Friday, December 30, 2011

Pilot Hi - Tec - C Slim Knock 0.4mm Gel Ink Pen

Every now and then, I come across a pen that really just surpasses its appearance by leaps and bounds.  The Pilot Hi - Tec - C Slim Knock 0.4mm Gel Ink Pen is one such pen.
A slim, compact plastic body, 4.75 inches, holds the coveted Hi-Tec - C 0.4mm Gel Ink cartridge, that simply glides on paper, not unlike an ice skater on an ice skating rink.
                                            (Photo courtesy of Jet Pens)
Hi-Tec - C Slim Knock does one thing and does it exceptionally well.  It lays down a nice thin, dark line on paper.  While the body is a little too slim for my large hands, I still enjoy using this diminutive pen to write short, sprint - like paragraphs.  Surprisingly, I wrote out this review using it and had no writers cramp afterwards.  This is a pen I would keep in my pocket portfolio, in order to have on hand when I need to take notes or write down info at meetings, etc. 

While not an overly fragile plastic pen, if I had my druthers, I would have Pilot produce an aluminum Slim Knock version, soon.  I would even love to see Pilot consider a Multi Pen Slim Knock aluminum version, preferably a three point pen.  I think that would strike a fancy with a lot of stylophiles.

But until then, I am content with using this little gem, which in case you hadn't guessed, I highly recommend!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ohto Multi Pen Hexagonal Barrel 3 Points, Matte Black

The Ohto Multi Pen Hexagonal Barrel 3 Points, Matte Black has a tactical defense weapon appeal to it.  Maybe its the design combination of the hexagonal upper mid-section,  blended with the lower round, sculpted grip section.  All is covered with a matte black paint job.  The only contrast being the white model label on its side, and the function indicators at the pen top.  Also, the ribbed grip section has black glossy paint applied to each rib,  which sort of detracts from the overall stealthiness of its ninja-like appearance.

                                     (Photos courtesy of iPen Store)
Touted as a professional multi pen, and constructed from a brass material, it feels well balanced and substantial when holding.  Its features include: a black fine 0.7mm needle point D1 cartridge, a red D1 of the same variety, and a 0.5 mm lead holder.  The needle points are really effective when applying ink to paper, gliding smoothly, they bring out the best in my penmanship, and when filling out forms, makes the task an easy one.  Even the lead holder performs quite the same without breaking lead during mid-stroke.  There also lies a small eraser included under the pen cap.

The Ohto Multi Pen has a two step knock mechanism for engaging and retracting the pen's functions.  It engages by pushing down its cap, and disengages by pressing a side release button, both operate flawlessly.  The pen is deconstructed by unscrewing the hexagonal barrel section from the round barrel section.  The brass threads have quite a solid feel when performing this task, confirming the quality of craftsmanship used in this pen's engineering.  And while not designed to be a defense weapon, one gets the sense when holding it, that if need be, this pen could very well double as both a formidable tactical weapon, and an effective writing implement, all rolled in one.

The Ohto Multi Pen Hexagonal Barrel 3 Points is somewhat of a cult pen, due to its unusual design, and its elusive availability, at least here in the U.S.  Its been seen available on several websites, including Ebay.  Available in red, silver, gunmetal, glossy black, and of course matte black.  The D1 fine 0.7mm needle point cartridges are available in black, blue and red, to my knowledge.

The Ohto Multi Pen Hexagonal Barrel 3 Points is clearly a pen that I could get used to calling on for a number of writing tasks.  Its a versatile writing instrument, with the potential to do duty if needed as a defense weapon as well.  As such, I highly recommend it. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Swan Neck Pen

I have wanted to review the Swan Neck Pen for sometime now.  Ever since I reviewed the Yoropen and several readers commented that they really preferred the Swan Neck Pen over Yoropen because they said it is constructed more specifically for the left hand writer.  So I was curious why there was such loyalty to this particular writing instrument.

So I emailed M.A.D. Associates, Ltd. in the U.K. and asked for a sample to review.  I soon received a reply from Heather, a M.A.D. Associate, who agreed to send me a Swan Neck Pen for review. 
Well, I have been using the Swan Neck Pen for over a week now and have some interesting results to share. 

First, let me thank Heather and the M.A.D. Associates, Ltd. for sending me their latest version of the Swan Neck Pen in both the yellow plastic variety, and the chrome plated aluminum model. 
The aluminum model came in a very lovely black presentation box, complete with white satin lining inside.  The M.A.D. Associates, Ltd. emblem and web address was stamped on the upper lid.  The two plastic versions I received came adhered to a promotional ad which bills Swan Neck as "the logical writing solution."  Swan Neck employs a patented "S" bend tip and rubberized ergonomic grip.  This gives the pen an angle and holding advantage, allowing the writer to see his / her writing in real time.  Swan Neck inventor Anthony Hemmings developed this innovation as a result of his left hand daughter Amy's hand-writing challenges.   After years of hard work and investment, Anthony and friend Mike, along with Dillion and recent M.A.D. Associates addition Heather, have  brought to fruition Swan Neck Pen's worldwide launch.  So, let's take a look at this innovative, left hand friendly writing tool.

The chrome plated aluminum model of Swan Neck has an industrial, minimilistic appeal and is thin and stealthy looking in appearance.  The pen measures 14 cm capped, and is not of substantial weight.  The cap is constructed of black plastic, and has a somewhat delicate pocket clip attached.  The tip of the pocket clip comes to an open end, undoubtedly for child safety reasons.  At the lower barrel portion, lies the rubber grip sleeve which is well made and is ribbed for extra holding potential.  Below it lies the "S" bend that extends to the ink cartridge tip.  What is interesting about writing with this pen is its learning curve.  That mainly has to do with how the writer HOLDS the pen.  That said, writing with it is pleasurable, and not at all a chore.  As a left hand writer, I really appreciate Swan Neck's ability to allow me, the writer,  visibility of my written text during the writing experience.  The ink cartridge is a ballpoint, but is smooth, and not at all scratchy when putting pen to paper.  However, if I had my druthers, I would employ a gel ink cartridge for this pen type, including a darker, more striking black ink color as well. 

So, how does Swan Neck stack up with Yoropen?  It's the "S" bend versus the "Z" bend in the Yoropen.  It's also the tightly fitting rubber grip with ribbed sides on the Swan Neck versus the thick rotatable rubber grip of Yoropen.  These seem to be the main deciding features of commonality that each share.  Well in my humble opinion, it's really a matter of individual preference, based on comfortability.  I can see how the average 12 - 13 year old left hand writer may feel more comfortable holding the Swan Neck, as it has a smaller diameter at its grip section.  While an adult with larger hands might enjoy the thickness Yoropen's grip possesses. 

I personally find Swan Neck enjoyable and comfortable to use on a regular basis, especially when writing narratives, as the fatigue factor is minimalized.  It will definitely have a well deserved place in my collection's daily rotation.  I highly recommend the Swan Neck Pen.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pilot Frixion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen 0.5mm Black

At first glance, Pilot's Frixion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen just appears to be a plastic bodied pen with a funny looking semi clear rubber cap at its top and a clear plastic pocketclip to round it off.  However, that would be totally misleading. 
This pen is one of Pilot's best designed, and technically constructed writing instruments to date.  A thoroughly thought-thru executed pen, Frixion makes for a versatile, go to writing implement. 

While examining this pen from head to toe, the first thing to note is the rubber tip at the pen's top.  Exposed, the hard rubber tip allows easy access when needing to do something not possible with an average pen.  Erase your hand written ink entry!  This is made possible by Pilot employing a thermo-sensitive ink that erases when rubbed out by the rubber tip.  Pilot says the ink will reappear when temperature reaches below 14 degrees fahrenheit.  I have not put this to the test, so I'll take Pilot's word for it on this claim. 

Moving down the pen body, a clear pocketclip doubles as the knock mechanism that allows the ink cartridge tip to retract.  The clip is not necessarily strurdy looking, but appears to do the job quite efficiently.  On the side of the clip is the stamp: "Frixion ball 0.5," indicating the size of the ink cartridge tip.  Cartridges are also available in the 0.7 mm variety.  Additionaly, pen bodies are available in ten different colors.  As well as a stainless steel model.   Continuing, below the clip is the Pilot Frixion logo.  Along the backside is a barcode and several lines of writing in Japanese.  Right below lies the grip section which works quite nicely and allows writing with this pen an effortless exercise.  Being a gel ink pen, it literally glides on paper, and the ink dries quite promptly, and a very dark black color. 

The barrel separates at the grip section and unscrews to reveal the ink cartridge which is of substantial size.  As a complete unit Frixion delivers, and in a very convincing way.  Available at, for $3.80, it is more than worth the cost.  I highly recommend the Pilot Frixion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pen. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Schrade Tactical Fountain / Ballpoint Pen

Schrade's Tactical Fountain / Ballpoint Pen is a finely machined, versatile writing tool that doubles as a tactical defense weapon.  After using it for a while, there seems to be a lot to like about it, so I will highlight what is noteworthy to me.

What's immediately apparent about this pen is how well constructed it truly is.  Made with aircraft aluminum, the pen is quite sturdy and solid.  The pen's design is reminiscent of a Star Trek, Dr. Who device that catches attention immediately.  It is available in three colors; bronze, black, and silver.  I received the bronze pen for review.  When capped, the pen is 14.5 cm, but when the cap is posted,  it is right at 18 cm.  Very long indeed!
The pen comes with several different components that comprise its multi-functionality.  The fountain pen cap, ballpoint pen cap, pen cap, ballpoint pen ink cartridge, and fountain pen cartridge.  All assemble and disassemble quite easily by screwing them on and off without a hitch.  When capped, the bottom of the pen exposes the tactical body business end of the pen. 

The fountain pen nib is of the medium tip variety, and inks as smoothly as they come.  German made, the nib is stamped "iridium point Germany" on its face.  When capped, this pen presents quite a formidable looking appearance.  You might have some trouble getting it through airport security gates.
The ballpoint glides on paper and inks a very black ink color.  It is very comfortable when holding during the writing experience.  Its ribbed sides allow easy gripping, without the creeping issues of some aluminum pens.  It swaps out quite easily with the fountain pen component screwing on and off as needed.
Using this pen proved to be an intriguing writing experience.  I don't know if I'll ever need the tactical edge to defend myself with, but its good to know it is there, just in case.
I highly recommend the Schrade Tactical Fountain / Ballpoint Pen.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rustico Everyday Leather Pocket Journal

The Rustico Everyday Leather Pocket Journal is perfect for carrying in your backpack or messenger bag.  At 3.5" by 5.0", its size makes it the right choice for taking just about anywhere. 

The journals are handcrafted by the Rustico Leather Company and sold online through the Jenni Bick Bookbinding Company .
They come in two sizes, 3.5" x 3.5" and 3.5" x 5.0".  Made from top grain leather, the journals come in Bomber Jacket, Buckskin and Saddle color leather. The journals have 100 leaf pages of acid-free unlined paper.  It has a leather strap that wraps around the journal twice and then its end tucks under to secure the leather cover closed. 

I like the distressed brown leather cover called the "Bomber Jacket."  I actually have a Bomber Jacket that matches this journal to a "T".  However, my Bomber Jacket is constructed from a better quality leather.  And it does not mark up as easily as the journal does.  That said, I believe that over time,

the marks will add character to the journal's look.  The leather strip in the middle, is comparable to a belt around the journal body. 

When writing on the journal's paper, I used my Lamy Nexx M Fountain Pen, and the ink didnot bleed thru at all.  If you like rugged rustic leather bound journals, the Rustico Everyday Leather Pocket Journal presents a convincing case.
I highly recommend it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen

Muji's Aluminum Round Fountain Pen is the sibling to Muji's Aluminum Round Pen.  Its width is wider at 1cm, but the height is the same at 13.5 cm.  The finish on its aluminum alloy barrel is a total matte finish which gives it very sound grip when writing, despite having a knurled grip section.

I actually like the thicker body, a it feels more substantial when holding to write.  The nib is of the fine variety, and inks a nice thin line on paper.  The black ink is a very rich color, quite impressionable.  Muji's website lists the ink cartridges as out of stock, so buying them is with some uncertainty.  Not previously a big user of fountain pens, I find writing with this one quite a pleasurable experience.  This pen compliments its sibling in that regard as well.

It also maintains a minimalistic, clean, utilitarian appeal, equal to the aluminum round pen.  However, when doing a side by side comparison of pen meeting paper, I find Muji's aluminum fountain pen the top performer of the two.  This is a writing implement I could really get used to calling on for a wide variety of writing tasks,  As such, I highly recommend the Muji Aluminum Round Fountain Pen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pilot Hi-Tec - C - Coleto Smart 4 Color Gel Ink Multi - Pen

This is the Pilot Hi - Tec - C  Coleto in a metallic gray body.  I wanted to review this member of the Hi - Tec- C family of pens based on its multi functionality.  Also, I wanted to look at the 0.4 mm ink cartridge's performance.
Now, I'm sure this pen has been reviewed quite a bit, so hopefully I can share with you some of my highlights that prove to present  different aspects of this pen, if you will. 
I ordered the pen from which I am really impressed with the rapid delivery time they strive to maintain.  I received the pen in three days.  That's amazing!  They definitely have a repeat customer here!

Let me start by saying, I really love writing with this pen.  I find the needle point, combined with gel ink a real enjoyment to use.  I ordered the 0.4 mm ink cartridges for my pen.  They are not at all scratchy on paper, and the ink dries very fast.  I also think using the Hi-Tec - C Coleto has improved my penmanship.  I mean honestly, I don't want to stop writing with this pen. Along with the metallic gray pen body,  I ordered black, blue - black, brown, and 0.5 mm pencil component as my ink color choices.

Later on, I will order additional color ink cartridges to try out.  The one which really grabbed my attention was the brown.  Not having experienced writing with brown ink before, I found it a pleasant change.  This color is a definite keeper.  The blue - black ink has quite the business appeal to it, and makes that sort of business-like statement on paper.  And of course, black is black, but this has quite a rich black hue on paper, I must say.  The 0.5 mm pencil component also delivered a nice rich colored lead line, not washed out like some lead holders.

The pen body is constructed of a light weight plastic material.  However, it does not feel cheap at all.  And more importantly, it does not creep when writing.  The metallic gray color has a definite business appeal to it.  This is a pen I feel comfortable using in my work environment as it writes well and looks fantastic, all in one.
There are no complaints about the Hi - Tec -C Coleto.  It delivers a pleasing writing experience, and I highly recommend it. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

ACME Multi-Functional Pen 4FP Daytona

When I first saw ACME's four function 4FP Daytona Multi Pen, what intrigued me was its artistic appointments and sleek design.  Like its name, Daytona, it reminded me of an aerodynamically built yellow race car.  After using it for a while, my conclusion is that it is both a beautiful work of art and a well crafted writing implement.

Touted as the "world's thinnest 4 function pen," Daytona is a member of ACME's larger family of four function Multi Pens.  All are works of art unto themselves, but the Daytona grabbed my attention the most. 

ACME Studio was founded by Adrian Olabuenaga and his wife Lesley Bailey in 1985.  During this time, they introduced a collection of jewelry in the Los Angeles area.  In 1997, ACME released its first collection of fine writing tools.  Always on the cutting edge of design, ACME's writing tools revolutionized a new concept in the pen industry.  Having collaborated with hundreds of top designers over the years, ACME has secured a place in both the pen industry as well as the design industry. 

The ACME 4FP Daytona is constructed from a light weight aluminum alloy.  It is then hand painted with fine lacquer paint.  The pen is 14 cm long and 5/16'' in diameter. Quite slender I must say.  It comes packaged in a distinctive slender metal case with a black ACME sleeve.  I really like the contrast between the bright yellow and the matte gray paint that covers the top and bottom ends of the barrel.  From bumper to bumper, one might say.

In the middle of the pen body there lies a four function labeled chrome ring.  Its job is to synchroniously work in conjunction with the pen's inner gravity mechanism for shifting from one function to the next.  It works flawlessly.  Simply engage a function by holding the pen horizontally and look at the function needed, press the knock down cap and your there!  These four functions include: an orange highlighter, 0.7 mm lead holder, white PDA Stylus, and D-1 mini black ink cartridge.  Additionally, the pen cap holds a white rubber eraser.

It is at its center that Daytona 4FP is disassembled by unscrewing its bottom half.  This reveals its four function cartridges.  At first glance, I found it amazing how such a slim pen body could house all four implements.  But examining each cartridge reveals how slim and toothpick like each really is.  For the ink cartridge, that means purchasing five at a time.

This pen is simply a joy to use.  What a solid performer it is!  It glides quite smoothly, inking a nice thin line on paper.  The Daytona really feels comfortable when writing.  I was concerned about the pen's creeping potential, but that has not proved to be a problem.  The highlighter has a strong orange color on paper.  When you want to place emphasis in a narrative, use it, its quite effective.
The stylus works like a charm with my PDA, but does not work on any other touch screens.  The lead holder is of the 0.7 mm variety.  I really prefer multi pens with this size lead.  It never breaks during the writing experience.

The ACME 4FP Daytona Multi Pen is a solid performer as well as an amazing work of art.  I highly recommend it. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Muji Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen

Rather diminutive, slim in stature, and constructed from matte silver aluminum material, Muji's Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen delivers.  Like its brother, the Muji Round Ballpoint Pen, it is minimalistic, with no mention of the Muji name in sight, apart from its build commonality.

Normally, pens this slim don't provide me with the comfort needed to write for extended periods, however this pen, because of its six-sided form factor, allows me to re-adjust when needed in order to comfortably continue writing without pause.

Its ink cartridge is of the 0.7mm variety, with a needle point tip.  This gives the pen the ability to ink thinly on paper, flow smoothly and glide with ease.
 The pen disassembles by unscrewing the tip crest at the bottom of the barrel, thereby exposing the ink cartridge.  It is a rather thin refill, and as previously mentioned, constructed with a needlepoint.  Because Muji's website lists both the pen and the cartridge as "out of stock," purchasing refills is with some uncertainty.  As with the Muji Round Aluminum Pen, if anyone knows where refills can be purchased, please let me know.

Thusly, I am enjoying the use of the Muji Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen with some immensity, and as such, I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Ultimate Geek Pen

The Ultimate Geek Pen has quite a lot going on.  With a name like that, it would have to.  It touts five devices in one pen body.  I shall breakdown each of them with a close focus on the most noteworthy.

The Ultimate Geek Pen has a sort of novelty / gadget appeal to it.  As an offering by the Neato Shop, and manufactured in China for Accoutrements, LLC., it focuses on its ability to provide multiple light sources in one instrument.  Let's see what all the hoopla is about.  Including its writing performance.

Measuring 13cm, the Geek is rather short in stature.  A matte silver color, with shiny silver appointments,  it is rather light in weight, being constructed from a light weight aluminum material.  All of the light sources occupy the upper half of the pen body.  Powered by three LR41 Button Cell batteries, the first light source is the Laser Pointer.  Activated by pressing the top button on the pen's side, it produces a strong red beam, that of a class IIIa laser product, putting out 5mw, more than adequate for hours of presentation use or playing with the cat.  Next is the UV Light, which can be used to detect counterfeit bills.  It is activated by pressing the button below the first.  Now this light produces a bright blue light, and I will take Geek's designers word that it actually does what it says, for I fortunately or unfortunately have not put this feature to the test.  However it is there for your using pleasure.  When you press the same button a second time,  the goose neck flashlight is activated.  It shines a rather powerful LED light when needing to write in low light environments, or if you simply need a flashlight to illuminate the dark.  This feature for me proves to be quite impressive. 

Now as we move to the lower half of the pen barrel, at the tip lies the ink cartridge tip and the stylus tip.  A twist to the right engages the ink cartridge.  I found its inking ability adequate when applied to paper.  It was a bit scratchy, but produced a nice thin line when writing.  Ink dried rather quickly on paper.  My problem with it was the creeping nature of the pen barrel when writing.  It would prove really a chore when writing with this pen for extended periods.  Twist to the left and the stylus is engaged.  When employing it to my Palm PDA, it too performed adequately, again creeping when writing Graffiti.  That said, this is a gadget pen that can be more resourceful for its light sources, and when writing short notes in darkly lit environments.

The Ultimate Geek Pen can be purchased at the for $9.45 plus shipping. Apart from its creeping issues when writing,  It's a useful gadget to have, with useful features, and I recommend it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Messograf Caliper Ballpoint Pen

The Messograf Caliper Ballpoint Pen was designed and handcrafted by the Cleo Skribent Company, founded by Herbert Wurach.  In 1945, production began in Brandenburg Bad Wilsneck, Germany, in a simple backyard garage workshop, and later expanded, selling their handcrafted, unique writing instruments to the global market.  In 1999, the company introduced the Messograf Caliper Pen, and since then the firm and its product offerings have greatly expanded. 

The Messograf Caliper Ballpoint Pen is constructed from Chromium plated brass.  It feels and looks really good and comfortable when holding in your hand.  It is not as heavy as I suspected, but a bit top heavy as the caliper occupies that end of the pen's body.  Speaking of the pen body, it is a four-sided diamond shape, with grooves on two opposing sides for the bottom half of the caliper to travel the length of the pen body to the crest of the tip.  Attached to the caliper is the tire tread gauge, doubling as a pocketclip, it travels down the pen body to the tip crest where the gauge scale resides. 

The pen has a silent, but solid retracting mechanism at its top.  The top is a matte silver color, and operates flawlessly.  The caliper sits directly below.  This measuring instrument does the job quite accurately.  Indicating measurement in both millimeter and inches, the caliper operates as a legitimate measuring tool.

 On the lower half of the caliper attached to its side, is the tire tread gauge.  Its scale is at the bottom section of the pen body.  When looking at the Messograf initially, I thought it was a pocketclip, and it actually doubles as just that.  Another feature is the thread scale, a measurement ruler for machinist needing to bore threads and determine the spatial distance between each thread. 

Lastly is the pen's performance.  Employing a large capacity, international Swiss made ink cartridge, this ballpoint inks rather smoothly.  For me, because its body is chrome, it tends to creep when gripping and applying to paper for extended periods.  Also, its top heavy anatomy is not conducive for long term writing.
That said, it is an easy user for short notes, and for use in a workshop environment, its intended locale.

Personally, I really enjoy using this pen in my workshop.  It is very durable and well made.  It has useful measurement tools on its landscape, and has become a practical addition to my toolbox.  As such, I highly recommend the Messograf Caliper Ballpoint Pen. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yoropen Superior Ergonomic Ballpoint Pen

In my never ending search for  unusual, creatively designed writing instruments, and being a left-handed writer, what attracted me to the Yoropen initially was its totally ergonomic design.  Lefties generally have a tendency to drag their hand across paper as the pen leads the way.  The ergonomics of the Yoropen allow you to grip it in such a way, that you circumvent the drag effect when writing. 

It touts a tripod rubber grip that supports hand rotation when writing.  It has finger support, so when finger angles change, writing strain is reduced.  It allows visual space, making it easier to see what your writing. 

Created by Bao Shen Liu in Taiwan, he set out to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of conventional writing instruments.  Mr. Liu realized, from his research, that a change in the angle that the pen meets the paper could make it more user friendly.  His result is the Yoropen.  The Yoropen comes in three varieties: Standard, Superior, and Executive.  For this review, I am examining the Superior model. 

The architecture of the Superior Yoropen is very unusual and quite interesting.  Constructed of black plastic, with a thick triangular rubber grip toward the tip, what's obvious is that this pen was designed with cursive writing in mind.  And one of its focal points is the left-handed writer.  At 15 cm long uncapped, the pen is quite lengthy.  The tip, as well as the narrowing body, makes it reminiscent of a calligraphy pen.  The pen has a comfortable feel when gripping, and its construction allows you to have a better visual angle when pushing it across paper.

 My Yoropen has a black ink medium tip cartridge and inks smoothly on paper, drying rather quickly.  I would have liked to see Yoropen employ a needle point cartridge, possibly of the 0.5 mm variety.  That would compliment its design quite nicely.  That aside, the pen delivers.  The rubber grip can be adjusted by turning it as needed to increase your grip comfort level. 

When deconstructing the Yoropen, the ink cartridge has a "Z" shape in order to acomodate the pen barrel.  It is secured by a plastic tip holder that screws into the pen body.  It goes in and exits quite easily regardless of its shape.

All in all, I find this pen quite user friendly, and more importantly left-hand user friendly. 
I highly recommend the Yoropen Superior Ergonomic Ballpoint Pen.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed today and will truly be missed.  He left a legacy with Apple technology and for that will always be remembered.  Thank you Steve for changing the way we live.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fjader Capped Black Chrome Ballpoint Pen

Fjader (pronouned "Fader") means feather in Swedish and this pen's unique shape resembles a feather. Weighing in at 10 grams, it is almost as light as a feather.  The unique shape is also ergonomic which gives this pen a very comfortable grip when writing. 

Developed by Gustav Innovation, launched in 2008, Fjader sought to bring an offering to the market that spoke elegance, beauty, and ergonomic styling. 

Enter the Fjader Capped Ballpoint Pen.  Available in three colors: black, red, and white, the pen comes in the rollerball variety as well as the desk model with stand. 
For this review, I will focus on the capped black chrome offering. 

The Fjader Capped Ballpoint is ergonomically constructed.  The feather plume body design is made from a hard rubber material.  A chrome metal tip forms the business end of the pen.  This section is triangular in form, connecting with the the rubber section, and then tapering off into a narrowing section that ends sharply to a tip.  Being a lefthanded writer, I appreciate the inward curve it takes at about 1.5 cm upward from the chrome tip.  It allows my thumb to comfortably sit in the curve, while my index finger rides naturally on top.  The rubber body allows natural gripping to be accomplished with ease.  On the bottom end, close to the chrome, is a logo, "G" with a crown.  The "G" is for Gustav Innovation, the creator of Fjader Pens. 

When deconstructing this pen, the chrome section unclips fom the rubber body, revealing the ink cartridge held within.  It is a medium tip, with branded on its side.  I am not a big fan of how it inks on paper.  It has a sort of generic, non-distinct color, sort of washed out.  I am considering swapping it out with a Lamy m21 refill.  Performance on such an ergonomically designed implement simply needs to have the best performance mechanism within. 
With that, I believe the Fjader would become a very smooth writing implement. 
I give this pen an average performance recommendation, with a high recommendation on overall design.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm

There's only one word to initially describe the Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm at first glance.  Wow!
I know its been reviewed before, but there is a feel that this pen has when holding it between your fingers and writing that needs to be explained in your own  words.

This pen, designed by the Japanese based company, Muji, is definitely minimalistic and utilitarian.  It is a matte silver color, constructed of a light weight aluminum metal.  No where on the pen boby will you find the Muji name.  Interesting.  At 13.5cm, the pen is average in size and slim in width, and very eye appealing. 

The tip is a needle point, 0.7mm ink cartridge.  This cartridge is one of the largest I have seen to date, more on it later.  Moving upward, the barrel begins with a knurled grip section which feels secure when gripping the pen between your fingers.  It also adds to the eye appeal of this amazing writing implement. 

The remainder of the barrel continues cylindrically to the top where things become even more interesting.  At the top is a recessed inner section that holds the pocketclip / cap section of this rollerball pen, allowing you to post the cap.  Initially when posted, the cap held firmly in place.  However, after removing and reposting over a period of several days, the cap loosened when posted.  Muji could have avoided this issue by simply machining screw threads within the recessed area. 

When deconstructed, what is obviously apparent is the enormous size of the ink cartridge.  It is of such proportion, it gives the impression the barrel was designed to accomodate it first and not the other way around.  An ink cartridge holder, if you will. 

This pen glides across paper and produces a nice thin ink line.  I love the needle point cartridge, but fear non-availability may be an issue in the future.  If there is someone reading this who knows of comparable substitute cartridges for this pen, please let me know. 

Meanwhile, I will continue enjoying using this finely crafted, beautiful work of art.  I highly recommend the Muji Aluminum Ballpoint Pen 0.7mm.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pilot Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio 4 Color Multi Pen

After reading several reviews, I was sort of intrigued with the Pilot Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio Multi Pen.
It has a rather slim form factor, and can house four writing implements within its barrel.  It gives you the option of adding different color ink cartridges plus a 0.5mm mechanical pencil. calls the Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio: " a business color line of plastic bodies in metallic shades for the workplace."

Jet Pens sells the body separately from the ink cartridges which you then opt to purchase based on your choice of color and ink tip size.  This allows you to really customize the pen to suit your needs.  It currently comes in three colors; black, silver and blue.  I purchased the matte black version which has a business appeal and feels great when writing. 

My caveat would be, I would add a rubber grip onto the lower barrel to give it a more secure feel.  But that is my preference.

Jet Pens gives you the option of purchasing 0.4mm or 0.5mm ink cartridges.  I chose all 0.5mm tips.  Of course in time, I may decide to switch out ink cartridges.  This pen is very light weight, but has a professional look and feel.  It inks smoothly on paper and the ink cartridges change rather easily from one to the other
when the plunger of each is employed. 

When purchasing the total ensemble of pen body, ink cartridges and pencil, the total cost came to $21.00 plus shipping.  When I look at that price point, I have to ask was it worth it?  After using the pen for several weeks, here is my response.

The Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio has several features which make the value of this pen noteworthy. 
First is the employment of gel ink cartridges.  The use of gel ink really upgrades the writing experience of this pen.  This pen glides quite smoothly across paper.  It allows virtually effortless use.  The fact that you can switch from 0.4 to 0.5 mm cartridges and/or have them housed side-by-side evens up the versatality of this pen by leaps and bounds.  I only wish this pen was constructed from a better quality of plastic.  It has a somewhat fragile feel to it when gripping.  The plungers also feel rather flimsy when switching from one cartridge to another.  I don't know how many bumps and bruises this pen can take before breaking. 
This is not a pen I feel comfortable carrying in my pants pocket on a daily basis back and forth to work. 
I would worry about it potentially breaking during transport.  But it is a great desk pen.  A pen to write letters, blogs and figure out bills with. 

So in conclusion, I give the Pilot Hi - Tec C Coleto Lumio a Good recommendation overall, with a High recommendation on performance.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coast LED Lenser- LL7590 Write & Light Pen Flashlight

I'm a fan of Coast flashlights; so when I saw the Coast LED Lenser- LL7590 Write & Light Pen Flashlight, I thought it appeared to be an interesting tool / writing instrument. 

Let me start by saying, this pen is very well constructed.  Coast maintains a reputation for producing quality products across the board.  Delivered in a metal gift box, this pen has elegance and heft to a quite stylish looking implement.  Made from brass with nickle alloy coating, the pen measures 12.5 cm in length, somewhat short in stature.  At the tip, a simple twist engages / disengages the 0.7 mm ink cartridge.  Above is a cylinder with finger grip ridges which covers most of the bottom half of the pen barrel.  The pen is a matte silver with the Coast logo along the upper side of the barrel. 

At the top of the barrel, the pocketclip protects the photon tube reflector micro tech switch for turning the flashlight on and off.  This switch has two different flash frequencies.  An initial flashing light, then it speeds up to a faster flash, and when pressed a third time remains constantly on.  I personally don't know of too many instances when I would employ the first two features, with the exception of an emergency situation. 
That said, it legitimizes the flashlight as an essential component of the LED Lenser Write & Light.  The flashlight employs Nichia LEDs, powered by four AG5, 1.5Volt batteries which have 110 hours of run time.  It should be stated, these batteries are somewhat difficult to find.  I have only found them on several websites, and they have a tendency to be out of stock at times.  While this is not a deal breaker, it does present an issue should the websites or stores discontinue carrying them alltogether. 

The Write & Light, it should be noted, is an either/or tool.  Because the pen and flashlight occupy either end of the body, you can either choose to write with the pen or employ use of the flashlight, not both at once in the way of working synchroniously, ala the Pilots Pen.  This sort of really asks one to understand their reasoning for having this pen.  For me, it is having the duo ability of pen and light at my fingertips.  I can find my way at night from my car to my house and open the door quite easily using the very bright light source offered by this pen.  Additionally, the ink cartridge, with a medium tip, literally glides across paper, making this a writing implement of choice.

At $20.00, I find it a worthy addition to my pen collection, if I can only keep it in batteries.  Therefore, I recommend the Coast LED Lenser- LL7590 Write & Light Pen Flashlight.