Posts filed under Kunisawa

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Review

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Review

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

A couple of weeks ago, Susan posted a review of the Find A5 notebook, and I also wrote about the Find Pocket notebook, both of which are produced by Kunisawa.

To round out my own experiences with these notebooks, I have the Kunisawa Find Smart notebooks. These notebooks are a unique offering because of their size. They don't fit a standard ISO paper size, but it's similar to a slim version of a B6 notebook. At only 95x167mm, it's a size that will easily fit in a pocket or pouch, but affords you some extra vertical space for writing. It's about the same width as a standard Field Notes book, but you get an extra inch on top.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook

Another unique attribute of this notebook is the cover. It's a nicely constructed hard cover with an elegant gold-debossed logo on the front. Apart from the company slogan in the inside front cover ("I do not seek, I find") and the additional logo in the inside back cover, there is no other branding on this book. It's delightfully minimal.

The binding is well done on all three books I have. It's a stitched binding that's also glued into a spine and covered with the hardcover. It seems incredibly durable and feels great. The book has no trouble laying flat and closing properly.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Gilding

The notebook also features gold foil on the page edges, but I'm not a fan of gold foiled pages. It does match the front logo foil, so that's nice. If I had the option, I'd go with plain white paper edges over gold foil any day.

Once you open the notebook, you're greeted with some polarizing graph paper. It's a small 2.5mm grid, which can take some getting used to if you don't use it regularly. I don't use it very often, so my eyes struggled to cope with the small squares the first few times I opened the book. After writing for a bit, I figured out the sweet spot for my writing, but I don't prefer this kind of graph paper. I'd rather have a standard 5mm graph.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Graph

Unlike the other Kunisawa notebooks we've reviewed here, this paper is a noticeable cream color. I'm not a huge fan of the color of the paper, as it can alter the appearance of some inks. Again, after using it for a bit, I stopped noticing.

Once I started writing with this paper, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a decent paper, but not as fountain pen friendly as they claim. It can certainly handle a wide variety of inks and pens, but you can kiss the back of the page goodbye. In some instances, there is heavy feathering depending on the ink you use. The show-through to the back page is significant. Depending on the pens you use, the back page won't be useful.

Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Writing

Despite the "meh" performance, it's a very smooth paper and is pleasant to use. It's comparable to Field Notes paper in how it handles different inks, but it's a tad smoother.

On the Kunisawa website, the Find Smart notebook goes for 1,000 yen (each), which translates to about $9. At this price, I can't recommend the notebook when I know what other options exist in the stationery world. It's a decent notebook, but I'm not sure it lives up to the price.


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Kunisawa Find Smart Notebook Paper
Posted on September 19, 2018 and filed under Kunisawa, Notebook Reviews.

Kunisawa A5 Find Notebook: A Review

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

Earlier this week, Jeff did a review of the Kunisawa Pocket Find Notebook. Today, I’m reviewing its larger cousin: the Kunisawa Find Notebook.

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The Kunisawa Find Notebook is an A5-sized, cardboard bound notebook with 192 pages. The outside edges of the pages are gilded, making the notebook look especially sophisticated.

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The first page of the notebook says, “i do not seek, i find.” Thus the name: Find Notebook.

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The exterior of the notebook is dark gray with a metallic sheen. The Kunisawa logo and name adorn the book in copper (which matches the gilded edges). This is definitely a great-looking notebook.

The notebook is nicely bound so that the book lies flat when open. The pages aren’t perforated, so you cannot easily remove them. A ribbon bookmark is included.

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The paper is called “Foolscap,” but I could not find the weight on the website. It is a cream color with 5mm gridlines. I tested the paper with various fountain pens and inks. All of the pens and inks seemed to work well in this initial test. I didn’t notice any bleeding and the paper was very smooth.

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However, there’s quite a bit of show through on the reverse side.

Fountain Pen Show Through.jpg

I also tested the notebook with other kinds of pens, a highlighter, and a pencil. It handled all of these quite nicely. However, the Sharpie (unsurprisingly) bled completely through the paper, and there was a bit of show through with the other pens.

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Next, I tested the paper with my my Aurora 88 stub inked with Iroshizuku Ama-Iro. In this test, I discovered that the ink feathered and bled through pretty obviously.

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Although I love the look of the Kunisawa notebook, I am not impressed with the paper. It works well with fine-point fountain pens, rollerballs, and pencils. But even some of those exhibited show through. With the Aurora 88 stub, there was feathering, show through, and bleeding. For a notebook “specifically designed for fountain pens” (according to the website), the amount of bleeding and show through was disappointing.

You can purchase the Kunisawa A5 Find Notebook directly from the Kunisawa Stationery Store for 3,000 yen (= $27.13).

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


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Posted on September 7, 2018 and filed under Kunisawa, Notebook Reviews.

Kunisawa Find Pocket Notebook Review

Kunisawa Find Pocket Notebook Review

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

The market for good pocket notebooks is one that continually grows and allows new players to offer their unique take on what makes a pocket notebook great. The latest notebook I've had the pleasure of using is from a company called Kunisawa. The Find Pocket Notebook is a plain book with good paper, strong and attractive binding, and a great price.

Like any true pocket notebook, the Find Pocket comes in at 145x90mm (or 5.7x3.5"), which is a great size for stuffing in pockets, bags, and other small spaces. It's just a little taller than a standard Field Notes book, so you already know the form factor. With 50 sheets, you also get a bit more use out of it through its life.

Kunisawa Find Pocket Notebook

The cover is a thick and durable chipboard. I love the texture and colors of these books. I have three versions, which come in a light gray-blue, a tan khaki color, and a medium gray. The bottom corners are rounded, which make it easier to slip into pockets without getting snagged. This isn't the thickest chipboard I've seen on notebooks, but it's certainly a durable variant. I've had no concerns that the cover will ever tear, break, or come undone from the binding.

Unlike a lot of pocket notebooks these days, the Find Pocket notebook contains minimal branding. On the front cover, there's a small gold-embossed logo that includes the company name along with a small bird. On the inside of the front cover, there's a small embossed logo as well. The only other branding present on this book is in the inside of the back cover, which contains the company logo, name, and some information on where it was made.

Kunisawa Find Pocket Notebook Writing

The binding is an attractive double spiral made from (what looks like) brass. It's fairly strong and resilient, but it can be bent and misshapen if enough pressure is applied. The binding is smooth, looks great, and does a great job of keeping the pages connected. The color an absolutely perfect compliment to the cover colors.

Now to the paper! The paper in this notebook is lightweight, but still very capable. The exact weight isn't listed on the website, but I'd guess it's somewhere around the 80 or 90 gsm. The pages are not perforated, so keep that in mind if you tend to remove pages from spiral notebooks. It's possible with this notebook, but you have to tear from the binding and deal with the paper teeth that are left behind.

Kunisawa Find Pocket Notebook Back

The paper is covered in a light gray graph pattern. The graph is spaced at 5mm, which is a comfortable distance. The paper is also a light cream color, which also looks great against the binding color.

The paper looks and feels nice, but it's also a great paper to write on! I tried many pens with this paper, and it performed incredibly well. No issues with bleeding or feathering, and acceptable amounts of show-through on the back of the page. Depending on the pen and ink you're using, you can probably write on both sides of the page. The paper has a smooth coating on top of it that makes writing an enjoyable experience. This coating does mean that dry times are close to 15 or 20 seconds in most cases. Despite that, this paper is fantastic.

The retail price of the Kunisawa Find Pocket notebooks are somewhere between six and seven US Dollars (750 yen), which is a great deal. The paper is premium, the aesthetic has a great vibe, and it fits in small spaces.

There are many shops that carry the Kunisawa brand, and if you happen upon these notebooks, I encourage you to give them a try. You really can't go wrong.

(Kunisawa 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!

Kunisawa Find Notebook
Posted on September 5, 2018 and filed under Kunisawa, Notebook Reviews.