you’re itchin’ to simplify a little bit so you’ve got less bumping around in your head when you want to be creative, pick up a 6-pack of these pencils and get back to basics. Tri-Conderoga

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