People make mistakes, which is why pencils have erasers (well, not all pencils, but you get the point). But most pencils are optimized for writing, not erasing, so not all erase from paper very well. Instead the pencils smudge, smear, or leave ugly marks on the paper which you need to wear down the paper in order to remove.
But what kinds of pencils erase the best?
Continue reading “Which Type Of Pencil Erases The Best?”
If you have been in the market for a nice fountain pen (or at least researching them) then you have almost certainly encountered a material known as ebonite. But what exactly is ebonite, and why are the pens made from it so expensive?
Continue reading “What Is Ebonite (And Why Make Fountain Pens From It)?”
Ever notice how some pencils have erasers and some don’t? Are the eraser-clad pencils designed for writing and the eraser-less ones for art? Or is it something more complex?
Continue reading “Why Don’t Some Pencils Have Erasers?”
Remember back to grade school when everyone seemed to carry around the same black and white notebook? What’s the deal with composition notebooks? Do companies still make them? Do students still use them? Are some better than others?
Continue reading “What Is A Composition Notebook?”
When discussing pens on Unsharpen.com we use some terms so often that we assume everyone knows the meaning. But these meanings aren’t always clear and sometimes our definition will vary from that found on other sites.
With that in mind, what is a ballpoint pen?
Continue reading “What Is A Ballpoint Pen?”
If you are considering some new gel pens and you stumbled on the “Sarasa R” you might be a bit confused about this new gel pen. Here’s an explanation of how this newer model differences from the standard Sarasa pens.
Continue reading “Zebra Sarasa vs. Sarasa R: What’s The Difference?”
One of the downsides of the popularity of some fountain pens is that fakes have hit the market. Sometimes these are clones, but there are also outright fakes that are sold as the original. One of the pens that has been affected is the Lamy Safari.
Continue reading “Fake vs. Real Lamy Safari Guide”
One of the most popular questions sent to the Unsharpen Youtube channel is, “Where do I buy that pen?” And it makes sense, because while pens are sold almost everywhere, finding a specific pen can be a real challenge.
Here is our guide to buying pens in 2021.
Continue reading “Where To Buy Pens in 2021”
If you want a retractable fountain pen, you have to understand that you are diving into a niche within a niche. Only a tiny subset of fountain pens are retractable, so there isn’t as much competition as you’d expect, but this is still a rich and interesting segment.
Let’s run through today’s top retractable fountain pens.
Continue reading “The Best Retractable Fountain Pens of 2021”
It’s rare that you are in the market for a pen refill, rather you are likely trying to buy a refill for a specific pen. Even so, here are some truly exceptional pen refills that are worth keeping an eye out for when you next need a new refill for one of your pens.
These are refills that simply make me happy each time I use them and surprise me with their quality when I revisit them. These are refills that are worth buying a pen so you have somewhere to put them.
Continue reading “5 Truly Exceptional Pen Refills”
If you are shopping for a very affordable — as in sub-$30, sub-$20, or even sub-$5 — fountain pen and you want high-end features like screw-on cap, included converter, or piston-filling mechanism then you will almost certainly want a Chinese fountain pen.
Continue reading “Best Chinese Fountain Pen of 2021”
If you are in the market for a Micarta fountain pen you might be having a hard time finding one.
Continue reading “A List of Micarta Fountain Pens”
One of the odd things about the pen and pencil world is that these are tools people use every day but they often lack the vocabulary to describe what they are using. After all, technical discussion of pens and pencils doesn’t exactly come up very often in normal human interaction.
With the goal of aiding your talk about wooden pencils, here is the anatomy of a wooden pencil explained.
Continue reading “The Parts Of Wooden Pencil”
Fountain pen ink might seem like a some kind of mythical substance that can only be made through some sort of alchemy, but that’s not the case. At the very heart of it, fountain pen ink is simply a loose, watery ink that is compatible with a pen’s nib. And while there is certainly lots of craft and innovation and chemistry involved in professional inks, there are simpler forms that anyone can make.
Continue reading “Can You Make Fountain Pen Ink At Home?”
Mechanical pencil lead might seem like it’s the same from brand to brand, but the graphites are actually quite varied. Some brands use better lead than others and even sell high-end aftermarket lead separately from their pencils.
Think of mechanical pencil lead like a pen refill: the one that is included with your pencil might be fine, but it isn’t the only one you can use and it probably isn’t the best one available!
Continue reading “The Best Mechanical Pencil Leads of 2021”