Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yankee Pen Review

Back when I first started getting into fountain pens a little over a year ago, I had a Yankee that my dad found in the garage restored. Sadly, I was never able to use it much because of the fact that the little plug that went on the end of the cap was missing. Thus, it would always dry out between uses and became a chore. I loved the pen, and really wanted to be able to use it again so I had a little plug fabricated for it. I am now able to use it more without it drying out, so I thought I would do a short review of it. I apologize that you can see through the paper -- I wrote one of my other reviews on it thinking it wouldn't show through, but it does.

Here is my original post on this pen:
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Yankee pen - Freshly restored, no endcap

Yankee pen -- With new endcap

Yankee pen - Disassembled before restoration
Yankee pen - Freshly restored, posted without endcap
-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Purple Ink Comparison

Here is a short comparison of some fairly similar purple/lavender inks.

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- Derek (ThirdeYe)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Noodler's Purple Heart - Fountain Pen Ink Review

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I have to apologize that my scanner didn't seem to capture the color correctly. It's dark, but not as dark as my scan shows. The scan makes it seem black, but it's actually a rich, dark purple. The two other colors at the bottom right also aren't as dark as they seem. I tried to color correct it but I couldn't get it to come out right, so I left it as-is.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sailor Jentle Apricot - Fountain Pen Ink Review

Hello readers! Sorry for the delay between my last real post and this one. I had to cut this review a little short as I was running out of ink towards the end. I like to change ink colors so often that I didn't want to refill the same color twice. I think this scan will still give a good representation of the ink. Enjoy!

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-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm Still Alive!

Hello readers,

I just wanted to post an update since I haven't posted in a while... some of you may have assumed that I had died in the meantime. I've been very busy with work and haven't had much free time lately. I assure you that I will keep this blog going, even if it takes me a while to post. My next review/post is likely to be the stainless steel Sheaffer 100 fountain pen that I bought and have been using extensively at work. Stay tuned! Hopefully I can have it up within the next few weeks.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Noodler's Dragon's Napalm Ink Review

Here is a small review of Noodler's Dragon's Napalm ink. Enjoy! :)

Please note that the scan makes the ink look darker than it really is. It's actually a bit lighter, with a tinge of orange (especially noticeable when using a dry nib).

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To purchase Noodler's Dragon's Napalm: Click Here

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sheaffer 300 Fountain Pen Review

I've been looking at the Sheaffer 300 fountain pen since it was announced a while ago, but it was very difficult to find at first. I could find the pencil/ballpoint, but the fountain pen was almost non-existent. I saw that it was finally more available so I decided to buy one on Amazon for around $35 shipped. The price seems to have changed as of the time of writing this, but I would still pay up to $50 for it, IMO.

The first thing I noticed about the pen was how heavy it was. It is very likely my heaviest pen that I own. It appears to be made of steel with a black lacquer coating. The cap clicks on smoothly and effortlessly. I like that in a pen, as I can remove the cap quickly if I need to jot down some notes quickly. The pen is also quite large, something that isn't really noticeable in pictures. I took a picture comparing it to some of my other pens so that you can get a better idea of the size of this pen.

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Pictured from top to bottom: Esterbrook Dollar Pen, Parker "51", Waterman Phileas, Lamy Safari, Sheaffer 300, TWSBI Diamond 530. As you can see, it is about the same size as the TWSBI Diamond 530, which is already a very large pen. However, it is a little more slim than the 530.

I was initially turned off by the fact that it was built in China. All of my other Sheaffer pens were made in Fort Madison, IA. Being that I got it for such as reasonable price, I decided to take a risk and give it a shot. The pictures don't really do the pen justice, it's quite a looker IMO.

The clip has the traditional white dot, and the word "Sheaffer" is etched into the steel band on the cap. It comes in a nice gift box with 2 cartridges (one blue, one black) and a twist-converter. For a pen this price, I was pleasantly surprised that it came with a converter I once spent over $10 on.

The nib is one of the best parts of the pen. It is one of the smoothest nibs I own, and has never given me an issue of hard-starting or skipping. It writes fairly broad for being a medium nib, but I like it anyways. The pen is comfortable to hold, but it gets a little heavy for longer writing sessions and tends to fatigue my hand a little bit after a few paragraphs. That might just be due to the way I hold my pens, however.

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I do not normally post my pens so I do not have an in-depth analysis of the weighting of it posted vs. non-posted, but it does make the pen feel even heavier yet when posted. It clicks onto the end of the barrel with a nice click, so you know it isn't destroying the lacquer barrel by simply slipping onto the end of the barrel and scratching it up.

In conclusion, this is one of the better modern pens I've used, and for the price I highly recommend it. If you like larger, weightier pens this will be right up your alley. Smooth and reliable, don't let the fact that it is made in China deter you like it originally did me, as I do not regret buying it at all. A pleasure to use.

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To purchase the Sheaffer 300 fountain pen: Sheaffer Gift Collection 2 (300) Fountain Pen, Chrome Trim, Glossy Black (SH/9312-0)

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Note: Coming soon, I'm going to be making a post about the pens I use at work on a daily basis. I always like seeing what people actually use from day-to-day, so I thought it would be somewhat entertaining. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

I've purchased or acquired some new things in the past few weeks and thought I'd share them with you.

Pictured above are a Pentel Quicker Clicker 0.7, 2 Pentel Rolling Writer R100s, a TWSBI Diamond 530 with a medium nib, a NOS Sheaffer Imperial III "C" with a fine nib, a Hero (886?), a Sheaffer NoNonsense with medium nib, the new 2011 Aquamarine Lamy Safari with fine nib, a Cross Aventura with medium nib, and on the far right, a Fuliwen (2012?). I cannot find any information on the Chinese pens aside from the numbers with question marks by them, which were found on the pens themselves. If anyone has any more information on them I'd greatly appreciate it.

2 Pilot BeGreen Rexgrips, a Pentel Sharplet-2 0.7mm, a vintage Swingline Cub stapler, some older Swingline staples, and a package of Bic Student's Choice Mechanical Pencils with 0.9mm lead.

I was thinking of reviewing one of these items I recently got, does anyone have any suggestions? I was considering maybe the Cross Aventura, but I'm open to suggestions. :)

For my previous review of the Pentel Sharplet-2, click here: Pentel Sharplet-2 0.9mm Review

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sheaffer Sentinel Ballpoint Pen Review

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

I finally found a job, which is why my posting has slowed down as of late. This time it's not so much the lack of funds, it's now the lack of time. :) But while on vacation, I bought some pens and reviewed one of them while staying in the cabin.

The paper used was a Moleskine Sketchbook. The pen isn't actually purple as the picture may suggest. My battery died in my digital camera so I had to use my cell phone to take the picture of the pen, which kind of screws up the colors.


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-Derek (ThirdeYe)

To purchase the Sentinel, click here: Sheaffer Sentinel Ball Pen, Blue Resin Barrel with Chrome Cap (SH/321-2BE)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Noodler's Manjiro Nakahama (Whaleman's Sepia) Review Update

Because I was experiencing flow issues with the Whaleman's Sepia in my Plumix, I decided to put it in a Preppy 05 and use it for a week or so and see how it went. Note, in the scan the ink looks black but in real life it's more brownish. Love the color... but the flow is pretty bad. I'd only recommend it in very wet writers.

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-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mini Comparison: Noodler's Lexington Gray and Noodler's Manjiro Nakahama (Whaleman's Sepia)

As per request, here is a small comparison of Noodler's Lexington Gray and Noodler's Manjiro Nakahama. Note: In my Plumix the Whaleman's Sepia seems dry, but it could just be the pen being fairly dry itself. I'll post an update when I try it in another pen. I should also note that the scan of Lexington Gray shows up darker than it really is. It's actually quite light, like the color of an H or 2H pencil.

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To purchase Lexington Gray: Noodler's Bulletproof Lexington Gray Fountain Pen Ink

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Noodler's Manjiro Nakahama (Whaleman's Sepia) First Impressions Review

A few of my pens ran out of ink, so I felt compelled to ink a pen this morning. I decided to use an ink that I haven't tried before, and thought I'd do something different this time around. Instead of doing a thorough review, I decided to do a "first impressions" instead. I got the idea from the Goulet's "Ink Nouveau" and liked it (hopefully they won't mind).

I had a penpal use this ink in a letter to me a while back and it turned out red. I was puzzled, because from reviews I've seen, it looked more like a dark gray with a small hint of brown. In my review, I found it more towards the latter. I know that according to Nathan (of Noodler's fame) it's supposed to turn red when exposed to bleach, but I don't believe my penpal did that. 

Anyways, here's the "review":
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This ink is available exclusively through Goulet Pens. I received this as a 2ml sample from their Ink Drop a few months back. I paid for the ink myself, and am not endorsed by or affiliated with them in any way.

This ink was difficult to scan, and it didn't really turn out as well as it looks in person. In person, it looks more like a grayish brown (like as I mentioned, a vintage document with faded black ink). In the scan, it just looks dark gray. 

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lack of Posts

I apologize for the lack of posts, but I've been spending most of my free time looking for jobs rather than posting. When I'm able to find a better job, I'll be able to provide better reviews and better giveaways. If anyone has any jobs leads or advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm definitely not giving up on the blog though, and I hope I'll be able to have another review up sometime soon. Thanks for your patience.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Noodler's Burma Road Brown - Fountain Pen Ink Review

I just got a bottle of this ink and I really like it. I figured it would be perfectly suited to my 1940s Parker Vacumatic, being that this is a replica of inks used during that time period (Noodler's V-Mail series). From what I understand, it isn't a replica of V-Mail ink, but just of inks of that vintage. I tested it on a number of papers with varying results. It also doesn't like to flow very well in my Vacumatic, at least compared to the Quink Blue-Black I had in it previously. It takes a while to get it started, whereas the Quink Blue-Black started immediately. I have to shake the pen to get it going, and once it gets going it's fine. I'm not sure what to make of that, and I'll do further testing after the review and update this with my findings when I do find something out.

Note: The scans show the ink darker than it shows up in real life. In real life it's a little less dark and shows more shading than the scans show.

Here is the written review on Rhodia paper: 
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Here is the continuation on Staples Sustainable Earth Sugarcane Bagasse paper:
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And here is the review finale on 20lb. copy paper:
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Close-up Sample (still a little darker than it is in real life):
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My conclusion in a nutshell is that this is a great looking ink with some bulletproof capabilities. It is not completely waterproof/eternal, but it holds up well after being run under the tap and soaked for a while. It leaves behind the writing in gray (the bulletproof component of the ink) but some of the brown washes away. I would be completely gung-ho about this ink if it wasn't for the slight issue of it starting hard in my Vacumatic. It might just be the pen though, and I will update this in the future with my findings after I either try it in a different pen, or try a different ink in my pen. 

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Giveaway 2011 Winners

Out of the 4 entrants I had, two winners emerged. The first winner, according to, is Alex of Economy Pens. The second lucky winner is... Arisu. Both winners will be notified by e-mail. If I do not get a reply within 48 hours, I will offer the items to the next person according to Thanks everyone for playing, and I'm sure there will be more giveaways in the future if you weren't a winner this time.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Derek's Office Supply Giveaway - Spring 2011

Spring is here and the weather has been getting nicer. Therefore, my giveaways should be getting nicer as well. This time I have multiple items up for grabs. This also includes some of the items I have reviewed recently. I should also note that all of these items are brand new and unused. The Sharpie Accent highlighters I found to be very good at highlighting text in those shiny paged textbooks back in college. The Pentel Twist-Erase pencils are really cool, the eraser extends by twisting the back of the pencil. I measured the eraser and it's over an inch long.

Two lucky winners will receive:

  • 1 Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip (Green)
  • 1 Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip (Black)
  • 1 Sharpie Accent Liquid Highlighter (Yellow)
  • 1 Pentel Twist-Erase QE407 0.7mm Pencil (Dark Blue Barrel)
  • 1 Uni-Ball Onyx Micro (Black)

The rules/conditions are the same as last time. You must be a follower of my blog to be eligible to enter (It's fine if you just started following after reading this). This contest is open to anyone in the United States & Canada, due to a lack of funds for overseas shipping. The contest will end on April 18th, 2011 at 11:59PM EST. If anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me at thethirdeye at gmail dot com. To enter, please send me an e-mail this time around so that I can have a valid e-mail address for you without you having to post it here for the world to see. :) I will reply to your e-mails to confirm your entry. Thanks everyone, and good luck!

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bic Cristal Gel Giveaway -- Results

For this giveaway I used the random number generator on, with the three entrants numbered in order of receipt.

And the lucky winner is...

George! Congratulations. You will be contacted by e-mail.

Sorry for those of you that didn't win, but don't be discouraged... I'll have another giveaway up shortly :)

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3/30 - National Pencil Day!

Tomorrow (March 30th) is National Pencil Day. I am curious what my readers will be using. :) I thought I'd also turn this into a poll of sorts... what are your favorite pencils? I'll have to give my rotation of my favorite pencils a workout.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Bic Cristal Gel Giveaway Announcement

For the first giveaway on my blog, I will be giving away some of the pens I used in my recent "reasonable" reviews. First up is the Bic Cristal Gel. I will be giving away a black Bic Cristal Gel Stick (capped) and a blue Bic Cristal Clic Gel to one lucky winner. Link to the review: here. I will ship to either the U.S. or Canada. One entry per person.

One stipulation... In order to be eligible for this contest, you must be a follower of my blog. To enter, please post below with your e-mail address that I can contact you if you happen to be the lucky winner.

Edit: I have made an addendum to the rules... you have to be a follower of my blog, but you are still eligible even if you just joined.

The contest deadline is April 3rd at 11:59PM EST.

Thanks everyone, and good luck! If you have any questions, please post them here.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bic Cristal Bold 1.6mm Review

I apologize for the delay since my last review. I had intended to review Noodler's Kung Te-Cheng but the pen I was trying to use with it wasn't cooperating. I decided not to post the review, because I don't think it ended up being a fair representation of the ink. I will try it in another pen and hopefully have a review up in a week's time or less.

Anyways, here is a review of the Bic Cristal Bold 1.6mm. These are fairly unusual Bic pens that are a pleasure to write with. Very smooth, and consistent.

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For some reason in the above picture, the cap on the blue pen came out looking almost like a neon blue. It is not that bright in real life, the cap is actually a dark blue. 

If you are interested in ordering the Cristal Bold, I have found that Amazon carries them as well:

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip Review

Here is the continuation of my ongoing Reasonable Office Supplies review series. Most everybody has seen the Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip at one time or another, and I figured such a utilitarian tool was worthy of a review. I purchased some on sale at Walgreens a few months ago and also from Staples in packs of 12.

Here is the written review:

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To purchase the Bic Ultra Round Stic Grip, click here: BIC Ultra Round Stic Grip

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pentel Sharp Kerry 0.5mm Pencil Mini-Review

I received this pencil from Dave over at Dave's Mechanical Pencils as part of his "Dave Turns Five Giveaway" I was so excited to receive this pencil. It's my first Sharp Kerry and I had been wanting one for a long time. I am very pleased with the pencil, and have written-up a mini-review of it.

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Thanks again Dave! Here's to another 5 years of blogging.

Stay tuned for another installment in my reasonable office supplies series, hopefully sometime this week.

If you are interested in purchasing the Sharp Kerry, it is for sale on Amazon in 0.5mm and 0.7mm.
Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil, 0.50 mm
Pentel Sharp Kerry Mechanical Pencil, 0.70 mm

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pilot Precise V5 and Pilot Precise Grip Review

Here is the next in my series of Reasonable Office Supplies reviews. In particular, I concentrated on the V5 version of the Pilot Precise. They also make a V7. Without further ado, here is the scan of my hand-written two-part review:

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Part 2: Click to Enlarge

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These pens come in a myriad of colors and while I have read a lot of praise for these pens, to me they are just so-so. The writing experience is fairly smooth with the V5, but I cannot recomment the Grip version due to the scratchiness and occasional skipping. If you want to go for the Precise, go for the V5.

To purchase the Pilot Precise V5 on Amazon, click here.

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bic Cristal Gel and Cristal Clic Gel Review

Sorry for the delay in posts. Here is a review of the Bic Cristal Gel (stick version) and the Bic Cristal Clic Gel pens.

This is the first post in my "Reasonable Office Supplies" series. In the upcoming weeks I will be reviewing typical pens/pencils that you would see in a typical business environment. Tentatively, I have planned reviews for the Uni-Ball Onyx Micro, Uni-Ball Vision Elite, Pilot G2/G-Knock, Uni-Ball Jetstream, and the typical Papermate/Bic ballpoints. That is subject to change, of course. I will also take recommendations from readers if they want to see a particular pen/pencil reviewed, that I already have or can get for a reasonable price.

After my series of reviews, I will be doing a giveaway of some of the products I am reviewing. Stay tuned!

Without further ado, here is my written review of the Bic Cristal Gel and Bic Cristal Clic Gel.

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If you are interested in purchasing the Bic Cristal Gel, it can be purchased on Amazon here: BIC Cristal Clic Gel Pen or here: 7 Pack Blue Cristal Gel Roller Pen

-Derek (ThirdeYe)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Zebra F-301 Compact Ballpoint Pen Review

Here is a review of a convenient pen I purchased a few months ago at Meijer. This is one of my go-to pens that I keep in my pocket along with my change & keys. It shows some scratches from the "abuse" it takes, but it's a good pen to have on-the-go. I wrote this review about a month ago but never got around to posting it. :)

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Below is a size comparison of the F-301 (top) with the following, from top to bottom, Zebra Z-Grip, Zebra Z-Grip Max, Zebra Ola.

The Zebra F-301 Compact is available from Amazon here

-Derek (ThirdeYe)