Caran d’Ache Grafwood Pencil Review

Caran dAche Grafwood review

Last week I reviewed the Caran d’Ache Edelweiss, a reasonable writing pencil that is inexplicably extremely hard to get in the UK. The Grafwood, in contrast, is a drawing pencil that can be found almost everywhere.

Price: £2.50
Lead grade options: 4H to 9B
Barrel colours: many shades of grey
Barrel shape: hexagonal
Eraser?: no

The Grafwood is plumper than the average pencil and I’m not sure why. It’s no more comfortable to hold than a normal sized pencil and it means some sharpeners have a hard time with it.

Caran dAche Grafwood full length

The silver printing on one side is crisp but on the opposite side is a very ugly barcode and serial number, running most of the length of the pencil.

Caran dAche Grafwood ugly things

The lead grade is printed on just one side but each grade of pencil has a different shade. Pencils with softer leads have darker barrels. This is quite neat but the overall design on the pencil isn’t really to my taste. I think it’s a little cheap looking.

The pencil sharpens cleanly.

Caran dAche Grafwood sharpening

The lead in this HB pencil isn’t buttery smooth but it isn’t bad. It holds its point well and erases cleanly without smudging.

Caran dAche Grafwood pointy bit

The Caran d’Ache Grafwood is a nice pencil but it costs £2.50. There’s no way this price can be justified, there are dozens of pencils that are just as good at a fraction of the cost.


Holds its point
Erases cleanly
Sharpens well


Oversized barrel
Hideous barcode etc
Far too expensive

Caran dAche Grafwood handwritten review


  1. i think this pencils outperform others in the harder H ranges by far. produces a very smooth and very light tone.

  2. I love the accuracy of the Grafwood pencil grades. For example, when I use an HB to hatch an area, it’ll leave no darker notes than the HB value. At first I didn’t like these over priced pencils, but now I don’t like to draw without them. Actually, I think they’re a little like catnip because I hoard them and keep them in a special box. 🙂

  3. The reason it’s fatter is because the graphite is fatter.
    Use a razor blade and open it up and compare it to, say, a Fabre castell 9000.

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