Monday, April 25, 2011

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

My apologies for the brief hiatus in posts! Without further ado, here we go!

While I enjoy the Pilot G-2 and other ballpoint and gel pens, I have found that none of them suffice when I want the feel of a fountain pen.  The ability to write with a light touch and create flourishes is almost exclusive to fountain pens, with the exception of fine point markers.  The Sharpie Pens are one of the best examples of fine point markers that can fill a similar niche as fountain pens. They are not anywhere near as prone to leaks as fountain pens and are suitable for tossing into a bag and forgetting about until you need them.  While there are a lot of markers out there that are advertised as pens, it is not always the items shoved in your face that are on display at the store that work best. Enter the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner!

I love the color and precision of marker pens.

I was searching for writing utensils around Chicago and the suburbs and stumbled into the marker section and tested some pens, pencils and markers.  I purchased three of these pens while at a Dick Blick art store in Chicago after a brief writing test. The blue, being my favorite ink color, has been entirely used up and as such is no longer with us. Green and Black, however are still going strong. These are art markers. They are not marketed as pens, but serve exceptionally well as pens. My standard for comparison in this area is the Sharpie Pen, seeing as they are very popular and there are many reviews for them online, so here comes the review:

You can really see how long and skinny this pen is when compared to a Pilot V Razor Point
This pen is longer and skinnier than most pens which I come across and is obviously skinnier and longer than the Sharpie Pen.  The pen can really feel uncomfortable in my hand at times, but I can't be sure if it's because of the unique triangular shape of the barrel or because of its width. The tip is the perfect hardness in my opinion, being just a bit softer than that of the Sharpie. It has not disintegrated after months of use and has retained its shape, allowing me to continue to write with a fine point. The most important point for comparison here is color, seeing as the Sharpie Pen's "green" is a disgustingly light and turquoise that was a huge let down for me.  The Staedtler has a color of green that is pretty much spot on what I imagine standard, average, real green to be. The black is on par with the Sharpie Pen in terms of color. The ink doesn't bleed through on Moleskine paper and doesn't show through at all. The ink also dries really quickly as well, so you don't have to worry about smearing, you lefties out there.  There is no odor, making this a very useful art marker and in this case, a fantastic pen.

When you can't carry a fountain pen with you for fear that it would leak or break, carrying a marker pen with a fine point can act as a fantastic substitute.  With the exception of potential barrel comfort issues, this pen can become a daily workhorse or eternal backup in your bag.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PennedHouse Double Feature: My Ink Blend and Pilot Petit1 Conversion

The Pilot Petit1 is a fantastic fountain pen that is similar in size to the Stipula Passaporto, and is extremely small with the pen cap on, but with the cap posted is a comfortable fit in my hand.  The nib is very smooth for a fine point pen, especially one that is as cheap as this pen is.  My big problem with the Petit1 as a daily writer is the size of the ink cartridge. While refillable, the ink cartridge barely holds enough ink for the amount of writing I encounter during the day. I was thinking that there must be a solution!

From the desire to increase the ink supply of the Pilot Petit1 came the following experiment.  My goal was to convert the Petit1 into an eyedropper pen, but along the way I got curious and started creating my own ink which, for which the recipe will be posted next week. Back to the Petit1 though, it wasn't really a whole lot of work doing the conversion.  The biggest problem I encountered was figuring out how much silicon grease I needed to prevent ink from leaking all over my fingers.  It took a few days to figure it out, but once I did, there were no problems whatsoever.

The fruit of my labor!

The ink color I ended up creating is a dark teal, which is similar to one of my most desired inks. Noodler's Coral Sea Blue is exclusive only to Australia and as such would cost a LOT of money to ship to America, not to mention that a bottle before shipping costs $39.95 in Australian dollars! I knew I would never be able to get my hands on a bottle unless by some miracle, so I combined different amounts of blue, black and green inks to get the ink in the pictures, which matches up almost perfectly with Coral Sea Blue.

This is probably my favorite color of ink now.

The results of both experiments were successful and should keep me occupied for a while, which is both a good and bad thing.