Friday, November 13, 2009

Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel 0.4 mm Blue/Black

Some people swear by their broad nibs or points. Others wouldn't dare pick up anything larger then a 0.5mm or a nib broader then fine. Me? I'm on the hunt!

I, like you, read the Pen addict's rave reviews of the teeny tiny points. The first thing that struck me about his site, other then his fantastic handwriting, was that he wrote in caps like I do. I also made note of the obvious problem of larger lines equals more ink on the page, which 11 times out of 10 will lead to a very unhappy lefty over-writer. This thought has lead me to search for that perfect point. I used my Hi-Tec-C Coleto for a bit, but with my work I need to write pretty fast, and I always felt that I had to treat the 0.3mm refills very gingerly. I am not saying it would have broke down, it simply made me feel that way. (not to mention the scratchiness) So with plenty of prior experience with 0.5mm points I decided to give a 0.4mm point a try.

Body: The usual suspect here, plastic. The highlight of the body is the clip. This pen sports a sturdy binder clip. I really do enjoy these zebra binder clips. I have encountered my share of "where the heck did that paper clip go" moments. The ability to throw my pen clip over my paperwork and go is a really convenient feature. (6)

Grip: Simple lined ridges make this a great grip. It's not soft, but it does sort of puff at the end of the grip. This allows for a very comfortable hold because it is right after the point I put pressure on the grip when writing. This creates the feel of a fitted grip, which is nice. (5)

Ink: Blue/Black is currently at the top of my favorite colors for ink. This pen delivers a very nice flow and ink color pops off the page. The thin point prevents smearing issues on every page I've written on with it, including the brights. (7)

Price: $2.00 on jetpens (8)

Lefty Bottom Line: The lines are nice and thin which allows for superior control and reduces the chance for lefty pitfalls. The ink has nice depth and the clips is a fantastic feature.

New feature!
Pen Score: 26
Did you notice the red numbers at the end of each section? Those will be added up here at the end to give a pen an overall score. This score will eventually be a searchable feature. It will allow there to be a favorites list that will show my highest scores. This will help those that want to save time and search just having the highest score and corresponding review shown. Each score is how I relate the feature to a score of 1-10. It is a pretty easy concept. When I score a price it will be the score of how I feel the performance of the pen relates to the price point of the pen. I will be going back to old reviews and adding scores and each review from here out will have scores as well, including any ink reviews I do.(that will be a different system but that's a different blog)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tul Retractable Gels

My apologies for the brief interlude, but I'm back with another color explosion! If you've read much of what I've written previously, you'll know that I have to have bright vibrant colors if your not going to give me a cushy grip in a hip design. Tul decided they would go for all three! The trifecta.

Body: Sleek, plastic, and completely understated. A simple and clean design through and through. I like how the barrel is frosted and shows just enough of the colored plastic at the back of the pen to give it a two-tone effect. The button in the clip also matches the pen color. It's little things like this that makes this pen one of my favorites.

Grip: This is the weakest point of the pen but is still a strong effort. I call it a Swiss grip, it's not technical, it just reminds me of Swiss cheese because of the holes that run in a pattern along the grip. The grip can be a bit slick out of the package but does get better as you use the pen. It is very firm and also matches the ink color nicely.

Ink: I fell in love with this line when the only colors available were black and blue. A super deep black and a rich blue drew me in from the first scribble at my local Office Max (more on this shout-out later). A few months ago I found the green and red versions of this pen and picked them up in medium rollerball. Two weeks back, when making my office supply store rounds, I happened upon a light blue retractable at the checkout stand. This led to more and more visits, each one brought home more colors and each one proved very bright. My most recent trip to the "Max" unearthed a new type of ink in these retractables. Take note of the fourth pen in the picture. Notice that it has a metallic, silvery shading to it. Could this be part of a new line of inks for Tul?

Price: I bought most of these at the register display for $1.49 each. You can find blue and black in packages of 4 ($5.79) and 12 ($15.99). It is important to mention that these pens are ONLY available at Office Max. It is their house brand.

Lefty Bottom Line: I spent so much time raving about the ink that I did not mention how well it performs on paper. Tul performs better on the "brights" (Clairefontaine and Rhodia) then my EX2 and Signo DX's. The ink is bright and does not sit long on the pages. On Doane paper it is still very smooth and this combo is consistently my #dailyarsenal ( /wave to @DIYsara and @dowdyism). I simply chose to do this review on my Rhodia pad because the colors pop on the super white paper. This is truly a great pen and the colors are wonderful. No matter which hand you use it is worth your while to drive to your local Office Max and give them a go!