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.