Friday, November 26, 2010

Sharpie Pen Medium

I bought these a couple of weeks ago on sale at Office Depot and finally got around to reviewing them. A little note I'd like to add in addition to my written review, is that it does indeed bleed through thinner paper despite what Sharpie says about it not bleeding through paper. However, I tried it on regular computer paper and it hardly bled through that. Just a word of caution in case you plan on using these pens on standard college ruled notebook paper, they will bleed through them. Still, they are very good pens, just a little too broad/wet for my liking. I prefer the fine tip version over these. They don't bleed through thinner paper as much, and they fit my writing style better. These would be great for writing addresses on envelopes or anything that would require not only bold writing, but permanence as well. As far as I am aware, they only come in the stick version, and do not come in the grip or retractable option.

Click the above scan to enlarge

To purchase the Sharpie Pen in Medium, click here

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pilot Plumix Fountain Pen Review

When I went on a late-night stroll to Target, I saw the Pilot Plumix fountain pen on the shelves. Thinking that I already have a Platinum Preppy with a medium nib, the Plumix might end up being redundant. However, I liked the style of the barrel, which looks like a clear, plastic desk pen. So, I splurged and spent $6.37 on the Pilot.
Pilot Plumix, disassembled
            When I got home and opened the package and uncapped the pen, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t have just an ordinary medium nib. It had a medium italic nib! I had been wanting to try one for a while, so I was very pleased with my choice. Nowhere on the package did it say that it had an italic nib. It simply stated “Real Fountain Pen!” along with “Blue Ink, Medium Nib” and “Fine Writing” at the bottom of the package.
Pilot Plumix, Capped
            The pen is available in the following barrel colors: black, light blue, and purple. I opted for the black/clear barrel. The pen’s cap has little “wings” on it to prevent it from rolling around since it lacks a pocket clip.
            All barrel colors come standard with a blue Pilot cartridge, but I opted to use one of my black Pilot cartridges I had lying around instead. As far as I know, the Plumix sold in the U.S. can only use Pilot’s proprietary cartridges and cannot use international cartridges. However, I believe there are some sold overseas that can use international cartridges. One nice feature about the Plumix is that it can be turned into an eyedropper pen without much trouble. Just make sure yours doesn’t have a hole on the end of the barrel before filling it! I’ve heard it can be a 50/50 shot of having one with a hole or not. It can also use one of Pilot's converters, such as the CON-20 or the larger CON-50.
Pilot Plumix Italic Medium Nib
            I have been testing this pen extensively since I purchased it, and I have fallen in love with the italic nib. It makes my ordinarily bad cursive writing look amazing (to me, at least). However, there is one minor annoyance I have with the barrel design. It bulges slightly in the middle and causes my hand to hurt a little after a while. Usually though, this is just reminding me that I am gripping the barrel too tight and I need to relax my hand and just let the pen do the work.
            The nib on the Plumix is interchangeable with the nib on the Pilot 78g, however I don’t think I will be switching them because the 78g’s nib is gold plated, whereas the Plumix’s nib isn’t gold colored. If it was gold colored, I would probably make the switch on one of my 78gs.
            In conclusion, the Pilot Plumix is an excellent pen for the price, especially with its fantastic italic nib. Even if you already have a Preppy or a 78g (my other two favorite <$10 pens), those do not come with an italic option. Definitely put this pen on your list, especially if you’ve been wanting to try an italic nib. If you don't have a Target store nearby, you can also purchase it on Amazon: here.

From the back of the package:
-Advanced Ink Feed System for smooth writing
-Visible, long-lasting ink supply
-Available in Black, Light Blue and Purple barrel colors with Blue Ink
-Refillable-Use Pilot Ink cartridge UIC50BLU-K

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I will return shortly!

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late. I have been very busy with the job-search situation and had to put my pen buying on hold. I did splurge and buy myself a Pilot Plumix and also have a few other newer items I'd like to review, so stay tuned. I'll try to make another post before the end of the week reviewing the Plumix or another pen. :)

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pentel Champ Review

I've been hard at work for the past month or so on a guest review of the Pentel Champ at Dave's Mechanical Pencils.

Head on over to see my guest review of the Pentel Champ pencil here :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vintage Fountain Pens Restored + New Pilot 78G

If you've been following my blog these past few months, you'd see that just a little while ago I acquired two vintage fountain pens from the 1920s. They were found in the garage while my dad was cleaning it out. I believe they may have been from a great grandparent of mine, but I am not positive. One is a Moore Tuscan L-93, in excellent condition and the other is a Black/Red Yankee, which is in good condition and missing the screw-on end piece for the cap. I had them restored by Phil Munson of Munson Fountain Pen Restoration. He did a fantastic job in allowing these pens to write again, over 80 years later. I highly recommend checking out his blog for an in-depth post about these particular pens he restored for me.

Here are some pictures that Phil took showing the process, before and after.

First, the Yankee fountain pen:

Yankee Fountain Pen, Before Restoration

Yankee Fountain Pen, After Restoration, Posted

Yankee Fountain Pen, After Restoration, Capped

And now, the Moore Tuscan L-93:

Moore Tuscan L-93, Before Restoration
Moore Tuscan L-93, After Restoration, Posted
Moore Tuscan L-93, After Restoration, Capped

And now for the second half of my post, I will show writing samples of the above two pens and also highlight my new Pilot 78G (IMO, currently one of the best values in fountain pens on the market today). When I had the Moore and Yankee restored, I wanted to use Waterman Florida Blue in one, and Noodler's Bulletproof Black in the other. I was hesitant to use the modern Noodler's in an old pen, so I broke down and bought a more modern pen to use it with, a black/gold Pilot 78G. I ordered it from Stationery Art for just under $10 shipped, with a gold-plated fine nib. I read stories where people were claiming that the fine Pilot nib was actually the equivalent of an extra-fine, so I was expecting a scratchy nib like the extra-fine Moore Tuscan. Worrying I ordered the wrong pen and wouldn't enjoy another scratchy extra-fine nib, I ordered another one with a green barrel and a medium nib. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the one with the fine nib however, and inked it with Noodler's Bulletproof Black. It writes more smoothly than both of my vintage pens, and it looks great. It wasn't as extremely fine as I had expected, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm hoping the medium nib version will write more like my Yankee, which is the perfect size in my opinion.

Pilot 78G, Black/Gold Trim, Posted

If you notice in the first picture, the Pilot 78G looks and feels a lot more expensive than it really is. I would have expected to pay at least 5x as much as I paid for it. It truly is a bargain. The only thing I don't care for is the cheap-looking sticker on it, that is off-centered and says "Pilot, -F-" although I'll probably leave it on, for collecting purposes. You will also notice the bit of nib-crawl, which is characteristic of Noodler's Bulletproof Black inks.

And finally, the writing samples in a Moleskine sketchbook:

You may not be able to tell, but these actually improve my hand-writing!
*note* I just recently started practicing cursive again, I hadn't used it since elementary school!
Lastly, how do the two vintage pens write? The Moore Tuscan is probably the equivalent of an extra-fine, and uses the Maniflex nib. The Yankee pen writes fantastic, but it suffers from hard-starting and initial inconsistencies due to the missing cap piece allowing the nib to dry out between uses. I'm using Waterman Florida Blue in both, a superb ink that plays well with vintage fountain pens. As I mentioned above, I'm using Noodler's Bulletproof Black in the Pilot 78G. If you're in the market for a fountain pen, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg, definitely do yourself a favor and pick up one (or more) of the Pilot 78G pens. They're fantastic. A special thanks again to Phil @ Munson Fountain Pen Restoration for restoring my vintage fountain pens.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)