Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.1 mm Review

I mentioned in my recent Top 5 pens update that I am going through of a bit of standard pen renaissance. Gel ink pens are in heavy use, and drawing pens, lead by the Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.1 mm, are seeing a ton of action as well.

Over two years ago I reviewed the 0.3 mm Staedtler Pigment Liner and for some reason it didn't stick with me. I think I was in a "Sakura or bust!" phase for quite some time, and that led to me dismissing other pens without a second look. I kept seeing the Staedtler pop up in other places though (Matt Gemmell's review for one) and felt like I needed to give it another look.

I went with the 0.1 mm tip size this time around and it feels right. More right than before. Why that is is hard to answer. For one, it is nice to hold. Drawing pens aren't necessarily known for having great barrels, but the Staedtler improves one area where the Sakura Pigma Micron gets points taken away: The grip section on the Pigment Liner has a much less severe drop off than the Micron. I dealt with it in the Micron because I liked the performance of the pen, but once I got the Staedtler back in my hand I realized how much better it felt to write with.

When the .01 mm tip hits the page it feels sturdy and sharp, which is key for this type of pen. The edge of the lines on drawing pens have to be clean for me, and the Pigment Liner delivers in that area. The ink is archival, and Staedtler also claims the cap can be left off the pen for 18 hours without drying out the tip. I will not be testing that claim out.

So how do you differentiate between two pens like the Staedtler Pigment Liner and Sakura Pigma Micron that are so similar across the board? I don't think you need to. They are both excellent pens that fill many needs for many people. Sure, there are tiny nits to pick between the two - like the grip section - but they are so similar just grab one and go. Right now, I am grabbing the Staedtler more often.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on October 31, 2014 and filed under Drawing Pen, Pen Reviews, Staedtler.

Jetstream Premier Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

I'm a huge fan of the Jetstream line of pens from Uniball. It's the first ballpoint pen I tried that featured the new hybrid ink that feels so smooth and rich and lays down a consistent line—something ballpoints of the past just couldn't do. The Jetstream line has expanded, and there's plenty of various offerings now, such as different tip sizes, different bodies, and multi-refill bodies. I've always wanted to put a Jetstream refill into a nice pen body, but never have found a good fit. When I noticed the Jetstream Premier on JetPens, I jumped at it.

This is another pen that Brad took a look at back in 2008. I don't think it really spoke to him, and I agree with some of his observations. But, then again, I also think it's a pretty great pen. I think of it like this: if you want a wider bodied Jetstream with a soft touch clicker, this is a great pen. Also, if you're a fan of the Jetstream line already, you can't go wrong. The pen ships with a 1.0mm refill, but you can swap that out with whatever size you prefer.

There aren't many "premium" Jetstream models available. There's the Jetstream Alpha Gel Grip series, which is a few dollars more than the Premier. Like the name says, it has a soft, gel-like grip that gives way when squeezed. Personally, I've never been a fan of soft gel grips on pens, so I never pulled the trigger on this one. The other nice feature of the pen is that the body is metal. Sadly, the Premier is just plastic. Given the price difference, I'm not really sure why the Premier is not also metal. It's a little disappointing.

The Premier on its own is a great pen. The grip is soft to the touch, but still firm. The click mechanism is unique—there's a certain amount of smooth friction involved when you operate it. Unlike most mechanisms that give a very pronounced feedback, this one is soft and almost unnoticeable. For me, I don't really care either way. I can see how this would really bother some people, or do the complete opposite. Either way, it does the job.

The clip is strong, but has a cheap look to it. It would look more pleasing if the clip was more integrated into the click mechanism or the body of the pen. As it is, it looks like someone super glued it onto the pen. It's my least favorite feature of the pen.

I went for the black model, and if I did it again I'd go the other way. I think the silver model would look much better in person. The black model has a small red section in the body under the clip. It gives the pen a cheap, gimmicky feel.

Now, after those harsh words, I still enjoy using the pen. For one, I love the way it feels in my hand when writing. It's a very comfortable grip and it also uses those fantastic Jetstream refills. Win-win situation.

The tip of the pen screws off of the body, and it's made of plastic. I really wish it was made of metal instead of a plastic that is painted to look like metal. It would improve the look of the pen quite a bit.

Overall, I don't know if I can recommend this pen unless you want to collect all of the different Jetstream offerings. It's a good pen, but I can't justify the cost. At just under $12, I don't think it's any better than the Jetstream Rubber Body Series, which is just over $4.

Ideally, I'd like to find a metal body that accepts the Jetstream refill. Until then, I'll use the Premier and enjoy it for what it is: a pen that feels good in the hand.

Posted on October 29, 2014 and filed under Jetstream, Pen Reviews, Uni-Ball.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 126 - Doing Water Blaugh

Talking about my Top 5 Pens update always takes up a big chunk of time. So much so, this episode is going to be part one of the conversation, and we will wrap it up next week with part two. Myke and I go through the changes to the list and talk about some of the philosophical challenges in putting it together. I think I still have more questions in my head than answers.

I also butcher the Dutch language.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

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Pen Chalet: use the code PENADDICT to save 10% on your order or click the ‘podcast’ link at the top of the website and enter the password 'penaddict' for even more savings, as well as your 10% off.

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Please take a moment to help us out by filling out our listener survey, and you could win a $100 Amazon gift card.

Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under Podcast.

Neatography (Sponsor)

Lindsey Hinkle believes in the timeless awesomeness of paper and the handwritten word. From those beliefs, Neatography was born.

Neatography offers stationery subscription services for paper enthusiasts. The contents of each mailing will be a surprise, and all goods are practical, unique in nature or design and of the utmost quality. Subscriptions are available on a monthly or quarterly schedule as well as a one-time purchase through the Shop. The Shop also carries a sampling of paper goods included in previous subscription packages. All items are purposefully chosen to inspire putting pen (or pencil) to paper.

Two packages are always available via subscription or through the shop. The Cards & Stamps package is for you snail mail lovers and contains 3 to 4 unique cards and various stylish postage stamps. The Paper Goods package contains a surprise offering from a collection of notepads, journals, calendars, greeting cards, labels, tags, sticky notes, and more.

Neatography hit its one year anniversary this month and to celebrate Lindsey is offering a 13% discount for all items in the Shop. Use the code PAPERVERSARY at checkout to receive the discount. Also, to celebrate the 13th curation of Paper Goods packages, Lindsey has a big giveaway going on the Neatography blog so head over and check it out!

My thanks to Neatography for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.
Posted on October 27, 2014 and filed under Featured Sponsor.