Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set

Issey from Ishuja contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing the Eco-Essential pen and pencil set not too long ago. I figured, well yes! Bamboo body, Hi-Tec-C refill, and a pencil? Don't mind if I do. Thanks, Issey!
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
ABOUT

Body Material: Bamboo & Aluminum
Pen Price: $55.00USD
Pencil Price: $50.00USD
Where to buy: Ishuja

PACKAGING

The Eco-Essential pen and pencil gift set arrived in a lack cardboard box with a partial white sleeve. The pen and pencil are held in place in a cardboard sleeve. I really like that all the packaging is recyclable. Beneath the pen and pencil, there is a Pilot Hi-Tec-C refill, a Pilot G2 refill with the necessary spring, two flat spacers that can replace the stylus nubs, and two sheets of colour identification rings.
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
APPEARANCE
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
The Eco-Essential pen and pencils are very modern and elegant. The whole instrument is sleek, the cap flush with the barrel, the end and tip a perfect complement to the rest of utensil. The barrels are smooth bamboo, overall light with darker streaks. The caps, tips (excluding stylus), and ends are a lovely aluminum. Together, the aluminum and bamboo look great together. Both pen and pencil arrived with a stylus nib installed on top the cap. The tips of both the pen and pencil are aluminum as well. When posted, the alternating alumnium - bamboo - aluminum motif is pretty slick.
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
I love the colour identifying rings.
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
PERFORMANCE
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set

Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
Both the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and Pilot G2 refill performed well - flowing smoothly and consistently. My issue with the performance came down to the comfort of the pen (and the pencil, too). It's a gorgeous design but physically, it just wasn't the right design for me so I had issues with it. The section is short and blunt so when using the pen or pencil unposted, the body feels extra short, too. Since the section is short and starts quite high up, my grip was higher up than usual, throwing off the weight and balance of the pen. I couldn't hold the tip tightly and the rest of my hand compensated for this. However, when posted, the weight was more comfortable, as well as the length, but not for the proper grip. For extended writing sessions, I couldn't find a comfortable grip.
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
Unposted, the pencil is nice to use though because the length makes it easy for me to reach up and advance the lead. Longer pencils are a pain because I can't reach the top to advance the lead.

IN HAND

While the pen refills and the pencil performed well, I had a hard time finding a comfortable grip on the pen itself. The pen felt so light in my hand and the balance just didn't feel right. The same goes for the pencil as it is the same body. Unposted, the body is too short, and posted, while the weight and length felt more comfortable, the balance didn't feel right to me, so I still couldn't use it in either case for extended writing sessions. Usually a light writing utensil means a more comfortable writing experience but the blunt tip and short barrel combined was uncomfortable for me.

Neither the pen or pencil have a clip - this may be a pro or con for you, so I cannot place it in either section. Personally, I like that it has no clip. I think that would throw off the sleek look.

PROS
  • Eco-friendly, whereas hardwoods are not, as bamboo reaches maturity faster, and once harvested, grows again.
  • Very attractive design.
  • Nicely finished; put together very well.
  • You can remove the stylus tip and replace with the flat bit if you don't want to use the stylus. 
  • Color-identifying rings included (which is good, because they're hard to tell apart otherwise).
  • Neither gel ink refill rattles in the barrel of the pen. 
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
Replacement tip for the stylus. Yes. I know it's upside down. 
Review: Now n Then Eco-Essential Pen & Pencil Set
One stylus tip, one flat tip. 
CONS
  • Posting the cap is frustrating because the threads don't automatically align.
  • Posting the pencil covers the knock, which means you cannot advance the lead while writing.
  • Short, blunt section.
OVERALL

I cannot argue with the quality, build, and beauty of this pen and pencil set. They are very pretty, and I think it's worth it to pay a premium for attractive goods. These just don't work for me though. I couldn't get comfortable using them. That doesn't mean I'm not able to recommend them to others based on their quality and aesthetics; just be aware of the section and barrel length. If you plan to post, the pencil is out of the question because you can't advance the lead. Bummer.

I received this pen and pencil set free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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