Friday, August 26, 2011

Tombow Airpress Ballpoint Pen

I know this pen has been reviewed several times already, one by Brad of Pen Addict Blog, but I just had to add my two cents, because it is one of those unusual feature having writing instruments.  Oh, and for all the Multi Pen fans out there, no I haven't stopped reviewing them, instead I am giving props to pens with special features which enhance the writing experience.  I promise to resume the reviews of Multi Pens real soon. 
However, the Tombow Airpress is one of those pens that should have special mention, for more than one reason. 

First, it has a rubber barrel, which speaks to it being an all-weather and go anywhere writing instrument.  It just feels comfortable in your hand when writing.  I mean this pen deserves to be in my messenger bag, really!  The other thing about this pen is the employment of an air pressure plunger/cap which when pressed, allows the writer to write in virtually any position; ala the Fisher Space Pen.  It's a little short, 12 cm, but that can be an advantage depending on where you want to carry it.  It has a thickness that I like, which feels substantial when holding this pen.  It also has a small window on the side which allows one to see the Airpress in action.  Quite cool! 

Airpress also has a spring-loaded pocketclip that allows it to be attached just about anywhere.  In addition, it has a lanyard ring built in the top side, allowing one to tie rings/cord to the user or user's equipment.  The finger grip section has black plastic stripes which provide both an aesthetically pleasing attraction to the pen design, and allows a better grip angle when writing. 

Performance -
Tombow Airpress has a 0.7 mm tip that delivers a very smooth thin writing line when pen meets paper.  And because of the rubber grip, combined with its thick build, Airpress won't tire your fingers out if writing for extended periods.  This is truly a remarkable little pen!  It may not be a multi pen, but its functionality is so superb, that I highly recommend the Tombow Airpress Ballpoint Pen!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Moleskine Classic Rollerball Black Fine Tip

I know that Diane from Pocket Blonde blog reviewed this pen, which is where I first saw it and thought it to be quite an unusual looking writing instrument.  It reminded me of a carpenter pencil, like Diane commented in her review.  But the designer took the carpenter's pencil concept to a whole other level.  So after I read her review I decided to see if what I thought was going on, was indeed going on.  And indeed it is!
First off, let me thank Diane for introducing me to this truly remarkable writing instrument.  Shortly after her review, I ordered one and it came in the mail a few days later.  As I had just recently purchased a Moleskine journal, I felt this pen would sort of compliment it.  Sort of - huh!  Yeah, like a hand in a glove.  This pen was made to go with Moleskine Journals.  I mean literally.  The cap has a very uniquely designed pocketclip.  One that wraps around the edge of your Moleskine Journal and attaches itself there like an appendage.  What a concept!  Oh and did I mention the pocketclip is constructed of a rubber material that grips to the journal and will not accidently slide off its edge.  Truly a thought - through design concept.

Moleskine Classic RollerBall Pen - 05 Fine

The barrel is costructed from a high quality matte black plastic that feels rather comfortable when holding.  The rectangular shape actually feels rather comfortable as well when placing pen on paper.  It's an organic feeling - like its suppose to be rectangular in shape.  The ink cartridge tip is of the 0.5mm variety, and is also available in the 0.7mm variety.  It contains a gel ink that appears wet when first spotting on paper, but dries rather quickly, I find.  I felt the tip was a little scratchy when I first started writing.  But I got used to the feeling.  The pen asks you to sort of relax your grip and not to choke up as low on the barrel when writing.  A learning curve, if you will.  When I deconstructed the pen, inside I found a rather long spring at the top where the pen unscrews to reveal its inner workings.  That spring was followed by the longer ink cartridge.  The cartridge appears to have longevity capacity - a writer's pen!

My overall impression of the Moleskine Classic Rollerball is that Moleskine knocked it completely out the park with this one!  Simplistic, yet classy.  In addition, there is a silver metal edition, as well as pencils of the same quality and build.  I can easily see having the entire family in my collection. 
 At $14.95 its definitely a steal.  I highly recommend the Moleskine Classic Rollerball fine tip pen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fisher Bullet Space Pen Matte Black with clip

Out of all the pens in my collection, the Fisher Bullet Pen is the workhorse of the lot.  It stays in my pants pocket regardless of any other pen(s) I choose to carry for the day.

Fisher Space Pens were first on the scene in 1948.  Created by Paul C. Fisher for astronauts in the NASA Space Program.  They arre of slim build; made from anodized aluminum and have a gas pressurized, hermetically sealed, thixotropic ink cartridge that can write in virtually any position, through grease, including underwater, and many other adverse environmental conditions. 

I have used Fisher Bullet Pens for over a decade, and unless they were lost, and some were, they have always proven their worth.  I prefer a pocketclip  on my pen, as it circumvents it from rolling off a flat surface.  When the pen is posted it is 13 cm long.  When capped, 9 cm, about two thirds that length.  The matte black allows a firmer grip when writing, and the ink cartridge glides smoothly across paper.  I am currently using the black fine tip cartridge, which I prefer, which cost $5.00 from Fisher Space Pen, Boulder City, NV.

The pen's lower half tightly screws on and off, and has a rubber O ring which seals the cartridge quite well within the barrel shaft.
The pen is perfectly balanced when writing. and smoothly inks on paper, drying instantly without feathering.  I think the fine tip allows you to place written text more precisely and accurately on any page or form.  I find the rather wide ink cartridge barrel lasts for extended periods even when using on a daily basis.  When deconstructing the pen, what is apparent is how finely machined the barrel is.  The bottom half holds the ink cartridge in a spring loaded fashion; and provides very little wiggle room when top and bottom halves are secured. 
A timeless writing instrument, the Fisher Bullet Space Pen comes in an array of colors and styles.  I have several different styles and colors, but the matte black remains my favorite.  With pocketclip, it can be purchased online at various websites for approximately $20.00.  It comes highly recommended and well deserving.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Pilots Pen

Ever flown in the cockpit of a twin engine Cessna?  It can get a little dark in there at night, even with the provided overhead light.   How about a U H1 Huey Helicopter, doing an air rescue and recovery operation at night?  No, you say.  Trust me, when your trying to write inflight notes, or intel, you want to get it down as precise as possible.  The Pilots Pen allows you to do just that.  It is constructed of a black anodized aluminum barrel, of some quality, with a clear plastic tip area that screws off to reveal an inner mechanism that houses two LED bulbs, rated at 100,000 hours of life, and which sandwiches the pen cartridge in between. 

 The bulbs are powered by a single AAA battery that sits in the upper barrel chamber, and is controlled by an on/off switch on the pen cap. 
When I received the pen in the mail, it came in a white semi-transparent case that contained the pen, two plastic light covers (red and clear), (red for night vision retention).  It also comes with four refill cartridges and a spare AAA battery.

Additionally, it comes with a detailed instruction sheet. 
Being someone who will impulsively awaken at night and write down thoughts and ultimately disturb my wife by turning on my nightstand lamp, this pen was a perfect solution.  The LED lights get extremely bright, and provide you with more than adequate lighting.  The AAA battery will last 20 hours.  So how does it write you ask?  Well the black 0.7mm cartridge was very smooth and the ink dried immediately on paper.  The grip ridges above the tip afforded good finger positioning and holding, as the rest of the barrel is extremely slippery.  It has a very sturdy metal pocket clip if carrying the pen in your shirt pocket.  The one complaint I have is, the off/on switch on the pen cap easily activates the light when the pen is carried in your pants pocket.  The pen cartridge however is activated by twisting the cap.  I think pen and light activation should be reversed.  This would help preserve battery life and eliminate butt switching on.

I find the Pilots Pen an extremely resourceful tool to have in the less-than-adequate lighting situation, as it allows you the ability to complete a writing task without interruption.  And, I find it quite a bargain at $20.00, sold on, as it is well constructed and of quality build.  I highly recommend the Pilots Pen.