Inexpensive smooth writing pencil: Mirado Black Warrior

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36 Responses to “Inexpensive smooth writing pencil: Mirado Black Warrior”

  1. tyger11 says:

    *beep!* *beep!* HIPSTER ALERT!  *beep!* *beep!*

    • retrojoe says:

      A pencil, like any writing instrument, is a tool. I like to use quality tools and appreciate hearing from experienced users. I’m an analyst and use computers 95% of the time for work but I prefer to take notes with pencils when I’m with a client because I can sketch out project ideas.

      This isn’t an article about skinny jeans.

  2. LinkMan says:

    We used to have Mirado Black Warriors at work.  Now the supply rooms are stocked with generic Office Depot No. 2′s.  I miss the Warriors.

  3. jere7my says:

    Yes! Good to see some love for the Mirado Black Warrior. I’ve got (*counts*) five boxes in the drawer to my right at the moment. Lovely smooth dark line, and stylish too. (I agree the erasers could use an upgrade, though.)

  4. Dan Oelke says:

    So how does it compare to the Mirado Classic Pencils which have the yellow hex bodies? Same lead?  Same eraser?

    • David Lanteigne says:

       I find the Black Warrior to be firmer and write longer on one sharpening than the Mirado Classic.

  5. noah django says:

    I’m curious about the wax additive.  Aside from writing smoothness I wonder if it could act as a binder (not sure if that’s the right word) which makes the graphite less smudge-y on the page?  That would be great for us lefties, but either way it sounds like a neat pencil.

    • catastrophegirl . says:

       as far as smudges go, it’s not bad. i do tend to smear a little bit since i am a messy note-taker and go all over the page but the words remain legible and i don’t end up with graphite all over my hand

    • David Lanteigne says:

      Wax has been a common component of pencil leads for a long, long time. (See Henry Petroski’s book “The Pencil.”)

  6. catastrophegirl . says:

    i love mine. been using them for ages. work supplies yellow #2 generics
    but i buy my own black warriors. i wear them down until they are teeny
    stubs (and then i stick the stubs in geocaches where there isn’t another
    writing instrument) 
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/8700513858/in/photostream

  7. Egypt Urnash says:

    When the Blackwing was retired, a lot of the Blackwing afficionados I knew in animation switched to the Tombow Mono in 2-4B. It’s about $1/pencil but that’s about what the Blackwings cost.

    I mostly just use Ticonderoga 2.5Bs these days. I’ve got a couple packs sitting in my supplies cupboard.

  8. Clive says:

    It’s true — these pencils are really lovely! I’m a shameless fan of the Blackwings, but these are, like Mark said, 90% as good and waaaaaay less expensive. I found a box of them at my local drug store a couple of years back, bought them because they looked kind of badass, and loved them. 

  9. seanism says:

    Which Kum sharpener is best for these things?  I noticed a few different ones on Amazon?

  10. These old analog writing sticks are pretty cute.

    I love the quaint ‘eraser’ function, it seems very old school. These ‘pencils’ must be a hit with the hipsters though.

    But it must be a pain saving your work when working with these analog writing sticks, and they also dont seem to be reusable once your sharpener ( an important accessory thats an extra cost) reaches the end of the pencil.

    What they need to do now is come up with a steampunk variation of analog writing sticks. Steamcils?

    • dayhat says:

      Don’t you just take a photograph of the Blackwing scribbles in your moleskin notebook with your googleglass and upload it to your cloud/i/flitter stream?

    • Paul Renault says:

      Those ‘analog writing sticks’ are good to have, in case you run into Paxans.

  11. David Lanteigne says:

    You may find some old stock here and there made in the USA, but the production lines are in Mexico now, and all I’ve bought recently are marked (in small letters on back) “Made in Mexico.”  Some have complained that the pencils are not as straight as they once were.  Can’t swear to that myself, but some of them I’ve seen won’t roll off the table.

    • catastrophegirl . says:

       hrm, i never clean out my pencil cup so i happen to have stubs of both types, and a whole box of the new ones, which does indeed say made in mexico on the back of the box. the ones on the left are old ones, and shiny. the ones on the right are matte finished [not my favorite but the matte actually wears with use and becomes shiny] and made in mexico.
      i prefer the erasers on the new ones, the old erasers didn’t work as well. and i find slightly more frequent lead breakage in the newer ones, but still minimal.
      on the whole, i can’t tell any difference with the straightness and they roll off my desk easily – i tried it
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/8702222711/in/photostream

  12. geeks says:

    They are probably the best pencil that is widely available at your local chain store. Not as good as Tombow Mono 100′s or the like (Mitsubishi Hi Uni, Palominos) though. I used to have a serious woodcase pencil problem…

  13. Ben Paulus says:

    Ah the joys of the Mirado black warrior! From a poem of mine, if I may:

    “I believe in Paper Mate Mirado Black Warrior F 2.5 cedar woodcase pencils with straight wood grain and black matte barrels. I believe in the twin helix blades of the Boston KS wall-mount rotary sharpener, in the unused dial for pencils of nonstandard heft. I believe in the huk, huk, huk of the grind, the rising friction of cedar and stone, the blow on the lethal point to clear the clung specks, the smoke.”

  14. On the day I first discovered the Mirado Black Warrior, I wondered if it was The White House’s preferred pencil.  I mean, I would if I were him.

  15. Beanolini says:

    These seem to be round, and the Blackwings hexagonal. Is this a great divide among pencil enthusiasts? Serious question.

  16. Kenny Cross says:

     I’m a sucker for new pen or pencil selections. Off to order some. It’s not like I don’t have about 1000 pencils stockpiled from over the years. But but but a new pencil to try out…

    Thank you for this post…I think :)

  17. PJG says:

    Mirados are great pencils. I’ve used the yellow F 2.5 for years, drawing hundreds of pages of comics with them. No smudges, great line and way better than those crazy smudgy Blackwings.

  18. Halloween_Jack says:

    After trying, and failing, to find a suitable mechanical pencil for RPG scribbling, I switched to Black Warriors a few years ago and have never looked back.

  19. bradsusername says:

    I work at a college administering exams for students, and I was super happy to find this guy.  It fills out little circles like a boss.

  20. oasisob1 says:

    Dixon Ticonderogas and Black Mirado Warriors are both fine pencils for the everyday user. They get the job done without being annoying or expensive, and in most cases where you can get your office to buy pencils, you can get your office to buy these pencils.

  21. Jude Jackson says:

    Is it just me or did the package designer intentionally make the box look like a cigarette carton? It’s really classy, but the resemblance is so striking (down to the description “The World’s Smoothest”) it can’t be total coincidence.

  22. Andy Welfle says:

    Okay, what gives — What’s so hipster about a pencil? Is it really that obscure to want to take a note paper than fiddle with your iPhone to fire up “Notes” or to wait for MS Word to load on your computer? And is not being able to erase your ink pen’s markings “too mainstream”?  I don’t live in Brooklyn or have ironic facial hair, and I am a huge fan of pencils. Is there something wrong with that?

  23. retrojoe says:

    Repeating what was mentioned above me: I don’t think these are made in the USA any longer, despite the images commonly seen online. Maybe they switch production back but every pack I’ve seen over the last couple of years says Made in Mexico.

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