Retro 51 Tornado Betsy and Some Refill Options

Retro 51 Tornado Betsy with George

The Retro 51 Tornado is just an all round great pen that has a ton of available colors, themes, and styles that it is available in.  With my personal penchant for all things retro flag related, the new Metalsmith Betsy version of the Tornado (via was a must have.  There was a nice post regarding the of Retro 51 series over at that you should check out too.   Although the Retro 51 Tornado Betsy for this review was received free … [Read more...]

Rotring 800 Mechanical Pencil Review – DOA

Rotring 800 Tip Retracted

I've always been a fan of the Rotring 800 mechanical pencil (via Amazon) but was reluctant to pick one up because of the hefty price tag and the fact that I'm not a huge pencil user.  I finally decided to pull the trigger and pick one up recently to see if it was worth the price and deserving of all of the praise that I've heard for them. … [Read more...]

Fountain Pens Leak, or so they Say

Just a little nib creep

I'm sure if you are a fountain pen user you have either heard or read comments from people saying that they don't want to use a fountain pen because they are afraid it will leak on them.  It's something that I've heard way too many times so I just wanted to put this out there because I was thinking about it based on an experience I had the other day with one of my non-fountain pens.  The above photo shows my Lamy Studio with a little bit of nib creep.  The … [Read more...]

Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine and a Sharpie Pen Comparison

Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine All Colors

The Paper Mate Flair Ultra Fine Felt Tip Pen (via Amazon) is the much finer tipped felt tip version of the Paper Mate Liquid Flair pen, but they are quite different.  This version is a felt tipped and more narrow writing version whereas the Paper Mate Liquid flair has a broader tip and because its got liquid ink, it writes a bit wetter too. … [Read more...]

BIC Disposable Fountain Pens

BIC Disposable Fountain Pen Nib Front

I recently stumbled across these BIC Disposable Fountain Pens (here via Amazon or here via Staples) which were new to me, so I decided to grab some and see how they performed.  I'm also always looking to add to our list of beginner fountain pens because I think some of these more inexpensive fountain pens are a great way for people to get started and see if they might like the experience. … [Read more...]

Fisher Space Pen and The General Pencil Company – This Built America Series


In the past we have reviewed both the Fisher Trekker Space Pen and the Fisher Space Pen Stylus, so it was really cool to get a behind the scenes look at the people and the company behind these products in the "This Built America" series.  Its kind of an online magazine article with a video spliced in, but its definitely worth the few minutes to check it out and see the humble and hard working people that put these great pens together and in our hands every … [Read more...]

Sharpie Blade Highlighter Three Tip Sizes in One

Sharpie Blade Highlighter Side View

The Sharpie Blade Highlighter (via Amazon) is yet another entry into the crowded highlighter market.  In the case of the Sharpie Blade Highlighter though, it has a somewhat unique tip that sets it apart from most of its other competitors.  I say "most" because I don't think anything really rivals the innovative Sharpie Clear View Highlighters that we recently reviewed. … [Read more...]

Platinum 3776 Century UEF Utra Extra Fine

Platinum 3776 UEF in Box with Converter

This Platinum 3776 Century UEF or Ultra Extra Fine Nib (via Goulet Pens) looks like a pretty unassuming fountain pen at first glance.  Thankfully the good folks over at Goulet Pens were kind enough to send this review sample over free of charge for this review and to take a closer look at that Ultra Extra Fine nib, which sounds amazing to me since I love my micro tipped gel ink pens such as the Uniball DX or UM-151. … [Read more...]

Sharpie Clear View Highlighter

Sharpie Clear View Highlighter Window

The new Sharpie Clear View Highlighters (via are designed with a clear window built into the tip so that you can actually see what you are highlighting as you highlight it.  As  you will see below though, you can pretty much skip these if you already own the exactly identical Uni Promark that we reviewed about a year ago. … [Read more...]

How to Fix an Air Bubble in an Ink Cartridge

Bubble in Ink Cartridge

This isn't the first time this has happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last, but for those of you new to the blog I wanted to remind you of a quick, simple, fun and healthy...yes HEALTHY way to fix this problem.  I would love to figure out why this happens occasionally though so I can avoid it in the future.  For now though, lets take a look at how to fix an air bubble in an ink cartridge. … [Read more...]

Staedtler WOPEX Eco Pencils

Staedtler WOPEX Eco Pencils Writing Sample

In general pencils aren't really my thing because I don't enjoy the writing experience except when it comes to my all time favorite pencil, the Uniball Kuru Toga Roulette (review here) which I use exclusively.  With that said though, it was hard to pass up these bright lime green colored Staedtler WOPEX Eco pencils (via Amazon) that promise to write twice as long as regular ones. … [Read more...]

Staedtler Woodless Graphite Pencils

Staedtler Woodless Graphite Pencil Point Up Close

During a recent shopping trip I stumbled across what I thought were just some gray pencils until I took a closer look and actually read the package.  These Staedtler Woodless Graphite Pencils (via Staples) look really cool and even feel really cool while in the hand and writing with them. … [Read more...]

Bic 4 Color Metallic Multi-Pen

Bic 4 Color Metallic  Featured

The other day I was browsing through the pen aisle at my local Staples and I ran across this updated version of the Bic 4 Color Pen that now has a metallic barrels.  There really isn't much to technically review on the Bic 4 Color Metallic Multi pen because its purely a visual change that has no impact on how the pens write.  I just thought I'd share these quickly anyway since they tend to be a pretty popular pen, and the new shiny version deserves some … [Read more...]

Paper Mate InkJoy Quatro 4 Color Pen

Paper Mate InkJoy Quatro Body

The Paper Mate InkJoy Quatro is a refreshed looking version of the classic Old School Bic Color Pen.  The standard white body with 4 color options of green, blue, black and red make this type of pen a staple for many looking for a basic multi color pen.  The one reviewed here today is a 1.omm Medium tipped version. … [Read more...]

Bic Universal Typeface and a Real Bic Cristal Stylus

Bic Universal Font Left Hand vs Right Hand Writing Comparison

The folks at Bic are celebrating the fact that they have sold over 100 billion Bic Cristal pens with this universal typeface project, which is pretty cool.  They are basically crowdsourcing what they are calling the Bic universal typeface and you can submit your own writing samples to contribute to the project too. … [Read more...]

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