Thursday, November 8, 2018

Field Notes Rams edition

The Rams limited edition of Field Notes is a collaboration to celebrate the release of Gary Hustwit's new documentary film "Rams" about legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams. Dieter Rams graduated from the Wiesbaden School of Art. And in 1953 began working with Frankfort based architect Otto Apel. In 1955 he was recruited to work at Braun, where he became the chief designer (a position he held from 1961-1995). Rams designed the famous Sk-4 record player and the D series of 35mm film slide projectors among many other things. 

This edition features a light gray cover with the ten principles of good design on the back in orange and a darker gray. The cover has a soft touch varnish on it and feels reminiscent of both the Drink Local and Unexposed editions.

The paper on the inside is the standard French 60#t opaque smooth with a dot grid ruling in a "T3 light gray". The paper holds up well to ballpoints and gel pens, and does pretty well with fine fountain pens. The paper is smooth as usual, and I really like using pencils on it. The ruling on the page is quite light and almost disappears with writing on the page.  

I think Field Notes have done a great job on this edition and it goes great with the the film. 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!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pokka Pens Review

Pokka Pens are a U.S company making EDC pocket pens. They are made in the U.S out of ABS polymer that feels very sturdy considering how light weight they are. One of the main features of this pen is how small it is. Closed it measures just under three and a half inches and posted it measures five and half inches. The capping and posting of this pen is another great feature.  The pen has two o-rings on one end that give the pen a very satisfying "POP" then you cap/uncap or post the pen. In addition to that it also allows the pens to float and keep water and dirt out of the pen.

On to the writing experience. The pens write well, about like a Bic Crystal. Like most ballpoint pens it takes a little pressure to write with, but when writing it's very smooth. If you write in all conditions you're in luck because Pokka Pens have just partnered with Rite in The Rain and Fisher Space Pens to make an all weather version. It's made out of the same ABS polymer and branded with the Rite in the Rain logo and features a Fisher Space Pen refill. They are slightly more expensive, however, with all the extra reliability in different conditions you're getting, it is definitely worth it.

Pokka Pens are refillable but inexpensive enough to not need to worry about if you lose one. I think these are great reliable EDC pocket pens for using when and wherever you might need them. They write very well and are available in a multitude of colors and patterns. 

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

Pokka Pens

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

Field Notes Rams edition

The Rams limited edition of Field Notes is a collaboration to celebrate the release of Gary Hustwit's new documentary film "Rams&qu...