Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Pen Addict's Giveaway

Want to win a 6-pack of Pilot FriXion Color-Pencil-Like Erasable Gel Ink Pens? Then go over to The Pen Addict and leave a comment. It might also be nice if you mentioned that I referred you so people know this blog exists, but of course that's optional. *winkwink*

Signing out,

- Emily

What is a drafting pencil?

Ever since I saw the drafting pencil section on Jetpens, I've always wondered what exactly makes a drafting pencil different from just your average mechanical pencil? Additionally, what's the deal with all these "leadholder" doohickeys you also see?

After doing some Google research, I found my answer. For those who are also new to high-quality writing implements, I thought I'd share a bit of this newfound wisdom. Lead holders were actually the first graphite pencil in history and were "fabricated to avoid the blackening of the fingers that accompanies handling graphite by inserting a small rod of the substance in the end of what was essentially a hollow stick." The lead holders that exist today are a continuation of their historical forebears. At the most basic level, they are mechanical pencils with really thick lead refills.

So what differentiates a drafting pencil from a mechanical pencil? Here is a short list summary of the differences between the two:

Drafting pencils:
  • longer sleeve (around 3-5 mm) - in mechanical pencils, this is the tip where the lead comes out. The longer sleeve on a drafting pencil allows it to glide better along a ruler or template;
  • available in many different lead sizes, including 0.3 mm and 0.9 mm, as well as your usual 0.7 mm and 0.5 mm;
Mechanical pencils:
  • shorter sleeve (around 2 mm);
  • normally, models are only available in either 0.5 mm or 0.7 mm lead sizes;
Drafting pencils are most commonly used in architectural/art settings, although I know many student friends who just use them as high-quality mechanical pencils. I myself am debating whether to add a nice drafting pencil to my next Jetpens order as well!

Signing out,

- Emily

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Uni-ball Jetstream 4&1 Multipen

Price: $15

: This pen works pretty much like any multipen. Push down any of the "clickers" of a colored stripe and you get the corresponding ink color; push down the clip and you get the pencil. To advance the lead on the pencil, you first push down the clip so that the pencil is selected, and then you push down the clip again until you feel a click. The barrel is plastic, with a rubber grip at the bottom, and the clip and point are metal. Like most multi-pens, this one is thicker than most pens. I'd estimate it as about 2 mm larger in diameter than your average pen. Personally, I did not find this to be a problem.

- Very smooth ink flow
- Ink color is vibrant
- Pen design is very appealing, although due to the thickness, I wouldn't use it in a professional setting.
- The rubber grip is firm, but offers good traction.

- Small eraser. Jetpens sells refills, but I'd just use an entirely separate eraser.
- Weight seems to be concentrated at the top of the pen.
- It took me some time to figure out how to refill the pencil lead. Jetpens has a good tutorial, but it still took me a good 30 minutes or so to get it. Then again, I did feel really stupid when I finally figured it out.

Overall: A good pen for students and casual business use. For $15, it's a little expensive but considering it will replace almost every other pen you own, I consider it a good value. I know I use mine every chance I get!

Rating: 9/10 awesome cakes

(yes, that's right - awesome cakes)

Signing out,

- Emily

Saturday, February 21, 2009

First Pen Order!

I just got my first order from JetPens about two weeks ago. My friend recently got me hooked on writing implements, and hooked is exactly what I've been ever since. I'm pretty sure my friends are sick of all my talk about pens, so I've decided to start this blog to share my love with more people. What you see here is a Uniball Jetstream 4&1 multi-pen, 4 Uni-ball Signo DXs, and a Sura John and Mary pencil pouch to keep it all in! I've been using all of this loyally for the past two weeks, so stay tuned for some detailed reviews.

Signing out,

- Emily