De Atramentis Pearlescent Brillant Violet Silver Ink 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.)

So, more sparkle inks, yes? I have to say that I feel like my sparkle ink needs are already met, but that feeling is in direct opposition to my "more ink, please" philosophy. So, sure--more sparkle ink. This time it's De Atramentis bringing the glimmer to your pages, with their Pearlescent line, which includes a wide variety of colors with either silver or gold sparkle. One thing that this line offers that the others don't is your choice of either gold or silver in each color. So if you fall in love with a base color, you can go with either the cool or warm shine to it.

This ink is very shiny. At the right angle, it is almost mirror-bright in sunlight. And the shimmer shows nicely even in a Pilot Metro fine point nib. With a stub, it's a total party ink. It might even be a bit too much for everyday use, at least for me. I'd reserve something this blingy for holiday cards and special occasions. Or for sending really alarming news.

The color of this Brilliant Violet lives up to its name. It's a very saturated color with lots of zip. The dry time is fairly slow on Rhodia paper. It was noticeably faster on cheaper paper, where it still showed a good sparkle and very little feathering. There's almost no shading to be seen on any paper. It survived a light sprinkle of water with the lines still visible, but when really soaked it all disappeared. It does, however, stain skin and remain firmly in place for days. I also noticed that, when dry, the sparkle rubs off the paper a bit. So if you're passing your hand over dry writing, you may end up looking like Tinkerbell. There is no extra charge for this service.

The chromatography showed some lovely blue undertones, but overall it's not a terribly complex color. It is brighter than the other purples in my collection, but that's likely because I prefer my purples more muted. The silver sparkle does cool the color down a bit--the gold sparkle version of the same color looks quite different. It's really interesting to see how the different sparkles change the colors throughout the collection.

The ink flowed well in my TWSBI with a stub nib, even after sitting for several days. And I had no trouble with it in the fine point Pilot Metro, either. I did have some flow issues with the TWSBI when I swapped in the medium nib, even after forcing some ink into the feed--but the difference was drastic enough that I'd attribute the issue to the nib rather than the ink.

If you're looking to add some serious zing to your writing or artwork, these inks should do the trick. And with ten different colors, each with the two sparkle options, there's almost certainly one that inspires you. The Heliogen Green with gold sparkle is calling to me. My pen pals can anticipate Tinkerbell letters in the near future (happy thoughts included).

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


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Posted on July 27, 2017 and filed under De Atrementis, Ink Reviews.

HMM Rule/One Pen and Ruler Review

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

The HMM Rule/One pen and ruler is a unique design that may appeal to the design crowd more than the normal pen enthusiast. The industrial design and unique aesthetic is certainly interesting, but that unique-ness may detract from the actual writing experience.

Now, this isn't the first time you've probably seen a design like this for a pen. Remember the CW&T Pen Type-A? Similar design, similar target audience. While the Pen Type-A is certainly quite a bit more expensive than the Rule/One, and they both work with different types of refills (Uniball Signo vs. Pilot Hi-Tec-C), I have a hard time recommending the Rule/One due to a few design problems that make me unsure of the product.

First, let's run through the features of this pen. As you can see, the pen is housed in a ruler/straightedge case and stays connected by magnets. The ruler is five inches on one side, and 13 centimeters on the other. At the top of the ruler section, there's a removable nut that allows you to install an included stylus tip or lanyard loop. It uses a standard flat-head screwdriver to remove/install the standard nut, and installation of the other optional pieces is a breeze.

The pen is nicely weighted and has a nice accent color (black, orange, or silver) at the tip. The rest of the pen (and the ruler) is a textured, black aluminum that feels and looks great. The pen uses Uniball Signo refills, so your options for replacement are great. A black 0.5mm refill is included with the pen, and replacing it is an easy task of unscrewing the tip, removing the refill, removing the circular magnet sleeve from the refill, and putting everything back together again with the new refill.

The teardrop shape of the ruler is helpful when using it as a straightedge, and also creates a lot of visual interest when it's laying on your desk. The aesthetic design of this instrument is very pleasing, and I'm sure it will catch the eyes of your coworkers quite often. It's certainly a conversation piece.

Unfortunately, the topics of conversation might lean toward the negative depending on how you view the writing capabilities of this pen along with the overall fit and finish of the entire thing.

The pen can be somewhat uncomfortable to write with, but this is really a personal preference. I didn't like the Pen Type-A for this same reason. I prefer a tapered, conical grip/tip for my pens, not a sudden drop from one large diameter to a much smaller one.

But, my number one complaint with this pen, and the overall reason why I can't recommend it, is the amount of wobble and looseness present when you "cap" the pen into the ruler casing. It uses magnets to secure the two pieces together, and they just aren't strong enough to make a sturdy fit. It easily falls out, makes noise when handling, and turns easily while closed. I have a couple other pens that rely on magnets to close the pen, and they are rock solid. I have to wonder if stronger magnets would solve this problem.

Another part of this "wobble" issue is the size of the hole that houses the pen tip. It's way too large. If the size was closer to the diameter of the pen tip, this would also go a long way in securing the pen when in the closed position. But, in reality, it's about two times too large, and that allows a lot of wobble.

When putting this pen in a bag for a short commute, I've never gotten it out in one piece. They always separate at some point, and it's not like I'm hiking over a mountain, either. From desk to bag, a short car ride and walk to the office, and then back out of the bag. Two pieces — every time.

The fact that a lanyard loop is included is somewhat confusing to me considering the weak magnet problem. If you use this with a lanyard, I think the pen will stay attached as designed about 75% of the time, but it will almost certainly come undone fairly regularly. I haven't really tested this much because I'm worried of losing the pen.

Needless to say, this pen has been relegated to "desk only" duty, which is a shame. It's a handsome pen, and it has great utility. It's unfortunate that a couple of key design problems hinder this pen from realizing its full potential. Maybe in version two those faults might be corrected.

At $60, the price is a bit too steep to allow for this kind of design flaw, especially when it's part of the core functionality of the whole instrument. It's a great concept, but the delivery just isn't there yet.

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


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Posted on July 26, 2017 and filed under HMM Ruler, Pen Reviews.

Kaweco Liliput Brass Ballpoint Review

If there were ever a pen in need of a built in tracking device it would be the Kaweco Liliput Ballpoint.

I love pocket pens about as much as any other subset of pens or pencils I can think of. Manufacturers these days build durable, functional, and great performing pocket pens. The only catch is the obvious one: They are easy to misplace, or even lose.

That's where I was a week ago with the Brass Liliput Ballpoint. I had been carrying and using it in preparation for this review, and took it on a trip with me to an out of town baseball tournament. I keep score for my sons team in a traditional scorebook, and was planning on using this pen for the task.

Fisher Space Pen, top.

Fisher Space Pen, top.

As it turns out, I left it back in the hotel room before the first game. I keep my Brass Fisher Space Pen in the car for situations just like this, and it became my scoring pen for the weekend. (I use pen in the scorebook instead of pencil. When it's 90+ degrees outside my hand and arm sweat smear pencil marks, which drives me insane.)

I went on about my fun-filled weekend and forgot all about the Liliput. This came into play the following week when I wanted to continue using it in preparation for this review. It had left my mind so completely I didn't remember where I had put it, or that I had even taken it with me.

I looked for it around the house for a couple of days, then gave up. I only stumbled back on it because I was looking for a power cord in the backpack I took. There was the Liliput, tucked neatly inside the Field Notes Campfire Edition that I had brought. I felt like a big dummy, but I was happy my pen was found.

You'd think stories like this would turn me off pocket pens completely, but that's not going to happen. I love this pen, and others like it.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen, top.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain Pen, top.

I prefer the brass Liliput over its aluminum counterpart, mainly due to the weight of the pen. The aluminum model has an airy feel, while the brass has some density to it. It's not a weighty pen by any stretch, but you can feel it unlike the aluminum model. You think the brass model is easy to lose? The aluminum model laughs at your silliness.

Two areas where the Liliput beats the competition in my mind are it's retractable deployment and the use of D1 refills. Most pocket pens are capped - like the Fisher Space Pen - and therefore take more time to start writing. Those with a knock - like the Lamy Pico - are two to three times the size of the Liliput. I love both of those pens too, but it goes to show you how different the Liliput is in this category.

The use of a D1 refill gives this pen flexibility its competition can't offer either. Kaweco's stock blue ballpoint is fantastic, but you can upgrade it to a Uni-ball Jetstream or Zebra Sarasa Gel - two of my favorite D1 options. There are a myriad of other choices as well.

If there is any downside to this pen it is the price. At $70 it is very expensive relative to its competition. Add in the fact of how easy it is to lose or misplace, well, that’s a lot of money down the drain. People have given up the Fisher Space Pen for the same reason, and it is less than a third of the cost.

Decisions, decisions. I love this pen. I’m glad I have it. I recommend it wholeheartedly. But there is a price to be paid for ownership, and after as well.

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


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Posted on July 24, 2017 and filed under Kaweco, Liliput, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.