Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shoplet.com Review: Swingline SmartTouch Stapler & Swingline S.F. 4 Premium Chisel Point Staples

This is a review of the Swingline SmartTouch Stapler and Swingline S.F. 4 Premium Chisel Point Staples. These office supplies were sent for review by Shoplet.

The Stapler - $14.09 at Shoplet
Stapler Resized
What Do I Like?

The first office supply I am reviewing for Shoplet is the Swingline SmartTouch Stapler is a sleek, ergonomic stapler designed to reduce the effort necessary to staple up to 25 pages together. It is black metal with grey soft touch accents. The shape lends itself to being very comfortable to hold and there is a little indent on the bottom for your thumb to rest and remain securely in place while stapling. While you could survive without this feature, it is surprisingly enjoyable if you’re stapling a lot of pages!
IMG_0485 Resized
While it is easy to hold in one hand, it has a longer design than the classic stapler. With this, it also has a good weight to it. While lighter products are often appealing, having a light desk stapler often means more work for you, shoddy quality, and a noisy mechanism. The weight of the stapler allows it to sit nicely on your desk. You can even staple while it’s just sitting there! Yessir, that means you don’t even have to hold it. You can just stick those papers in there and touch the top lightly to staple.
 IMG_0415 Resized
The QuickLoad™ reloading mechanism is located in the front. With a pop of the button at the back, the staple tray pops out and you can just put in more staples. And then it slides back into place. I far prefer this to the common style of opening the staple body up to refill, and then pushing it back together. I was always so bad at this and would close it too hard and would end up stapling myself. Therefore, this front reload is way better and holds a full strip of staples!
 IMG_0382 Resized
This stapler can handle 25 sheets at a time, which is pretty impressive. I tested it out using heavy Hewlett-Packard paper - this is very thick paper - and I was surprised at how little effort it took. Usually, I’d have to lean over the stapler and put some weight into it but it was a breeze with the SmartTouch stapler. Even with 25 pages, the staple glides through the paper and folds snugly on the other side so it won’t catch your fingers (and cut them). Furthermore, the stapling action is very quiet. I even doubled the pages to 50 just to see what would happen. It still took very little effort to staple the pages but the staple didn't make it all the way through because the tails are too short.
 IMG_0387 Resized
In terms of safety (yes, some staplers can be hazardous), the design of the stapler offers some safety to little fingers (or even my own fingers). The stapling mechanism is very close to the base so it would be difficult to squish a finger in there and accidentally staple yourself. Trust me, I tried.

Be aware that, given its size, this stapler is not ideal for portability. It is meant to be a desk stapler and it will perform that duty as I have experienced if you use it with these staples.
IMG_0383 Resized
What Don't I Like?

My only complaint is that I wish there could be some more recycled materials in the product. Most of the body is metal, and the soft touch appears to be a soft rubber-type material. The only plastic is on the base of the staple mechanism and the reload button at the back but even if these parts were recycled plastic, with many staplers being made and sold, it would make a small difference.
 
The Staples - $2.02 at Shoplet 
Staple Case Resized 
What Do I Like?

These premium chisel point refill staples for the Swingline SmartTouch Stapler is the other office supply I am reviewing for Shoplet. They comes in a nifty, handy reusable plastic box with a hinged lid. It holds 5,000 staples in strips of 210. The box looks good and is simply made so it should last you pretty long without anything breaking. The chisel point design helps the staples glide through paper easier and reduces the likelihood of jamming. These premium staples combined with the great design of the SmartTouch stapler means you’ll have a very jam-free experience!
IMG_0372 Resized
What Don't I Like?

Again, my only complaint with the Swingline S.F. 4 Premium Chisel Point Staples refill box is that the plastic box could be made of recycled plastic, which would be awesome and once again, would help reduce the amount of new plastic made (and thus, less plastic ending up in landfills).


Overall

I was very pleased with the results of this stapler when used with these staples. You won't have to struggle with the stapler to get it through 25 pages and it's very quiet and looks cool. After stapling all evening, I have yet to encounter jamming!  Given the design of the reload mechanism, I would say it's important to use the Swingline S.F. 4 Premium Chisel Point staples to reduce occurrence of jamming and to ensure you have an effortless experience. This may be a deterrent to some folks. Again, the Swingline SmartTouch Stapler can be found at Shoplet and you’ll definitely want to pick up some of these Swingline S.F. 4 Premium Chisel Point Staples to go with it - they can also be found at Shoplet! Shoplet offers this stapler and staples at a competitive price to places such as OfficeDepot and they even have bulk discounts.

And yes, by owning this, that means you will be owning the same brand of stapler that Milton from Office Space covets so greatly.

Check out another review of these products at Pen Paper Inks...Whatever!

Disclaimer and reminder: These office supplies were sent for review by Shoplet. I was not paid to write this review, but I do get to keep these cool products.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

IMG_0328
Pelikan M1005 + J. Herbin Vert Olive in Rhodia Reverse Book


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all my lovely readers! We'll be back with more reviews and fun pictures in a few days!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Converting Monteverde Refills to Fit Retro 51 Tornado

A few days ago, I dragged Kevin to Office Depot. I just like to look. But then he found a little clearance section that had a bunch of Monteverde refills that were priced at $1.00 and $2.00! Not too long ago, I acquired a Retro 51 Tornado Bamboo pen and had noted the names of refills it would need in the future. So I whipped out my notepad from my purse where I had written the names of the Monteverde and Parker refills that would fit the Retro 51, and pointed them out excitedly. Once again, he looked at me like I’m crazy, probably wondering how weird and convenient it was that I had the exact refills on the "to get" list that were in store and he said, “well, we might as well get one.” So I grabbed six packs.
IMG_0253 Resized
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the correct rollerball refills and very sadly presented Kevin with the pieces of the pen and refill that didn’t fit. He went about finding a fix for it because it was so sad to not be able to use all the colors! Knowing I am fairly incapable at wielding a knife and Krazy Glue (I would likely glue the knife to my tongue or something), Kevin took matters into his own hands to ensure a trip to Urgent Care or Emergency would not wrap up our fine evening. He assembled a few materials, took all the Monteverde ceramic rollerball refills away from me, and got to work.

What he ended up doing was the following:

- Measured the proper refill against the too-big refills to find out what length he would have to cut it to.
- Trimmed off extra length from the back end of the cartridge (including a tiny bit of the ink sponge...sad, but a sacrifice I was willing to make).
IMG_0266 Resized
IMG_0296 Resized
- Popped out the plug from the cut off piece, trimmed it to fit the new edge of the cartridge and Krazy Glued the modified plug into the end.
IMG_0271 Resized
IMG_0274 Resized
And now, it works perfectly! What kind of savings did I get on this awesome deal? Epic savings.

Monteverde Gel Refills for Parker Pens (Purple/Pink)
    Regularly $ 8.29 each
    Sale $ 0.84 each
Monteverde Ballpoint Refills for Parker Pens (Purple/Pink)
    Regularly $ 6.29 each
    Sale $ 0.64 each
Monteverde Ceramic Rollerball Refills (Fashion Colors)
    Regularly $ 15.49 each
    Sale $ 1.94 each
IMG_0295 Resized
AHAEHAEAHE I have so many colors!!!
I bought two of each and my total was just over $7! Now that I have many colors of ink, I can get one of each Retro 51 Tornado. Muahahahah! No, I’m kidding. ... Kinda.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Moleskine Weekly 2012 Planner From European Paper

I won this little guy at European Paper (do you follow them? I sure hope so.). Not long after winning, I received my Moleskine 2012 Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner in the mail (in a very cute little package and a cute little brown bag). I wish I had taken a picture of the little bag but my zeal to get INTO the package overtook my common sense. Story of my life, right there.
IMG_0077 Resized
The planner is small and cute. It’s a soft cover which I prefer over the hardcover versions - a soft, bendable cover but it does provide some support when writing on the pages. It is 18 months (July 2011 - December 2012) but because of the layout, it’s not terribly thick for being a 1.5 year planner. There’s a cloth ribbon and an elastic enclosure that is decently snug so it won’t slip off!

Upon opening, there is a little pamplet detailing the history of the Moleskine notebook as well as a Quality Control identification number. The pamphlet says:

You will find your notebook identification number in the back pocket. Keep it safe. Every notebook is handmade and has been carefully checked for quality. If, despite our best efforts, we have overlooked a defect of any kind, please let us know. ...

I think that’s really cool. I have personally had problems with my Moleskine notebooks in the past, where the binding just fell apart even though they were fairly new. They're obviouly trying to improve their quality so I commend them on that. Maybe next they can make some heavier paper...

The first few pages are the usual - personal information, in case of loss please return to, etc. There are a few pages of month-on-a-page and yearly view pages, then some other pages of dialing codes and other not terribly exciting things.

I really like the layout of this planner. I had one two years ago and the layout was just so useful - a week on a page on the left side, and a lined page for notes on the right side. It was almost perfect. The font choice is also very tasteful and there’s no clutter on the pages. The month is at the top of the right page along with the week number. It is also very portable!
IMG_0292 Resized
Moleskine Weekly Planner compared to Personal size Filofax
IMG_0293 Resized
Filofax contains 2011 and 2012 week-on-two-pages planner and a bunch of miscellaneous other pages so it is quite thick.
You may not know this, but I love stickers. Therefore, to me, the most exciting part of this entire planner was tucked away in the back pocket (oh yeah, there’s a back pocket!). There are three pages of really adorable stickers in orangey-red, lime green, and grey. They have various pictures on them: happy faces, sad faces, anniversaries, question marks, hearts, music notes, and more. But since it’s more exciting to SEE them than to hear me blab about them, here they are:
IMG_0285 Resized
I wish there were more stickers because, I mean, there’s three “to remember”  stickers. I have a rotten memory. I have to write EVERYTHING down. There’s also some that say “stamp duty”. I have no idea what that means. And they should add some pet stickers - perhaps paw prints, to indicate vet appointments or something. Nevertheless, the stickers are a great and super cute idea. They are very tastefully done.
Stickers Resized
As for the terribly infamous Moleskine paper, well, it still holds true. It sucks with fountain pens, unfortunately. I scribbled with: Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa (purple), Noodler’s Heart of Darkness, J. Herbin Vert Olive, Noodler’s Green, Mont Blanc Carlo Collodi Brown, Noodler’s Apache Sunset, Noodler’s Navy, and Platinum Blue-Black. Most of these displayed bleed through, but at the very least, there was show through with R&K Scabiosa. Even gel ink pens show through. Best stick to ballpoints, unless you don’t care if there’s show through or bleeding!
Moleskine Paper Bleeding Resized
Price

European Paper - $8.97 On sale!

Overall

Although Moleskine has yet to release some planners with truly fountain pen friendly paper, especially for the price, I really like these planners. I think the layout is perfect for many uses, and I very much like the font and cleanliness. It’s a great planner as a gift for those you want to give a planner to but really don’t know what to pick! It works for both men, women, kids, or adults! (Unless they demand a Quo Vadis, of course...)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink

 This is a review of J. Herbin's Rouge Hematite 1670 Anniversary Ink.

J. Herbin Rouge Hematite 
J. Herbin Rouge Hematite Swatch
From J. Herbin:

Today, Herbin inks are widely used and internationally renowned. To celebrate the 340th Anniversary of our founding, we are introducing the "1670" ink especially made for this event.

With a dark red color and earthy tone, it is a reminder of the historic color of the Herbin logo and the sealing wax used by the members of the royal courts.

The sealing wax on the bottle is reminiscent of the Herbin wax used for the "grand cru" wines of France.

The design on the box represents the life of J. Herbin, a sailor. The ship, anchor and palm tree represent navigation and discovery. The crown is a reference to the red sealing wax color used in the royal courts of Europe.


My bottle of J. Herbin’s Rouge Hematite anniversary ink arrived from Goulet Pens a few weeks ago. I actually had not read any reviews of it so I didn’t really go into this with any expectations other than my positive experience with other J. Herbin inks. 

The packaging is very clean and pretty. The bottle is enclosed in a thick papered box with gold and red writing. Inside is a pamphlet with the history of J. Herbin. The 50 ml bottle itself is really awesome - tidy, defined corners, a red wax dipped cap, and 1670 stamped in the gold wax on the front, and a great view of the ink inside. In the bottle, this ink is a deep, glittery scarlet that is both majestic and elegant.

If you look under your bottle, you'll probably notice pigment does settle at the bottom of the bottle so give it a good shake to get that stuff mixed in before filling. Of course, this suggests the ink is very saturated, and it is!
IMG_1203
IMG_1207
See the settling? I think it looks so neat.
Good things:

Once it hits the paper, you’ll see right away how incredibly saturated it is. The ink is an intense scarlet, earthy red. When you shake the bottle to mix the pigment, it swirls around and looks creamy and incredible.

It has great flow and lubrication, very smooth even though it looks and feels so thick. It performs very well on premium paper; no feathering, bleed through or show through in the Rhodia Reverse Book. Not surprisingly, it has really wonderful shading. Warm, orange-red to deep scarlet, never with brown tones that is sometimes mixed in with reds. This ink produces beautiful shading!

In areas where the ink is saturated or pooled (such as in the swab), there’s a yellowish green-gold outline once the ink is dry. I think it’s neat. You can really see this if you’ve got a broad or flex nib. However, you might not like it if you’re particular about your red ink being only red.
J. Herbin scan Resized
Things to be aware of? Don’t leave it in an unused fountain pen too long. Within a few days, it starts drying and after a few weeks, it becomes thicker and gummier (when damp) and flakier (when dry). It's not waterproof though, so you can clean that nib up with a good washing. I make sure to flush my pen every time I use it with this ink, even if I'm refilling with it again.

It is also a slow drying ink. Even one tiny little line from the drying time sample took well over 30 seconds to dry. I am not usually concerned with drying times for inks though as when I’m working with fountain pens and inks, I am willing to be patient. Be aware that with this kind of saturation, there is the chance of smudging and printing. If you look at the previous scan of the writing sample, on the left side page, you can clearly see the right page printed on to it. I left it to dry for at least 20 minutes and was not using a particularly wet pen. So again, be aware that your work will have to dry, especially if you are using premium paper and/or wet pens.

Furthermore, it is not waterproof! And with so much color, it will mess up whatever wet objects touch it and they'll require cleaning, too. Or it'll just turn your writing into a red puddle.

The mouth of the bottle is fairly narrow so you may have to work from another container. I always work with my inks from a small tube (the ink vials from Goulet Pens) to avoid contamination or major spilling. 

IMG_1211
Nevertheless, imagine how awesome your holiday cards would look in this ink! All these "flaws" (if we want to even call them that) are minor to me compared to the enjoyment from using an attractive ink.

Other reviews you’ll like:

East...West...Everywhere! (I love her water resistance example! So funny!)
PenInkcillin
Dizzy Pen
Lady Dandelion

Price

Goulet Pens - $20.00
JetPens - $20.00
Writer's Bloc - $19.00
Pen Boutique - $20.00

Overall

This is a radiant, well-behaved ink - if you don't mind the long drying time and subsequent concerns of smudging. It is great to look at on paper, and it is beautiful in the bottle as well. It would look really suave sitting on your desk at work (or home). Despite the drying time (which is really not a big deal because I play with a wet noodle and other wet nibs and it doesn't bother me), I highly recommend you pick up this special edition before it's gone - it's gorgeous!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mailbox Goodies: Sandpiper Cat Blog & Three Dogz

A few weeks ago, I entered to win some Three Dogz goodies at Sandpiper Cat Blog! Being a bit of a cat lady, I was rather excited about this. A few days ago, we received our package from Rachel (thanks Rachel!!) and before I opened up the prizes individually, I had to do some pictures with the furballs here.
IMG_0120 Resized
The prize included: paw print tissue paper,  a cat lover mouse pad, a cat lover coaster, a cat lover pencil, and cat shaped paper clips. I mean, paper clips in shapes of cats?! This is not unlike my excitement over the Midori cat paperclips I reviewed a little while ago!

Without further ado...
IMG_0121 Resized
Koa purred for his pictures. He likes cat lover items!
IMG_0122 Resized
Fortunately, both Bengals were just waking up from a nap, otherwise they would have torn everything apart in a flurry of plastic and insanity.
IMG_0126 Resized
Tyco...well. It wouldn't matter if he was wide awake or asleep, he'd pose like this either way.
IMG_0139 Resized
Ellie just wanted to sit on everything and lick the paper tops.

Review: Uni-ball Signo Gel RT 0.7mm - Blue

This is a review of the Uni-ball Signo Gel RT 07.mm in blue.
IMG_0063 Resized
Features: (from Uni-ball)

- Gel ink is vivid and writes consistently smooth
- Smooth grip provides superior comfort and effortless control
- Exclusive pigment-based ink forms an indelible bond in paper, for intense coloration and document security
- Modern look, with metallic accents and stainless steel tip

This is yet another successful gel ink pen by Uni-ball! Le sigh. What a writer, this one is!

The plastic barrel is fairly simple, Uni-ball describes it as modern and I suppose it is. It has a silvery barrel and a clean, firm grip. Some people find the grip underwhelming but I am pleased with it. It’s not squishy but rather just provides a textured surface to hang on to so my fingers don’t slip around while I madly write (because this pen is a fast writer!). Plus, the barrel is a good width and fits perfectly in my hand. I love it. It just feels “right” when I pick it up. No complaints from me about its body.

However, the highlight of this pen to me, especially because the body is pretty classic and generic, is the fantastic ink. It’s a quick drying gel ink. The pens do write a little wet at first so although it’s quick drying, that doesn’t mean you should get in there and smear your hands across it right away. It still takes a few seconds to dry before you can mess around with it. The ink is also pigment-based and bonds with paper, rendering it safe against document alteration (Super Ink). It’s also got a fancy schmancy twin ball mechanism that prevents the ink from blobbing or leaking! And, for the green in you, it’s refillable.
IMG_0061 Resized
Sorry about the terrible yellow color.
As I complained about in the writing sample, I think Uni-ball could be outstanding if they added more colors to their lines. This pen is such an awesome, smooth, controlled writer and I can’t understand why it has to be limited to black, blue, and red! Come on, Uni-ball! Cotton candy pink... sunflower yellow... cornflower blue... It would be amazing. AMAZING!!!
IMG_0046 Resized
Price

Office Depot - $17.79/dozen ($1.48/each)
    (please note I disagree with the average customer rating on their site!)
Shoplet - $16.94/dozen ($1.41/each)

Overall

I hate buying pens in bulk... I always panic about what to do with a dozen pens but these are inky and delicious and are a great choice for work, note-taking at school, or doodling (in my case). I love drawing with this pen. Good price, comfortable and easy to write with, and it has great, bold ink.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Retro 51 Tornado - Natural Bamboo Rollerball Pen

This is a review of the Retro 51 Tornado - Natural Bamboo rollerball pen.
IMG_0026 Resized
From Retro 51:
With your purchase of a Bamboo Tornado™, Retro 1951 will make a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation to rescue 250 square feet of rain forest and the habitat it protects. The barrel of this Tornado is made from bamboo, a renewable resource, that is as beautiful as it is durable. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, conservation and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.
IMG_0015 Resized
I’ve seen Retro 51 pens before - the smooth, stylish lacquer bodies. I think they’re gorgeous. Magnificent, shiny colorsm and I’ve always wanted one. (Well. Not just one. I kind of want one of each color on here.) I just haven’t convinced myself to get one (or all muahaha) yet. I’m usually not a big sucker for expensive rollerballs/ballpoints. I usually figure, it’s just regular ink so it’s not really outstanding, unless it’s a really neat color (or scented or something). But I was attracted to this pen mainly because I am a huge sucker. Plain, normal pen? Meh. Put an engraved, adorable little panda face? I’LL TAKE IT! Not that this is a plain, normal pen to begin with. It’s bamboo and it’s really neat. However, in conclusion: I remain a sucker for rollerball/ballpoint pens after all.
IMG_0028 Resized
The pen comes in a cute little box with a pretty picture of ferns and forest on the front. The lower half of the box is like a bamboo type packaging that looks quite realistic. The pen is nestled inside a foam cut out with a green ribbon to tug it out of its nest.

The barrel is made from 100% solid bamboo. The striations on this pen are natural and beautiful. You might be thinking to yourself right now, “Ziza. Bamboo is from nature. I thought you cared about the environment, how could you?!” You’re right. I DO care about the environment! But bamboo is a super fast growing, renewable wood. And pens are my hedonistic treat. It’s not like I’m buying a giant house made of bamboo, right? This is a teeny tiny amount of bamboo!
IMG_0022 Resized
The cap, clip and tip have an antiqued metal finish which I really like. I find it far more appealing than chrome “paint” on pens. It gives the pen a warm - and yes, antique - look to it but not “old”. The clip is great, it can hold snug and snaps back with power. I love the texture of the twist mechanism. It’s like a bunch of tiny little pokey bits. I know. That doesn’t describe much at all, does it?

This baby is solid, tough, and feels like it will be able to withstand a million twists throughout its (hopefully lengthy) lifetime. And if that wasn’t cool enough, it also has “Retro 1951 Tornado” written in cool tornado-like writing. What the heck is tornado-like writing? I shall show you. Also notice the tiny little pokey bits on the twist mechanism!
IMG_0038 Resized

The ink is really nice. It’s very smooth, almost like a gel ink pen, and is solid black. It’s a little on the wet side but dries fairly fast. You may have noticed, wet inks and drying times don’t really bother me. I like smooth writing experiences and I’ll take what is necessary to get it. This pen is refillable of course, with Easy Flow 9000 refills. Rumor has it Parker and Monteverde refills fit in here, too. Scroll down to recommended refills to see for yourself!
IMG_0048 Resized
A review done on Field Notes says there’s a two-years cap off guarantee - leave that pen out for two years and it’ll keep on writing. I think this is fascinating. Although I object to a pen being abandoned for two years. I will not be testing this but it’s a neat quality, don’t ya think?

The pen is a suitable size for me. It’s not particularly large (approximately 5”). Like all Tornado pens, it does taper towards the tip. There is also no grip, which is a good thing as a grip would completely disrupt the smooth look of the bamboo! Either way, the ink is so easy flowing, it doesn’t need grip. I very much am pleased with the weight of the pen as well. I wrote extensively and did not experience abnormal hand fatigue (just the usual from writing extensively!).

And now. For the piece de resistance. TA-DA! A PANDA FACE! I’m so obsessed with this panda face. I was sold the second I saw it. They could have told me it was $100 and my third cat’s whiskers and I would have given it to them. (No cats were harmed in the making of this review.) I don’t know why I’m such a sucker, but I am. And the panda face was so cute I couldn’t help it. I need a good ballpoint to keep with my Filofax anyway, and ones with grip get stuck in the little pen loop that come attached to the Filofax so this was perfect.

Green folks, you might question whether your $40 would be better suited being donated to the Arbor Day Foundation directly instead of through a pen purchase, but cut yourself some slack. You like pens and you want to help the environment. Bamboo is a great renewable resource, and you can help save the rainforest! Don’t feel guilty. If you love pens and want to give yourself a treat, don’t feel bad about this one. You should have happiness, too.

Other reviews of this adorable pen:

Office Supply Geek
Field Notes

Price

Paradise Pen - $40.00
Fahrney’s Pens - $40.00
Goldspot - $38.80 (on sale right now!)

Overall

I love this pen. I’ve only had it for two days and I am in love with it. I love that I’m saving some rainforest WHILE enjoying a great looking, great writing, absolutely adorable panda pen. If there was one with a cat face on it, I would totally give my pen-and-cat-loving friends one.

For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, please click here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: Stainless Steel Sharpie Pen Fine - Black

This is a review of the Sharpie Stainless Steel Pen in black.
IMG_9926 Resized
Features (From Sharpie):

- The same bold, smooth, high-quality writing experience of the Sharpie marker with the performance of a pen that doesn’t bleed through paper
- Brushed stainless steel body for a premium writing experience you’ll love
- Soft grip for added writing comfort
- Refillable. Let yourself get permanently attached!

Many thanks to Jose for so generously sending me this pen to review! The sad reality is, I didn’t even realize Sharpie had made a stainless steel version of the pen. I know. I live under a rock. I was still stuck on the stainless steel marker that I hadn’t yet gotten the guts to purchase. (Not because it wasn’t worthy of $10, but because I already have like... a million Sharpies.)
IMG_9924 Resized
This Sharpie stainless steel pen is obviously the most luxurious Sharpie pen ever. It looks good, is nice to write with, and performs well.

The pen is aesthetically pleasing! It’s like a neat looking torpedo. I think. This is what torpedoes look like, right? I really like that Sharpie has improved the Sharpie pen to with this stainless steel body. The Sharpie logo is painted on the barrel but it seems to be well done and doesn’t appear it will chip off. Not too long ago, I was pining over my Sharpie pen because the body was all ruined from the barrel chipping. Therefore I am pleased that this barrel will look awesome forever. Or until you lose it. Or someone steals it.
IMG_9932 Resized
Note the scuffing on the old Sharpie pen. This one is in "good" condition. My other one is a mess. It has almost nothing left on the barrel. It's just grey.
The grip is quite nice. It tapers slightly towards the tip but is still wide enough to hold comfortably. It has a peculiar texture to it. It’s quite smooth but not entirely. I like the texture. It makes it feel a little less slimy. That doesn’t really make sense. I’m not saying smooth grip is slimy, it just makes me think it feels that way. ... Anyway. The grip is nice. It’s firm but still provides a nice cushion from the solid plastic underneath.
IMG_9928 Resized
The grip also appears to be part of the refill cartridge, which seems a bit funny to me. Nice in a way though, it means your grip will never get too icky to deal with. Yes, this means this pen is refillable. The ink cartridge simply unscrews and can be replaced.
IMG_9931 Resized
The pen feels centrally weighted and is very comfortable to write with. When posted, it is just as comfortable although slightly heavier on the back. Compared to the original Sharpie pen, I am very happy with the weighting because I found the plastic barrels to be overly light and took a lot of effort to get controlled writing. My OCD did object to the posting of the cap though - it is a little bit wobbly and I keep trying to post it evenly.
Sharpie Tippy Lid
As for the ink, it is nontoxic, virtually unscented (I really couldn’t detect a scent... a dog might be able to though), and is quick-drying so it’s smear proof. It is also waterproof and fade-resistant. It’s a great writing experience - the nib is a fine point and is very smooth. It’s like writing with velvet dipped in a clean, dry ink. The color is not a deep, intense black, but rather a very dark grey-black. AND! Unlike other Sharpies most normal people are familiar with (i.e. not pen freaks), the Sharpie pen ink does not bleed through paper. That’s correct. DOES NOT bleed! Hooray! Now you can use the Sharpie pen, in super style, at school and work, or wherever else you like to write. The nib holds up well to writing. I did manage to ruin one of mine but I was being pretty rough with it (trying to make lines on pieces of wood to indicate where to saw). But I’m pretty sure with normal writing, nibs won’t get destroyed.

On a crazier note, the cap clicks really nicely onto the pen body and for some unknown reason, I equate pen quality to how nicely a cap clicks onto the pen. Ergo, this pen is of good quality because it clicks loudly and snugly.

Other reviews that may interest you:

The Pen Addict
Office Supply Geek
Steven H

Price

Amazon - $4.74 (plus shipping, but apparently it can also be purchased at general stationery stores)

Overall

For the price, this is a pretty cool pen. It writes really well, it's comfortable, it’s refillable, and it just looks really neat! Of all the Sharpie pens so far, I think the stainless steel is their best one yet!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giveaway at Notebook Stories

I know. You can't believe your eyeballs. Another giveaway?! Yes. A chance to win something - it's a giveaway of Pocket Dept. notebooks! Click here to head over to Notebook Stories for instructions to enter!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shoplet Winter Craft Giveaway

Shoplet Winter Craft Giveaway
Shoplet Blog is having another awesome giveaway! You can be one of three winners to receive a huge winter crafts package. Click here to go to their page to enter!

Review: Rhodia Pad No. 11 Orange & Black

This is a review of the Rhodia Pad (Bloc) No. 11 orange and black.
IMG_1124 Resized
IMG_1128 Resized
Features (from Rhodia)

7.4 x 10.5 cm (2.9 x 4.1 in)
80 sheets
5/5 grid ruling
Made in France
Covers: Orange or Black

I’ve had this review ready to go for awhile but I threw in some pens to change up the reviews.

The Pad No. 11 comes with a scored front cover for easy folding and tucking back out of your way, micro perforated pages for tearing out, cardboard reinforced back cover for a more sturdy writing experience, and of course, the most important feature: superfine vellum 80 g paper (which is delectably smooth).

As with all Rhodia paper, this pad is very fountain pen-friendly and micro tip-friendly!
Rhodia Pad No. 11 Writing Samples
Rhodia Pad No. 11 Fountain Pens
I often struggle with grid rulings because I rarely, if ever, have an actual need for them. It’s difficult to write with micro tips over grid rulings because the lettering gets lost in the grid lines. Fortunately, with fountain pens, especially medium to broad nibs, I don’t notice the grid because the ink and letters outweigh the ruling. This leaves me wondering why I have so many notebooks with grid rulings... however, I am using them as of late to practice calligraphy and zentangles!
IMG_1123 Resized
Doodled with Pilot G-2 Navy Blue
If this size is not for you, Rhodia offers a wide range of pads that may accommodate your needs.
IMG_1130 Resized
Rhodia R Pad  No. 16 compared to Pad No. 11
I like to keep a Pad No. 11 in this Nomadic PN-91 Top Open Pencil Case. The light pink was on sale awhile back but the colors offered now are fun! In fact, the Pad No. 11 is the perfect size for tucking into almost any pencil case so you can always have some wicked paper on hand!

I haven’t reached the end of the pad yet, but it’s a little pad and I wonder how well it will fare for writing on when 3/4 of the pages are flipped back... But I’m sure if you are a person who actually tears out pages, you won’t have a problem! Perhaps I shall be adventurous and begin tearing out pages! Perhaps.
IMG_0190 Resized
Top to bottom: Rhodia Pad No. 11, Moleskine Hard Cover Blank, Rhodia Webnotebook, Ecosystem Journal
 Other reviews you may fancy:

A Penchant for Paper
Pens'n'Paper

Price:

Writer’s Bloc - $1.90
GouletPens - $2.00 (with quantity discounts!)

Overall:

Cheap, adorable, handy dandy little pads with the quality you expect of Rhodia! You can stick one in your purse, your pocket, your car... just about anywhere because they’re tiny and perfect for your convenience.

Please Share!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Creative Commons License
GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.gourmetpens.com.