Pilot Frixion Point 4

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Now this is a pen that I personally found to be much more comfortable than the slim version I reviewed a while ago. The body is larger than the slim (go figure), but this change in the size and width make it that much more easy to write with.

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The cap is a welcome addition as it is much better than the knock archaism on the slim. It caps nicely with a resounding click and is not going to accidentally pop off any time soon.

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The grip is a little thin, but it surprisingly makes up for it by being made of a slightly squishier material than the standard plastic grips I’ve gotten used to. It reminds me of the Alpha-gel pencils that were extremely popular in high school. Though not as squishy as that, it definitely does a decent job in helping keep stress off my fingers when I grip slightly harder than usual. With the stress I’ve been under studying for finals, I’ve noticed that I’ve been squeezing harder than usual.

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The ink is the same as the last Frixion, a thermo-sensitive ink that can be erased through the power of… you guessed it: friction. One of the things I’ve noticed after lurking on many a pen store scouring the various reviews is the possibility of getting a bunch of lemons in a pack. People were complaining about how after a few sentences or after a couple of weeks, the Frixion dried out quickly. One trick to reactivate the ink would be to put it in the freezer as recommended by JetPens. Now I personally have yet to face this issue with either of my Frixions so I cannot make any conclusions as to the validity of these claims, but I figured I should mention it, just in case any of you were looking into picking one up.

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The eraser boasts the same efficiency of the slim and I have yet to find any difference in the erasing ability of either. While I can’t confidently claim that all the Frixion erasers have the same level of reliability, I can infer that based on my experience with these two, the standard should be about the same across the board. JetPens created an amazingly detailed comprehensive guide to the Frixions that you can check out when making your decision.

The Frixion Point 4, as this particular model is called, is a great pen that completely bows the Slim Ball out of the water in terms of comfort. The erasable ink allows it to be used in any setting whether for personal or office related tasks. The ink erases without a fuss and the pen is well-designed. While a little more on the expensive side, the convenience of being able to erase while using a pen makes the cost worthwhile for me at least. If you’re interested in pen with erasable ink, look no further than the Pilot Frixion series.

 

Uni Pin Pen Review

Finally managed to catch Captain America: Civil War. I really enjoyed it and while it didn’t go specifically the comic book route, it managed to capture the darker aspects of being a superhero. The tension between Cap and Iron Man really sold the feelings of seriousness that is rampant throughout the entire story arc. Anyway, since I caught it in the morning, you, my dear friends, went without me. Fret thee not, I am finally here with my promised review. Let’s kick off, shall we?

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The Uni Pin Pen was just another drawing pen in the veritable collection that I’ve been testing, it stood out as one of the stronger contenders among the masses. The barrel design is one of my favorite aspects of this pen, as it is seemingly difficult nowadays for companies to make their pens out of plastic, but not make their pens feel cheap in the process. Kuretake did an astounding job with the Zig Cartoonist line, making the barrel smooth and comfortable to hold. Uni has similarly done an amazing and arguably, better job on the Pin. It’s smooth, sleek and the branding is subtle. All in all, one of the most comfortable barrels I’ve handled so far.

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The tip is standard fare for a plastic tip drawing pen. I opted for my traditional 03 size, which i this case, is 0.38mm and I wasn’t disappointed by the performance at all. However, I found that the angle of the pen really affected the thickness of the line more than some of the other pens I’ve been testing. Occasionally, my lines would slowly thin out at the end of the stroke, but I didn’t find this to be too much of a problem because I prefer to write in block letters. For those who write exclusively in cursive, this may be something of an issue. The ink is a pigment-based ink that is water-proof and fade-resistant.

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The grip is one of the biggest problems for me with this pen. The grip gets too narrow too quickly, resulting in a large width difference between the levels that makes it hard to compensate for. I’m a “low-gripper”, meaning my grip is as close as possible to the tip as I opt for maximum control when writing. This grip is not conducive to that specific style of grip and could potentially be a huge factor in whether the pen is right for you or not. You have to make that decision for yourselves.

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The clip is solid and snaps back with tenacity after being stretched to the limit. I kept the Pin in my pockets many times and every time I may have over-stretched, the clip held up nicely to the abuse.

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The cap has a window for which I know no the purpose. It looks really cool, but I question the functionality and necessity a bit.

Overall, a solid choice for a drawing pen. The ink is dark and doesn’t feather too much on normal paper. The barrel design is one of the better ones offered by companies in the product category. While the grip is a bit finicky for those who use the “low-grip” writing style, it can be adjusted too if given enough time.

 

 

 

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Outline Pen

Sorry for not posting earlier. Look out for an extra review tomorrow morning to make up for the week before last.

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Normally, I tend to stay away from bigger tip sizes when it comes to drawing pens. As seen mainly in my obsession with the Staedtler Pigment Liner, I absolutely love micro-tip drawing pens. However, I wanted to stray a little out side my comfort zone and get something on the slightly bigger side. I got this opportunity during my spring quarter school supply shopping. I decided to get a slightly bigger 0.5mm tip size for the Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Outline Pen (quite a mouthful, isn’t it?). After nearly a month in testing, I can safely say that I have yet to regret doing so.

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Among drawing pens, this is one of the top picks on JetPens. It was highly rated and the reviews indicated that it was better received than it’s 0.3mm counterpart. The body is made of plastic, but it doesn’t feel very cheap. It pulls off what the Staedtler Pigment Liner does, except even better. The black body really makes the silver branding pop on the pen barrel.

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The clip is standard and slightly flexible. It retains it shape very well and isn’t very easy to warp. In my pocket and pen case, it held up nicely and didn’t pop out at all. It performed its job admirably.

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The grip is by far the best I’ve ever experienced on a drawing pen. It is smooth, unlike many of its competitors. The smooth transitions between the 3 layers of narrowing width allows for far more control than I’ve ever gotten from any drawing pen I’ve written with. It feels really assuring to know that I can be confident that it won’t slip despite the lack of any extra texture to help with grip. I used this pen for a 3 hour-long note-taking session and it held up to my expectations and then some. The ink is a water-based pigment ink that flows smoothly and is smudge-proof against watercolor and alcohol-based markers.

Reviewing this pen has been a blast! At every turn, it met my expectations and exceeded them in some aspects. Maybe I will try out the 0.3mm variant after finished with this one. If it feels anything like this one, I feel that I would have to edit my drawing pens rankings.

Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.3mm

Sorry for not posting the review earlier as Comcast was updating the lines for the network. The WiFi has been on and off for nearly two days now. I had schedule it to post yesterday, but that didn’t happen because no WiFi. Anyway here’s the review for last week. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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This pen is hands down my favorite drawing pen of all time. I have gone through more Staedtler Pigment Liners than any other drawing pen I’ve used. While similar in aesthetics and design to the Sakura Pigma Micron, the Pigment Liner has a couple of features that I personally appreciate more. The first feature being the body. While the materials used to crate both pens are pretty much the same, the Staedtler Pigment Liner just feels better in the hand. I attribute it to the textured feeling of the barrel that hints at a solidly constructed pen, instead of the feeling of plastic on the Pigma Micron. To me, it just feels better. Remember that this is simply my opinion and I personally enjoy feel of the Pigment Liner. I leave it to you, dear readers, to try both and form your own opinion.

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The second feature is the tip. When I tried out the Pigma Micron, I was so surprised by how hard the tip was. Gradually it lost that feeling as I tended to have a bit of a heavy had back then when I reviewed it, but nonetheless, starting out, it was like writing with a nail. While it definitely delivered on the “sharp” and consistent lettering, I found it hard for me to get used to.

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The Pigment Liner’s tip is slightly on the softer side, allowing for more forgiveness for those who write with a bit more pressure. At the same time, despite any pressure exerted on it, it delivers crisp and consistent line that allows for some great lettering. While I can appreciate the rigidity of the Pigma Micron, the softness of the Pigment Liner just mad eit that much easier for me to use and love.

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The cap is pretty standard. foraย  drawing pen. Most other pens of this type adopt similar designs. It’s just a slightly thin, bendable piece of metal that has a little notch at the end for grip. It’s functional and on the first try, I was able to slip it into my Nock Co. Hightower without too much resistance.

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The ink is pretty standard for a drawing pen. It mirrors muh of it’s competitor’s properties without any extra additions. It’s archival quality, fade-resistant and due to it being a pigment based ink, it is waterproof on paper.

For those of you looking for a slightly more forgiving alternative to a Sakura Pigma Micron, the this is your best bet. Clocking in at about $0.80 more per pen than the Pigma Micron, it’s a great addition to any pen addict’s arsenal. It’s one of my most highly rated and preferred drawing pens out of all the ones I’ve tried. I feel that despite being on the more expensive side of the drawing pens line up, it’s worth a try. So what are you waiting for? Go out and get one to see what all the hype is about! Thanks for reading and as always, writ eon, my friends.

 

 

 

Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica 0.4mm

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While I was a little intimidated by the JetPens description, I must admit this is a very well executed revamp to an absolute classic. The ink is the same as the one present in the Pilot Hi-Tec-C, but for some reason, I felt like it performed better than the original. JetPens did a comprehensive guide to Hi-Tec-Cs and the weight listed for the Maica and the Hi-Tec-C were the same at 0.40oz. They go on to mention that the Maica is an abbreviation of “my color”, which makes total sense seeing as the Maica is available in a veritable rainbow of colors.

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The body is slightly heavier ad more “filled out”, resulting in a rounder profile. The cap is flush with the body. This means that there is a ridge formed near the grip area. Unlike many other pen companies that would simply leave it be, Pilot took the initiative to round out the edges, so props to them for paying attention to details.

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The grip is still not that good, but feels much better than the original in my opinion.While the little bumps don’t help too much, they are more functional than the straight lines on the original Hi-Tec-C.

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I’m not too crazy about the jewel on the cap that sparkles lie “my favorite jewelry”, but it’s not as distracting as I thought it would be. While by no means subtle, it doesn’t look too ostentatious and strikes a nice balance with the pens luxurious design.

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There will be no charms strung through the cap loop for added “pizazz”, but it doubles as a very functional and minimalistic roll stopper.

Rest assured, you don’t have to be a teenage Japanese girl to enjoy the design choices on this pen. I for one think Pilot did a great job on the overall concept and would love to see another revamp, hopefully with a rubber grip that’s comfortable. Thanks for reading and as always, write on, my friends.

Uni Signo RT1 Review

Note: A thousand apologies to all my dedicated readers. In my infinite wisdom I scheduled the review for today and next week instead of last week and today. I was wondering why nothing was happening on my blog… derp. I shall endeavor to appease by putting this one(last week’s review) out today and this weeks review out tomorrow. Two reviews in one day would be rather strenuous. Along with these two will also come next weeks review, as an apology.Tomorrow’s review involves paper. Feel free to guess in the comments section or on IG or Twitter. Studying for my second round of midterms made it a little difficult to check out the blog stats. I’ll make sure to check at least once whether my scheduled posts go up. Thank you for all your support, I couldn’t do this without you. Now on to the review.

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The tip is a small size (0.38mm), but it lays down a smooth crisp line that glides over the page, albeit with a little bit of feedback due to it’s extra fine nature. I couldn’t be more happy with it as I felt it’s performance was similar to the vaunted (and rightfully so), Uni Signo DX 0.38. This pen feels like it’s futuristic, retractable cousin.

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The clip is integrated into the knock. It is rather convenient as it really seamlessly blends into the pen allowing the clip to remain out of the way while maintaining function.

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Doesn’t it look like a futuristic rocket ship? I tried so hard to get this one shot until just the two tips were clearly in focus. Looks pretty cool to me.

Uni Jetstream Review

This is one of two reviews, the next one being posted tomorrow. Thanks for your patience and see you tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

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A little something I got from my previous JetPens haul. I really wasn’t expecting much in terms of performance, as I know that most Uni-ball pens perform well enough. Little did I know that this one would stand ahead of the pack and shine.

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Straight out of the the wrapping, it laid down some thin, yet crisp lines. The most prominent aspect that blew me away was the way the tip just glided across the page. There was almost no feedback on the Doane paper I was using to review it. It was such a pleasure to write with it.

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The window in the back is just for show as far as I can tell. It is a unique style choice that I welcome.

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The knock on the back is slightly more resistant than some of the pens I’ve used in the past. It takes a little bit of a push to thoroughly depress, resulting in a clear and satisfying click.

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I found the grip to be very comfortable despite its looks. While it does thin out in the back, the main part which I place my fingers is well padded. The ridges provide a decent amount of grooves that improve traction. They are made of a softer rubber than some of the other grips I’ve commented on in the past, but they are definitely sturdy enough to withstand a “death grip” should you have one. Even after 4 hour long note-taking sessions, I find my fingers perfectly alright instead of cramping horribly.

Overall, I would really recommend this pen to anyone looking for a durable long-lasting writing instrument that can help against cramps from long writing sessions. Also, anyone who wants to get into “micro-tip” pens can also consider this as a step into that realm. The tip lays down a crisp, consistent line while being slightly thin. Since there is virtually no feedback during usage, it should help ease the transitioning into slightly scratchier pens.

Uni Signo 307 Review

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This pen is the successor to the Uni Signo 207. This has taken what was probably Uni’s most successful design and further improved upon it. Now most of the pens I tend to review can’t be found at your Staples. This however, is the exception to the rule. Present in nearly very department store I’ve gone to, it is the most widely available gel ink pen I have reviewed to date.

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The first thing I noticed about this pen was the ink. It wrote like butter straight out of the bubble wrap. I just touched the tip to paper and the ink just flowed naturally. As of writing this review the 307 is only available with a 0.7mm tip. However, there is a huge variety of refills with sizes ranging from 0.28 to 0.5. The refills are available in a large variety of vivid colors as well. I chose to stick to black, as I don’t use red too much and I have too many blue gel ink pens. It lays down a crisp bold line with high consistency. I have yet to experience an interruption in ink flow or blobbing on the page. The ink is pigment-based, which allows it to form a permanent bond with the paper. It is also billed as water-resistant, acid-free and of archival quality.

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There are long ovular protrusions in a grid like pattern along a 3/4 length of the total grip section. These protrusions are my favorite aspect of this pen. As someone who tends to have sweaty hands, as I have iterated many a time in previous posts, the grip is one part of any pen that I critique on a higher scale. So it won’t surprise any of you that I love the design choices taken with this grip. It provides a lot of traction while not digging into my fingers when writing for long sessions. There is a “dorsal fin” like part of the grip that separates my thumb and index finger. It is reminiscent of the cap on the Nakaya Dorsal Fin v1, though not as pronounced. I find that it helps against “death grip” by spacing my fingers out. As a fellow with big hands, I don’t know what it would be like for those with smaller ones. So as a disclaimer, I will state that it might be a little uncomfortable if you like to place your index fingers near the center. Compared with the fin of the 207, the 307’s is more distinct from a tactile perspective.

All in all, definitely a great pen. Based off a very successful design I’m absolutely sure it would be. Though I have to say it took some time getting used to the grip’s dorsal fin. I found myself maneuvering around it many times during the first week. It eventually became a more useful addition to me later on.

Doane Paper Small Flap Jotter

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Specs:

  • Notebook Size – 2.875″ x 4.75″
  • Grid Size – .125″ (.3175 cm) x .125″ (.3175 cm)
  • Wide (Legal) Ruled Line Spacing
  • 80 Pages per notebook
  • Chipboard 20pt 100% Recycled Craft Covers
  • White 70lb 100% Recycled Content Pages
  • Printed using soy-based inks
  • Rugged Wire-O-Bound binding

(specs taken from product page at Doane Paper website)

Appearance and Construction:

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The construction of the Flap Jotter is very simple. Two pieces of recycled chip board covers that sandwich 80 pages of 70lb white recycled paper. This is all held together by the “Wire-O-Bound” binding on the top. Personally, the Flap Jotter really hits a lot of the points I look for in a notebook. Simplistic design, durable cover, minimal branding and strong binding. Discounting the paper, it’s already proven itself to be an EDC contender of mine.

Paper Ruling:

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Now the ruling is what initially got me into Doane paper products. I found myself wanting it simply because it would prove helpful when doing my math homework. Having lines to stabilize my rather inconsistent handwriting, as well as graphs that allow me to draw shapes, figures and tables easily, it became an instant favorite. The paper is marketed as white, but the color is actually more of an off-white. While this is not too much of a problem, don’t expect bright white paper. the wide ruled lines lets me write big and not worry about trying to save space. It’s the cells are decently sized and not too big. The one thing that I thought could be improved is the color of the ruling. Occasionally, I found myself distracted due to the bright color of the lines. If they could make them just a bit lighter in color, it would be completely unobtrusive. That would make this already exceptional notebook that much better.

Paper Performance:

Now the paper is the one thing that surprised me the most with its performance. Generally, recycled papers aren’t known to go well with fountain pen inks. On a typical notebook one can see instances of show-through, bleeding, feathering and a whole assortment of other issues. I didn’t encounter even a single one when I tested the paper. The results can clearly be seen in the picture below. With an almost unnoticeable amount of ghosting, it opens up the possibility to use both sides of the paper, and that’s a huge plus for me.

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I was going for variety over quantity. Hopefully I achieved this.

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Barely any ghosting. I’m very impressed with these results.

I’m currently using my Flap Jotter to keep track of my daily and long-term tasks. I use it mainly as a both a to-do list and productivity tracker that allows me a look into all the tasks I was given and completed. The ruling makes it easy to draw check-boxes (I love check-boxes). Below is an example of a typical day’s tasks.

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I recommend Doane notebooks to nearly all my friends as it is one of the best I’ve ever used. I use it for anything from homework and accounting projects, to to-do lists and productivity tracking. The ruling allows a lot of experimentation to find the best use for the individual. I will definitely be picking up more of these in the future.

Tombow Mono 100

So sorry for the delay my friends, it took me a while to settle down to my new quarter schedule. Now that I’m back and at it, expect a few reviews throughout the month.

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I got this pencil purely for the sake of reviewing it, but man was I impressed when I first wrote with it. The letters came out nice and crisp, and the point lasted a lot longer than some of the other pencils I’ve reviewed. On the barrel it says “for hi-precision drafting”. While I won’t be using it in that capacity, I’m sure it would undoubtedly perform well. The sleek all black color with that small stripe near the end accentuate the aesthetics of this pencil. It looks like it would be at home on the desk of a high level executive, but at the selling price, it’s an affordable option for anyone who wants a quality wooden pencil that looks good and writes well. I know I’ll certainly be stocking up on a few of these.

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