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Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Unsharpen Team

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The team handles writing and curation for Unsharpen.com. This includes writing most articles, writing pen, paper, etc. reviews, and building out the site's data catalog. Have a question? Reach out at hello@unsharpen.com.

The Best Black Fountain Pen Ink of 2020

Black fountain pen ink tests to be the workhorse ink of many people. Blues can be for work or fun, same with reds, while the purples and oranges are more expressive and usually saved for personal activities. Black ink, despite its huge varieties, tends to be an ink for getting stuff done.

So what’s the best black fountain pen ink for day-to-day use?

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The Best Paper Desk Pads For Your Home Office

Midori MD Deskpad A4

With so much work happening on computers people have less need for desk pads… but we still love them! These large paper pads are simply the best for quick notes, writing down a phone number, or scribbling ideas while on a conference call.

Large desk pads that use top quality paper are are hard to find these days, but they still exist. After doing a lot of research and more than a bit of testing, here are our favorites.

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Platinum Fountain Pen Buying Guide

Platinum 3776 Century

Platinum is one of Japan’s “Big Three” pen companies, but it doesn’t seem to get the same level of attention as the other two, at least in the United States. Despite that, Platinum makes some of our favorite fountain pens.

If you are considering buying a Platinum fountain pen which should you lean towards? Which are sure-fire hits that no one can deny is a great pen? Read on to find out.

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Best Chinese Fountain Pen of 2020

Wing Sung 3003 Fountain Pen

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 are shopping for a Chinese fountain pen. Brands like Wing Sung and Jinhao offer incredible value for the money, but they might have some shortcomings that we don’t expect from standard fountain pen purchases.

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Pilot G2 Montblanc Hack: $200 Pen for $7

If you really get down to it, what is the beating heart of a high-end pen? Most people would agree that it’s the ink. While that’s not generally the feeling here at Unsharpen — we are pen geeks after all — it’s hard to argue that point if you aren’t as into pens.

With this thinking in mind, here is how you can get a top-notch Montblanc rollerball refill into a highly affordable pen body, like the Pilot G2. That’s the heart of a $200+ pen but with a total cost of about $97.

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Paper Sizes Explained

Moleskine Notebook

Paper sizes are an unfortunately confusing thing. You just want some printer paper or a notebook and instead you are choosing between “A4” and “B5” and other unhelpful options. Maybe you are better off when switching to numbers, like “8.5 by 11” but we’ve all made the mistake of ordering legal paper when we meant to get normal.

This guide should help you sort out all your paper size problems.

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