Tuesday Toolset, First Edition Edition?

I want to add a regularly scheduled post to the blog around my personal daily and weekly carry items, and Tuesday Toolset is my answer to that. It is absolutely a work in progress, and your feedback is appreciated. Here is the general idea:

— Each week, I pick a small group of items I plan on carrying and using as my primary stationery tools for the week.

— There are no fixed rules, but in general, it will be a smaller carry. Something I can grab in one hand and take with me on the go.

— I’m not limiting myself to only these goods for the week - I have other pens and pencils in use at my desk and around the house at all times (especially review goods) - but these will be my primary tools.

The reasoning behind this is that readers want to know what I am using on a regular basis. I use A LOT of stationery, and this will be a way to rotate through it and share my thoughts. This will be a short-ish post, with pictures, links, and a few words about each product. Something like this:

Tuesday Toolset Open Case

Rotring 600 0.5 mm Mechanical Pencil loaded with Rotring Tikky Hi-Polymer HB Lead.

The 600 lives on my desk and will be in even more frequent use now as I go through my graphite testing. This week, it is the Tikky Hi-Poly HB, a more mainstream lead than I reviewed earlier this week.

Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black Fountain Pen, F nib, inked with Sailor Sei-boku blue black ink cartridge.

This is a great pen that doesn’t get enough love from me, so I am correcting that right now. I chose the Sailor pigmented blue black ink cartridge because it performs well with nearly every paper I’ve tried it on. Since this is a portable carry, I wanted an ink to fit.

James Brand Benton Limited Edition loaded with the Jetstream SXR-600-07 refill.

I’m enjoying this pen, but I don’t think it is worth the price tag. I bought the $85 model because of the color scheme and notebooks that came with it. The $60 standard model may be more in line. That said, this refill absolutely lives up to the hype so far.

Nock Co. DotDash Pocket Notebook.

My favorite every day carry pocket notebook. Works with almost anything I throw at it.

Nock Co. Tallulah Pen Case.

It’s slim, it’s pocketable, and it holds everything I need. The notebook doesn’t fit, of course, but I can fit all of the pens in it and grab the notebook all in one hand. It slides into a pocket or backpack easily.

So that’s an example of what I think this post can be. Here are the questions/problems I have in my head that hopefully you can help me solve:

— Is this worthwhile? If nothing else, it is a pocket dump, what’s in my bag type of post, and I always enjoy those. Maybe I get readers to submit theirs too to keep it fresh? That seems like a no-brainer to me. I do think that would require rules, ie. maximum of five items.

— Minimal notebook variance. That’s kind of a self-imposed thing, as I am trying to keep one pocket notebook active per month. That doesn’t mean I don’t try and test out other things, so maybe it is a non-issue. We will see how it plays out.

— Nock Co. over promotion. If you know me, you know how I like to conduct business, and that is not by slamming my business down your throat at all times. But guess what? I started Nock to make the things I want to carry, and I carry Nock goods all the time because I love them. If I have a case in my carry there is a 75% chance it is a Nock Co. product. Is this a problem? This goes for paper, current and future pen and pencil products, all of the things I sell.

— Naming convention. This is small potatoes, but I like to have fun with my titles. I think something relative to the products within is fun, similar to how I do my weekend Misfill post. It beats “Tuesday Toolset, 1/8/2019” I think.

— Do I need number pointer overlays on each picture to correspond with each item? Probably so. I’m open to simple OS X or iOS recommendations for this.

That’s where I’m at right now. I think the easiest solution is taking submissions for Tuesday Toolset, which honestly didn’t occur to me before I typed it above. I get a lot of feedback that requests more of me on the blog, but maybe the real answer is the collective we. What do all of us stationery geeks like to carry on a daily basis? Something to think about.

Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday Toolset Spread
Posted on January 8, 2019 and filed under Tuesday Toolset.

Pilot Neox 2H 0.5 mm Graphite Review

Pilot Neox 2H 0.5 mm Graphite Review

The first time I touched the page with the Pilot Neox 2H I thought “Wow, I can write firm and fast with this lead.” Then I realized “Oh yeah, it’s a 2H lead, dummy!” Decades of stock HB mechanical pencil lead usage will poison your brain apparently.

Out of approximately two dozen packs of lead sitting on my desk right now, I chose a 2H first. Why? With wooden pencils, I enjoy the H side of the scale more than the B side. They are very firm, which results in two things: Great point retention and light color. Those may or may not be positives in your book. Finding the perfect combination of all of these things is the eternal search.

Pilot Neox 2H 0.5 mm Graphite

The Neox is marketed very specifically by Pilot. The short description on JetPens says it all:

“Enjoy a luxuriously smooth, clean writing experience with these Pilot Neox leads. They are made from high-quality graphite with very few impurities, allowing the carbon atoms to be more strongly bonded than in conventional leads. This results in strong leads that produce clean, sharp lines. It also lets the natural lubricating properties of graphite crystal shine, resulting in leads that glide effortlessly across the page."

This lead is as strong as any I have used in an 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. Even with my heavy hand, breaking it isn’t even a consideration. The strength of the lead plays into point retention too. I began the review below with two clicks of my Alvin Draft-Matic and wrote the entire page without clicking to advance the lead again. Impressive.

One of the sacrifices you have to make when using H-grade lead is that it will be light on the page. Hardness and lightness go hand in hand: The harder the lead, the lighter the line. For everyday writing, 2H is about as firm as I want to go, with this Neox 2H laying down a darker than expected line. I didn’t love it as much on graph paper as I did on lined paper where there is no background distraction, but overall it was plenty dark for me.

Pilot Neox 2H 0.5 mm Graphite Writing

If there is a knock on this lead it's that “luxuriously smooth” is too smooth. Smoothness in graphite is nice - no one wants scratchy lead - but it can go too far. Once it starts to feel plastic-y when writing it is too smooth for me. It is especially noticeable on the hard side of the scale. I want a touch of feedback, not carbon atoms so strongly bonded that they need to add more fiber to their diet.

Pilot Neox 2H 0.5 mm Review

Overall, I’m happy with the Pilot Neox 2H lead. It’s not knock-your-socks-off great, but it is very good. How it stacks up with the rest of my stash is to be determined. These lead reviews are a learning experiment for me, and the more I test the more I will be able to compare them to each other. I can’t wait to narrow this batch down to a few favorites that I can recommend. Stay tuned!

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

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Pilot Neox 2H 0.5 mm
Posted on January 7, 2019 and filed under Mechanical Pencil Lead, Pencil Reviews.