Posts filed under E+M

E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil Extender Review

E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil Extender Review

(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. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

As I've been carrying this E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil Extender around over the last few weeks, I've had to explain several times why such a product exists. "Sometimes pencils are special," I said. Some people understood. When you have a special pencil and you want to use it down to the last splinter, you need a pencil extender.

E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil

This extender is hexagonal, made from Beech wood and has a metal grip that holds your special pencil nub in place. The gripper fits most standard pencils' diameter and it has a metal ring you can slide up or down to tighten or loosen the grip. Of course, standard size is subjective. Typical yellow school pencils work perfectly, and so do most of my cute graphic pencils, but a few of my most precious pencils do not. Palomino Blackwings don't, due to their flat ferules--but they do fit if you break off the eraser. Yes, I broke a Blackwing to test this for you. You're welcome. Alas, some of my wider colored pencils don't fit, and some pencils with bulkier metal around the eraser don't quite work, either. But most of my pencils do fit, which means this simple contraption will get used.

E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil Extender 1
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It does have its downsides, though. If not tightened enough or if your pencil has a narrow diameter, it may wiggle a bit in the holder. Also, because the metal gripper is made to be flexible, it can easily be crushed or bent out of shape. I'd consider it a somewhat fragile product. Also, because it covers the end of the pencil, it blocks access to any remaining eraser you might have, so you'll need a separate eraser handy. Of course, if your pencil is down to its last few sharpens, the eraser may already be gone, anyway. The metal gripper can obstruct some sharpeners as your pencil gets smaller as well, so you may have to remove the pencil from the extender to sharpen it the last time or two.

E+M Peanpole

The remaining length of your pencil stub is also a factor. About 1" of pencil can fit into the holder. If your pencil is 3" or longer, the extender can feel a bit long. That's still probably better than too short, though. In any case, the window of comfortable use for this product might be a bit on the narrow side.

E+M Peanpole Wood Pencil 1

It's still worth it, though, to get the full use of your favorite pencils, and it prevents waste, which is always a plus. And at $4.30, it not much more than some of the fancy pencils themselves--and definitely worth a try if you, too, cherish pencil splinters.

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


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Posted on March 28, 2019 and filed under E+M, Pencil Reviews.

The E+M Shaper: A Wooden Bic

E&M Shaper.jpg

I'm a sucker for strange and unique designs. So, you can imagine my intrigue when I spotted the E+M Shaper on JetPens. It's a wood-body ballpoint pen with a very low cost of entry. It was a no-brainer purchase that I tossed into my cart along with some other things. I remember thinking, "It probably won't write like anything special, but I have to see this thing in person."

The pen came in, and I was pretty impressed by the look of it. The wood appears to be raw, and the model I got – the Zebrano – has some contrasty wood grain. It's nice to look at. The only marking on the pen is toward the back – a small brand that says "e+m Germany" in silver ink.

Picking it up was my first disappointment. It's incredibly light in a way that makes it difficult to use. But, hey, I can get used to that for a couple of minutes. So I grabbed some paper and began to write. Like any ballpoint, it took a few strokes before the ink started flowing regularly, and it was just as I expected. It writes like a ballpoint. Dry, skippy, and a little scratchy.

The real hang-up I have with this pen is the way it feels in my hand when I'm writing. I just can't find a comfortable grip. Nothing I do with my grip changes that feeling. The pen also feels a bit brittle when I'm using it. That is probably just a property of the wood, but it adds to the general bad feeling I get when writing with it. To compare it with something you're probably familiar with, this pen is lighter than a new, freshly sharpened #2 pencil.

Unlike your average Bic, this pen is not very portable. It's long and seemingly fragile. I can't imagine this pen would fare well in a bag or a pocket. My guess is that it wouldn't be long before you heard an audible snap.

Also, it's worth mentioning that this pen only has one ink color option: blue. So, you better like blue ink if you plan to use this pen because you probably won't be able to fit anything else into the body.

So, how do you refill a pen with a wooden body? It's actually pretty simple. It works just like a Bic Cristal – you just pull on the tip of the refill to remove it from the body, and slip in a new one. Like all pens with this refill method, this is easier said than done. Of course, Bic Cristals aren't made to be refillable (I was once a bored kid in class where the challenge of removing the ink cartridge was entertaining) because they're dirt cheap to begin with. The Shaper is refillable because it costs a few dollars and (here's the kicker) the refill is tiny. It's just under 2.5 inches in length. This is because the shape of the pen body becomes too narrow in the middle to accommodate a longer refill. Tiny! A Bic refill is easily twice as long, with some change.

It was a fun experiment, and I'm still glad to own the pen because it's unique. Maybe I'll meet someone that really loves the pen and I can make their day by giving it to them. Who knows. It writes like a Bic, feels awkward in my hand, but looks pretty on my desk. At this price, it's still an incredibly affordable decoration.

The model I got is $4.60 on JetPens. There are 4 other colors that are all two dimes cheaper than the Zebrano. Refills are $0.80, which strikes me as a bit expensive when you consider a pack of 12 Bic Cristals or Stics for less than two dollars.

Anyway, if they look interesting to you, try one out!

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and App.net.)

Posted on May 7, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, E+M.