The Dixon No.2/HB is basically the stereotypical wooden pencil. It has the classic yellow-orange hexagonal body, basic silver-toned ferrule, and pink eraser. The name is simply printed on black on the end of the pencil; on mine, the letters are starting to wear off a bit. Looking at this pencil makes me think that I should be sitting in an elementary school classroom, carving my name into the wooden edge of my desk, brushing eraser dust onto the floor, and watching the boys in the back of the room throw sharpened pencils at the ceiling. (Did they do that at your school?)
This actually is the first time I've written seriously with a wooden pencil since elementary school (I think I switched to mechanical pencils around grade four or five), so a few things have caught my attention. First of all, the sharp point actually lasts a surprisingly long time. One of the main reasons why I switched to mechanical pencils all those years ago was that they they didn't need to be sharpened - a distinct improvement over wooden pencils which, in my memory, needed to be sharpened after every second word. But I'm now well into my third paragraph of writing this review by hand and the point is still surprisingly sharp. Another thing that impresses me - the pencil is surprisingly comfortable. I would have thought that wooden pencils, with their narrow bodies with no grips or ergonomic features to speak of, would be very uncomfortable to write with. But the hexagonal form of this pencil fits nicely into my hand, I don't feel the need to grip it as tightly as I would with a pen, and the wood feels pleasantly warm. I also love the sound that the pencil lead makes on the paper - kind of a soft, scratchy sound. I get that with my mechanical pencil too, but it seems somehow different with the wooden pencil.
|Along with writing my first review of a wooden pencil, I've also decided to mix things up a bit by writing my pencil reviews in an unlined Field Notes notebook rather than the Rhodia Pad I use for my pen reviews. Just keeping things interesting for you all. . . or something like that.|
The eraser has a rough feel on the page and leaves a considerable amount of shadow behind. Even worse, if there is a lot of lead down on the page, the eraser seems to smudge things around more than actually erase. The eraser feels loose, as though it might pop out of the ferrule if I erased too vigorously - but this is a found pencil after all, so, while it appears relatively pristine, I suppose it is possible that the eraser and ferrule may have received some injuries prior to ending up in my hands. And I'm sure that most people who use wooden pencils probably carry a separate eraser as well and don't depend completely on the pencil eraser.
|I was totally going to leave the eraser dust on the page when I took this photograph - but I totally forgot and brushed it away as I always do. Oh well. It wasn't really very interesting anyway.|
Related reviews: Stationery Traffic, The Wooden Pencil (this one's a comparison review of a number of different pencils).