Sunday, December 25, 2016

Northbound Notebook Review

I came across this notebook company earlier this month and really liked what I saw. Today I opened a present for Christmas and there was a Northbound Notebook for me to use. So allow me to share what I think about this new notebook.

Northbound Notebooks is based out of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. They have a simple business model and philosophy of using quality products from local sources and making the products by hand.  This notebook uses buffalo leather and it is hand cut and assembled.

What I really like is how a little bit of the profit from each notebook goes into a payout pool and the payout goes to someone that has a passion for creating, like an artist or artisan. I love how this company retains their roots and is wanting to help out others that share a creative passion.

On the website and with the notebook itself, Han Solo is mentioned and I am a huge Star Wars geek (I am wearing stormtrooper socks right now). Embracing the inner geek is always a plus with me.

This notebook is using brown buffalo leather in A5 size. The binding is rather unique here as it is refillable through the use of screws. How simple and smart is that idea? This is a refillable notebook and the user gets to decide how much paper to place inside.

The paper is A5 and is 80# and 100% recycled. Due to the weight of the paper here, it should be fountain pen friendly and it is. I used a variety of nib sizes and inks on the paper and this paper took it like a champ. There was a slight bleed through in 2 spots from very broad nibs and Diamine Deep Dark inks. These spots are very small and barely show through. I take that as a success.

Overall, I really like the design of this notebook. I like that it is refillable, sturdy and well made. I also like how flexible it is to help facilitate different writing situations and needs. That front cover can easily fold back and add some support to the writing surface, if need be. I really like the versatility here.

I love the notebook and I cannot wait to use it everyday. Today was a great day of testing this book out and I look forward to using it on a daily basis. A great gift to receive and I highly recommend this notebook to you. It is classy yet extremely functional plus you are helping out your fellow humans. I will definitely be purchasing more in the future.

This review is based off of my experiences and opinions. I do not represent Northbound Notebooks in any way nor am I being compensated.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pelikan Souveran M800 Fountain Pen Review

The grail has landed! This pen has been my grail pen for a good long time and I was finally able to make it happen. Was the wait worth it, oh yes!

There are times we place something up on a pedestal and when we finally are able to get that special something in our grasp, well, it did not live up to our expectations. That is not the case here. This Pelikan lived up to my expectations and surpassed them actually. I have always heard Pelikan placed into such high praise and regard. Now I understand why.

Green has always been a favorite color of mine and I do love how well green looks next to black. The body material on the barrel is transparent between the green lines so you can somewhat see the piston mechanism and ink inside. This is also the smoothest piston mechanism I have ever used.

The M800 is a good size pen which is wonderful for large handed people. The M800 is the first model in the Souveran line to have a metal based body which adds some nice weight to the entire pen, which I also prefer. The pen is classic in form and the overall look of the pen is very elegant. It is quite nice to actually see the iconic pelican billed clip in person as well as the Pelikan logo on the finial.

Now you may be asking or wondering, how does it write? well, it is a pen after all and let me describe the experience in a single word, butter. This nib is the smoothest nib I own, hands down, no exceptions. The line is made without any effort and I have not had a single hard start nor any skipping. The nib here is a medium and the M800 features a tow-toned 18kt gold #6 nib here. The Pelikan brand is German and this nib is a beautiful work of art.

The nib writes moderately wet, definitely not like some of the other German based nibs that are gushers. This medium is as expected from a medium and it puts down the right amount of ink.

I love this pen, but I think that might be obvious. Now let me tell you the best part readers in the United States. I purchased this pen from Cult Pens and they are located in the UK. Why? It was so much more affordable than what it sells for here in the US. Should I spend $600 or $360, yeah, a no brainer. I ordered this on a Thursday morning and it was in my hand Monday afternoon which is simply amazing. My experience with Cult Pens was very positive and I will order from them again.

If you ever get a chance to try one of these lovely writers, you will understand what I am saying. It is an amazing writing experience from a very elegant looking pen.

This review is based off of my own experiences and opinion. I do not represent Cult Pens nor Pelikan and I am not being compensated from either company in any way.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pilot Vanishing Point Review

The Pilot Vanishing Point pen is not new, by any means. This pen has been around and is quite functional in purpose with a clever design. This pen is a great starter for a gold nib and is a wonderful value for the price.

A capless fountain pen? What? Clever design here. It works like a ballpoint pen with a “clicky top” action to extend and retract the nib. There is a small door mechanism that closes when the nib is retracted to keep it from drying out. It is angled so when the nib is extending, the nib tip opens the door to allow the nib to come out and write. This design allows this pen to be a wonderful choice for the user who needs a quick note to be taken.

When I was first looking at the Vanishing Point, I was concerned about the clip design being an issue since it is part of the section. I could see it being an issue depending on how you grip the pen. For me, it does not get in the way and I don’t even notice it is there.

The pen unscrews from the mid-section, much like a ballpoint does and the nib unit looks much like a refill. It has a Pilot Con-50 converter included and that really is the only down side that I can see. The Con-50 holds a tad under 0.5mL of ink which is not a lot. Ink capacity is an issue here.

The nib is a 18kt gold nib which is amazing for the $148 price tag. Depending on the finish of the pen, the nib can come in gold, rhodium or a black coated finish on the nib. Additional nib units can be ordered separately, which I did so I could try out the Pilot stub nib. The Pilot 1.0mm stub is subtle in the line variation but is noticeable from the medium nib I purchased the pen with originally.

All in all, the pen is sleek, balanced and very functional as an everyday carry pen. Aside from the ink capacity, this pen is a solid purchase and great writing pen. Give it a try, you may love it as much as I do.

This review is based off of my experience and my opinion. I do not represent Pilot in any way nor am I being compensated in any way.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Twsbi Diamond 580 RB Edition Review

I have mentioned Twsbi on this blog before and I have 2 of their pens. After a surprise gift this morning, I now have 3 Twsbi pens and the new one I received is not seen often, so let’s have a look.

This is the Twsbi Diamond 580 RB edition. The RB, I believe, is for red/blue? As a demonstrator pen, the coloring makes it look red, white and blue which could evoke patriotism for both France and the US. When filled with ink, however, the red and blue is more prominent and are also colors on the Taiwan flag which is where the Twsbi company calls home.

To further drive the Taiwan theme, the sun from the Taiwanese flag is featured on the finial of the pen. The cap is red, the section is red and the knob on the end of the pen is blue.

As all of Twsbi’s pens, this is a piston filler based pen and for the price of $55 is a great value. The nibs are super buttery smooth as is this 1.5mm steel stub. It is a nice, juicy, wet nib with great line variation and so effortless to use.

The pen itself is light and well balanced. The RB edition is fun and I appreciate receiving it as a gift from a great friend. Twsbi makes wonder and affordable piston filling pens. If you haven’t already done so, give them a try.

This review is based off of my experience and opinion. I am not representing Twsbi nor being compensated in any way.