Thursday, October 11, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Field Notes "America The Beautiful" Edition Review

America The Beautiful is the spring 2013 edition of Field Notes colors line. It is sought after and collected for several reasons, but what I think are the most popular are: 1, It's the second edition ever to have fountain pen friendly paper, And 2, Its the first edition to utilize photos on the cover. This edition is one of my favorites because it has the look of some of the old feed and seed memo books.

This edition has three distinct covers representing "Mountains Majesty","Amber Waves", and "Spacious Skies". They are labeled on the bottom and also feature the name of the edition, as well as the year, and each book has its own special Field Notes logo. The innards are Finch Paper 70#t "Soft White" and the ruling is "Loose Leaf Blue". These books are ruled with a 1/4" ruling and a double line at the top.

 I don't own a Spacious Skies so I didn't have one to photograph.

The paper holds up well to finer/drier fountain pens, with broader/wetter fountain pens causing bleed through and ghosting. Felt tips, gel, and rollerball pens all had zero issues and pencils performed well as always. The paper is smooth and doesn't give any feedback.

This edition can still be found on eBay and the Field Nuts Facebook group from time to time. The Field Nuts group will have the most fair prices, but you still have to decide if they are worth that much to you. I've put a link to the Field Nuts Facebook group below.

If you have any questions about this review or others or if you have any suggestions for future reviews, feel free to email me at Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Field Nuts Group

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Way Back When Pencil Case

I was recently contacted by Lars, one of the creators of the Way Back When pencil case on Kickstarter, to feature their project. This product looks to be a quality leather pencil case, with an interesting and unique design. It measures in at 15.7" open, 7" tall and just over 5" wide when closed. It has 20 elastic straps for pens, pencils or anything that will fit. And two larger straps for anything thicker than normal pens and pencils like erasers, as well as a pocket in the flap. The campaign is already funded, so they will be making them. The project runs another 11 days as of the posting of this. I've included some photos and links to the project and their Facebook page below.

I was not compensated for this post and I do not own this product. All opinions are based on what I can see in the photos.

Stay tuned for a review later this week.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Field Notes End Papers Edition Review

End Papers is the fall 2018 limited edition of Field Notes notebooks. Right off the bat I'd like to say that this is one of my favorites. This edition is an all new size for Field Notes coming in at 3 1/2"x7". This size makes it very close to the size of the Hobonichi Weeks planner. It has 68 pages that are Smyth sewn into three signatures and glued to the cover. The most stand out feature lends this notebook its name. Field Notes has gotten permission from the University of Washington to reproduce two marbled paper patterns as end pages in this edition. The green book features a "Schrottel" pattern and the blue a "Antique Straight" pattern.

The Paper on the inside is Mohawk Via Vellum 70#T "Pure White" that should perform well with most fountain pens and does superbly well with pencils. This paper has a decent amount of tooth to it so expect some feedback. All the pages on the left are blank while all the pages on the right are lined. I really like this setup and think it would be great for a story book or some type of pictorial journal.

 The first Lamy was running out of ink. Thats not a paper issue.

The covers feel incredibly sturdy and are made with French Paper's "Timber Green" and "Nightshift Blue". The books fit easily in the back pocket being the same width as their standard memo book, but due to there height they do stick out of the pocket considerably.

I think Field Notes have done a great job on this edition as always. I would be interested in seeing Field Notes adding a version of this to their regular lineup as part of a "Signature Line" of notebooks along side the current signature books. 

As always if you have any questions about this review or others or have a suggestion for a future review feel free to email me at or comment below. Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blackwing Volumes 33 1/3 Review

33 1/3 is the newest Blackwing Volumes limited edition pencil from Palomino. The number 33 1/3 is a nod to the 12" or Lp record’s playing speed. And the design of the pencil closely resembles a record.

The pencils barrel is matte black (similar to the 16.2 which is matte white) with a glossy black imprint and glossy black rings at the end of the pencil that favor the grooves on a vinyl record. The ferrule is also matte black and the eraser is black too. The rings near the end of the pencil add a little grip to the pencil, even if thats not what they were going for. But they don't affect sharpening at all. I personally really love the matte finish on this and the 16.2 and hope to see more of this type of finish in the future.

This pencil features the Pearl core which is softer than the 602 but firmer than the MMX or Original Palomino Blackwing. It as always writes very well with a nice dark line.

This is the second black volumes pencil and I much prefer this pencil to the 24, and it ticks all the boxes for me. Great core, matte finish, and a good story/history. I think this one is going to go quick so I would get them while you can.

The subscriber extra with this shipment was also very cool. The jar contains enough PVC pellets to press one 12" record, which for the theme of the pencil I think was the perfect extra to include.

That concludes this review but if you are at all interested in pencils or learning more about pencils I highly recommend both the Erasable podcast and the Erasable Facebook group. The people over there are awesome and know pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about pencils. I've put links below.

If you have any questions about this review or others or have any suggestions for future reviews, feel free to email me at or comment below. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Karas Kustoms Fountain K Review

The Fountain K is an all metal machined pen made out of Aluminum, Brass, or Copper from Karas Kustoms out of Arizona. It's the fountain pen version of the Render K ballpoint, gel, and rollerball pen.

The cap of this pen features a very nice knurled section at the top to aid in uncapping the pen, and triple start threads to make it easier to cap the pen. As well as perhaps the sturdiest pocket clip ever on a fountain pen. With that being said I would caution you about clipping this pen to expensive dress shirt pockets as it could damage the shirt if not done carefully.

The barrel of this pen tapers from the threads down, and is a very comfortable length for about 90% of people. Because this pen doesn't post, if you have very large hands this pen could be a little short for you. In which case I might suggest the Ink model which also doesn't post but is longer, or the Decograph which does post.The grip section is very nice with a slight flair at the end to keep your hand from slipping down the pen. 

This pen features a #5 nib that is available in ef-1.1 in steel, and several options in gold and titanium. The medium nib I have, works great and flows consistently with no hard starts or skipping. The extra fine nib works well once it gets going, but dries out rather quickly and writes dryly as well. It accepts both standard international short and long cartridges, as well as the Schmidt standard international converter (which comes with the pen)for use with bottled ink.

Over all this is a very solid U.S.A made, edc type fountain pen, that can take a beating and still function great. Variety in colors available, as well as two different materials like copper (seen above) and Brass, and the multitude of nib choices make this pen outstanding. All of Karas Kustoms pens are super high quality and made to last.

If you have any questions about this review or others, or if you have a suggestion for a future review feel free to email me at or comment below. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bic Cristal review

The iconic Bic Cristal was first released in France in December of 1950 by Marcel Bich. In 1959 it was brought to the American market where it sold for 29¢ ($2.49 in 2018) with the slogan "Writes first time every time". In 1961 Bic switched from stainless steel ball points to Tungsten Carbide. In 1965 it was approved for classroom use by the French ministry of education. And by 2006 Bic had sold their 100 billionth Cristal.

This pen is 5 7/8" long x 1/2 inch (including the cap). It feels a lot like a pencil in the hand due to the thin hexagonal body, and it is very comfortable to write with. The cap posts well and the clip is functional on shirt pockets. The hexagonal body gives it a very solid feel. It writes smoothly with a very legible line and no skipping or major globs of ink. The blue ink is a very saturated blue color that I really enjoy. This is a great pen for everyday note taking.

The Bic Cristal is available in in several different versions these days with the original being the Extra Smooth 1.0mm version. They are also available in an Extra Bold 1.6mm version, a 0.7mm Fine version in Europe (but if you are in the USA they can be found on Amazon). You can get them in several colors other than the standard Black, Blue ,and Red in the 1.6mm Extra Bold and 1.0mm Cristal Up versions. 

The Bic Cristal is a great choice for a reliable, inexpensive everyday note taking pen and there are a lot of options to choose from.

Before I end this review I want to give a huge shout out to Brad Dowdy over at The Pen Addict for his continued support by sending so many of you awesome people my way!

If you have any questions about this review or others, or if you have any suggestions for future reviews feel free to email me at or comment below. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

The Pen Addict
Bic Cristal Blue
Bic Cristal Fine Blue
Nock CO Petite Dot Dash Cards

Monday, August 27, 2018

Baron Fig Squire Review

The Squire is the companion pen to the Baron Fig confidant notebook, and it does its job very well. I have the Mysterium edition which is still available, but I would hurry if you are interested as they may run out any day.

This minimalist pen is 5" long and tapers out slightly near the tip. It's very well balanced and is very comfortable to hold and write with. It has a slight heft to it which I appreciate, and it just feels very solid. To operate this pen you simply twist the top clockwise until it clicks to extend the tip, and reverse the process to retract it. The twist mechanism has a very satisfying click to it when actuated, and feels very solid.

Onto the refill. This pen comes with the black Schmidt p8126 rollerball refill and replacement refills are also available in blue, red, and green. This refill writes smoothly but I have noticed some skipping with it. I don't dislike the refill it's just not my personal favorite. That being said this pen will also work with any Parker style refill including the Fisher Space Pen refill with the Parker adapter. I've got an Easyflow 9000 refill in mine.

The machining on this pen is top notch and the fit and finish is superb. One thing I've noticed is that if you rub a fingernail down the pen really fast it makes a cool ZIP noise. 

The packaging for this pen is beautiful and functional. As you can see above, this pen comes in a cardboard tube that separates into two pieces and the bottom has foam in it, so you could use it as a pen stand on a desk or table.

Overall I really like this pen a lot. It feels great in the hand and the twist mechanism is fantastic. Add to that all the colors this pen comes in, as well as a different material like steel, and the limited editions, and this is a wonderful pen for everyday use.

And if you are a Field Notes Fan the Field Nuts Facebook group just celebrated its fifth anniversary and is having a special run of this pen made in green with the Field Nuts Logo on it. Preorders start today and they need at least fifty to make it.

As always if you have any questions about this review or others feel free to email me at or comment below. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Mysterium Edition 

Baron Fig  

Field Nuts Group

Field nuts on Instagram: fieldnuts

Throwback Thursday: Field Notes "America The Beautiful" Edition Review

America The Beautiful is the spring 2013 edition of Field Notes colors line. It is sought after and collected for several reasons, but what ...