Category Archives: Reviews

Penthusiasm!

Stationery Ramblings gets excited that Rhodia is available in South Africa.

Austin at Art Supply Critic gets down to basics with the Pentel Sharplet-2 mechanical pencil.

Jess at A Planner by Nature opens up about Bullet Journaling.

Angela at Paper Lovestory takes a quick scan of Platinum Blue-Black fountain pen ink.

Barb at Art Journal Cafe gets down to selecting an art journal.

Fufaraw displays a collection of Pelikan, Parker, and Sheaffer fountain pens.

Michelle at Seaweed Kisses lays out her favorite pens for journaling. (Click through to video.)

Elle at The Acculturated Housewife searches for the ultimate gel highlighter.

And All Other Tasks tries to match a ballpoint pen to the Field Notes Expedition series.

Nickole at EveryThink Else gets the blues with Pilot Iroshizuku fountain pen ink.

Penthusiasm!

Pao at The Serial Doodler searches for feathering in Smells Like Sunday notebooks.

Matthias at Bleistift stages a dance-off between the Mitsubishi 7700 and the Staedtler Noris colour.

Joanna at My Precious Krafts gives high marks to the Studio Oh! Deconstructed Notebook.

Pete at Pete Denison tries to get comfortable with the Pilot Decimo capless fountain pen.

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek just can’t join up with US Military Memo Books.

The Gadgeteer wishes for more choices in the First Draft Co. notebook.

Margana at Inkophile experiments with the Speedball Elegant Writer.

Amanda at Paper Pens Ink unfolds her new traveller’s notebook.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens deems the Lamy Pico ballpoint pen useful.

George at My Supply Room scores with the Levenger L-Tech 3.0 rollerball pen.

Penthusiasm!

Margana at Inkophile takes on cheap paper with Noodler’s Black fountain pen ink.

Matthias at Bleistift encounters the Deli No. 7083 pencil in Shanghai.

Amanda at Paper Pens Ink gets skeptical about left-handers and smeared ink.

Joanna at My Precious Krafts sticks to her Daiso Kraft Scrapbook.

Cody at The Pen Haul weighs the Kaweco Sport fountain pen and finds it a little light.

The Unroyal Warrant inks up a vintage Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen.

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek makes friends with the Field Notes 56 Week Planner.

David at Too Many Inks shows off the Pelikan M320 Ruby Red.

Ray at Fountain Pen Quest changes inks in the Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age fountain pen.

Rhonda at the Blog of Rhonda Eudaly accidentally tries out the Uniball Signo Broad gel pen.

Penthusiasm!

Rachel at Rachel Rites explains the Bullet journaling system.

Lito at Palimpsest delves into the history of Shaw & Sons stationers.

Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! finds Field Notes notebooks to be serviceable.

The Unroyal Warrant explores the Namiki Custom Impression fountain pen.

Nifty at Notebook Stories likes the look of Best Made notebooks.

Sarah at A California Yankee… opens up her pen case full of fountain pens.

No Pen Intended finds love with the Pilot Vanishing Point limited edition fountain pen.

Ray at Fountain Pen Quest fills his Sheaffer Balance Oversize with Montblanc Irish Green ink.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens field tests the PocketJot notebook cover.

The Weekly Pencil finally lands a Palomino Blackwing 211 pencil.

5 Green Pens We Recommend

A couple of months ago, I wrote about teachers and students using green ink as part of a feedback system that focuses on improving work, instead of just highlighting mistakes.

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That made me a little curious about green pens, since I didn’t really have much experience with them. The few I’d used were pretty unimpressive, mostly because the ink was so pallid. So I decided to take a run through a bunch of green pens to find the ones that worked the best.

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The Pen Warrior sent me a package full of disposables from most of the major brands we carry: Pilot, Pentel, Uniball, Bic, Paper Mate, Staedtler, and Stabilo. There were 18 all together, in a variety of hues. Most were stick pens. Continue reading

Penthusiasm!

Brad at The Pen Addict backs the Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen.

Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! doodles with Private Reserve Spearmint fountain pen ink.

Ana at The Well-Appointed Desk clicks through the Sharpie Pen Retractable.

Matthias at Bleistift cranks up the M + R 0981 pencil sharpener.

Cody at The Pen Haul fills his Clairefontaine Pocket Notebook.

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek dresses up the Levenger Steath Circa Foldover.

Suzanne at Twenty Four at Heart lists her favorite pens for various art projects.

Christine at Pentulant swabs some Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-ho fountain pen ink.

George at My Supply Room recommends Pentel Graphgear mechanical pencils.

Mary at From the Pen Cup stops being serious with Uniball Signo DX Hello Kitty gel pens.

Penthusiasm!

Rob at Rob’s Art Supply reviews learns to control the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.

Margana at Inkophile glides across the page with the Platinum #3776 Century Yamanaka fountain pen.

Heather at inlovewithjournals swoons over the Franklin-Christoph notebook.

The Weekly Pencil runs into trouble sharpening his Koh-i-Noor Toison D’or 1900 Series 2B pencil.

The Passionate Penman turns his attention to the Sakura Pigma Micron 005.

Lito at Palimpsest takes us back in time for P & J Arnold fountain pen ink.

Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee charts a bumpy course with the Pilot Waverly Nib.

Michael at Inkdependence almost likes Noodler’s Dostoyevsky fountain pen ink.

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek wishes J. Herbin Bleu Azur fountain pen ink were darker.

Christine at Pentulant dives into the Jinhao 159 fountain pen.

Rhonda at the Blog of Rhonda Eudaly sweeps up with the Midori Eraser Mini Cleaner II.

Penthusiasm!

Lito at Palimpsest shares a Kate Chopin letter griping about the tiny invisible hairs on her pen.

The Passionate Penman block-prints his respect for the Tombow Mono 100.

Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! splashes through some J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey fountain pen ink.

Patrick at The Cramped gets to the point with the new Field Notes Planner.

Ray at Fountain Pen Quest experiences disappointment with Toucan Bright Green ink.

Maybelline at On Fountain Pens finishes delving into the meaning of Iroshizuku fountain pen inks.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens feels no intensity from Diamine Red Lustre fountain pen ink.

George at My Supply Room finds his match with the Retro 51 cat fountain pen.

Matthias at Bleistift appeals to his Swedish readers to identify a mystery pencil from television.

Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee learns new appreciation for her drawing pens.

Penthusiasm!

Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee test drives the Pilot Parallel pen.

Angela at Paper Lovestory stocks up on stationery for the new school year.

Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! spends a week in Italy with his pencils.

Nifty at Notebook Stories unlocks Pete Doherty’s prison notebooks.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens weighs the Lamy Logo fountain pen.

Michael at Inkdependence samples Franklin-Christoph Terra Firma ink.

JD at Kicking Ass and Taking Notes works out a system for organizing notebooks.

The Unroyal Warrant reviews the Namiki Yukari Royale Vermilion fountain pen.

Maybelline at On Fountain Pens chronicles the Montblanc Writers Edition Leo Tolstoy 1868 fountain pen.

Matthias at Bleistift gets technical with the Zebra DelGuard mechanical pencil.

Penthusiasm!

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek clicks through the Rite in the Rain mechanical pencil.

Ray at The Fountain Pen Quest runs Faber-Castell Garnet Red ink through his Christoph Model 20.

Christine at Pentulant offers a close-up of Rohrer & Klingner Konigsblau ink.

Rhonda at The Blog of Rhonda Eudaly gives good marks to the Sakura Ballsign Knock gel pen.

Angela at Paper Lovestory admires the Pilot Vanishing Point.

Nifty at Notebook Stories opens up her latest completed Moleskine sketchbook.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens fills her fountain pen with Pelikan Edelstein Topaz ink.

Stephanie at Rhodia Drive points the way to fountain pen fandom.

Peaches at the Pentel Blog dresses up ordinary notebooks in tissue confetti.

Mary at From the Pen Cup marvels at the Montegrappa DC Comics Penguin Fountain Pen. (Sorry DC, couldn’t help it.)

Penthusiasm!

Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! uncaps the Blank Forces X1 and X2.

Matthias at Bleistift introduces us to his Lamy Line Friends.

Austin at Art Supply Critic finds the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pen manga set to be incomplete.

Angela at Paper Lovestory recalls the stationery she used during her first two years of medical school.

No Pen Intended gets serious with TUL pens.

Amanda at Pens Paper Ink judges Sheaffer calligraphy pens.

Lito at Palimpsest calls attention to the pen seller of Beirut.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens sizes up the clear Gama Jumbo fountain pen.

Stephanie at Rhodia Drive recounts the reviews of J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor ink.

Michael at Pensninks explores iterations of the Montblanc Meisterstück fountain pen.

Penthusiasm!

Julie at Peaceable Writer pieces together the problem with her Sailor Brush Pen.

The Unroyal Warrant gets down to the details of the Montblanc Meisterstück 136 fountain pen.

Michael at Pensninks offers a little pen porn with his new Kaweco fountain pens and inks from the antique market.

George at My Supply Closet shows off some pen porn of his own: a rainbow collection of Lamy rollerball pens.

Angela at Paper Lovestory unboxes the Faber-Castell Aqua Ambition fountain pen.

Leslie at Comfortable Shoes Studio lists her six pencils for the month of September.

No Pen Intended reaps the rewards of the successful Pen Rest project on Kickstarter.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens approves of the TWSBI Eco fountain pen.

Margana at Inkophile tries some öli ũclips magnetic clips on her journals.

Tina at Fueled by Clouds & Coffee paper-tests Sailor Nano Kiwa-Guro Ink.

Penthusiasm!

Austin at Art Supply Critic recommends the Sanford Peel-Off Magic Rub eraser.

Patrick at The Cramped shows off the pen-and-ink artwork that lead to “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Matthias at Bleistift introduces the Book Block customizable notebook Kickstart project.

Stephanie at Rhodia Drive makes sure to write down her thoughts as she has them.

Ian at Pens! Paper! Pencils! reorganizes his Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter organizer.

Azizah at Gourmet Pens inks up some Paper Oh notebooks.

The Unroyal Warrant finds a new favorite starter pen in the TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen.

Leslie at Comfortable Shoes Studio gets intense with the Uniball Air.

Ed at Ed Jelley sizes up the Ti Scribe Fountain/Ballpoint Pen.

Mark at Cool Tools pits the Milwaukee Inkzall against the Sharpie Pro.

 

Penthusiasm!

Patrick at The Cramped takes no pleasure in finding someone else’s PaperMate Inkjoy.

Austin at Art Supply Critic gives a forever home to his new Staedtler AllXwrite pencil.

Ray at Fountain Pen Quest pairs up the Pilot Custom 823 and Pilot blue-black ink.

Matthias at Bleistift expresses his disappointment with the Pilot Color Eno.

Todd from That One Pen tells the story of his trip to the Washington D.C. Pen Show.

Amanda at Pens Paper Ink breaks the back of the Quo Vadis APB 2.

Jon at The Leadhead’s Pencil Blog shares his adventures with Parker Vacumatic pencils at the D.C. pen show.

Brian at OfficeSupplyGeek downsizes to try the Black n Red Mini notebook.

Angela at Paper Lovestory shares her sister’s meticulous handwritten university notes.

George at My Supply Room displays his collection of Pentel desk sets.

One Man And His Platinum Preppy Pens

platinum preppyWe love to hear from the people who use our pens, especially when they’re passionate about a favorite.

And Rob, a physicist and retired civil servant from Hertfordshire, is a real fan of the Platinum Preppy fountain pen.

Seriously. A big fan. He wrote to tell us:

I have collected over the years a huge number of fountain pens (I would be embarrassed to count them) which I use containing many ink types and colours. Most I decided to replace with Platinum Preppys, when I discovered how brilliant and superior they are, and when my non-Preppy’s began to let me down.

So far I have replaced 30 of them with Preppys, and they have never let me down. By my reckoning I still have roughly 50 more inferior and failing pens that I still want to replace (and upgrade) with the vastly superior Platinum Preppys. Or indeed perhaps a few Platinum Plaisirs as well, for good measure and variety, though my preference is for the Preppy because its transparency is an aid to ink management.

…I now regret buying any pen that was not a Preppy, as doing so has been a waste of my money.

Continue reading

Staedtler Lumocolor 318 Permanent Marker – Review

Markers have come a long way since New Yorker Sidney Rosenthal’s invention in the 50′s. With a wide range now available for use on just about anything in the home, office or studio, from something as simple as labelling a few CD’s to art & graphic work there’s a marker for everyone.

The Staedtler Lumocolor 318 Permanent Marker is available in a choice of 8 colours including bright yellow, orange & violet along with a black & brown which are lightfast so no need to worry about your favourite sketch fading if left by the window. Should you need a marker for outdoor use the black ink is also weatherproof.

Staedtler-Lumocolor-318-Black

The Lumocolor has been around for over 60 years & some of its benefits include

  • Suited for use with overhead projectors
  • Smudge-proof
  • Waterproof
  • Quick drying – well suited to left handers
  • Low odour ink which is xylene free
  • Airplane safe
  • Dry safe ink (marker can be left uncapped for days without drying out)

These markers can easily be refilled by inserting the tip of the marker in the top of a Lumocolor refill station bottle, they will attract ink to a maximum level making it impossible to overfill. Once refilled Staedler say the marker will last for 3 to 4 hours but I’ve not been able to test this.

This Lumocolor 318 has a fine tip that writes around a 0.6mm line, I found it comfortable to hold & whilst my use was confined to writing I can confirm it lived up to the smudge-proof & waterproof claims. Other reviewers that have undertaken more artistic pursuits say the marker works well for handmade animation on celluloid & they are transparent enough to project the colour brightly as opposed to opaque alternatives that block light & appear black.

 

Uni-Ball Signo UM-120 Gel Ink Pen 0.7mm – Review

Since uni-ball engineers designed the first metal tipped rollerball in 1979 they have continued to produce high quality writing instruments to meet all requirements.

I usually opt for a retractable pen, as much for the clickability factor as convenience, but the Uni-ball Signo UM120 Gel Ink Pen is awaiting a review so I’ll see how it fares.

Uni-Ball-UM-120-Light-Blue

This stick pen contains uni’s renowned Super Ink, well known for its resistance to water, fading & chemicals making it tamper proof so not a popular choice with fraudsters. I found this smooth ink to be quick drying with not a smudge in sight unlike some gels, neither did it bleed through the page.

The Signo UM120 is available in 8 different colours including a vivid orange, pink & this light blue one I’m putting through its paces. The caps & end stoppers are colour coded with the ink & although the transparent barrel on mine seems to reveal a darker blue the end cap proves an accurate guide.

Having noted the 0.7 displayed on the cap I expected a medium tip to write a wider line, but wasn’t at all disappointed by the writing experience. This Signo was very light & fairly comfortable to hold even though it doesn’t have my preferred rubber grip. The slight step between the silver nose & raised area on the top section of the barrel did prevent my fingers slipping, having said that I’m not sure how long it would be before I tired being conscious that I needed to exert more pressure than I would with a more defined grip.

Continue reading

Berol Finewriter Pen – Review

The Berol Finewriter is as the name suggests a good all round writing pen. It could also be used for sketching or drawing & the long tip would make it ideally suited to use with stencils & templates. This felt pen has a green plastic barrel with silver text displaying the logo, the end cap is colour coded with the ink & fits snugly on the barrel when posted.

Berol-Finewriter-Pen-Blue

The Berol Finewriter Pen in my hand has blue water based ink, it is also available in black, red & green. It’s comfortable to hold & whilst the grip section has very subtle, almost invisible, ridges by way of a grip section, it does stop my fingers slipping past the barrel.

The 0.4mm tip glides across the page & writes a very smooth line. I would be more than happy for this pen to be close by for everyday use & could as easily write a long letter as jot down a short note or shopping list. The lack of a pocket clip would probably dissuade me from using it away from the desk as I hate having to rummage through a bag of belongings in search of something to write with, preferring my pens to be clipped to a notepad for easy access.

Berol have a wide range of products including colouring & writing instruments, they offer great value for money making them a favourite with children & adults alike.

Staedtler Tradition Pencil Rubber-Tip – Review

In today’s world, it seems some people think that nothing is worth doing manually, armed with their smart phones & the like that perform with speed, electronic gadgets are their preference. Where creativity & brainstorming are required however there will always be those that turn to a pen or pencil.

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There is also the case for looking after the environment, when it comes to the many gizmos we hold dear that are upgraded at a rate of notts, what about all that plastic that has to be disposed of? This leads some to conclude “a wooden pencil has to be much more eco-friendly” doesn’t it?

An time honoured pencil can always be found on my desk, with its distinctive black & red striped body & hexagonal shape, the Staedtler Tradition Pencil Rubber Tip is ideal for writing, sketching & drawing.

With roots back as far as 1835 Staedtler are one of Germany’s oldest industrial companies, they remain popular through their ability to innovate & develop their products, in their words living up to the description “efficient for ecology.“ The production of the Wopex is a prime example, using their unique extrusion technology the company have created a pencil from a natural fibre containing 70% wood sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Not withstanding our pursuit of innovation the Tradition Pencil is still sought after, it wears evenly is easy to use & sharpen with the added benefit of a handy eraser on the end. It’s made from
a special lead which is super bonded making it less likely to break.

I found the Staedtler Tradition to be very comfortable to write with, it was light in the hand, I can vouch for the strength of the lead as it didn’t break once (surprisingly as I’m know for being heavy handed with everything) & was probably thanks to it’s super bonded formula. The eraser also proved to be super efficient when required.

For me the Tradition is more appealing to the eye than it’s stable-mate the Norris & although its a few pence more expensive I recall rows of them in the stationary cupboard at school & in countless offices in the late 70′s & 80′s, not sure that would still be the case today, if anyone knows any different please let us know.

The humble pencil has been in existence in the lives of our ancestors for more than 300 years & with recent stats suggesting over 81% of Germans using them on regular basis & pencil sales increasing in the US looks like they’re here to stay.

Artline Drawing System Pen 0.5mm

Artline drawing system pens are made by Shachihata, established in 1925 initially producing stamp pads. The company has developed over the years, regularly releasing a variety of markers & writing instruments.

Drawing-System-05mm-Black

Drawing system pens are amongst their best sellers, the Artline Drawing System 0.5mm was launched in 2011 & is ideal for technical drawing, graphic design & illustrating. Despite computer aided design systems becoming common place, drawing boards can still be found in the offices of engineers & architects with some claiming that clients prefer to see hand drawing as it gives a more realistic view, as you’d expect there are still many that think there is a place for both so my guess is this type of pen will be around for some time.

The Artline 0.5mm drawing system pen has a friction proof plastic nib enabling a consistent line to be achieved. The metal collar & sleeve makes these pens well suited to use with stencils & rulers as well as sketching, drawing & writing.

Other features include

  • Water Based Pigment Ink
  • Xylene free
  • Conform to British Standards & RoHS (Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances)
  • Fade Resistant

When it came to using this pen I was disappointed that I couldn’t post the cap, this made it feel really short & uncomfortable in my hand. I took the opportunity to try my hand at a touch of stencilling….OK a little more practice is needed on my part but this drawing pen did complete the task in hand.

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On the positive side the cap was well fitting over the nib, snapping firmly to prevent the nib drying out & it has a sturdy metal pocket clip. The grip was basic consisting of a few rows of narrow lines, but it did prevent my fingers slipping.