Posts filed under Kuretake

Kuretake Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Review

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Review

What happens when you take a pen I already love - like the Kokuyo Cocoiro - and add in patterned barrels? Well, when those patterns are as fun as these cats, hedgehogs, polar bears, and flamingos, I buy them.

If you aren’t familiar with the Cocoiro model, it is a neat little product. The refills are essentially self-contained units that snap into the barrel sleeve of the pen. This gives you a ton of customization options, not just in looks, but with colors and even types of tips.

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen

This model comes with the black extra fine brush, but you can swap it out for 12 different colors, a longer brush tip, or even an 0.3 mm rollerball, which I reviewed previously.

For writing, the extra fine brush tip size is the way to go. For a comparison, I liken it to the Zebra Disposable Super Fine, which is my favorite. It can handle the pace of writing without taking too much out of the tip. Brush pens are always a race against tip destruction, and this one has held up well so far.

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Refill

When I laid eyes on the Cocoiro years ago I couldn’t figure out what was going on with this barrel design. In fact, I thought it was ugly. But getting it in hand and seeing how the refill snapped in and out of place I finally got it. The one strange thing about the refill isn’t the design, but rather, the glitter in the plastic body of it. These aren’t glitter inks, but the refill would make you think otherwise.

Speaking of ink, it is not waterproof. I know many artists need that for their work, and this one is not an option if that is a requirement. Also, I find the ink a little dry and light on occasion. Comparing it again to the Zebra Disposable, the black is not as rich in color.

Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Tip

As much as I love the Cocoiro, I cannot give it a no-brainer recommendation because of the price. You can buy the basic body for $2 and add a refill for $2.50, making for a $4.50 base brush pen. The pattern models (I bought Polar Bear and Hedgehog!) run $6 for a body/refill combo. I don’t think that is too much for a fun pen, but I do think it is too much for a workhorse brush pen. At that point, I’m paying the $2.50-$3.00 for Zebra or Tombow disposable brush pens.

I like to have fun with my stationery, and these Cocoiro pens definitely deliver that. They are a pen that make me smile, and I like to keep them around the desk for quick notes with the added flair of a brush tip. For more than that, you may want to look elsewhere.

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


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Kokuyo Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine Letter Pen Writing
Posted on January 21, 2019 and filed under Kuretake, Cocolro, Brush Pen, Pen Reviews.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Review

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen 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.)

I can't draw or do lettering very well, so brush pens always confound me a bit. I love the feel of the way they write, but I can't wield them the way that artists do, and I certainly don't get the beautiful results. I still reach for them, though. I'm usually writing just for myself, so neatness isn't critical.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen

The very fine points on these Kuretake Fudegokochi brush pens give me the fun feeling of writing with a brush pen while still allowing me to write legibly. Well, as much as I ever do, anyway. The line varies from .4mm to 1.8mm, and the firm felt tip springs back so that the very fine line is maintained even as the brush breaks in.

The pens are very well made. The body is lightweight plastic. The caps and end caps are the color of the pen ink, the body is in a parchment color with a matte finish, minimal branding in Japanese text, and the grip section is clear, so the ink can be seen moving through the feed. The clip is metal, very sturdy and springy. The cap snaps securely and posts deeply. The grip is not tapered at all, but the cylinder is a good diameter and the pen is light enough that a fancy grip isn't needed.

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Blue Black

The ink colors in these blue-black and brown samples are lovely. They're earthy and neutral, but rich in pigment. They do feel a bit dry on the page, but there doesn't appear to be any ink starvation. It may just be the texture of the tip. The ink dries quickly and doesn't smear. I did not see any feathering on Rhodia paper, and there was no bleed-through, even when I pressed the tip to its maximum flex. It is important to note, though, that this ink is not waterproof. So, while it is great for line drawings, it should not be colored over with paint or marker (unless you want smearing and colors to run, which does look cool, if that's what you're going for).

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen Brown

The pens are not refillable, and are a bit pricey at $4.25 a pop. The six-color pack at $20 isn't a bad deal, though, and is something I'd definitely go for if I used brush pens with any regularity (or if I used them with even a small measure of talent). Of all the brush pens I've used just for funsies, these are some of the nicest.

(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.

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Kuretake Fudegokochi
Posted on January 17, 2019 and filed under Kuretake, Brush Pen, Pen Reviews.

Kuretake ZIG Clean Color FB Brush Pen 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.)

When I was a kid, my mom always had a lot of brush pens. She was studying Japanese, so they were a useful tool. Occasionally, my brother and I would find them and have a blast. The Kuretake ZIG Clean Color FB take me back to that play, only without the time-out that usually followed.

Brush pens have certainly improved since then--I remember them drying out and fraying quickly, though that may have been due to my childish coloring techniques. But these pens were very smooth on both Rhodia and watercolor papers and didn't dry out on me during use. I expected to feel some feedback or even see bits of tipping or paper on the watercolor swatches, but they were perfectly well behaved.

The ink is a water-based dye ink. It is most likely not lightfast. It can be blended with water for a paint-like effect, though not all of the colors are equally successful with this. Some spread easily and completely, while others barely moved at all, and many still showed the original marker lines underneath. The ink is odorless, xylene-free, and AP-certified nontoxic. So they're great for leaving them out where your kids can find them and foster and early love for stationery.

The colors are very vivid, even when diluted with water. The Pure set includes carmine red (022), cornflower blue (037), gray (090), green (040), May green (047), mustard (067), oatmeal (064), orange (070), pink (025), platinum brown (903), violet (080), and yellow (050).

The felt brush tip is not super flexible (it may loosen up after some more use), but using the side angles of the brush can create some great line variation. The tip is not replaceable and the ink is not refillable.

The body is a sturdy grey plastic and the snap cap is clear, with a nice wide clip. I suppose the clear cap might help to identify the color, but many colors look fairly indistinct through the plastic. In order to identify the color you'll have to check the bottom disc of the pen, or navigate the novel of text on the pen body looking for the color name. This drove me bananas when I was using these. If you have them in a pen cup or stored in sleeves, you're better off just memorizing the color numbers, because all that info will be hidden. Unless you store them upside-down, which may be a perfectly good option with these. This brand's other lines of brush pens have a colored plastic section, making color identification quick and easy. I'm not sure why they didn't go that route with these.

As far as price goes, at just under $2 per pen, these are right in the middle of the road. I did notice that there is almost no cost advantage to buying the sets. A set of twelve costs only 2 cents less than buying 12 open-stock pens. One the one hand, I think that's a bit of a bummer, but on the other hand that means you can just pick whatever colors you want without feeling like you're not getting the best deal.

I don't think these pens are great tools for artists, but they're a lot of fun for more casual use. I'm looking forward to trying them in coloring books and leaving them out where my kids can find them.

(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, which I am very grateful for.

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

Posted on August 10, 2017 and filed under Kuretake, Brush Pen, Pen Reviews.