Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Midori MD Notebooks

I love a nice notebook and I really do love Midori based products as I do have a Midori Travelers Notebook before it became just the Travelers Notebook. As a fountain pen user, it can be interesting as well as challenging to find a notebook that meets different nib widths and inks without issue. This Japanese offering excels at all of it.

This notebook is only A5 based sizing. It comes in either blank, lined or graph based styles and since I prefer the grid/graph style, that is what I purchased.
This is a great minimalist notebook as branding and coloring goes. There is an embossed MD Notebooks on the right center side of the cover but I could not get it to photograph. Otherwise, it is a plain notebook on the outside but the real fun is the paper on the inside.

This has 192 pages of off-white colored paper that feels nice to the touch but not silky smooth like Rhodia does since this paper does not have a ceramic based coating. This paper is lovely to use and write on. It handled all my nib widths up to 1.5mm and I even took a brush to it with some ink. It took a bit to dry, which is expected with fountain pen friendly paper but astonishingly, there was no bleed through.

Sheen and shading are present on this high-quality paper, much like the Japanese voodoo paper known as Tomoe River but this is more substantial in the hand. When writing, it has some feedback to the paper on the nib but it really isn’t to the point where it is a deterrent. I generally am not a fan of feedback but I have noticed that this is the only notebook I have been using this month. I am choosing to use this book over my Clairefontaine and Leuchtturm books. That is saying something.

The binding on the book is interesting. I read that it was glued in place but when I open mine, I do see stitching so I am inclined to say this is sewn together. What is different, however, is this linen-like mesh that is on the exterior of the binding. Usually this is hidden but it is out in the open on these books. I believe it is there for added strength and support. The book has no issue with lying flat on my table and the binding has had no issues.

There are also these dots that appear every 10 lines in the margins here. I am assuming these are for easy measuring for bullet journaling and that sort of application which is different but not distracting. 

It is a great notebook. I purchased this from Amazon for approx $9.50 and I have seen it elsewhere for approx $13 which is still a nice value for the price. Try one out. 

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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sailor 1911 Large - My First Sailor Pen

Sailor pens are well known in the pen community and I have heard many great things about these pens. An opportunity came about where I was able to get a used Sailor 1911 Large and couldn't argue about the asking price. Well, here we are and let's take a look.

This Sailor is a glossy black with rhodium trim. The 1911 model is in the traditional cigar based shape which I see a lot of in Japanese pens. This is a fairly light pen as it is made out of resin. The nib on the 1911 is a 14k gold nib on the standard size and the large size features a 21k gold nib.

Sailor is known for having a wide array of different nib types. This particular pen has a H-B nib which is a hard broad. Being a Japanese pen, nib widths typically are a size below their western counterparts. What I found interesting here is the Sailor H-B is smaller in width than a Pilot B and a Platinum B nib. All three of these are Japanese broad nibs and the Sailor is the narrowest of the three.

The writing is super smooth, which is exactly what I had heard with Sailor pens and it is a pleasure to write with. The nib is very hard and does not offer any line variation which is just fine. I have a feeling that this is the reason for the narrow B line as the Pilot and Platinum are both springy when writing.

The type of paper used is also a factor in the Sailor line width. The top picture is Tomoe River paper and the bottom is the Midori MD notebook. The Midori MD paper really causes the line width of this pen to be rather more of a fine nib. It is quite fascinating.

For comparison, the Sailor 1911 L is the same size as the Platinum 3776 for the most part. The end of the Sailor has more of an extended taper than the 3776 but ultimately the pen.

All in all, I like the Sailor 1911 L pen but I would not pay retail for it. The large edition is approx $268 here in the U.S. and I was able to get this used for $145. It had been inked once and the owner didn't care for the B nib. It is a great pen for the price I paid but I would have been disappointed had I paid full price. I don't see the benefits of the higher price tag.

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