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Noris colour wear and tear 4


Here’s my first follow up post about the Noris colour, the coloured pencil made using Wopex material, which has been mentioned in a previous blog post. I bought my set of six Noris colour for £2.49 (~$3.76; €3.46) on eBay. There are also sets with 12 and with 24 pencils available.

As explained earlier I have been looking for a coloured pencil, one that is suitable for writing, for quite a while now. The Noris colour is one of the best pencils for this purpose I have seen so far.

The Noris colour pencils have arrived

The Noris colour pencils have arrived

 The test

Now this is not a scientific exploration of how fast the lead will wear down, I have neither equipment nor experience, but just to give you some rough idea what I did:

  • The average normal pen force used to write the sample lines was approximately 1 Newton. I don’t know the average axial pen force. There was obviously a lot of variation as I wrote by hand – with more force being used for downward strokes. As you can see the point broke a few times. It would be great to have a pencil hardness tester, like the Elcometer, to make these tests more objective1.
  • All pencils were sharpened using the Deli 0668, i.e. with an angle of approximately 20°. The Deli was dialled back one full rotation (360°) do avoid creating a point that will break too easily.
  • The paper used was from a Brunnen – Der grüne Block (previously seen in this post)
Old and new Noris coloured pencils. The old ones didn't take part in the comparison.

Old and new Noris coloured pencils. The old ones didn’t take part in the comparison.


All pencils, the Noris colour, the Eberhard Faber 1410 and the Noris club 144, had an initial line thickness of 0.1 mm – 0.3 mm (vertical / horizontal variation).



The point of the Noris colour wore down the least. After one line of writing the line variation was 0.3 mm – 0.5 mm.

The point of the Eberhard Faber 1410 wore down the most. After one line of writing the line variation was 0.5 mm – 0.6 mm.

The point wear of the Noris club 144 was in the middle. After one line of writing the line variation was 0.3 mm – 0.6 mm.




The Noris colour performed best. Subjectively the point felt better than what the numbers suggest, but then the Noris is also the pencil that left the lightest mark. The Eberhard Faber 1410which wore down fastest left the strongest marks on paper.

Despite the light marks the Noris colour is in my opinion the best pencil for writing or marking. It is also easy to erase.

Price Noris colour: February 2015.

I bought the Brunnen notepad in August 2011 in McPaper, Schweinfurt (Germany) for €1.19 (~$1.29; £0.86).

I bought the Noris Club pencil in 2008 from Woolworths went they into administration. I don’t remember the price.

I bought the Eberhard Faber pencils in 2010. More information about them can be found in this blog post.

Exchange rates: March 2015.

  1. They’re actually supposed to the the surface you scratch with the pencils, not the pencils themselves. I guess I should either start a Kickstarter (think potato salad) to try to get my hand on a pencil hardness tester or try to build my own one. []

Palomino Blackwing 34

I was quite excited when I received some of the new Palomino Blackwings yesterday. I sharpened one in my Deli 0635 pencil sharpener and took it to the office. Later that day I tried the Palomino Blackwing out, writing a word or two and was amazed: The pencil was incredibly smooth, very dark and did not smear as much as expected from such a soft pencil. In the afternoon I took it to a meeting to take some notes, but when I tried to use it in a real life situation I became disillusioned pretty fast. I found it necessary to constantly rotate the pencil to keep the point from becoming too wide. I usually use very few pressure and in this case, too, I used very few pressure (this type of pressure and angle normally does not even make the Kuru Toga engine revolve), still the point was just eroding away more and more.

T-Prime and Palomino BW. More in common than the eraser colour.

The 602 after one line

This behaviour is very different to a Blackwing 602, which will keep the point for much longer. The Palomino Blackwing did actually remind me of another pencil I like, the TiTi T-Prime B (previously mentioned here). Both are very dark, very soft, the Palomino Blackwing even more so, but both are not pencils I would like to pick up when I have to write something, just because they use up so fast that they need constant sharpening.

The Palomino BW after one line

Please do no think that this is supposed to be an objective review. Without specialist equipment to replicate the same conditions this is obviously not possible, e.g. applying the same pressure. (In a previous blog post Lexikaliker mentioned two devices that would do just that, the Elcometer 501 and 3086). Despite my unscientific approach: the thickness of the lines in the beginning and the end should give an indication of what I tried to describe. The pencils were sharpened using a Möbius + Ruppert’s grenade. The paper is from Rhodia (Bloc Rhodia Nº 13).

The 602 keeps a finer point longer

The Palomino Blackwing is a great pencil, one of the smoothest pencils I have ever used …I just find it too impractical for writing small text (my lower-case letters are usually 2mm (1/16″) high). It might be better suited for other tasks, such as drawing or writing large letters, where you need a thicker line. Who knows, the Palomino Blackwing might still become a success story despite this problem, maybe it will be the new Moleskine. Moleskine’s paper does not seem to be the best for fountain pens, but we all know how popular it is today. I was told that in Chinese fairy tales the beautiful girl is usually ‘a bit ill’, which is supposed to make her even more ‘precious’. This reminds me of Moleskine and the Palomino Blackwing.

  • I would like to thank Sean for the Blackwings.
  • I would like to thank Kent for the TiTi T-Prime B.
  • The Blackwing 602 used in this comparison is the version with U.S.A. printed on the body, but without the black stripe on the ferrule.
  • I referred to the Elcometer and a blog post from Lexikaliker. These devices move a pencil over a surface under a fixed pressure and angle to the surface. The purpose of these tests, scratch hardness tests (Wolff-Willborn tests) is actually to determine the resistance of coating materials or lacquers to scratch effects on the surface, not to test the pencils themselves.