Review: Faber-Castell “Dessin 2001”


The “Dessin 2001” is a beautiful pencil. It immediately struck me when I saw it hanging there with its two other siblings in their blister. The colors, reminiscent of the “2000”, its older brother, gold and red divided on the corners of the hexagonal shape by black lines, emanate a vintage character. The gold print heightens that feeling. But the problem starts with the ferrule, whose bronze color does not match the rest of the pencil, even worse: the rubber is pinkish red and pops right into the eye almost destroying the noble looks of the “Dessin 2001”.


The wood is odourless and the SV-bondage of the lead leaves no apparent glue line between the 2 parts of the shaft. I sharpened it with my KUM Long Point Sharpener. It sharpens well and it is apparent that the lead is well centered.


You can also see that the lacquer is pretty thick, made of at least 2 layers, where the bottom layer is red only.

So I tested the B-grade and was very much disappointed. The pencil feels pleasantly light in the hand, but the lead is really not a B. It’s a hard lead which gives off its graphite only with much pressure. I wonder how hard the HB will be with what I experienced with this one. It didn’t feel nice to draw, light lines were too light and strong lines really needed a lot of pressure, the in-between was hard to achieve. So calling this pencil “Dessin” is not fitting. I used it in my small Canson sketchbook. I had high hopes for this pencil, that its aura of tradition and the ominous “Dessin” would make this pencil more outstanding, but it is just an average pencil, well produced and nice looking with flaws. As a solo drawing pencil it fails. The eraser did a decent job, but like the lead there was no real pleasure in using it.


I feel like the Faber-Castell brand has lost a lot of its finesse and quality over time. The 9000 are still really good pencils, but they have long be surpassed by others and the other big brand name Staedler has the better pencils, with its Mars Lumographs. Even Faber’s Perfect Pencil is far from being perfect, but that’ll be for an other review.

So this is it. My first review. I try not to be too technical as I ignore most of the intricacies of what the leads are made of, etc. I look at the pencil from a drawing artists perspective and hope that my view is followable. Any remarks or ideas concerning this review can be discussed in the commentaries.


  1. A pencil that you can feel while writing is, according to me, the best pencil. A pencil that glides when you write is not that good, in my opinion, as control over the pencil is less in that case.

    Therefore, Faber Castell DESSIN 2001 is my pencil of choice.

    1. That is an understandable opinion. But I think most people prefer a smooth writing experience, just consider the Blackwing 602 fame. I’ll be reviewing the 2000 soon, who is a whole different experience than the 2001.

  2. Truth is that this line of Faber-Castell is long since dropped from their up to date series. The 2000/2001 series saw their best era through the 1980’s, and after that in the end of the 90’s the series got centralized into other markets. Please note that there is no “Germany” mark on the pencil, and this is a vibrant suggestion that it is being manufactured in Faber-Castell’s subfactories in Indonesia, for the Asian market. As such, it’s distinctive quality is pretty much concentrated on the bling effect of its striking appearance, but yet, as you already witnessed, the writing/drawing experience is a big letdown. If you will ever get hold of a Germany made Dessin 2000/2001, you will be able to see a night and day kind of quality in regards to the lead. A sad thing to see a glorious series like the 2000/2001 being pushed out of Faber’s portfolio. A distant witness of their once high quality in regards to the drawing world, is the color coded end’s of the 2000 pencils (B-Red, HB-Black etc).

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