Conductive carbon blacks from different manufacturers were studied in order to obtain some insight into the relation between their electrical conductivity and their surface properties. The surface chemistry was studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and static secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), whereas the topology of the carbon black surface was investigated using low-pressure nitrogen adsorption. All these techniques yield information on the graphitic character of the surface. In general, the electrical conductivity of the conductive blacks increases with the graphitic character of the surface. For low surface area conductive blacks, the electrical conductivity correlates well with the surface chemistry. In the case of the XPS and SIMS data, this correlation is also valid when other types of carbon blacks such as thermal and furnace blacks are included, confirming the determining influence of the carbon black surface chemistry on the electrical conductivity.