Shopping Finds: Pilot G1 and binder clips

Nice looking Pilot G1's available in PoundLand for £1 each, unsurprisingly.
I know there are fans of these pens, though I've never used them, I have a few G2's which are nice, though not my favourite pen.
For some reason I'm lusting after various binding clips also, these really caught my eye. I'm not sure what I would use them for, as with most stationery lusts but still, they are very nice, also available at PoundLand.

Pens in the wild - BIC Cristal & BIC "dry pen" offer

Another Pens in the wild post and this time its the ubiquitous BIC Cristal in the yellow barrel and black ink configuration we all know and love/loathe. This one is even sadder than normal as it has so obviously been discarded after a use of no more than a few words, by the looks of it an address on some present or parcel dispatch.
And of course it just had to be in the Post Office.
This disposable attitude towards cheap pens is not just sad for the pen it costs you money, over and above the cost of the pen itself, though I do not know of anyone who has ever bought a BIC Cristal, they are all "borrowed" form other people/shops/stationary cupboards and discarded when no longer viable to chew or just done the job, so perhaps there is not much monetary loss usually. But know you could be losing out much more, BIC have a new promotion on, sen din your empty/dry/fully used/"run out" pen along with the receipt for it and you could claim £10! No doubt there will be proviso's to the offer, or everyone would just buy handfuls of them and colour in everythig they could find, how long would a Cristal take to run dry through use? Someone must have tried this somewhere, surely, if you know let me know.

 ***PICS HAVE BEEN LOST - POST LEFT FOR REFERENCE ***

Shopping Finds: Exercise books, BIC pens, Stabilo

Latest shopping finds, kicking off withe these exercise books, squared ruled 88 page staple bound books available from Poundland, invoking memories of school and coloring in the squares when bored.
Next up are some more memory invokers, the classic BIC 4 colour selector pen and a new "mint" colour version. I always wanted a 4 way colour selector pen when i was young, to this day I've still never got round to getting one. Both are currently on sale at Wilkonson's in the UK along with a larger range of BIC products, including the M10 as in the picture, which I never knew actually had a model name.
And here we have more BIC products available in the Wilkinson sale, these look to me to be the infamous "For Her" BIC colours that created a bit of a foray a while back, that have now been repackage and renamed as "Fun" Cristal pens. They are nice colours I'll admit, but the whole debacle with the previous branding incarnation will no doubt stick in my mind. For a lighter look at what people thought of the original pens and that marketing campaign, check out these reviews on Amazon: 
Finally we have a sale deal on the Stabilo 10 fineliner pen set, I've always liked these pens, but found them to be too expensive for what they are, but this price makes them much more attractive. Give them a go, they are a lovely pen for drawing and general colour work, thought hey are not light proof or pigment inks so don't expect them to last too long on paper.

*** SOME PICS HAVE BEEN LOST - POST REMAINS FOR REFERENCE ***

Carpenters pencil

I always thought carpenters pencils were sharpened with knives, but there are sharpeners that do it apparently. I thought that was quite interesting.

Shopping finds

 Some new notebooks found the other day in Tesco, a while back I blogged about them now stocking Rhodia notebooks, well they now seem to have developed their own range too.
The standard design, nothing groundbreaking, a soft leatherette cover with the usual amount if pages and GSM rating and the of course customary/standard/ubiquitous elastic closer band.
Sadly, they are made in China, of course, as are most of the high street brand notebooks, probably more than we realise too. I personally think they have pitched them too expensive for an own brand notebook, £5 just seems that little too much, especially compared to similar products available from ASDA for around the £3-£4 pound area. 
 Fabriano have also made an appearance in Tesco too, the have been available in ASDA also for the last few weeks, they are a brand I have never come across before. Anyone got any experience with them?
And just to finish off, the full sale range now available in Tesco, for anyone who needs a new notebook, or just needs their fetish feeding. A nice selection of the usual witty/quirky/patterned smattered notebooks, nothing especially exciting or interesting, but all of nice enough quality and a fair selection of ruled and plain pages.

Paper Mate Mini Roller


After much delay I finally got my hands on the Paper Mate version of the ink cartridge roller ball. I posted a while ago about a W.H.Smiths version and its disappointments here: http://pensetc.blogspot.com/2013/04/whsmith-euro-cartridge-mini-rollerball.html. Lets see what Paper MAte have managed to do with their version.


At first glance the construction is virtually identical to the inferior (in my opinion) W.H.Smith's version, but once the top is removed (a very reassuring) and the barrel unscrewed the difference can be felt immediately. Barrel has a very reassuring tightness to it and long screw action to attach/detach. this is not coming loose. Surprisingly the pocket clip is also very firm, which first impressions would lead me to believe it will not stand up to much use, but so far its proved to be very robust.


The pen in capped configuration really is very compact, roughly 5 cm's long, very pocket friendly. a nice tactile and comfortable weight to hold and carry.
Nothing particularly striking about its appearance, other than the size and the cartridge refill aspect, it will not draw attention in use especially, but it's a nice one to have just for the fountain pen experience in a roller ball form factor.
Especially if you have a favourite cartridge only ink.
Here we can see the pen breaks down to 3 roughly equal parts; cap, barrel and nib section.
Here we can see better the long screw to attach nib section to barrel, as you can see, in comparison to the pen over all length it a large percentage of the pen, very reassuring construction points. As can be seen, the lid is longer than the barrel, which causes some issues, more on this later .
And now the issues, as can be seen the cap posted pen is not much longer than the capped pen. This is the main problem, strangely enough I don't think the cap sits low enough on the pen when posted. This results in the pen cap coming loose during writing, very easily, and when this happens the pen is to short (for my hands) to rest against the join of thumb and forefinger.
Which all results in a constant fiddle to stabilize a wobbly and wandering pen, just like the W.H.Smith's version.

So taking into account these similar issues does this point to a design problem and flaw in these mini roller ball/cartridge pens? I would hope not as I really like the concept, I do think a simple redesign and indeed a full size pen would be ideal for this concept.
A nice surprise is the inclusion of 8 standard euro cartridges with the two pens, 6 in the box and one in each pen, not bad value for £0.99, though it would have been nice to maybe get some colour variations instead, perhaps 4 of each colour. I also wonder if these pens would be ok to use with registrars ink or pigment ink, for drawing and document signing etc. Perhaps there is an experiment i need to conduct.
Below is the standard writing test, I think it writes very much like a fountain pen, purely down to the ink, no smudge test this time as it's all down to your ink choice.


Shopping finds: 3 new Uni Mitsubishi Pencil finds

More recent shop finds, all from Uni Mitsubishi Pencil, first up is this Vision Elite, pretty much a standard Uni pen, but as you can see this one is being pitched as a an airplane safe model.
Now, I've never had a problem with a Uni pen exploding or leaking after a flight, though I have had anecdotal accounts described to me, mostly that they just stop working, so I couldn't comment honestly either way on the problem or the likelihood of it happening, but it's still good to see the problem being addressed and possibly solved, a bit of piece of mind and thought from manufacturer.

The Uni Gel Impact is not a pen I have ever used, though having a look at here I'm feeling a bit of a pull to give it a go, although I've never really been a gel pen fan, I don't know why. Anyway, here it is, a gel rollerball, pack of two with a the major point being the briad writing line. Now I'm not an especially larger writer, more often writing very fine sized letters, but I would think that larger writers would be more inclined to want to use a fine line, but it's whatever you find comfortable and most appealing I suppose, anyway, I've never seen a gel pen sold in varying line widths so this is an interesting find. The price to me is a bit steep for two gel pens, compared to the price for the three above, they are all form the same maker so I would have expected to price to be in ratio or for these to also come as a pack of three.


And last of all we have the Signo 207 from Uni, a retractable gel ink rollerball, but this time, a new find for me, with tamper proof ink. Now I'm unsure whether this was the classic registers type of ink or some Uni developed tamper proof ink, packaging information didn't really help in that respect.
The need for tamper proof ink now seems a bit outdated with the general demise in use of the cheque book and so on, but I suppose there still is the need to sign official documents & contracts etc. where this pen may have its uses, certainly more usable the than classic fountain pen and registers ink of days gone by. do registers still use fountain pens, I hope so.

Intermittent...

Sorry to all the regular viewers, life has been a bit busy of late.
Not counting computer troubles too, it has been a bit difficult to post regularly and sufficiently, but new post will be here soon, normal regular service should start again tomorrow.
Thank you all for your perseverance and keep checking back for all the new updates and posts to come.

Shopping Find: Rhodia, Rhodia Colours notebooks

Another recent find are these Rhodia coloured notebooks, A6 and A5 hardback versions.
Price point seems competitive, would think so at supermarket prices.
Could be an interesting area to watch especially now large high street stores appear to be getting on the notebook trend.

Shopping find: Uni Chalk Markers

Just spotted these on recent shopping trip.
Interesting to find in a general shop, only ever spotted these in art and craft stores, as well as sign making shops and business supply retailers.
Not sure what I would do with them, but maybe there will be a post coming about them, keep checking back.

Shopping finds

Recent trip to the shops for a fetish feed turned up some interesting new finds. All the following finds were discovered in Staples, who are admittedly a little over priced, but generally have good stock levels and variation.
First up is two new Bic pen finds, the 2-in1 Stylus and the Cristal Stylus. Their use and intention are pretty obvious I would say to everyone, I do like the fact that they have crafted a more budget end stylus pens as well as an all steel premium model. Although i think selling a bic branded Stylus cap would have been a good idea too, maybe not as commercially lucrative but a nice touch and addition to the Bic line up.
We are all familiar with the Bic four colour pen, well here we have a standard model branded with Hello Kitty, the colours are no different to the stanard model, which seems strange, why not brad the Pastel version as a Hello Kitty model, or perhaps some limited edition colours, anyone remember the yellow ink Bic Cristals that used to be available?
And of course no shopping trip would be complete without the obligatory Sharpie  product line check up. Here we have 2 Sharpie pen models, the Stylo Premium Pen and the Stylo Grip Pen, now, why the premium is labelled as such I'm not sure, as far as i can tell the barrel is all plastic, the nib is no different and colours are the standard fair available in all Sharpie pens, equally bizarrely, the premium version is actually cheaper as a 4 pack than the 3 pack grip pens. Neither of them replace in my affections the Stainless Steel or Pen Sharpies as reviewed in an earlier post.

 Here we have a new find, Aveo are I believe a Montex brand/model, first impressions are these pens are very similar to the old model Sharpie pens as mentioned above and reviewed in earlier post. These pens feature SilkScribe ink, of which there was no further mention on the packaging so what the benefits are of it I have no idea.
Some nice Staedtler penciles were also spotted in the loose section of Staples, as you can see there are a multitude of colours, which all makes for a nice product line up, rare to see investment in so many colours from a good manufacturer. I'm note sure what the white artifact is around the coloured lead, there was no mention of it on the retail pricing stickers,  so if anyone knows please get in touch.
 And in closing some new pencils from Faber-Castell, 2 1/2 HB Grip pencils, with a free Grip eraser too, nice little bonus there, writing pencils seem to be becomming more and more popular lately, perhaps following the American market.

Plus Gelly 0.7 (Plus*Office brand)

Here we have a Plus Gelly 0.7 (from the Plus*Office brand), which is obviously a cheaper Pilot G2 Chinese copy.
As you can see the the design of the pen is almost identical to the Pilot G2, even down to the design of the refill and ink barrel. Length, with and weight are all comparable to the G2, no accident that it resembles the G2.
But how does it actually write?
Well I must admit, even with the huge popularity of the G2 with the notepad/notebook fans on the internet, I've never owned or used one, terrible of me I know. But as to this pen, well there are no complaints really, it has a decent and reassuring feel in the hand when writing, not especially heavy as you would expect from a plastic gel roller, the ink lays down well with no particular smudging issues.
The line is nicely dark and black, with a good consistency on the loops and whirls, no skipping here. The grip section is the usual hard rubber (almost plastic) set up evident on so many pens of this type and price bracket, certainly sufficient I would say to last the life of the pen.
The refill is not end capped, unlike the G2, the pocket clip feels sturdy enough, moulded as one piece withe the post nodule as it is, and has nice spring to it; it should hold firmly enough when in use. The click/spring action is certainly positive, no mistaking when you've extended or retracted the nib.
All in all a decent pen with some nice G2 like characteristics for a very decent price, this pen was one of the recent Spanish haul, if you see it around your usual haunt and are a fan of the G2 or gel pens in general I would say give it a shot.




Blog round up!

Some great posts from fellow stationery fetishists:


Enjoy!

Pilot V Super Color Permanent Marker Refillable - Bullet and Chisel tips

** These are now for sale over in the www.pensetc.tk shop (click here) or use the link at top of page **

This post is the first one to concentrate on permanent markers, honour of first post go's to the Pilot V Super Color Permanent Marker Cartridge Refill (no, it's not a spelling mistake, it really is spelled Color on the marker by Pilot).
Essentially, these are the standard style marker (in bullet or chisel tip), but use Pilot's Pure Liquid Ink technology to refill the marker by way of a cartridge inserted in the bottom, more of which later.
Above is the latest haul I made, 4 of the Pilot markers, in black, blue, red and orange. 3 are chisel tips and the blue is a bullet tip. Let's start with the blue
The bullet tip is very hard, to my feel, giving a very fine line for a marker, consistent colour (not color as Pilot have it on the barrel), and a generally smooth feel to the laying down of colour and ink.
Two line thickness' are possible with the nib, a fine line when using the point of the tip and a slightly broader line when using the side of the nib, either method is very easy and consistent with laying down ink, how the nib will hold up over extended use is anyone's guess, presumably it will behave pretty much like any other fibre tipped marker, gradually becoming more flexible and soft over use.
Now the difference with these and other markers, as with many Pilot products, these markers use their patented Pure Liquid Ink technology, they are refillable, meaning that the marker has a removable cartridge that clips securely into the barrel of the pen, filled with the liquid ink. The cartridge itself has a seal that is broken when inserted into the barrel, much like a fountain pen cartridge.
There's the cartridge fully inserted in its use position, not the warning not to remove the cartridge once it has been inserted and is still in use, i.e. with ink still in. believe me, really don't, even being super careful still resulted in a large amount of "Pure Liquid Ink" spilling all over the table, see the slightly lighter patch on the right of the photo, that's the table after I cleaned up the spill. The ink in these really is liquid and really is permanent, the cartridge refill is not like usual marker refills, the insert carrying the ink is a large fibrous plastic wrapped ink soaked sponge type affair.
Here is the marker in its capped and filled makeup, the top both when capped and posted, fits very firmly, engaging with reassuring clicks.

The picture at the top of the post (again left) shows the width differences of the chisel point between the edge and side uses.
As can be seen, the orange is quite dark and the red does have a pink tinge to it.
This could well by my eye's colour perception and the fact these were all first use tests, the colours may well develop more with use and over time.
And for completions sake here is a bleed  through on 80 GSM copier paper, just for those who this may be important too. I really like these markers so far, I think they could be very cost effective in the long run use, as long as the tip stand up over time.