Rotring Tikky Graphic Drawing Pen 0.1 mm Review

A few years ago I reviewed the Rotring Tikky Graphic Drawing Pen in the 0.4 mm tip size. I enjoyed the build quality of the pen but the 0.4 mm tip size spews ink. Not in a terrible mess kind of way, but it goes on heavy. Great for artists, not so good for my writing style.

With all the praise this pen gets and my love for drawing-style pens I knew I had to pick up a smaller size. I went as small as they make (0.1 mm) and my writing is much better off for it.

The Tikky Graphic Drawing Pen has three main features. One, the ink is archival, which most other pens in this category have. Two, it has a metal encased nib to help with tip durability, which a few of its competitors have. And three, Rotring's Free-ink technology makes the ink flow consistently down to the last drop, which no one has that I am aware of.

While feature one is great, and three is nice to have, I'm a fan of anything that makes fiber and plastic tips more durable, especially when dealing with 0.1mm tips. It usually doesn't take long for drawing pen tips to show some sort of breakdown but this one has help up well so far. More use will be needed to see if any real issues pop up but it is tracking nicely at this point.

Ink darkness is important to me too, and the Rotring fares well there. On its own, I thought for sure the Tikky would be the darkest ink I would test, but to my surprise the Sakura Pigma Micron took that title. I've always felt the Micron was lighter than others so this comes as a surprise. I did use the 03 Micron so the line was wider but I don't think it affected the darkness. My favorite Kuretake Zig Mangaka falls in the middle of the range.

Overall, I can see why this is a popular drawing pen. It is more expensive than many ($3.60 at JetPens) but it offers added features that make up for some of that cost. If you are in the market for a durable, dark drawing pen then the Rotring Tikky is worth a look.

(JetPens is a sponsor of The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on October 17, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, Rotring, Drawing Pen.

Doane Paper Utility Notebook Small Color 6 Pack Giveaway

I love it when Chad Doane creates new products. Not only do I get to add them to my ever growing arsenal of DP goods, but he is quick to hook up the readers of The Pen Addict as well.

The Utility Notebook Small Color 6 Pack is the latest Doane Paper release, featuring one each of navy, sky blue, rover green, crimson, autumn and primer gray color covers. Each 3.5” x 5.5” memo book contains 48 pages of Doane’s famous Grid + Lines paper and are made in the USA.

Chad is offering up THREE 6-packs to readers. Here is how to enter:

  1. Leave one comment on this post anytime between now, and Saturday night at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. You are limited to one entry. This contest is limited to US residents only.

  2. For this contest, I will pick three winners at random from the comments section of this post. The comments will be numbered in the order they are received, i.e. the first comment is #1, the second #2, and so on. The Random Integer Generator at random.org will be used to pick the numbers of the winners.

  3. The contest winners will be posted on Sunday, October 19th. The winners will have one week to email me via the Contact link at the top of the page.

Thanks to Chad Doane and Doane Paper for offering up these notebooks. Good luck!

Posted on October 16, 2014 and filed under Doane Paper, Giveaways.

Lamy 1.5 mm Stub Nib Review

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

When I wrote about the Pilot Plumix several months ago, I said that it wasn't a large enough variation for my tastes. Well, I tried the other end of the spectrum with a 1.5mm Lamy calligraphy nib, and I can't say the same thing about this one. This nib makes a voluptuous line, but doesn't quite cut it for me in the everyday writing area. Still, it's a fantastic nib and loads of fun.

The Lamy 1.5mm calligraphy nib fits on almost any Lamy fountain pen very easily. Just slip off the normal nib from the feed, and slide the 1.5mm nib on. If you have a Safari, Vista, or AL-Star lying around, this is a great way to try out a well-made calligraphy nib. There are many other options, but rarely for this price.

First looking at the nib, you can't really tell it apart from the other Lamy nibs. Then, you notice the blunt tip and the large "1.5" stamped on the top and realize how wide it actually is. I really had no idea it would be that wide. Little did I know.

I put the nib on a Safari that I had lying in a drawer, and promptly filled it up with some green ink. In my rush, I didn't think to pick out an ink that has great shading qualities, so I was little disappointed to find that the finished product looked a bit like a magic marker line—wide and wet. After a quick flush, I filled it with J. Herbin Rouge Hematite. What a difference that made. It no longer looked like a magic marker line, but a sophisticated and interesting line of varying widths, shades, and hues.

This nib was made to be used with calligraphy lettering. I don't do much calligraphy lettering, and I certainly don't claim to be any good at it. Using this nib and experimenting with the variations, I wanted to practice lettering a lot more. Expert lettering really takes a lot of skill and practice, and I really admire anyone who can make it look fluid and consistent. They've put a lot of practice into it, and they can make it look as easy as scribbling in a Field Notes book propped up on my knee.

That said, I didn't really find much place for this nib in my everyday writing. For one, you have to write really big in order to form letters and words (as opposed to big blobs of ink). Second, since the nib is wide and requires a bit more from the feed system, there are consistent starting issues. They're never difficult to get rid of, and I found that they're actually very predictable, but they're still frustrating in general writing practices.

For me, this nib gives me two things: the ability to play and experiment with large, ornate lettering, and a nib that provides a great showcase for inks that have excellent shading properties. This nib is more about creating art, and much less about writing things down.

If you're even the slightest bit interesting in calligraphy nibs, and you already have a Lamy, I can't think of a better way to try out a calligraphy fountain pen (I'm not counting disposable porous tip pens here) than the Lamy nibs. They have other sizes besides the 1.5mm, which are 1.1mm and 1.9mm. I just recommend getting an ink that shades well to go with it!

Posted on October 15, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Lamy, Pen Reviews.