Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT KAWECO AC SPORT GIVEAWAY

Touchdown! Our Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen giveaway has ended! Thanks to everyone who participated, and big thanks to the kind people over at Appelboom, who sponsored this giveaway. So here is the winner:
From a total of 141 comments, the winning comment, as chosen by random.org, is: 
Which was the comment from: 

James Shirley!

Congratulations James! Don't forget to get in contact with us via email (pencilcaseblog@gmail.com) to claim your prize!

Thanks again for all the support, and thanks for entering the giveaway! Didn't win this time, or missed out? Maybe consider following The Pencilcase Blog on social media (tip: you can also follow by email subscription through the RSS provider!), that way you'll never miss future giveaways!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

KAWECO AC SPORT FOUNTAIN PEN REVIEW & GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen review
So.... There's a pretty legitimate reason why I write with pens instead of writing computer code: I suck with computers. The proof: well I kinda deleted one of my very first blog posts while trying to update it with some new pictures... yeah that's how good I am with computers! I originally intended to do a re-review of the Kaweco Ac Sport anyway, but I guess this will now count as a replacement for the original review (but with added new insights), have a good read!

I think it's not unreasonable to say the classic version of the Kaweco Sport (the plastic one) is by far the most popular and widespread. And with good reason, because they are pretty great pens, at a pricepoint where you don't mind throwing them into your pants pocket or bag. As far as the Kaweco Sport pens go, the classic is probably the best bet for an EDC pen.
Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen review
But when you want something a little more... refined, the logical next step up would be the more 'premium' Al sport. As the name suggests, it's made of aluminium, which is lightweight, durable, and a bit more flashy. Reach a little deeper into your wallet, and you could also go for the AC Sport. But is the AC Sport worth the premium? That's what we'll try to find out in this review...
Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen review
One of the first Kaweco pens I ever owned was a black AC Sport, so it's fair to say that I have had plenty of time to use it, and form an opinion about it. In essence, the only difference with the AL sport is the addition of carbon fiber inlays to the anodized aluminum finish. The contrast between the shiny carbon fiber, and matte black aluminum absolutely looks sharp and modern. It gives the pen a sort-of racecar appearance, fast and slick, but apart from aesthetics it adds nothing (it's not lighter than an Al Sport for example).
Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen review
I really like how they integrated the pieces of carbon fiber in the typical design of the Kaweco Sport, with strips of carbon fiber on four facets of the cap, and one large section around the barrel. The pieces fit neatly into the recesses in the aluminium, and all parts fit together with the same precision as we've come to expect from Kaweco. 
Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen review
Talking about aesthetics on a pocket pen inevitably makes me think about the more practical aspect of things. After all, the Kaweco Sport is made to be a pocket pen, made for intensive everyday use. So does it really need to be a visually striking pen? I think the answer would be no, especially if you want to use it as an EDC pen without having to feel bad about wear and tear. So in this regard, the better option is probably to go with the more affordable Al Sport.
Kaweco AC Sport fountain pen review
L to R: TWSBI Diamond Mini, Kaweco Brass Sport, Kaweco sketchup, Kaweco AC Sport, Lamy 2000, Lamy Safari
The Kaweco AC Sport has the same measurements as all Sport pens, so I'll go over them quickly here. The pen itself measures 10.8 cm capped (4.3"), and 12.5 cm (4.9") with the cap posted. The grip section measures around 9mm in diameter, and has a comfortable concave shape that is pleasant to hold. The entire pen fits in the hand quite nicely, and with a total weight of just 22g it doesn't feel too heavy.
Kaweco's steel nibs are smooth nibs, made to be used, no fuzz. The ink flow is balanced, definitely not too wet, but it keeps up nicely. If there's one downside to Kaweco nibs, it would be that they can occasionally be a bit prone to skipping or hard starts. It's often stated that this is mostly an issue with wider nibs, but I've encountered it with all nib sizes. The thing I've learned from experimenting with different inks is that Kaweco nibs depends A LOT on the ink you use, changing to a slightly more lubricated ink will usually solve the problem right away (Sailor, Iroshizuku, KWZ,... tend to work quite well).
Kaweco has started selling some versions of the AC Sport with their black coated nibs right from the factory, whereas those nibs were previously only available as separate replacement nib units. Visually, they offer a sleek addition to the AC Sport pens. Worth noting is that they don't feel as smooth in the beginning, similar to the feedback of a pencil on paper. This is due to the black coating that covers the tipping material, but it gets better after some time of use, when the coating wears off.
The quality of this pen is top-notch, and carbon fiber is a slightly more 'exotic' material to come across in a pen. On the other hand, it's still a pocket pen, and you can get similar versions of the Kaweco Sport for much less. It's a bit of a balancing game.

It's worth the 130 USD (slightly more for versions with a black nib) if you look at it from a design/collectors perspective (it really is quite good looking pen, no doubt about it). But it's still a pocket pen, so if you intend to use it as an EDC pen, the more affordable Al Sport or classic Sport will probably be a safer bet.

READ ON BELOW HOW YOU CAN WIN AN ORANGE KAWECO AC SPORT FOUNTAIN PEN, PROVIDED BY APPELBOOM!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED! winner will be announced shortly!
HOW TO ENTER: Easy! Just post a COMMENT BELOW! Let me know which pen or related product you'd like me to review! Carefully read the rules below to make sure that your entry is valid!

RULES:
  • Contest is open WORLDWIDE!
  • Prize is one (1) Kaweco AC Sport orange fountain pen with black coated nib (M).
  • The competition starts 05-14-2017 and ends 05-21-2017 12:00AM (GMT+1)
  • USE A VALID GOOGLE ACCOUNT TO POST YOUR COMMENT (in the dropdown menu behind 'comment as', choose Google account), the same Google account has to be used to claim your prize if you win, to validate that you are indeed the winner. Invalid entries will be denied in the draw.
  • The winner will be announced here on pencilcaseblog.com after the contest closes. THE WINNER HAS TO CONTACT ME VIA EMAIL TO CLAIM THE PRIZE. If the winner fails to respond within two weeks, another winner will be chosen.
  • The winner is chosen at random, all valid entries will be arranged in one list, and random.org will choose the winning entry. 
  • Make sure your entry is valid, invalid entries are denied. (Play fair please!) A maximum of one comment is allowed.
  • Standard international shipping (without tracking code) is included, The Pencilcase Blog or Appelboom can not be held liable for loss or damage during shipping. 

Note: This product was sent to me by Appelboom Pennen, who is a sponsor of this blog, free of charge, so I could write this review and do a giveaway. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affilate links.

Friday, May 5, 2017

INKTASTIC: KYO-IRO STONE ROAD OF GION INK REVIEW

Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
Kyo-Iro is my first encounter with this relatively new -at least in our regions- Japanese ink manufacturer, and it's quite a good one! It's a collection of inks developed by and for the TAG stationery store in Kyoto, but luckily instead of keeping it store-exclusive (I'm looking at you, Sailor!), they are distributed worldwide. I went for Stone Road of Gion because I seem to be enjoying a lot of moody, darker inks lately, and Stone Road of Gion fits that description completely. 
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
It has a strong vintage look about it, the color -somewhat remniscent of the brown hue of those really old photographs- is kind of a balance between grey and brown, with very low saturation and quite light. 
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
The color itself is unique, which was enough reason for me to choose this one. You see, after 100+ inks, it becomes quite hard to find something completely new, and refreshing. Another reason to like this ink is the incredibly neat shading, that ranges to a very dark brown in some areas, and depending on which pen and nib you use. 
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
As far as other properties go, you'll have a hard time finding sheen, because there isn't any. But that's not too uncommon for grey/brown inks. It's quite a well-behaved ink in terms of feathering and bleedthrough. Dry times are relatively long, and it's not a very 'lubricated' ink.
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review
The main disadvantage of Kyo-Iro inks is their price, as they currently run around 25 EUR or higher for a 40ml bottle. Appelboom, who also provided the ink for this review, also offers small sample vials with a couple of ml to try before you buy, and see if it's worth the money.
Appelboom pennen
Note: Appelboom is a sponsor of this blog. This product was sent, free of charge, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affilate links.
Inktastic Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion ink review