Graf von Faber-Castell: Magnum

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Graf von Faber-Castell’s new magnum-format Perfect Pencil is as great as its name suggests.

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The small linen pouch is always a nice touch; I feel more comfortable placing the pencil in my pocket or book bag if it’s not in my writing case.

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Like the current Perfect Pencil, the magnum has a platinum-plated extender/sharpener. I admit that I’m still partial to the silver-plated items that were discontinued some time ago, but the platinum version has a brilliant luster that needs little in terms of polishing.

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Compared with the Limited Edition Perfect Pencil (made of stainless steel) you can see that the dimensions are very similar. This is interesting to me because instead of just using the previous mold or model an entirely new part was made, but just a bit bigger.

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The difference between the pencils’ diameters shows where the magnum gets its name:

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The one thing I was curious about was the lead: it’s much thicker and a 4B. Even though German leads tend to be a little lighter as compared with U.S. leads (and even lighter compared with Japanese leads), the Faber-Castell 9000 3B is about as dark and soft as I like to go when it comes to writing. But this lead doesn’t just seem like a sized-up version of their 4B Castell 9000; it wears much more slowly and it seems to me that it’s quite a bit smoother. In fact, I would say it’s very similar to an older pencil of theirs, the Lay Out 2526it too has a very smooth, large diameter lead.

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Even the eraser has been given the magnum treatment, being both longer and thicker than that found on the standard Perfect Pencil:

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Several of Faber-Castell’s pencil lines are now available in “jumbo” sizes, so it makes sense that the Perfect Pencil would follow suit (perhaps the classic green plastic version will also be available in a jumbo version). I wonder if this version will appeal to current owners of the Perfect Pencil (it did this owner) or whether there is a target audience who has been waiting for just such an upgrade.

Special thanks to Faber-Castell for their peerless customer service.

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10 Responses to Graf von Faber-Castell: Magnum

  1. memm says:

    A beautiful pencil. Thanks for showing us and for having a closer look at how the lead is different.

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  2. Stephen says:

    Very nice! I only see it for sale in a few markets, but hope it will soon be offered by one of my regular suppliers.

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    • Sean says:

      I think you’ll really like it. I’m hoping to see something from Faber-Castell U.S. soon in terms of refills (which I believe come 3 to a pack). I wonder if they’ll make a sterling silver version of this one, too.

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  3. Sandra says:

    Thanks for this excellent review, Sean.

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  4. I’d jump at a Jumbo version of the 9000 Perfect Pencil, certainly. It’s interesting that Faber Castell have also released a Jumbo version of the Albrecht Durer watercolour pencil recently (called the Magnus) – I wonder whether this is going to be a trend across their range?

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  5. Mark Tiscareno says:

    I purchased one from Fahrneys, but they evidently do not sell the eraser refills. Does anyone know a source from which I can order them?

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    • Sean says:

      I haven’t seen anything yet in the U.S., and I e-mailed Faber-Castell USA but didn’t hear back. I guess it will just take a while before refills begins to filter through retailers. If you find something, please let us know…

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  6. Pingback: Graf von Faber-Castell: A Change Of Era And A Black Perfect Pencil | Contrapuntalism

  7. Sean says:

    UPDATE: Magnum pencil refills are available through the U.S. now through the Graf von Faber-Castell portal: http://www.graf-von-faber-castell.us/writing-instruments/perfect-pencil/perfect_pencil

    I haven’t come across magnum eraser refills as yet.

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