Sailor Souten Review

So sorry for not being active for the last month almost. After Spring Break, the amount of work I had to finish went up drastically and there’s still lots more to come. I just finished my exam week and only have a month to prepare for finals. This weekend is a small respite, as I finally had time to sit down and finish a couple of reviews. This will be number 1 of 3, to make up for the end of February. The second and third will come tomorrow, officially finishing the quota for March. I don’t know if I’ll be able to put any out until after the semester’s over in May, but I’ll try my best to keep you guys updated. Please follow me on social media for quick updates. You can follow me through the buttons on the right for Twitter and Facebook, and my Instagram feed gallery is linked to my profile.

DSCF9034As you all may know after all this time. I love me some blue inks. Any shade, any brand. You name it, I’m willing to give it a try. I’ve had this ink for almost 2 years now. The ink is almost finished, so I knew I needed to get a review in before it ran out.

DSCF9037By the time I got onto the Sailor bandwagon, I found that some of the inks I really wanted to try had officially been discontinued. I could no longer find Grenade, Epinard and Sky Blue. I was immensely disappointed at not getting the chance to review them, but perked up when Sailor announced that they would be revealing a new Four Seasons ink line that would be the future of Sailor inks. Excited, I waited with bated breath for the Los Angeles International Pen Show to get my hands on some. When I reached, I went straight over to the Anderson Pens booth and got this bottle of Sailor Souten (Azure Sky), the touted successor of the Sky High. I have to say, I was not disappointed at all with my purchase.

DSCF9043The performance of Souten is about as expected of any Sailor ink. It behaves well in every pen I ink it up in and shades differently based on the nib size and any special characteristics. While I wrote the review with my Lamy Safari M, I usually used it with my TWSBI 580 Pendleton BLS grind fountain pen. The unique grind on the nib allowed for the shading to really show through.

DSCF9039The ink also has a beautiful red sheen when used in a broad or wide italic nib. The red is concentrated around where the ink typically pools inside the letters. However, if you’re using this ink with a fine or extra fine nib, don’t expect any real shading or sheen to show when writing.

DSCF9046Now for the Sailor performance, you’re going to be paying a rather premium price. This ink typically retails for around $18 at Anderson Pens and other similar retailers, I’ve seen it go for $14.25 on JetPens, which is by far the cheapest I could find it going for. If the price doesn’t bother you, then this is a solid, well-behaved blue that will perform well in any pen you use it in. I recommend this to anyone who likes Sailor inks and wants a nice blue to add to their collection.

 

Sailor Kiwa-Guro Nano Black

I’m so sorry with the late posts guys. With my first exams coming up for multiple classes, the veritable deluge of work I was assigned had me burning the midnight oil for many days on end. It was very difficult for me to dedicate time to write reviews and I could only write them in pieces with the limited amount of free time I had. So for today, I decided to finish all 3 reviews that I owed. 2 for January and 1 so far. Here’s review 1/3, enjoy. The next review is on its way.

dscf9007

This is an ink that I’ve been using for nearly 2 years now. I initially picked it up at the 2015 LA Pen Show and barely used it. Due to it being one of the more expensive fountain pen inks I occasionally treated myself to, I didn’t want to use it up too quickly. My reticence to its use contributed to the unjust wait it had to go through at the bottom of my ink drawer. Before I transferred, I decided that I would take an entire day to just clear out my desk and drawers to sift through everything and decide whether it had to be taken with me. I found the bottle covered in dust and took it out, wondering what ink this was. The moment I saw the glint of gold lettering, I knew it had to be something good. Needless to say, I wasn’t wrong. A full bottle of Sailor Kiwa Guro Black just waiting for me to use it. I immediately packed it in my suitcase with my other inks and left.

dscf9008

Fast forward 4 months and it has become a mainstay of my ink collection. Blacker than the black and extremely well-behaved, I ended up using it in almost all of my pens that I brought to Indiana. Whether it be my Pilot Custom 823 to my new Lamy 2000, it performed virtually the same without any hiccups. In fact, I wrote a good 80% of all my notes for my classes with this ink. It’s just that good.

dscf9009

I figured out shortly that shading isn’t exactly its strong suit, but the amazing smoothness accompanied by the quick dry time helped settle this as my current go-to black ink. If I honestly had to recommend someone a quality black ink at this point in time, I would unhesitatingly tell them to go with Sailor Kiwa Guro. Although the price is a bit more on the premium side, even more expensive than the Iroshizuku line, it provides the most consistent and utilitarian purpose as a simple black ink. Throw in a decent bit of water resistance and the price seems just about right. I encourage anyone to acquire a sample of this through your favorite retailer and give it a go in a daily use pen, I can assure you that you will be adding a bottle of it to your shopping cart sooner or later. Thank you all for reading this review. Another one is coming right up.

Lamy Safari Review

Let me start this review by saying that this pen was an impulse buy. I wasn’t exactly thinking I would love it with all my heart, but it was pretty cheap, so I decided I may as well add it to the family. What started off as an impulse buy slowly turned into something I could never have imagined. What pen could possibly have such a profound effect on me you ask? It’s the famous Lamy Safari.

DSCF8330

DSCF8311

This pen is one of the most highly recommended beginner fountain pens in the entire pen community. All one has to do is Google “best beginner fountain pens”, and this pen will have a spot on every single list made. After extensive use, I can see why it holds its own against all the other contenders.

DSCF8313

This pen redefined the word “workhorse” for me. It’s been nearly 5 months since I purchased it, but I have used it for the whole of spring quarter for all my notes, assignments, and side projects. I was impressed by the quality as well as the durability of this seemingly cheap looking fountain pen. When I first took it out of the case, it felt too light, and plastic-y for me. I didn’t imagine it would hold up too long, so I used it without hesitation, waiting to see its limits. Needless to say, I’m still using it to this day, but have yet to experience a drop in quality.

DSCF8314

The biggest reason this pen is so highly recommended is, in my opinion, the interchangeable nib system. For beginners, finding the right nib size is an arduous task. I also had to struggle to find the perfect size that was complimentary to my writing style, as well as providing the writing experience I desired. It took me about 2 months and scouring innumerable reviews from other pen bloggers to finally narrow it down.

DSCF8328

I tend to prefer a Japanese medium which is equivalent to a Western fine, so I chose to get the Safari with a fine nib. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was. I had heard a lot of complaints about Lamy’s nib QC, but apparently, they’ve fixed their problems because I found nothing wrong with all the ones I tested.

DSCF8317

Let’s talk about the grip. Now this was something that confused me. I have seen a LOT of fountain pens, but none of them have the particular shape of the Lamy Safari. the triangular grip is pretty unique to Lamy pens, and I find that while slightly annoying to adjust to in the beginning, it becomes pretty natural after extended use. Initially, this grip had me hating this pen, as I could never grip it comfortably without it stabbing into my fingers. So for those of you who grip differently than the norm, be aware of this before you get this pen.

DSCF8319

Another aspect of this pen that makes it perfect for beginners, is the simple maintenance. This pen can be easily taken apart and cleaned. It takes me less than 2 minutes to take it apart and clean it thoroughly before leaving it to dry.

Overall, the Safari has got to be one of the best beginner pens out there. These words have been repeated many a time among those of the pen community, and today I join their ranks as a fellow admirer of the Lamy Safari. Beautiful, simplistic, and durable. These three words describe my thoughts on the Lamy Safari. While I’m probably not going to get a another one in a different color, one never knows what the future holds. 😉