Wednesday, September 17, 2014

inexPENsive - Uni-ball Eye needlepoint pen

I'm not a huge fan of gel ink pens, nor am I an expert on them, so bare with me while I try to explain why I -quite unexpected - like this pen!

First of all, it writes! Really, if you're me, that's allready quite an achievement! For some reason, this kind of pens never works longer than ten minutes in my hands. So yeah, it writes... really good actually! The flow is nice and consistent, the thick 1mm tip provides a lot of ink and it does so without skipping (phew!) The ink itself is nice and dark.

It's definitely not the prettiest of cheap pens, but the build quality is very good. The plastic is sturdy and the clip is easy to use. The barrel and top of the cap are colour coded, so it's easy to see which colour you're holding.

Another reason why I like this pen is the tip. It's a needlepoint design, which makes it easy to see what you are writing. I wouldn't recommend it for technical drawing though. The ink doesn't dry very fast so your technical plans could end up in a mess! It isn't the most precise tip either, the 1mm width is quite unusual for a needlepoint. If you're into very fine writers, this one won't be your cup of tea!

As a daily writer however, this pen is a very good choice. It writes nice and smooth, and it's quite a comfortable pen to hold!

Price: 2,5 Euros / 3 USDollars or less!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pelikan Souverän M805

Some of you might remember the review of the Visconti Wall Street I did a couple of months ago. At that time, it was most definitely the prettiest and best writer I had ever used. But the Visconti's days of being the ultimate grail pen seem to be over, because a new piece has entered the collection: the Pelikan Souverän M805!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

L-INK #7 (9-09-2014)

Grumbacher sketching 4B and charcoal pencils - A Penchant for Paper

Titanium Madmaxco Bolt action pen - Clicky Post

Lamy Scribble - Bleistift

Zebra Sharbo X LT3 multipen - Edjelley

J Herbin Café des îles ink - A Fool With a Pen

A collection: ACME Crayon rollerballs - From the Pen Cup

Montblanc Heritage 1912 - FPGeeks

Serious Nibbage: Noodler's Neponset - GourmetPens

What's your opinion on Pen Brands - Inkophile

Monteverde Jewelria and Stipula Sepia - Ink Nouveau

Parker Duofold Ivorine fountain pen - No Pen Intended

Nock Co X Dudek Idea Dock - OfficeSupplyGeek

Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen - On Fountain Pens

Staedtler Neon Wopexen - Pencil Revolution

TWSBI Vac 700 fountain pen - Pen and Design

Jinhao X750 fountain pen revisited - PenInkCillin

Misubishi Hi-Uni Pencil - Pens! Paper! Pencils!

Midori Traveler's Notebook: an Introduction - Pen Paper Ink Letter

Doane Paper Garage series pocket Notebooks - The Finer Point

J Herbin Lierre Sauvage Ink - The Penaddict

Montblanc Daniel Defoe ink - The Unroyal Warrant

Noodler's Ahab Flex fountain pen - The Well-Appointed Desk

Monteverde Tool Fountain pen - Write To Me Often 

Platinum Pen Company Interview - Cultpens Blog 
(Together with 20 percent off all Platinum items!, no affilate)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth 5312 Leadholder

Some people might think I'm crazy for collecting leadholders without ever using them for sketching or drawing, but I just can't get enough of them! I love to use them for writing, and there's something special about them that always gets me into buying another one... Like this one, the Koh-I-Noor 5312 5.6mm leadholder!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Citytrip to The Hague: Fontoplumo

Yesterday I talked about my visit to P.W. Akkerman, one of the most famous pen stores in the Netherlands. But that wasn't the only pen retailer I visited while I was in The Hague. I also met this beardy man, Frank van Krieken, the owner of another famous Dutch pen store: Fontoplumo!

Fontoplumo isn't a physical store though, that's why we met at a local coffee bar to chat about pens. And, as you can see below, Frank also brought his pen pouch with him, filled with lots of pen-goodness! So there I was, for the second time in one day, drooling over pens that would require selling organs on the black market!
This Montegrappa Chaos is probably the most detailed pen I've ever seen! The price tag? A sloppy 4ooo Euros!

Frank clearly chooses quality over quantity, being focused on a few high quality brands and their limited editions. His main interests are Delta and Montegrappa, along with brands like Lamy and Kaweco and smaller brands, such as Wörther or Tibaldi.

The Montegrappa side of his pen pouch. From left to right: Extra 1930, Ducale, LE Modigliani, Espressione, and two Fortuna's.
The Delta side (again from L to R): The Journal, Fusion One, Horsepower, two Dolcevita's, Fusion 82.
-Drool- sooooo pretty!
Frank was kind enough to let me photograph and inspect all these wonderful pens, but for some reason I kept coming back to this one: A pearled red 'The Journal' with Fusion nib from Delta! I hope my pictures do it any justice, because this pen is BEAUTIFUL! The resin is vibrant, but at the same time the silver marbling gives it a more subtle character, combine that with Ruthenium plated trims and... ding ding ding, we have a winner! Unfortunately, he didn't have the box with him, but I can't wait to get my hands on one at the Tilburg pen show next month!

With a Fusion nib for added magic and unicorns!
I had a wonderful time talking and trying out pens, Frank is a great guy and he knows a LOT about pens! You can check out his webshop here, he also ships worldwide!

So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed all this pen p0rn as much as I did! I had a wonderful time visiting The Hague, it's a beautiful city with lots of amazing architecture, great food and great shops (especially pen shops!)

I'd like to thank Frank van Krieken and the people over at P.W. Akkerman for taking the time to chat with me, and for letting me take pictures of the amazing pens they sell!

PS: For those of you who are wondering what pen Frank is holding, it's a Montegrappa Kazan LE, one of his favourites!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Citytrip to The Hague: P.W. Akkerman

Last week we went on a litle trip to the Netherlands, which is something we often do (it's a beautiful country and it's not too far!). But this year was extra special, because we visited (not the Capital city, which is Amsterdam, as pointed out by a clever reader!): The Hague, home of the King and Queen of the Netherlands! This will be a series of two posts (I'll try to upload the other part tomorrow) in which I'll show the two highlights of my visit to The Hague!

But what does The Hague have to do with my pen blog, you might think... Well, In The Hague, not only you'll find the Royal palace, you'll also find The Royal supplier of pens, P.W. Akkerman, which is well worth mentioning to say the least!

P.W. Akkerman is a great shop to visit, and it's situated in one of the most beautiful 'Passages' of the Netherlands. (A passage basically is a shopping street covered with a glass roof!) It's also incredibly easy to find because of the GIANT orange Parker Duofold hanging in front of the shop (convenient)
Phoenix handpainted pens (I'd probably faint if I'd see the price tag of these works of art!
P.W. Akkerman has over 100 years (!) of experience (since 1910 to be precise), which is clearly noticeable as soon as you discover their amazing collection of pens, with known and less known brands (like Phoenix handpainted pens seen below), pens for the small wallet and pens for the slightly bigger wallet (you can easily burn through 5k and more!). If you can't find what you're looking for in this shop, you'll probably never find it! The people who run the shop are extremely friendly, and they'll gladly help you to find just the pen you're looking for! 

Another Phoenix pen!
A set of nine Phoenix pens depicting the Romanovs

Another Giant Parker, accompanied by a giant illuminated Pelikan Souverän!

OOOH shiny! Some Namiki Maki-e pens
Probably the biggest collection of Visconti pens I've ever seen!
Again some pens that will destroy your bank account, this time from Krone.

As you can see in the picture above, they gathered quite a nice collection of (vintage) inks over the years (and this is only about a third of their collection!)

Some of my grail pens from Graf Von Faber-Castell

But of course, my visit to P.W. Akkerman wouldn't be complete if I didn't get one of their P.W. Akkerman inks! These inks have become world famous for their unique bottles and convenient filling system. There's a variety of colours to choose from, and every color is named after a place in The Hague! (I'll be doing an ink review about it later!)

I had high expectations before I visited P.W. Akkerman, and I wasn't dissapointed when I left! If you want to get one of their inks or a nice pen, or if you just want to read about the fascinating history of their shop, I'd suggest visiting their website/webshop!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lamy Scala

The Lamy Scala is the kind of pen that might not immediately grab your attention. It's a very subtle, sleek, minimalist pen, so minimal that it might not seem like much at first, but believe me, this pen has a lot worth going for! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pennaquod - The Pen Blog Search Engine!

You want to find a specific blog post about a specific product, but Google gives you a list of useless search results!... I think pretty much everyone will understand this problem, so Ian Hedley, the man behind the great blog: Pens!Paper!Pencils! has created a useful Search engine called 'Pennaquod'.

Pennaquod only searches for results within a specific list of pen blogs, so you'll never get irrelevant results!

Currently the list of blogs is still small, but the results I got are already very good, accurate and fast! Be sure to go check it out, and give Ian a heads up if you have a pen blog that isn't featured yet!

Pennaquod -

Saturday, July 26, 2014

kaweco Ice Sport Rollerball

Woohoo! More Kaweco reviews! - Kaweco has returned with even more awesome products for me to review, including some brand new pens! So stay tuned because more Kaweco goodness will come in the future! Again, big thanks to Kaweco for providing these pens!

By now, most people will know that I'm not a huge rollerball-fan. But I'm always glad if I can try out something outside my comfort zone, because that's where I'll often find products that are much better than I expected! And this one is no different, especially the refill this little pink pen came with really surprised me! It's very smooth, and the flow and line width are very consistent, something that can't be said about many rollerball pens I used in the past! I would almost dare to compare it to the Schmidt refills that come in the Retro 51 pens, which are some of the best refills I've ever used! 

The pen itself looks pretty good, it's almost an exact replica of the Classic sport pens, except for the transparent plastic brightly coloured cap. The bright coloured cap gives the pen a different, not-so-serious and more modern look, which will definitely appeal to young people that are looking for a entry-level, but decent pen. There's nothing I dislike about the design aspect, however I would have prefered a smoky grey option or something similar instead of the bright hot pink ( not really my thing!), but that's just me and my fear for colour!

Build quality is on par with other Kaweco pens, which is a good thing. The only real problem I ran into, is that the section tends to unscrew from time to time, probably because of the spring that puts some pressure on it, making it easier to unscrew by accident. 

As I said before, the refill is excellent, but for those who prefer a ballpoint refill, it can be swapped with any Parker-style refill you want! Maybe check out this awesome refill guide Ana (from the Well-appointed Desk) made for more refill options that will fit this pen! 

Because of its relatively low price (10-15Euros / 20 USDollars), this pen would make an ideal gift for kids or people that are new to the pen scene! It's also perfect as an EDC pen if you want to stand out between the crowd with a flashy writing tool!

Note: this pen was sent to me by Kaweco, free of charge, so I could write this review.  I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, nor was I monetarily compensated. The opinions shared in this review are completely my own!.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Staedtler Noris Stylus Pencil

The staedtler Noris is quite a well-known pencil that has been around for a substantial time, but as with all analog writing tools, this piece of pencil goodness gets replaced by a stylus more often than not. So Staedtler found a simple yet brilliant solution to combine both and to keep the pencil tradition alive: the Staedtler Noris Stylus. 

The name says it all really, it's a triangular chunky Noris pencil with a stylus tip!

Buying one was quite a dilemma though: It's relatively expensive, especially when compared to the regular Noris pencils. But at the same time it seemed a bit too cheap to house a well-functioning stylus tip? It was only until I found one for sale in our local supermarket that I decided to give it a try!

So yeah, I was a bit sceptic at first, but so far I don't have any complaints about the stylus tip or the pencil in general. The stylus is soft and not sticky, it's narrower, and thus more precise than most other styli, and it seems to be quite responsive on most devices (although it appeared to be working better on my android phone than on my ipad!)

The pencil itself -being a Staedtler Noris- is quite great! The thick triangular shape is easy to hold (mostly intended as a learning pencil for children) and the matte lacquered body feels very smooth. The thick 3mm lead is smooth too, and it lays down a relatively dark line, especially when compared to other #2/HB pencils. I also found out that it requires very little sharpening, as you can see below, the complete written review was written without sharpening once! All things considered, this is a great pencil for kids, but I quite like it too!

Another nifty feature is the fact that Staedtler created an app to go with the pencil that helps children to learn how to write! A QR code is printed on the back of the packaging, which can be scanned on both Android and Apple devices. I tried the app once, and it works well. There are a couple of different excercises, as well as games. I could imagine that this actually helps to learn how to write in a fun way.

The Staedtler Noris Stylus is available for around 4 Euros, or 5-6 USDollars.

So here it is, my first (woodcased) pencil review, I hope you enjoyed it, and if so I'll definitely do more reviews about pencils in the future!