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.
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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.
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When buying a pen you will encounter many of the same words each type you buy. The number one thing you should be looking out fo– so you know what to expect from the pen — is the type of ink. Two popular and often confused types are ballpoint and gel ink.
So what’s the difference between ballpoint and gel pens?
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A popular change to make to a pen is to swap out the included ballpoint refill for a smooth-flowing gel one. Gel refills are quite popular these days because they write well, the ink looks great, and they are fun to use. Ballpoints have these uses of course, but if you are predominantly writing paper and don’t need the versatility of a ballpoint, gel can be the way to go.
So what are the best gel refills in the Parker-style G2 shape?
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If you have been in the market for a nicer 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?
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Ranga fountain pens might have been relatively unknown in the United States a few years ago, but this pen brand has been increasingly popular and these, popping up on Reddit and pen review sites with surprisingly regularity.
So who are Ranga Pens, what do they make, and that’s the deal with this company?
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Pen refills come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of these are standards, shared across pen brands and decades of pen designs, while other are propriety and limited to just a few brands or even a few models. This means that replacing the ink in a pen, especially an older one, may end up being a more difficult task than you’d expect.
The goal of this article is to make buying a new ink refill for your pen as easy as possible. A secondary goal to this guide will be maximizing the number of refill options available for each pen. This is only possible once you have a good understanding of refill shapes and which are interchangeable.
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New York City is a dream for shoppers of all kinds, but it really isn’t a stationery town. Compared to the cities of Europe or even some smaller college towns New York City’s stationery shops are few and far between, and dedicated pen shops are even rarer. What’s worse is that many of the longstanding places, like Pearl Paint’s iconic Canal Street location, have been closing.
Things aren’t all bad though, NYC still has some of the nation’s top stationery destinations.
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Cleaning a fountain pen is best done with warm water and a few extremely affordable tools, but stubborn inks and vintage pens with dried ink can require a tougher cleaner. In this case you might be tempted to buy a pen flush, like the popular Monteverde Fountain Pen Flush. I’ve certainly bought my share of pen flush liquids, but it’s worth knowing that you can make your own as well.
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Owning many pens means storing many pens, which comes with choices about how and where to put them. The best pen storage furniture comes in a wide range of design though it’s up to you to design if you prefer your pens to rest right side up, upside down, or on their side.
Continue reading “What’s The Best Way To Store Pens? Up, Down, Or On Their Side?”
Every pencil, whether it’s a mechanical pencil or wooden pencil, has a lead and every lead has a grade. But which lead grade should you use? Which is best for a test? Which is best for art? How about note taking?
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One of the more popular questions in the pen world concerns that weird stuff at the and of a gel pen refill. What is it? It’s clearly not ink — it has no color — so why is it there?
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Gel pens and rollerball pens can seem like the same thing and they are, in fact, often confused. What’s the difference between the two?
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You might not have guessed it, but vintage mechanical pens are incredibly collectible and can get incredibly expensive… much more so than most pens!
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Ever seen a picture of ink that looks like it’s been stretched out and separated into its component colors in the process? That’s fountain pen ink chromatography, and not only is it surprisingly easy to do yourself, it’s also quite informative.
Continue reading “Fountain Pen Ink Chromatography: What Is It And How Do You Do It?”