A few weeks back I mentioned that this Roaring Spring Engineer Calculation Pad (via Amazon) was on sale for a really good price so I picked it up although I have no real personal use for it. I figured that based on the number of scientists that I know read the blog, I should check it out in terms of the quality, so here it is today, although unfortunately the great price is no longer in play.
As someone who went to school for business and didn’t take anything more difficult than Geology 101 or Chemistry 101 outside outside of my business classes, this note pad is kind of an enigma to me, I joke though…partially. I mean essentially this is a gridded note pad with a blank side on front. The front side (because the three hole punch is on the left) is mostly blank but with margins on the top, left, and right. As you can see, the top margin is split into multiple boxes where you can insert your own titles, dates, r other reference notes. The paper is however intentionally thin enough so that you can use the grid lines on the back to keep your writing on the blank side reasonably straight. I think the picture above which I borrowed from Amazon shows the paper to be much greener that it is in person, but it showed the grid lines better than my photographs.
This version of the Engineer Calculation Pad is the 8.5 inch by 11 inch version and it has 200 sheets of paper that are bound by glue at the top. Each of the pages which are literally green (like the color and not made from recycled goods) is three hole punched on the left, and are also made in the US.
On the flip side of each sheet of paper in the Engineer Calculation Pad is the grid layout. there are small grid markings that are 2.5cm by 2.5cm square that make up larger 5 inch by 5 inch square boxes with a slightly heavier green ruling to make them stand out. If you count across the page there are 9 of these larger boxes, while only 7 full 5×5 grids as due to the 8.5 inch width you can’t fit more than that perfectly evenly. Going horizontally there is obviously a similar situation that leaves you with 9 full 5×5 boxes and two slightly truncated grids, one at the top and one at the bottom of the page.
Engineer Calculation Pad Writing Samples:
In the first few photos of the review you could see some of the writing sample that I did, the majority of it with my Pelikan M805 and medium nib with Noodler’s Q Eternity quick drying ink. This close up shows a better view of both the inks performance and dry time. Overall I was very impressed with how well the paper handled the fountain pen ink and I would say from a one sided perspective, the paper is fountain pen friendly as the ink didn’t feather or spread and it laid down very nice lines with each stroke. In terms of dry time it came in at a respectable 2-3 seconds.
As you can see from the flip side of the paper, the Engineer Calculation Pad isn’t an ideal paper for fountain pens if you want to use both sides of this paper. If you are only going to take notes on the front or only draw on the grids on the back you will be fine, otherwise the show through will probably be way too much to not be distracting. The Pilot V5 and the Sharpie pen were tolerable at best in terms of show through so you will probably want to steer clear of these as well and stick to something simple like a ballpoint pen or a pencil. And speaking of pencils…lets take a look at that now.
Obviously a pencil is going to perform fairly well on lots of different papers, but in this case it was great. The Uniball Kuru Toga Roulette that I used wrote great on the paper, but more importantly it erased very cleanly and without degrading the paper itself. You can see in each of the light, medium, and dark pencil rubbings that I did, the eraser cleanly removed the lead with only a few seconds of erasing, and none of the underlying grid rulings or the paper itself came along for the ride, which is always nice.
The Roaring Spring Engineer Calculation pad is a fairly specialized pad with its blank front and grid back that is see-through to the front. I’ve got zero engineering or scientific chops to put this to actual good use and give feedback on a functional perspective, but what I can tell you is that the paper is a pretty nice quality although not super fountain pen friendly due to the need to show the grids through to the front of the paper. Also, the glue binding at the top lets go of the individual sheets pretty neatly and cleanly so this made in America product definitely meets the qualifications I’d be looking for if in an alternate universe I was the other Brian Greene thats a world renowned physicist and probably jots down a few equations and graphs now and then. If you are that other Brian Greene, or just a regular old engineer or scientist, the Roaring Spring Engineer Calculation pad (via Amazon) will definitely meed the quality standards that you are probably looking for.