Remain colored pencils on plastic

Q & A's: pencils and colored pencils

How are pencils made?

If you want to experience the production of wood-cased pencils live, you are welcome to visit us at our location in Stein. In addition to the wooden pencil production, the historic mine production and the Graf von Faber-Castell’s Castle can also be viewed here. Register for the tour online using our form.

What does the SV symbol on the pens stand for?

In the past, the two board parts were only glued together at certain points when making pencils. So it could happen again and again that the lead slipped out of the wooden shaft. By introducing a manufacturing process that is protected by patents, Faber-Castell succeeded in gluing the lead to the wooden casing over its entire length in the 1960s. This procedure is still called the secural procedure (SV from the Latin secura = safe). It causes a significantly higher breaking strength of the lead, and the sharpenability is also significantly improved.
Faber-Castell uses the Secural process for all wood-cased pencils and marks them with the stamp “SV” for “Secural Process”.

What are the pens varnished with?

All wood-cased colored pens and pencils produced in Europe are given an environmentally friendly, water-based varnish. With this in-house developed technology, when it was introduced in 1993, the company set new standards in the field of pen varnishing.

How many colors are there?

For the Color Grip and Goldfaber pens, we offer a color spectrum of 48 colors, Pitt Pastel artist's color pencils each comprise 60 individual colors, the Pitt Artist Pen, 66 colors. The Albrecht Dürer artist's watercolor pencil and the Polychromos artist's pencil are available in 120 individual colors. All colors access the same color spectrum and are therefore compatible with each other.

What are the colors named after?

Our artist's colored pencils are traditional products, some of which were developed for professional users as early as 1905. The classic, traditional color names phtalo green, madder lacquer and manganese violet are still used today, as they are just as well learned in artistic circles as the consistent color numbering system. For new colors, attempts are made to use the chemical names of the color pigments or obvious metaphors.

What degrees of hardness are there?

The degree of hardness of a pencil lead can be determined by the mixing ratio between clay and graphite in the production of leads. The greater the proportion of clay, the “harder” the pencil writes.
The hardness of the lead is marked with letters and numbers. As a rule, the harder leads are marked with the letter H and the softer ones with the letter B. By placing a number in front of them, different degrees of hardness can be defined. For example, 6H is harder than 4H.
The names are most likely derived from English expressions. Where B stood for Black and H for Hard, and the number added indicated increasing blackness or hardness. F may have stood for Firm = Fest or Fine Point. The classification of the degrees of hardness has never been clearly standardized internationally, so that the exact designation still depends on the respective manufacturer. Faber-Castell supplies the famous classic pencil Castell 9000, for example, in 16 degrees of hardness.
Soft pencils are preferred in the artistic field. An ideal writing pencil (e.g. in the office) has a medium hardness (so-called "HB"), the student pencil has a degree of hardness B.
The following terms apply at Faber-Castell:
B = Black = black
H = hard = hard
HB = Hard Black = medium hard
F = Firm = firm

Alternative degrees of hardness in numbers:

Why do the pens have different shapes?

Wood-cased pens are mainly produced and offered in three forms around the world.

Round cross-sectional shape
In the past, this shape was mainly used in offices for steno (shorthand), as the round pen can easily be turned in the hand to prevent the lead from becoming blunt on one side and thus less need to sharpen the pen. However, due to the easier rotation of the round cross-sectional shape, the pin must be gripped more tightly. This can lead to more rapid hand fatigue with prolonged use.

Hexagonal cross-sectional shape
The hexagonal (hexagonal) shape is currently the most widely used cross-sectional shape for standard applications in schools and offices. It allows the pen to be gripped more easily during use and prevents the pen from e.g. B. rolls off the table.

Triangular cross-sectional shape
In a normal writing position, the pencil is held by the thumb, index finger and middle finger. With a triangular shaped pen, each of the three fingers has a larger contact surface. This corresponds to the ergonomics of the hand and therefore leads to fatigue-free writing. In addition, such a pen does not roll off the table so easily.
More recently, the triangle shape has been recommended for beginners. Since the triangular pencil ends in a round cone at the front, it can easily be sharpened with a normal sharpener.

What is special about the knobs?

The nub technology developed by Faber-Castell technically represents a raised ("convex") structure of small nubs.
These knobs are attached to the front end of the pen, serve as a so-called slip brake and ensure a safe and non-slip grip.
They are the distinguishing feature of our entire Grip family.

What is the perfect pencil?

One disadvantage of the classic pencil is that it has to be sharpened from time to time. However, a suitable sharpener is not always at hand.
Faber-Castell, as the world's leading manufacturer, has found the perfect solution to this problem of the portable pencil: a pencil with an integrated sharpener and eraser with clip that can now be carried like a ballpoint pen or fountain pen and which can be sharpened again quickly anywhere .

Faber-Castell offers this perfect pencil idea in different price ranges.

What is the best way to sharpen my Pitt pastel pencils?

The high-quality pastel pencils should only be sharpened with a sharp knife (item number 181398) or with the help of sandpaper (item number 1851004).

Can the lead of water-soluble pencils be immersed directly in water?

No, because when the pencils are immersed in water, the wood absorbs moisture and swells so that the pencil can no longer be used. For watercolor painting use a damp brush or paint on dampened paper.
For inspiration on how to use it, see this tutorial.

Are there individual colors that can be bought later?

We carry individual colors for Color Grip, Jumbo Grip, Goldfaber, Goldfaber Aqua, Polychromos artist pencils and chalks, Albrecht Dürer and Albrecht Dürer Magnus artist watercolor, artist watercolor pencils, Pitt pastel pencils and all kinds of pencils.
You can get individual colors in our online shop or in stationery shops.
You can use our dealer search to find a specialist dealer near you.

Should I fix my drawing?

Yes, if you draw and paint with Pitt Pastel artist pencils or Polychromos artist pastel crayons. With Polychromos or Albrecht Dürer artists' pencils this is not necessary because they have an oil chalk mine.
Pitt Pastels are pastel pencils whose lead does not contain any fat or oil. They can be easily smudged and should be (temporarily) fixed after completion or while you are working.
We do not have any fixatives in our range. However, we can recommend the following products:

1.1.Sennelier: Latour pastel fixative
2.Marabu: fixative
3.Schmincke: Aerospray pastel fixative

All spray products are available in stationary specialist shops or online.

What can I use to blend my drawing?

We do not have a facing brick in our range.
One possibility that some artists use is to loosen the Polychromos colors with linseed or baby oil and then blend them with a brush.

How lightfast are the pens?

In the artists' paint industry, lightfastness is divided into three classes:
three stars *** - highest lightfastness
two stars ** -high lightfastness
an asterisk * -related lightfastness
To make the assignment easier for you, you will find the color number and the lightfastness marking in the form of stars on our artist pens.

How do I optimally preserve my drawing?

Drawing should be protected from direct sunlight, dirt, dust, sharp temperature fluctuations and moisture. A picture frame with a glass insert or a place without direct sunlight bring protection.

Why is it that my pens are breaking?

Our pens are subject to high quality requirements and are always tested for their tip breaking strength. Should you still have reason to complain, please contact our customer service.

Register there and send us the affected products so that they can be checked and, if necessary, reimbursed.
In order to enjoy our pens for as long as possible, you should make sure that they are correctly pointed. When sharpening, the pencil is inserted into the opening provided and rotated as evenly as possible. It is important to proceed cautiously and without great pressure. Otherwise there is a risk that the pen will tilt and the lead will break.
If a pencil is sharpened in an opening that is too large, the lead can also tilt and break off.
Another important point is the acute angle. We have sharpeners in the range of 21 ° - 24 ° - 28 ° - 31 °. Pencils are sharpened than colored pencils, individual artist's colored pencils even have a sharper cone. If a pencil becomes too pointed and the lead protrudes further, it is also more sensitive and more prone to lead breakage.
The sharpener belonging to the product line guarantees you the correct opening size and the correct sharpening angle, e.g. our Grip sharpening box with one opening for the extra thick Jumbo Grip pens, another for the Grip pencil and an additional one for the Color Grip crayon with a flatter cone.
However, the most common problem is a blunt sharpener. After about 12 completely sharpened pencils, a sharpener is too blunt to continue sharpening reliably. Broken leads in the pointed cone should only be removed with other pens or sharp plastic objects, but not with nails or metal scissors, as these damage the blade. Also, make sure to empty the sharpener container regularly.