Pencil Review: Caran d'Ache Swiss Wood


Hey guys! Long time no talk!  I've admittedly neglected the blog recently, and to be perfectly honest...lots of cool video games came out, life got busy, and I'm planning my wedding that's coming up this October!  So, things have been a little hectic, but I'm kicking myself in gear and getting back to business here at The Desk of Lori!

I decided that to get back into the swing of things, I'd do my first PENCIL review!  During my hiatus, I started listening to the Erasable Podcast, and though I have never been a fan of wood-cased pencils, they ignited the stationery nut in me and I gave it a shot.  I now have some favies and a decent collection that I definitely want to share with you guys.  I wanted to start out with a pencil that has quite a reputation in the community, and (spoiler) is one of my absolute favorites: the Caran d'Ache Swiss Wood.

One of the first things you'll notice about this pencil is that it has a very unique fragrance.  From what I've seen on the Erasable Facebook group (check it out if you're not a member!), is that about 50% of people love it, and the other 50% of people absolutely hate it.  I'm part of the former group, and LOVE the smell of this pencil!  Most people that don't like it so much think it smells like soy sauce.  I think it has a very unique smell, kind of spicy/earthy and hard to describe.  I also don't eat Chinese food, so maybe that's why I just don't get the soy sauce fragrance.  I love having it in my Nock Co. Chimneytop because it makes it smell amazing!

Another thing you'll notice immediately is that the wood is very dark, unlike most pencils you see.  The Swiss Wood is made from Beech Wood from the Jura Rainforest, which is absolutely gorgeous.  The pencil appears to be a raw wood finish, but it does have a slight lacquer on it.  It's nice and subtle, though, so when I use it I feel like I'm using an non-lacquered pencil.  The pencil features a red dipped end with the Swiss cross on it, and I've found that I much prefer pencils with no ferrule and eraser on them.  The pencil is ever-so-slightly fatter than your standard pencils that you'll find at the store, so be cautioned that this one may not fit in all pencil sharpeners.  I use a Mobius & Ruppert Grenade sharpener and it works perfectly.

I may have borrowed Mr. Dudek's idea of putting shavings into a metal ashtray :)

The "lead" in this pencil is graded as HB, which is the same as #2 for the Americanized grading system.  An HB sits at the insection of darkness and hardness for pencils, so it's a perfect daily use grade.  What I will say about this pencil in particular, is that I find the HB for this one to be just *slighly* lighter than most other HBs that I have used.  As such, it also holds a point forever, which is another one of my favorite features of this pencil.  The graphite is nice and buttery smooth, and a pleasure to write with for long writing sessions.  The Swiss Wood is slightly heavier than most pencils, so you may notice more fatigue with this one than you do with some others.

As amazing as this pencil is, it does come at a steep price tag.  C.W. Pencils sells it for $4.50, and I've seen it other places online for up to $5.  I personally think it's completely worth it, but it may not be for everyone.  There are plenty of other pencils out there that write just as well for significantly less money, but if you like fancy & unique pencils, I urge you to give this one a try.  If you're anything like me, you'll be totally hooked!

The Swiss Wood holds up well in comparison with some of the darker pencils I have.

Thanks for stopping by! Keep an eye out on the blog - I plan on releasing some other pencil reviews, some more pen & paper reviews, and eventually some ink reviews as well.  If there's anything in particular you'd like to see, do let me know.  I love hearing from you guys!  If you'd like to be notified via email when I post, hit the Subscribe button and sign up.