Frequently Asked Questions
Do you make international shipments?
We offer international shipping to most of the countries in the world. If you don't see your country listed during checkout, please contact us.
What are the accepted methods of payment?
We accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express), PayPal and Amazon Checkout. We also accept purchase orders from schools.
What are the available shipping options?
We offer First-Class, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipping from USPS. We also offer a number of FedEx options including Ground, 2nd Day, Standard Overnight, Priority Overnight, and First Overnight. The shipping costs are calculated based on the total weight of the package and travel distance from our CA warehouse.
How can I track my order?
After we ship your order you will be notified by e-mail that your package was shipped. You can review all of your order history by clicking on My Account where you will a find a link to your order history. From here you can check the status of an order that you have placed or you can also re-order from a previous order.
I need a specific pencil but I can’t find it.
If you are a looking for a specific type of pencil that we don’t carry in our store, such as a pencil that is a certain color or has text or a logo on it, then you might want to try our Custom Imprint Pencils. Here you can design your own pencil by choosing from a number of styles and colors.
How are pencils made?
You can find a detailed description of the pencil-making process in the section titled Pencil Making Today. We also sell a How a Pencil is Made Kit which includes a poster that shows the various stages of the pencil-making process and also includes actual pencil slats and components used in the making of an Incense-cedar pencil.
What are the differences in the pencil grades?
Pencil cores are rated on a scale that demonstrates the hardness or softness of the graphite. A harder pencil core will make a lighter mark on paper. As the pencil core becomes softer it leaves a darker mark as it deposits more graphite material on the paper. Softer pencils will dull faster than harder leads and require more frequent sharpening. To find more information about how pencils cores are graded, Click here.
How do Blackwing graphite leads differ from other pencil leads?
Generally most producers offer products which roughly correlate along the HB grading scale within one-half to one degree of hardness. As there is no true international standard for graphite pencil grades, each producer has their own internal standards generally defined by their own positioning relative to geographic market preferences, performance, costs, etc. All of our Blackwing pencils use high quality graphite leads produced exclusively in Japan. As a general rule Blackwing graphite pencils are much smoother than more commonly available pencils given the special formulation and processing methods used. Also, Japanese consumers prefer darker and softer laydown thus all Japanese produced leads tend to be a bit softer and darker along the HB grading scale. This leads to differences of up 1 to 2 degrees versus what you might be used to in other pencils.