June 1, 2011
0.05mm, Ampad, Brown, Gray, Mechanical, Notebooks, Papermate, Pencils, Precision, Ruled, Specialty, Staples, White
And, we’re back! At least for a while… As you guys know, I took a bit of a sabbatical, and also let the domain pensnpaper.com die. This was partially due to some disinterest on my part, but also because I didn’t want to pay the $20 per year domain name and mapping fee from WordPress. So, I purchased the domain of http://www.pensnpaper.net/ from my own webhost and plan on using it instead. So, as I said, we’re back!
Up for review today is the Gold Fibre Retro Writing Pad from Ampad. This 5 x 8 pad is spiral bound at the top and contains 80 pages of perforated, 20 lb., medium ruled, ivory vintage paper. The design harkens back to the steno pads from several decades ago, and to be honest, it’s actually very aesthetically pleasing. The brown vinyl-coated cover is much sturdier than that of regular notebooks, and feels like it would hold up to much more stress.
As for the quality of the paper, it’s decent. The 20 lb. is not quite heavy enough for my liking, since all of my fountain pens either bled through or feathered. It also didn’t handle the rollerball I had with me very well. However, it’s excellent for gel pens, ballpoints, and pencils. The gel pens were especially smooth on this paper, seeming to roll ink onto the paper of their own volition with no scratchiness at all.
Next up, we have the Papermate Precision 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil. This pencil is interesting in that it’s “Precision engineered to enhance writing quality”, and I must admit that it somewhat lives up to its claim.
This pencil features a grey and white color scheme with a comfortable rubber grip. The 4mm metal sleeve gives you extra room in order to draw templates or trace around the edges of a stencil easily. The round body flattens out toward the plunger end, and I must admit, it’s also very pleasing to the eye. Easy on the hands, easy on the eyes… What’s not to like?
March 31, 2011
(postscript), 0.50mm, Black, Gray, Mechanical, Pencils, Staples, Staples
Today, we have an affordable mechanical pencil option from Staples. At $5.49, they would make a great pencil to just have around for those times when you just need to jot down a quick note. And to be honest, even though they’re cheap, they work pretty well…
The (postscript) mechanical pencil features a slight non-slip grip on the entire barrel, a metal tip (that retract all the way into the plastic barrel, thereby lessening the chance of unintentional pokes or stabs), a decent latex eraser which erases well but leaves behind faint graphite marks, and smooth lead. As I mentioned, it’s actually a good mechanical pencil for the price and I could easily recommend them as a quick note jotter.
January 13, 2011
0.70mm, B2P, Black, G-2, Gel, Pilot, Recycled, Staples
Pilot B2P (Bottle-to-Pen) BeGreen 0.7mm Retractable Gel Pen
Today’s pen, much like Tuesday’s redux Sarasa SE, is just a redux of the Pilot G2 in an eco-friendly format. However, unlike the Sarasa, I can say that I actually could enjoy using the B2P. While there’s no grip to speak of, the grooves in the side of the pen (reminiscent of the grooves in a water bottle) make the pen easier to keep ahold of.
The ink refill is simply a 0.7mm Pilot G-2 Gel Refill (which is most likely why only 89% of the pen is recycled content), which writes relatively well, but is a bit bolder and smears a little too easy for my liking. As I mentioned above, most of the features of this pen revolves around the fact that it’s the first pen to be made from a recycled water bottle, not around the inventiveness of a new ink system or any other new features. While it was slightly enjoyable to write with, I’m not going to go out and purchase a 20-pack to use at school, work, or just while writing at home, since it’s basically just a Pilot G-2 in a recycled shell. But maybe I can replace the G-2 refill with something more to my liking? Hmm…
January 11, 2011
0.70mm, Black, Blue, Gel, Red, Sarasa, SE Model, Staples, Zebra
Zebra Sarasa SE Model 0.7mm Retractable Gel Pen
So today, for the first time in this blog’s history (at least to my knowledge), I have managed to be one step ahead of both Dowdy of PenAddict.com as well as Brian of OfficeSupplyGeek.com. Neither of them have yet to review this fine writing instrument, so I shall claim first on it (unlike the 101, which OSG reviewed just hours before I went to post my review).
The pen we are looking at today is basically a standard Zebra Sarasa gel pen which has had several modifications (all which were wanted/decided upon by the consumer, based upon over 50,000 people who were surveyed). The new features include a textured (small raised dots and three liens) grip, engraved metal clip, and the brand and size are painted on the barrel, rather than on the clip (see side-by-side comparison of an original and an SE in the gallery below.
Other than those minor changes, it’s still a Zebra Sarasa. The only things that have truly changed are purely cosmetic. The ink is still the same, and although I like Zebra’s ink, it smears a bit too much for me (being a leftie). The new grip is relatively comfortable, although I’m not perfectly sure about long-time use. Otherwise, I’m not sure I can truly see the point of paying $6.99 for 4 souped up Sarasas. Sorry Zebra, I’m gonna have admit that I don’t really like your Special Edition Sarasas. Better luck next time…