Some More Red-and-Blue Pencils (2)


Here are some modern American red-and-blue pencils: a General’s Red & Blue Crayon 1201 and a Musgrave Harvest Thick 725 Red and Blue Combination pencil.

The Harvest is actually pretty good, the colors strong and the core smooth. But core centering is just terrible (something I also noticed about Prismacolor Premier colored pencils). Up until now I only knew of two ways to tell whether the core was off-center: one, looking at the ends; and two, sharpening them (which is inconclusive because it may be your sharpener that’s off center). Now, thanks to the Musgrave Harvest, I’ve discovered a third clue. If you roll an off-centered pencil on a flat surface, it won’t roll evenly, but will swing like a pendulum where the core weighs it down (i.e. where the wood is thinner). Interesting, but I wish I didn’t have to know.



I don’t like the General’s. The reflective surface is a bit garish, and the colors are weaker. The red in particular writes as though it contains only half the pigment, with the unpleasant feel of something like styrofoam rubbing against the paper. I don’t think I would have bought this if it had been pre-sharpened and thus available for testing in the store. I would recommend the Harvest, but only if it’s properly centered.


5 thoughts on “Some More Red-and-Blue Pencils (2)

  1. Lovely imprint on the Harvest, and I have to say that I quite like the “Disco” finish of the Generals :)

    Shame that they both seem to have their flaws – especially the lightness in the General’s red, the red in these really needs to pop for them to be useful, imo.


    1. “Disco” – you nailed it! :) I used the Harvest again this morning, it’s smooth and vivid and retains its point better than the Mitsubishi red-and-blue. Really, how difficult can it be to center the cores properly, when the cores themselves are already well made?


  2. 청색은 대동소이한데 적색은 회사마다 채도나 색온도의 편차가 큰 것 같아요. “pop”의 느낌으로 말하자면 천하의 미츠비시조차도 모자란 느낌! 일본에서는 흑연심의 뒤를 이어 청색보다는 적색이 많이 쓰인다고 본 것 같습니다만.


    1. 적청연필은 써볼수록 “완벽한 건 없구나” 하는 느낌이 들어요. 그러면서도 자꾸 새로운 종류를 경험하고 비교해 보고 싶어지니 참 신기하죠^^


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