August 30, 2008

Ink Links

-- More great school supplies from the gang at Stickers and Donuts  (Stickers and Donuts)

-- Dave is a fan of the A.G. Spalding line  (365 Journal Entries)

-- JetPens August Newsletter - I have samples of both the Pilot Symmetry and Uni-Ball Power Tank that I will post next week  (JetPens)

-- JetPens has also started a contest in their Flickr pool - read the details right here and get snapping!

-- Review: The New Sharpie Pens  (Amateur Economist)

-- Review: Quo Vadis Habana  (The Pen Hunter)

-- Speedmaster too!  Review: Quo Vadis Habana Notebooks  (Amateur Economist)

-- A fresh take on a classic - Roma Lubimov's CMYK pen  (Behance Network)

August 29, 2008

Review: Copic Atyou Spica

Marianne from I Like Markers sent me this little beauty.  I wasn't really sure what to make of the Copic Atyou Spica at first.  After all, glitter pens really aren't my cup of tea, but I wanted to give it a fair shake.  So I played around with this Turquoise color for a bit, as well as the Black one she sent, and came away quite surprised.  I am a big fan of porous tip pens, and the tip of the Spica is similar to that.  The line is wide, but is much sharper and cleaner than I imagined it would be.  I'm going to have to find a way to put these to good use, especially when they come up with a marketing line like this:  "Twice the writing length of other pens, 360 yds."  :)

Check out this great review of the Copic Atyou Spica from PaperFections, including samples of all 12 colors.

August 27, 2008

One of these things is not like the other...

I noticed this in my referral logs today and found it pretty interesting.  It is from an interview by Mike Severson on his blog For The Record, with Frank Edwards, program director of country music station KRYS in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Check this out:
What are your favorite magazines, web sites, and blogs?
Magazines: Texas Trophy Hunters, Backpacker, Readers Digest
Web sites:, Drudge Report, Yahoo! Buzz
Blogs: Mike Severson’s blog of course, The 9513 is good,
How cool is that!  Thanks Mike for the interview, and thanks Frank for reading The Pen Addict!

Review: A.G. Spalding & Bros. Hexagonal Ballpoint

Another in my latest batch of samples from JetPens, this A.G. Spalding & Bros. Hexagonal Ballpoint really knocked my socks off in the looks and performance category.  It writes so smoothly that you could probably handle a dozen journal pages without tiring.  I have been very impressed with the Spalding line since first being introduced to them at JetPens.  All that I have tried work great and seem very durable.

(Sorry about the scratchout in the picture - I'm a goof!)

August 26, 2008

Link: We Love School Supplies: Pens and Pencils

Sorry gang, this one just couldn't wait until my weekend Ink Links post.  The gang at Stickers and Donuts did an awesome job reviewing new supplies for the upcoming school year.  The Pentel Slicci is included, as are the Pilot FriXion and the Uni-Ball Signo, but you haven't lived until you have seen the Nerf Dart Blaster Toy Pen and the Connect Four Game Toy Pen.  If had those back when I was in school, I would have never graduated!

It's a great article, so go check it out now:  We Love School Supplies: Pens and Pencils

August 25, 2008

Review: Zebra Sharbo Smartline

This beautiful little Zebra Sharbo Smartline contains a 0.4mm ballpoint pen and an 0.3mm pencil.  Since this was a sample from JetPens, I'll let them fill you in on the finer details:
The Sharbo is one of Zebra's most popular multi-pen line and this particular Sharbo focuses on life's finer points. It is a very rare multi pen that actually features a 0.4 mm pen and a 0.3 mm pencil. The combination is quite unique, it's a multi-pen that one could only find in Japan. You won't even find any bulging buttons on the pen. It features a slender body that utilizes a twist mechanism to switch between a fine ballpoint pen and a mechanical pencil. It is an elegant accompaniment to your workplace style. Individuals who like fine point pens will fall in love with the Sharbo Smartline.
This multi-pen performs as well as it looks also.  The ballpoint pen is a nice, dark black, and the pencil is even better than I imagined.  I thought 0.3mm would be to small, but it is perfect.  The Sharbo can travel with me anywhere, anytime and get anything done that I need it to.

August 23, 2008

Ink Links

-- Review: Hi-Tec-C Coleto  (The Pen Hunter)

-- Biffybeans with a great overall notebook review  (Spiritual Evolution of the Bean)

--  ...and knocks out a specific Quo Vadis Habana review as well  (Spiritual Evolution of the Bean)

-- The 2009 Moleskine Patent Leather Diaries  (Moleskinerie)

-- Review: Cross Roadster Gel Pen  (D*I*Y Planner)

-- Lamy Spirit (Model 163) Mechanical Pencil Review  (Dave's Mechanical Pencils)

-- Ryan looks at $100+ Fountain Pens  (Brassing Adds Character)

-- Awesome new mermaid header by Marianne  (I Like Markers)

-- Kia doesn't like it when people steal her pens  (Hi, my name is Kia)

-- MTBooks fountain pen lineup  (MTBooks @ Flickr)

-- New to the Blogroll:
    Blackwing Diaries
    Quo Vadis Blog

-- Don't forget to check out Pens For Kids!

-- And one final item from the frontlines of Tropical Storm Fay, newspaper reporter Chelsea emailed me this tasty little tidbit about the Sharpie Pen:
I stumbled across your blog looking for info on the sharpie pen and I've really been enjoying it--the blog AND the pen. The sharpie pen has been particularly useful for me for the last few days because I'm a newspaper reporter in Florida and I've been covering Tropical Storm Fay, which means taking notes outside in the rain. I am pleased to report, not only is the sharpie pen waterproof, but it also writes on wet paper. Just thought I'd pass that along.

August 22, 2008

What's In My Bag

I like the voyeur aspect of the What's In Your Bag Flickr pool, so I thought I would add mine to the group for perusal.  Click over to my Flickr photostream to see the notes on the photo.

August 21, 2008

JetPens Samples

I received these a couple of weeks back courtesy of JetPens and I'm just now getting around to reviewing them.  Look for a post for each of these in the next week or so.

From the top down:
Uni-Ball Lakubo Ballpoint Pen 0.5mm Black
Pilot FriXion Erasable Highlighter - Green
A.G. Spalding Hexagonal Body Ballpoint 0.7mm
Zebra Sharbo Smartline 0.4mm Ballpoint, 0.3mm Pencil

Review: TUL 0.5mm Retractable Gel

This pen was designed and created specifically for Office Max, so they are only available at their stores or website.  Since I don't have an Office Max nearby, I never had the opportunity to pick any up, and it looks like I was missing out - that is until a wonderful reader sent me a couple to try out (Thanks Marilyn!).  The pen design is solid, with a plastic barrel and a brass tip, as well as sharp looking graphics.  The pen performance reminds me a lot of the Pilot G-2, which is a pretty big compliment.  On top of that, the TUL is very wallet friendly, checking in at approximately $1.50 per pen.  My only complaint so far is that the grip is a little slick, but it is already starting to get better with use.

If you have an Office Max convenient to you, or feel like placing an order online, I think you will enjoy the TUL.

August 20, 2008

Erasable Pen Olympics

The real Olympics are taking place in Beijing, China, but I bet you didn't know that the Pen Olympics are taking place right here at The Pen Addict!  I have been wanting to do a side-by-side comparison of all of my erasable pens for a while now, so I figured lets give them the Olympic treatment by awarding medals to the best performers.

Gold - Pilot E-Gel 0.7mm
The Pilot E-Gel has the best ink color, the best writing performance, and the best erasability, so I guess you could say it won the all-around competition.  The eraser is located in the right sopt, unlike the FriXions, which goes a long way in my book.  This pen writes the most like a regular pen.

Silver - Pilot FriXion 0.7mm
I prefer the black ink of the 0.7mm over the blue ink of the 0.5mm, so thus it garners the silver medal.  The shade of black is still a little off, and I'm no fan of the FriXion eraser.  It smudges the paper too much compared to the traditional eraser models.

Bronze - Pilot FriXion 0.5mm
This ink color is way too pale for my liking.  I like the finer 0.5mm tip, but the performance (and location) of the eraser just doesn't cut it.

India - Uni-Ball Signo Erasable 0.5mm
The ink color is great, and the eraser does a good job, but the writing experience is so bad I can hardly use this pen.  The line skips and it is very scratchy.  Hopefully you will win a medal one of these decades Uni-Ball!

August 19, 2008

Charitable Cause - Pens for Kids

Last week, I was discussing what to do with extra pens laying around that aren't being used, and the topic of donation came up in the comments thread.  Lily mentioned an organization called Pens for Kids which sends pens to kids in need in Africa.  According to the website, education is paid for by some African governments, but supplies are not usually covered.  Pens for Kids has taken up the cause to try and get school supplies to those children in need.

I exchanged emails with Linda, one of the volunteers for Pens For Kids, and here is what she told me:
I traveled to Kenya and Tanzania on vacation last year and it changed my life.  I took candy for kids as I usually do and they wanted pens, not the tart sugary candy I'd brought.  I met a man there and he told me about a guy in Denmark named Claus who was sending him pens.  I contacted Claus when I got home and then took his project up a few notches and incorporated here in the US.  We now have a tax id and we've filed 501(c)(3) papers so that we can help more kids with corporate support as well as keeping the grassroots efforts as well.   I've sent about 7500 pens in the past couple of months -- All of the pens I have collected so far are from people I know or people who have stumbled across the website across the US.  We are still very small and just have one simple goal -- to get pens to the kids to assist with their education.    Education is the key to everything in Africa.  We will be contacting pen companies for donations of pens and shipping as soon as we secure the 501(c)(3) approval.

For a bit more information Here is a link to an article in the San Diego North County times published in from June ( the author got it mostly right  :-) 
I would like to make the Pens for Kids organization the official charity of the Pen Addict blog.  I have added a section to the sidebar with all of the information and donation links for Pens for Kids.  If you are so inclined, please consider donating your old pens to the cause (or money also - they need it for shipping costs).

One thing I would like to do right out the gate is commit 50% of the Google AdSense revenue from this blog to Pens for Kids.  The money doesn't add up to much - from December '07 to now, I have just under $80 in my AdSense account, and they don't send out checks until you reach $100. I will be working on ways to improve that over the coming months.

With the other 50% of AdSense revenue, I am going to start doing giveaways and contests for readers of the Pen Addict.  I think this would be a great way to drive traffic to the blog and, in turn, have even more people become aware of the Pens for Kids program.

I hope this will work out well for Pens for Kids and for readers of this blog.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please shoot me an email or leave a note in the comments section.

Doane Paper and Field Notes

I received my orders from Doane Paper and Field Notes last week, so look for some writing tests coming up soon using these products.  Here are a few pictures for the time being.....

August 18, 2008

Review: Copic Multiliner SP Black 03

Readers of this blog brought Copic pens to my attention as I talked about Sakura Pigma Microns and other drawing pens, and boy am I glad they did.  I had been meaning to pick some up for a while, but never got around to it.  Then, out of the blue, Marianne from the excellent Copic blog I Like Markers (and who also happens to be the product specialist for Copic Markers) offered to send me some samples to try out.  Needless to say, I was a very happy Pen Addict the day my Copic package arrived!

Out of the group of pens I recieved, the Copic Multiliner SP caught my eye, mainly because that was the model I had heard the most about and was planning to buy first.  On top of that, the pen is flat-out striking to look at.  The long aluminum barrel makes for a lightweight and well-balanced writing experience.  The tip performs admirably as well, laying down a very solid and dark black line.  I need to spend more time with it, but this pen is definitely one of my favorites.

An added bonus with the SP model is that the ink is refillable and the tip is replaceable, so you can keep filling up this fine looking barrel as long as it doesn't vanish from your desk in the dark of night.

If you want to learn more about Copic pens and markers, drop by Marianne's blog I Like Markers and spend some time going through the archives.  She does an amazingly thorough job.

Look for more Copic product reviews soon - and thanks again Marianne!

August 16, 2008

Ink Links

-- Why do I write with a fountain pen?  (Spiritual Evolution of the Bean)

-- Nothing Like A Moleskine…  (Pen and Paper)

-- Gaia has an addiction.....  (Gaiaeagle @ Livejournal)

-- .....and so does Sonya  (Red's Blurbs)

-- A great artist's materials primer on paper  (Bearskinrug via pica + pixel)

-- Review: Pentel Tradio Fountain Pen  (Amateur Economist)

-- Review: Pilot VBall Grip Extra Fine  (The Pen Collector)

-- Maybe a new pen blog?  Keeping an eye out.  (The Pen Critic)

-- The Copic website is updated - be sure to check out the new catalog  (Copic via I Like Markers)

August 15, 2008

Updated Favorite Pens List

It is about time for me to update the sidebar with my current favorite pens.  Nothing has changed in the top three spots, but I'm moving the Pilot G-3 0.38mm into the four spot, and the Sharpie Pen into the five.  They replace the Zebra Sarasa 0.4mm and the Uni-Ball Signo RT 0.38mm, respectively.

Here is how the current top five stands:

1. Pentel Slicci 0.3mm
2. Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.4mm
3. Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38mm
4. Pilot G-3 0.38mm
5. Sharpie Pen

I'm not sure how long the Sharpie Pen will be there though - I think these new Copic Multiliners I received may knock it off the list pretty quickly.

August 14, 2008

Review: Pilot G-2 Limited Edition

There is not much new ground to cover with the performance of the Pilot G-2 gel ink cartridge, but this Limited Edition barrel is a very nice addition to the G-2 line.  I am normally hesitant to spend more than a few dollars on a single pen since I buy so many, but the color caught my eye, and I knew I would be able to add in an 0.38mm cartridge to replace the standard 0.7mm.  The feel and weight of the barrel is fantastic, and the rubber grip is holding up nicely with a lot of use so far.  I paid $11.50 for this one from JetPens a month or so ago, but I have seen all three colors in Target recently for $9.99, so put this G-2 Limited Edition on your shopping list if you are in the area.

August 13, 2008

Where Pens Go To Die

A reader emails:
Today I opened my desk drawer and saw over 50 pens I probably will never use again...(and this is only at my office desk, not including home)... Where do unlucky pens go to die? I can't seem to get rid of them because the day I try to throw it away or give it to the school supplies drive, I find a newfound respect for it but then it goes back into the black hole of pens that haven't made the cut.

Have you written any posts about this?
I have never written a post about this, but I think I did mention something in a long lost comments thread on what I do with pens I don't like or never plan on using again.  In a nutshell, I play Pen Fairy at the office.

I work with and around a bunch of computer geeks.  Heck, I'm one of them myself.  Except I'm the one in the pink gingham button-down as opposed to a black or grey t-shirt.  Not there is anything wrong with that, but it's just not my style.  So you can imagine their choice in writing instruments: generic office supply cabinet rollerball, Marriott Courtyard Bic Stic, chewed up eraserless #2 pencil, capless dried-up Sharpie, etc.

From time to time I purge my pen collection, getting rid of the ones I no longer use or plan on using to make room for new ones.  I do this at home to keep the wife happy, and at work to keep myself sane because I don't have a lot of room to spare.  This usually results in 20-30 pens probably twice a year or so.

The Pen Fairy kicks in from there, leaving some out in the open on a communal office table, and otherwise dispersing some of the better rejects on a few select co-workers desks.  Only once during this time have I overheard someone say "Where did this pen come from"?  I just grinned a bit and kept quiet.  Most of the time I see the pens scattered about, caps missing, or hanging from peoples mouths.  Oh well, hopefully they enjoyed the pens for a minute or two.

I received another email just yesterday from The Pen Guy, who has a Mercedes covered with thousands of pens, so donating them is certainly an option.

What do you do with your extra pens?

August 11, 2008

Review: Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3mm Pompadour

Do I ever get tired of Pilot Hi-Tec-C pens?  I haven't yet, and actually, the more I buy, the more I want.  There are certain days at work when I use no less than five different colors or sizes, and that is just for general note taking.  I am always on the hunt for the perfect color, and while I like this Pompadour shade of blue, it's not my favorite.  What I do like is how the 0.3mm tip writes.  This is my first standard barrel 0.3mm (meaning not in a Coleto barrel), and I'm already on the prowl for more.

August 9, 2008

Ink Links

-- Essential portable tools for a writer  (Kinetic Writer)

-- Oh Sharpie Pen, how I love thee  (The Blah, Blah, Blahg)

-- Five Best Note-Taking Tools  (Lifehacker)

-- The Usual Suspects - Biffybeans on fountain pens  (Spiritual Evolution of the Bean)

-- Faber-Castell TK-Fine Executive Mechanical Pencil Review  (Dave's Mechanical Pencils)

-- Pentel Hyper-G review  (Cheap Pen Review)

-- Uni-ball Signo Premier 207 0.7 review  (The Pen Collector)

-- Review:  Pilot Petit1 Fountain Pen  (Amateur Economist)

-- The Pilot G2 lineup  (A Sibilant Intake of Breath)

-- New JetPens samples  (

-- Don't forget to join my new Flickr group  (I am a Pen Addict)

August 8, 2008

Samples, Samples Everywhere!

My good friends at JetPens and my new friend at I Like Markers sent me some great pen samples this week that I can't wait to try out.  The only problem is, I am taking a mini-vacation this weekend and part of next week, so it is going to take me some time to get them all tested out.

In the meantime, here is a little tease of what is in store from over a dozen new pens I have to put to the test:

Hinodewashi Electric Eraser and Uni-Ball Jetstream Alpha Gel Grip Ballpoint 0.7mm

Copic Multiliner SP 0.3 Orange and Black

I have a bit of content set to post while I am gone, and I promise I will work on the new stuff as soon as I return.  Believe me - I am as anxious as you are!

August 7, 2008

Review: Uni-Ball Jetstream Sport Color 0.7mm Green

Color me surprised on this one.  I've rarely had a ballpoint pen perform so well, even other incarnations of the Jetstream.  This particular model is called the Uni-Ball Jetstream Sport Color.  Besides the fact that it looks cool, it also writes exceptionally well.  Many ballpoint pens tend not to lay down a solid line, but there is hardly a break to be found when using this pen.  It is smooth and comfortable to boot.

I ordered it from JetPens, where they also carry a blue and a pink barrel.  I think I will be getting a lot of use out of this one.

August 6, 2008

New Flickr Group: I am a Pen Addict

I have created a new group on Flickr for all of you pen addicts out there, appropriately titled I am a Pen Addict.  If you have a Flickr account, please feel free to join.  It is wide open to anyone and everyone to share their photos and comments.  And tell your friends!

This is why I love my readers

Pen Addict reader Jonathan sent this to me over the weekend:
I saw your blogs after playing around with blue and black Frixion pens.  A few observations:

1. Ink color is indeed not great...but these are still so much nicer than those erasable ink pens from when I was in high school...which may have been when you were there, but never mind.

2. I held a match up to some text written with Frixion, but not close enough to burn the paper.  The ink actually doesn't disappear; it turns white.  I confirmed this on a dark piece of paper.

3. I then took some of the text that I erased with the heat of the match and chilled it thoroughly by holding it firmly against a bag of frozen asparagus.  It turned gray again--which is about all the "black" ink ever was.

These are completely useless things to know, but I thought you might find them mildly amusing.
And in a later mail......
I should now add that for the heat it is simpler to hold the paper with the Frixion ink next to a standard light bulb (it doesn't have to touch) to erase it.  Also, to make it reappear, if one is patient, you can just put the paper in the freezer--though it can take hours to get the ink to come back.
One thing you got wrong Jonathan - these are not completely useless things to know, these are ESSENTIAL things to know for all of us Pen Addicts out there!  Thanks again for sharing.

August 5, 2008

Review: Uni-Ball Color Mechanical Pencil

I am starting to turn the corner on pencils, and this Uni-Ball Color Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm Blue is helping lead the revolution.  I know colored leads have been around for years, but my general lack of interest in pencils made me forget all about them.  Little did I know how much I was missing.  The Uni-Ball performs admirably as well, with a nice feel, comfortable grip, and a nice, spring-loaded cap.

I must not be the only one who likes them - JetPens is currently sold out of 6 of the 12 models they carry.  They generally restock fast though, so keep an eye out if the one you want isn't avaialble.

August 4, 2008

The Pen Collector

It was a big weekend for friends of The Pen Addict, as my Flickr friend Felipe (yay alliteration!) has started up his own pen blog, The Pen Collector.  Felipe has been following me on Flickr since I first began posting my pictures, so stop by his blog and pay a visit.  I can't wait to see what he has in store.

August 3, 2008

The Pen Hunter

The perfect pen is the prey, and The Pen Hunter is on the trail.  Frequent Pen Addict commenter Ellie has started a new, appropriately titled blog, and her first post takes a look at my current favorite pen, the Pentel Slicci.  Be sure to stop by and say hi!

August 2, 2008

Sharpie Pen Review - Back to the Top

Sharpie is putting on the full-court press with their new advertisements featuring David Beckham, and possibly because of those ads, I have been receiving lots of hits, emails, and questions concerning the Sharpie Pen.  Just to bring any new readers up to speed, here is the link to my original review on the Sharpie Pen, and the subsequent chain of comments.

Lots of people are starting to pick up on it, and almost all of the reviews are positive, so go check them out!

August 1, 2008

Review: Sakura Pigma Micron 03 Black

After years of ignoring the Sakura Pigma Micron for no good reason, I am finally on the bandwagon.  Smooth and clean - and so far durable - I've been using this pen more frequently as of late.  Some people have mentioned durability issues to me, so I will be keeping an eye on any premature breakdown of the tip and will post if anything changes.  Otherwise, sign me up for the rainbow of colors!