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?
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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?”
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.
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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”
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?”
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?
Continue reading “Ballpoint vs. Gel Ink – What’s The Difference?”
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?
Continue reading “The Best Parker-style Gel Refills For Your Pen”
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?
Continue reading “What’s The Deal With Ranga Pens?”
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.
Continue reading “Pen Refills Guide”
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.
Continue reading “The Best Stationery Shops in New York City”
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.
Continue reading “How To Make Your Own Pen Flush For Cleaning Fountain Pens”