Palomino Prospector side by side

Palomino Prospector Pencil Review

Palomino Prospector review

The Palomino Prospector is a wooden pencil that costs just $1.95 a dozen ($2.25 for the green ones). It’s made from basswood, comes only as HB and is available in a ‘natural’ or a green finish.

The Prospector looks good. There is minimal branding and the green in particular has a simple elegance, reminiscent of bygone days. The paint isn’t particularly thick, allowing the wood grain show through, which adds to the old-school charm. The white eraser is a nice touch.

Palomino Prospector side by side

The barrel is a fairly sharp hexagon and I did not get on with it at all. The pencil felt so uncomfortable I couldn’t stand to write with it. I do think I’m oversensitive to this kind of thing: I find several mechanical pencils with knurled grips uncomfortable and that doesn’t seem to be a problem with most people. Unfortunately it wasn’t only the shape of the barrel that was off-putting but the finish too. The finish feels tacky and unpleasant. All in all, this is not a pencil I want to pick up.

The eraser leaves a light mark but doesn’t smudge. It’s not the greatest eraser ever but it’s adequate.

Palomino Prospector eraser

The lead is dark, soft and waxy, like the Palomino HB. It’s a little smudgy but shades nicely. I don’t like how it feels to write with at all, though. I didn’t like the lead in the Palomino HB and I don’t like it here. It doesn’t hold a point at all well, either.

Palomino Prospector sharpening

This is a pencil marketed as a school pencil and so price is very important. It’s the cheapest pencil I’ve reviewed here but it’s not the worst. It’s much better than most of the expensive gift store pencils with pictures of kings and queens or trees on. I can’t recommend it if you’re buying pencils for yourself. It’s much better to spend a tiny bit more and get something better. If you’re buying for a classroom and price is the most important factor then it’s worth considering but only because the alternatives at this price point are worse.

Palomino Prospector handwritten review

Private Reserve Buttercup ink review

Private Reserve Buttercup Ink Review

Private Reserve Buttercup ink review

Yellow inks always look so lovely but aren’t usually very practical as they can be hard to read. This is quite a strong yellow so better than most but still a little difficult, particularly in low light. It is a lovely colour.

Here I am doodling the Inkling.

Private Reserve Buttercup Inkling

Eco-Essential Pencil end cap with logo

Now n Then Eco-Essential Pencil Review

Eco-Essential Pencil review

When I was little my Grandad and I made a fishing rod from bamboo. We put a lot of work into it, straightening the bamboo, hand winding the loops for the line and putting on layer after layer of varnish. It looked beautiful and holds a special place in my heart, one of the many dear memories I have of my Grandad. I think this is why I’m so drawn to bamboo as a material and helps explain why I wanted to try an Eco-Essential pen or pencil so much. I was therefore very pleased to receive this one from ISHUJA. Did it live up to such high expectations?

Price: $50
Lead size options: 0.5mm
Barrel options: Bamboo, with a choice of coloured rings and a stylus option

Eco-Essential Pencil end cap with logo

The pencil does look beautiful. Metal and wood (or bamboo!) always does it for me and this is well done. The box includes a few different bands for the cap (I stuck with black) and also a stylus tip (which goes on the cap, and can be seen on the product page). The varnish brings out the qualities of the bamboo and the whole effect is balanced and lovely.

Eco-Essential Pencil capped

The cap screws closed and also screws on to post. If you post the cap you have to take it off to advance the lead. There is an option clip (included) – folded metal – if you want to use it.

Eco-Essential Pencil uncapped

Advancing the lead is even more of a pain. Having pressed the button a couple of times, the lead always pushes back in a little when you put it to paper. This makes the whole experience feel broken and is very annoying.

Eco-Essential Pencil pointy bit

There’s no eraser but in many ways I’d rather go without one than have one of the pathetic little things included in many mechanical pencils.

Eco-Essential Pencil lead tube

Sadly this is another classic example of an object where form triumphs over function. It looks beautiful and it’s clear that a lot of thought went into designing its appearance. Unfortunately it falls short of being something you can take much pleasure in actually using because it fails in one of its most basic functions, advancing the lead.


Looks beautiful
Stylus option


Mechanism doesn’t work very well
No eraser

Eco-Essential Pencil handwritten review

Many thanks to ISHUJA for sending me this pencil to review. These are all my own thoughts and opinions.

SPONSOR: Dudek Modern Goods

Many thanks to Dudek Modern Goods for sponsoring the blog this week. Mike Dudek has been very supportive to me since early on in this site’s life and he also happens to make some excellent pen and pencil stands. (I’ve bought three.)

As you’ve been acquiring new and nicer pens, the coffee mug on your desk may not be the most ideal (or beautiful) option to store these beauties. Mike Dudek of The Clicky Post and Dudek Modern Goods initially set out to make himself some minimal yet elegant walnut stands to store his own pens and a brand was born. He enjoys making and sharing his creations with fellow pen and pencil lovers around the world that also appreciate simple and timeless design. Your pen storage can be both functional and pleasing to look at.

There are 9 products in the Dudek Modern Goods line that can hold pens, notebooks, or even your favorite fountain pen ink. All pieces are made from solid walnut sourced from Mike’s local lumber yard (also a small business).

Dudek Modern Goods are handmade and produced by Mike Dudek out of Arizona, USA.

And, for a short time through August 29th use the special promo code PPP for 10% off your purchase from any item in the shop.