The Dixon Ticonderoga represents the iconic American pencil with its yellow lacquer and pink eraser. I was sent this pencil by Priya from The London Parchment, along with some other goodies, and I immediately started using it to see how it compared to my favourite pencils.
As mentioned this pencil design screams AMERICA! It's everything I would associate with American basic stationery. In Europe we don't really have any solid yellow lacquer pencils therefore the Ticonderoga is a novelty. The standard European school grade pencil is the Staedtler Noris with its bumblebee yellow and black striped design but this feels completely different to the Ticonderoga.
The barrel has a bright and vibrant yellow lacquer with the branding printed in a metallic green. The green is supposed to match the ferrule, however the colours are completely different. In part this is due to the cheap and poorly made ferrule which has a rubbish paint job letting down the overall design. The final element of the pencil, the classic pink eraser, stands out against the rest of the pencil.
This iconic pencil design renders this pencil a bit of a classic. Its bold and vibrant colour scheme is iconic and because of this I have a degree of fondness for this pencil. The other Ticonderogas I've seen shared in the Erasable Facebook groups with black or brightly coloured barrels don't appeal to me in the same way and take away from the novelty of this classic American pencil.
I am impressed by how the Ticonderoga writes, which I wasn't expecting. It has a light grey graphite and good point retention, two things I like from a pencil. It feels less like a HB grade pencil and more like an F grade pencil.
On the downside the eraser is poor, so poor that it doesn’t serve a useful purpose at all. It would be more beneficial to remove it completely, or else replace it with a better eraser. It just feels unnecessary.
In terms of the wood I am not entirely sure what is used to make the Ticonderogas but it is not the same level of quality that can be seen with Blackwings or Staedtlers. The Ticonderoga wood is pale and reminded me a little of the Wopex. Regardless of this these pencils sharpen fairly well and the ones I own have a well centred graphite.
The Ticonderoga is an average pencil, but then it's supposed to be. My enjoyment of this pencil centres around the iconic American design rather than actually being a high performing pencil. It’s not a pencil I will have multiples of, which is handy as being in the UK I can’t get hold of these easily.
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Priya for sending me over this pencil to test. Without her generosity I wouldn’t have come by one of these pencils at all.