My best music of 2005 list isn’t ready yet, so here are my Great Pencils of 2005:
- Faber-Castell 9000 — 125 years old, and still the smoothest writer out there. Still alarmingly expensive; I can buy 8 tri-writes for the price of two 9000s
- Ticonderoga tri-write — a great low-fatigue triangular pencil. Writes smoothly, sharpens cleanly, and keeps its point well
- Lee Valley HB — there are just nice British-made pencils
- Staedtler Mars Lumograph — the efficient German drawing-office pencil
- Dixon Primary Printer — meant for little kids, this chunky pencil works for big hands too. Unfortunately, it’s round, so it rolls off the desk.
The Papermate Mirado Classic just missed the cut. It’s a whole load of pencil for very little money, a sixth of the price of the Faber-Castell. Yes, it’s a yellow American office pencil with an eraser, but so’s the tri-write. Maybe I’m getting more used to this continent.