Posts filed under Drawing Pen

EK Tools Journaling Pen Review

EK Tools Journaling Pen Review

One of the things that has fallen off my radar in the past several years is keeping tabs on what’s happening on retail store shelves, at least for stores in my general area. I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone out of my way to see what Staples has in stock, or what Michael’s is into these days. If I had, I might have seen these EK Tools Journaling Pens (Amazon affiliate link) before now.

EK Tools Journaling Pen

The only reason I saw them is because I know a guy that now works as a designer for the brand, and that guy’s name is Chad Doane. Yes, that Chad Doane. Chad sent me a pack to see what I think about them and how they stack up to the competition in the art/drawing pen category.

Short version: Solid, but not spectacular.

EK Tools Journaling Pen Barrel

These are good art pens, and I’ve enjoyed writing with them. Any plastic tip pen makes my handwriting look awesome, and these are no exception. I especially like the barrel shape, which is tapered from the center of the barrel upward towards each end of the pen. That does two things: Gives the pen a comfortable, flared-out grip area, and a cap that allows you to stand the pen up on its end. Ok, that last point isn’t the most important part of this pen, but it sure is fun to set them up and watch them come cascading down as you bump your desk.

EK Tools Journaling Pen Tip Sizes

Performance wise, the EK Tools pens are mixed bag. This pack comes with five sizes: 0.2 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.35 mm, 0.45 mm, and 0.65 mm. For journaling, crafting, scrapbooking, etc., that is a good range of sizes. That’s what these are made for after all. For my purposes, which is mostly writing, I enjoyed only two of the sizes: the 0.25 and 0.45. Oddly enough, the middle sized 0.35 felt different than the other four. The tip was softer, and the line wasn’t as clean and sharp. The 0.25 was fantastic to write with (which is what you see in the review), and the 0.45 had the firmness I wanted to see out of the 0.35.

EK Tools Journaling Pen Case

For the price - approximately $1.80 per pen on Amazon as I write this - I reiterate what I said earlier, in similar terms: Good, not great. For my money, I’d pay the $2.50 per pen for the Sakura Pigma Micron, considered the best in class for this type of pen, or my favorite, the Kuretake Zig Mangaka, for $2.00.

Drawing pens are a well-established category in the stationery world, and tough to break into. While I like the EK Tools Journaling Pens, they fall just short of many of the other top-tier options in this group.

(EK Tools provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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EK Tools Journaling Pen Writing
Posted on June 25, 2018 and filed under EK Tools, Drawing Pen, Pen Reviews.

Stabilo Sensor Fineliner Marker Pen Review

Stabilo Sensor

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

Fineliners are usually fairly standard in build and purpose, but every now and then, one with a unique feature comes along. The Stabilo Sensor boasts a cushioned felt tip that retracts into the metal casing. It's not a feature I've encountered on other fineliners I've tried. I can't decide if I like it or not, but I do think it has its uses.

IMG_0458.JPG

The body is plastic, the same color as the ink, which is always nice. There's an angular cap with a sturdy clip. It clicks securely in place and posts well. The grip section is comfortable to hold and not too slick. The ridges provide enough grip that your fingers don't slip when applying pressure to the tip. I do think it would have been better with a cushioned grip, but I didn't experience any trouble during short writing sessions. It does take a fair amount of pressure to retract the tip all the way, but I don't think it's intended to be written with that way. That would cause some serious hand fatigue.

Stabilo Sensor Tip

The retractable tip is meant to help with writing comfort. It's also meant to enhance the pen's use with rulers and stencils, and to allow for a consistent line when applying different levels of pressure. It also helps preserve the integrity of the tip. I can see how the springiness would help with the life of the tip, where pressure will retract it instead of flattening it. Those with heavy writing hands may find that this fineliner lasts much longer than the standard ones. But I didn't get good line consistency with different levels of pressure. Writing with pressure created a much broader line--which isn't the intent of the feature, but was kind of a cool feature by itself. There aren't many fineliners that offer any line variation. It could be a fun thing to experiment with, though experiment may wear out the feature if abused, I suspect. Still--it could be a fun thing to use for a few bullet journal headers.

Stabilo Sensor Retractable Tip

This pen has been available for some time in standard colors, and now the new sets include a fun variety--though the sets have three of the same colors (teal, purple, and pink)--and then the Bright set has a lime green and the Colortangle has black. The groupings seem a little odd to me, but they're also available as open stock. The ink is well behaved and the colors are saturated and bright. I could see this being a popular pen for coloring books, if they released a better variety of colors.

Stabilo Sensor Writing

Overall, I think the Sensor is very useful and the unique feature makes it a bit fun and interesting. It's perfect for drafters or doodlers, and it's priced well to be good for office or student use.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Stabilo Sensor Pens
Posted on January 4, 2018 and filed under Stabilo, Fineliner, Drawing Pen, Pen Reviews.

Tombow Mono Drawing Pen Review

Tombow Mono Drawing Pen

Tombow has been in the art pen market for some time, and are especially well known for their series of brush pens. The popularity of the brand would lead you to think they would offer a standard drawing pen as part of their lineup before now, but it took until earlier this year for the Tombow Mono Drawing Pen to hit the market.

Tombow Mono Drawing Pen Cap

I got an early look at the 01, 03, and 05 tip size set from JetPens (they will be on the site soon - I’ll update the link when), and they are as good as you would expect from a company like Tombow. If you enjoy drawing pens and are a Tombow fan, I can recommend these to you wholeheartedly. If you are looking for your first drawing pen, read on to find out how they stack up against the competition.

Tombow Mono Drawing Pen Tip

Since I mostly write with this type of pen, I lean towards the middle of the spectrum on tip size. 01 is very fine, and limited to specific use cases unless you want to wreck the tip within minutes of opening the package. 05 leaves a fantastic, rich line, but is almost marker-sized. Too wide for me, but works well for coloring and filling in. 03 is the sweet spot, giving me a fine, clean written line, and works well for my quick sketches. It’s just the right width to show detail and remain legible.

Tombow Mono Drawing Pen Writing

It’s inevitable that the Tombow Mono Drawing Pen will be compared to the Sakura Pigma Micron and Staedtler Pigment Liner, the two top pens in this market. And that is before you get to my personal favorite, the Kuretake Zig Mangaka. The Tombow Mono Drawing Pen is not at that level in my book.

That’s not a knock on the Tombow, but rather a commentary on how good the other three pens are. This is a tough market to break into, and Tombow did a nice job. The are firmly in the second tier with other solid choices like the Uni Pin, Stabilo Point 88, and Pilot Drawing Pen, which it looks very similar to in fact. I’ve left out another half-dozen pens in this group as well.

Tombow Sakura Staedtler Kuretake

In my short time using them, the Tombow feels softer than the Micron, making me wonder if it will hold up as well. It’s close, but you can tell a difference. The black ink is dark, closer to the pitch black of the Staedtler than the slightly less dark Micron.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are in the Tombow camp for brush pens and other similar pens, then you will like these a lot. If you are agnostic and just want a great example of a drawing pen, then you should check out one or more of the other pens I mentioned.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Tombow Mono Drawing Pen Review
Posted on December 18, 2017 and filed under Tombow, Drawing Pen, Pen Reviews.