Posts filed under Pen Type-B

My Favorite Products Of 2015

I thought I would do something fun to wrap up what has been an amazing 2015. These are the products I got the most enjoyment out of this year. They didn't have to be new this year, just goods that I used and loved and stood out in a very crowded desk. Some of the products are mainstream, some are one of a kind, and all are loved. By me!

Blackwing 602

The pencil revolution has always been televised, I just wasn’t tuned into the right channel. That changed in the past year or two as I dug deeper into woodcase pencil scene and listened and learned to my friends at the Erasable Podcast. The Blackwing 602 was one of the first that I tried years ago, then fell by the wayside when I discovered the Tombow Mono 100. Something changed this year (was it the orange erasers?) and I couldn’t put the 602 down.

Rhodia Ice Pads

Paper draws the short end of the stick around here for some reason, and I need to try and review more in 2016. A handful of brands live on my desk at any time, and all are in use in some way, shape, or form. Rhodia dominates though, and the design of the Ice Pads are my favorite. Hopefully these become a mainstay of the product line.

Montblanc JFK Ink

It’s not a shock that a blue black ink is one of my favorite products of the year, but it is a surprise - even to me - that it is from Montblanc. JFK is a fantastic navy blue that looks great and performs exceptionally. I never have an issue with it in any pen, and I’ve used it in many. The only kicker is it is a limited edition, so these two bottles are going to have to last me for a while.

Edison Pearl G10 Orange

The first completely unfair item on this list is the Edison Pearl G10 in orange that I purchased at the DC Pen Show in August. It is a one of a kind prototype, made by Brian Gray to see how the G10 material performed as a pen barrel. One orange and one black were for sale, and it was all I could do to not buy both. It was expensive, but this is the best pen I bought in 2015.

Pen Type-B

This one may be a bit unfair as well, as I received a pre-release prototype of the Pen Type-B from CW&T during their Kickstarter launch. They were available to everyone though, but haven’t arrived in mailboxes yet. I’m in love with this pen and it rarely leaves my pen case. It reminded me how much I love the 0.3 mm Pilot Hi-Tec-C too.

Karas Kustoms Ink v2

I was all about the original Karas Kustoms Ink when it launched, even option for a second one in the famed Iron Man colorway. Karas upped their game with version 2 of the Ink, giving it a hooded nib design and switching over to Bock nibs. I’ve only had this pen for a month or so but it is already a mainstay.

I used a ton of products in 2015, and many more desrved to make this list. These rose to the top of the unofficial usage charts. For 2016, how about official usage charts! I’ll plan on doing that and see how it goes.

What were your favorite produts you used in 2015?

Posted on December 28, 2015 and filed under Blackwing 602, Edison, Karas Kustoms, Pen Type-B, Rhodia.

First Look: Pen Type-B from CW&T

It's a good time to be a Kickstarter pen fan, isn't it?

This weeks First Look comes from my old friends Che-Wei and Taylor, better known as design group CW&T. Possibly even better known as the team who brought you the Pen Type-A. They were kind enough to get one of the early builds of the Pen Type-B into my hands for review, and for that I am very thankful.

Many of you have heard of the Pen Type-A, and for those who haven't, you have quite a bit of catching up to do! The Pen Type-A was the first Kickstarter pen to break through to the mainstream, and with that came money, exposure, failure, theft, and more. It was quite the story during the production and fulfillment process. The Kickstarter updates and comments section are worth reading if you have several hours to spare. NOTCOTdid a good job of rounding up the details if you are looking for the shorter version.

With the learning experience of all learning experiences behind them, Che-Wei and Taylor set out to improve on the Pen Type-A. Not just improve actually. They believe in the Pen Type-B so much they are calling their shot: This is the last pen they will ever design.

At it's core, the Pen Type-B is the barrel of the Pen Type-A with a new exterior sleeve to make the pen portable, which the Pen Type-A wasn't. The sleeve isn't just an afterthought either. It is solid brass, machined to such a tight tolerance that it creates a piston-like effect when pulling the barrel out and sliding it back in. Again, just like the Pen Type-A did.

The brass sleeve is something special. It is stunning to look at and hold, and the addition of a single flat side on the sleeve serves as the perfect roll-stopper. It is HEAVY though. When I opened the package and grabbed it for the first time I let out a "whoa", then did the whole balance in my palm lift it up and down thing. I got used to it the more I carried it around, but if you are planning on carrying it in your pocket you will want a tight one, like found in jeans to prevent the pen (like a phone) from bouncing around too much. You also probably aren't going to write with the sleeve posted either. It's doable, but the balance is a little off. I don't post it to write with personally.

The fatal flaw with the Pen Type-B, as many will point out, is the use of the Pilot Hi-Tec-C refill. Both universally loved for its crisp, clean lines, and loathed for its tendency to fail, it is a divisive refill. And rightfully so. I'm on the side of the fence that puts up with it because when it works it is impossible to beat the output. So far, no issues with my refill in the Pen Type-B, and I wonder if the tight tolerances will even help keep the tip from drying out? Only time will tell. And if you like the design but hate the refill, CW&T lists other compatible refills that will work with the addition of a spacer.

I'm a backer of this pen on Kickstarter, and now that I have had the chance to sample one, I am an ecstatic backer. This is one of those pens that will cause some reshuffling of the deck, if you will. I can only carry so many pens at a time, and one of them is going to be relegated to the desk when my Pen Type-B arrives.

My thanks to CW&T for sending me one of their few pre-production samples for review.

Posted on October 19, 2015 and filed under Kickstarter, Pen Reviews, Pen Type-A, Pen Type-B.