More Than Just Pens

Washi Tape from JetPens

Sometimes I forget there’s more to JetPens than just pens. I recently went on a hunt for some cool non-pen goodies on Jet Pens. First, Jet Pens is now stocking an assortment of washi tape. I got a roll of MT red cross tape  ($4) and a roll of Pine Book Nami Nami deco tape which has keys and locks printed on it and a wavy edge ($3.65).

MT is THE original brand of washi tape and the best quality by far. The printing on the tape is always very good and its stickier than some of the other brands. I do hope that Jet Pens continues to stock the MT tapes and offers a wider selection of prints and sizes in the future. Those $3 and $4 rolls are a great way to bump up to that free shipping and great for adding a little color to your workspace, notebooks and letters.

Kurochiku Japanese Pattern Eco-Bags Sugar Candy

I also decided to try out the Kurochiku Japanese Pattern Eco-Bag ($10). There were about a dozen different patterns to choose from but I chose the simplest which was navy blue with colored dots on it. The pattern is Konpeitou which translated to “Sugar Candy”. I guess the dots do look like little candies.

This is one of those reusable shopping bags that fold up into a small carrying case. The carrying case was pretty heavy duty with the same fabric as the bag with a padded lining. The actual bag is shaped like a traditional tote bag (a big rectangle) with straight straps and a wide gusseted bottom which will allow it to hold lots of books, groceries or other shopping goodies. The material is considerably heavier duty nylon than other reuasble bags I’ve had and the seams are all nicely finished. I can definitely see using this for a long time. It seems durable enough to stand up to a trip through the washing machine if it gets dirty.

I might have a little trouble refolding it properly to fit back into the carrying case but I’ll cram it back in for awhile. All in all, I’m quite impressed with the bag and can see why its $10 and not $1.99. It is made to look good and last.

Kurochiku Japanese Pattern Eco-Bags Sugar Candy

So, there’s more to Jet Pens than just pens. Happy shopping (and don’t forget to bring your own bag)!

The Chair is back at The Desk

Wow! Miles of travel at unholy hours make for a crabby Chair. I’m shuffling through purchases and photos but in the meantime, I thought you’d like to see who I met while in SF.

elaine and I

This is Elaine from Jet Pens. I had just as much fan glee as you’d expect finally meeting my contact at Jet Pens. I hope she doesn’t mind that I posted this photo here. We chatted endlessly about pens and paper and bored her poor friend to death. She did take our photo together to prove the meeting occurred.

I must get back to editing and sorting and sampling. More tomorrow!

12 Days of Inkmas: Giveaway!

12 Days of Inkmas

It’s the middle of Inkmas mania and I think this calls for a giveaway. Maybe two?

Prize #1: I have 12 awesome inks samples– many of the colors featured in the first annual 12 Days of Inkmas plus a few other surprise colors. And I mean decently full sample vials!

Prize #2:  I have a $25 gift certificate from the fine folks at Jet Pens. Buy a new fountain pen, some paper or even some inks. Cross a few items off that epic wishlist. Your choice.

I’ll draw two names for this giveaway (one will win the ink samples and one will win the gift certificate) so that there will be even more holiday cheer. In the spirit of the holidays, the giveaway is open to anyone on planet earth (interstellar shipping is extra). To enter, leave a comment and tell me your current favorite ink color or the first ink you would buy if you don’t presently own any inks.

Happy Holidays!

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Saturday, December 21, 2013. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Sunday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered for anywhere in the world. Additional shipping options or insurance (or customs fees) will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money.

Pilot Frixion Colors and Point 0.4

Pilot Fixion

While in Hong Kong, I was able to pick up both the Pilot Frixion Point 0.4 (similar to a rollerball or gel ink pen) and two Pilot Frixion Colors (which are more akin to a felt tip pen).

Pilot Fixion pens, capped

I purchased a black and brown Frixion Color from a small stationery shop in Hong Kong called Chun Kee  (no jokes please). On paper, the inks were not as dark and opaque as a Sharpie and the erasability (using the friction eraser) would not make these appropriate for labeling boxes or other places where a permanent dark line is needed.  But, the erasability did work as advertised which was kind of cool though I don’t know how often I would use it. An advantage of the lighter inks is that it did not feather or bleed through much on my standard notebook  If you’re looking for a felt tip pen that does not bleed through on the average notebook paper and is erasable, this may be just what you want.

Pilot Frixion Colors and Point 0.4

One unusual quirk that I discovered between the Frixion Colors and the Frixion Point is that the eraser tip on the Colors was on the cap so you need to post the cap on the end to have it available as you write. Alternately, on the Frixion Point, the eraser was on the end of the pen body so if you post the cap, the eraser is hidden. I don’t necessarily say one method is preferred but I find the inconsistency between models a little odd.

Pilot Frixion Point 0.4

Now, let’s talk about the Frixion Point 0.4. I purchased the blue-black model which had super smooth flowing ink and a sharp thin line comparable to a Pilot Precise V5 which is my go-to big box pen for ease-of-use and quality for the price. The Frixion adds the ability to erase to the equation making it a great option for notes and rough drafts. The ink quality alone is enough to recommend this pen, the eraser is just a bonus.

So, for what purposes would you use these pens?

Pilot Frixion pen tips

Final word:

Pilot Frixion Point 0.4 in blue-black. Recommended. $3.75 US

Pilot Colors in black and brown. Interesting but not sure of its usefulness. Maybe a bright color like orange or yellow to annotate notes might make this a useful tool but the black and brown seem to serve little purpose for me. $1.75 each US

(This pen was tested on the Miquelrius medium flexible 300 grid paper book purchased from B+N.)

Pelle Leather Journal Review

The Pelle Journal is the American answer to the widely-coveted Japanese Midori Traveler’s notebook. I got the medium-sized notebook which does not align with either of the two sizes available for the Midori books. The small “passport-sized” books seem too small to be truly useful at about 3.5”x5”. I’m curious about the classic “traveler-sized” which is taller at approximately 8.5”x5” which is a touch wider than the Midori edition which is wildly revered by Patrick Ng of Scription. I think the medium-size is a fine place to start on my journey with leather, elastic-bound, multi-book notebooks.

First, I must say that the packaging is lavish with a similar level of fanfare to the Midori, with a folding paper wrapping held closed with the signature orange elastic band.

Inside, the book is within a cotton, drawstring bag and a note from Pelle is included as well as an extra elastic.

The cover is an unlined, supple brown leather with an elastic around the cover in bright orange. Its absolutely yummy to the touch.

I put the Pelle next to my daily-use notebook, an Ecosystem Life, which is comparable to a large Moleskine (approx 5.5”x8.5” in size). Overall, the Pelle medium is only about an inch smaller overall.

The bead holds the ribbon bookmark in place and its attached to the leather cover, not to the individual booklets. The ribbon bookmark seems a tad bit too short to be really useful but I’m hoping it can be altered or replaced.

The journal contains a cardstock covered booklet that is staple-bound with 64-pages of cream paper. The internal notebook is 4.25”x6.75”.

There are three elastic bands running down the spine of the leather cover so that multiple booklets can be carried at once. Additional booklets can be purchased for $8.99 each, available in lined or plain.

Of course, the most important point to cover with any notebook is how well the paper takes ink or pencil.

These are the pens and pencils used in the test: Kaweco Sport F fountain pen, Palomino Blackwing 602, Pilot Envelope Pen, Le Pen, Sanford Sharpie Fine Point, Copic Drawing Pen F02, Noodler’s Flex Nib fountain pen, Pilot Coleto Hi-Tec C gel pens and 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

The only pen I had trouble using on the paper was the Copic Drawing Pen. I don’t know if the ink was drying and sticking or if the paper was so smooth that it didn’t provide enough friction for the inexpensive fountain pen. In writing tests, the paper is silky smooth which is great for very fine point gel pens and the Le Pens. Pencils are also very smooth on the paper.

On the reverse side of the paper only the fountain pen ink has a tiny bit of show-through though the Flex nib showed the most bleed-through. And of course, Sharpies bleed though but that’s not unexpected. The paper performs extremely well overall.

In conclusion, the leather cover is understated and beautiful. The ability to customize the contents of your book with a variety of paper stocks, including drawing paper, is a great option. Being able to keep the same cover seems like a good environmental option as well. The paper is good quality, more opaque than Moleskine. At the moment, Pelle does not offer the range of accessories that Midori offers that is part of the appeal (stickers, pockets, extra charms, calendar inserts, etc.). Some of Midori’s extras may fit into some of Pelle journals if you want to try to get the “Midori look”. On the upside, the Pelle books are made in the US, available through Jet Pens (read: FREE SHIPPING!) and $20 less expensive than Midori.

Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto Me

I love my Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto multipens so much, I finally decided to upgrade to the mid-range Me 4 series. I’ve had several variations of the original multi-pen bodies but thought I’d step up to this solid lime green body? Why? I was hoping the additional $5 in price would be a sturdier more elegant pen compared to the translucent plastic of the lower end bodies. Besides, Jet Pens was stocking it in my favorite color— lime green.

As the name implies, this Coleto pen body holds four different pens. I loaded it with three 0.4 inks and the 0.5 mechanical pencil. Total for the whole assembly was a little over $16. Since the refills are identical to the those I’ve used in my other Coleto multi-pens, the only difference was in the weight and finish of the holder. The smoother shape was more enticing to hold than the earlier models and the smooth soft rubber grip circles the whole pen barrel rather than the arcing ribs on the previous models (which had a tendency to peel over time). Overall, I quite like the Me 4 series body and it does feel like a step-up from the lower priced bodies but I’m not entirely sure they are worth the $5 price jump.The Coleto Me 4s are available in five colors for $8.25 each, pen cartridges are sold seperately.

Of course, I’m equally curious about the even pricier Lumio 4 series with the metallic finishes but for $16 per body, I’m not sure I’ll be making the jump anytime soon. Though the classic silver and black finishes on the Lumio 4s look quite professional and upscale, they are still plastic.

I am a big fan of the Pilot Hi-Tec C pens but I also quite like the Pentel Slicci (pronounced like “peachy” according to the Pentel of America twitter), which is its closest rival.

The pen barrel of the Sliccis is much slimmer (and completely smooth) compared to the Hi-Tec C’s which have the dimension of a standard six-sided pencil. Oh, ye of large digits might find the Sliccis too small to hold comfortably but those among us of petite digits (and even smaller handbags) may find them quite endearing. The Slicci multi-pen may help those who find the barrel of the standard pens too narrow.

The ink is bright and flows easily while maintaining a tiny, razor-point tip. Available in .025, .03, .04 and .07 tips there are options for all tastes. There are 20 colors available in the smaller points sizes which is a delightful way to brighten up your notes or match your favorite notebook. And of course, they are all available at Jet Pens — the mecca of Japanese office supplies.

More JetPens (by sugaroni)