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Kokuyo Soft Ring Notebook

The Kokuyo Soft Ring is a small, light notebook that uses plastic, flexible rings for its binding, instead of a wire. This might sound like a weird idea, but it’s both ingenious and quite practical.

Why Soft Rings Are Great

Wire-bound (aka spiral-bound or just spiral) notebooks seem like they are sturdy because they use metal, but the it turns out that metal isn’t a great choice for this. The metal can bend, leaving the notebook messy and hard to use. The metal can also scratch other things in your bag, like your hand or laptop.

The Kokuyo Soft Ring notebook uses a binding made out a soft plastic that is quite string but also can compress. This means it can fit into a tight space, won’t scratch up your hand, and won’t damage anything that comes near it. It’s all the advantages of a spiral binding but none of the disadvantages.

Kokuyo Soft Ring Details

The Kokuyo Soft Ring Notebook is most commonly sold in a B5 size and in various color covers, but an A5 size is sold as well. The rules it uses are 6 mm or 7 mm, in lined, graph, dot grid, or blank options. The Soft Ring system is sold in both the normal Kokuyo lines as well as their student-focused Campus series.

The notebook line has a lot of options, so watch out when making your purchase. Some of these notebooks are 50 sheets, some are 80. Some are perforated, but some are not.

The Soft Ring’s paper is exceptionally smooth and enjoyable to write on with all pen types.

Kokuyo Soft Ring Review

This is a fine notebook and one of my favorite. I really like the soft rings despite writing them off as being a unnecessary quirk initially.

I really like the plastic cover — it’s sturdy, has a nice color, and it’s never sharp. The back cover holds up well as well.

I’m a big fan of Kokuyo’s paper. For me it combines the best qualities of affordable paper with high-end paper and it’s always a good experience. The general consensus is that it’s not as high-end as a Rhodia or other super smooth, coated, fountain pen-focused paper. This is true and I’m OK with that. The Kokuyo paper generally has quicker drying times as a result, but less color variation and pop.

One thing I’d say about this notebook is that removing pages is not handled well. If you get a perforated version, the perforation is rather weak and pages will start to detach on your. If you get a non-perforated kind (my preference) then when you do rip a page out you’ll get 3 to 5 little white scraps of paper flying around your desk, which are hard to clean and seemingly ever-present when I’m using these notebooks.

All that said, this is one of the best notebooks sold today.

Kokuyo Soft Ring Notebook Information

Street Price Check Price
Manufacturer Kokuyo
ModelsNatural, Semi B5, 7 mm Rule; Semi B5, Blank, White; Semi B5, Dotted 6 mm Rule, Black; Semi B5, Graph, Silver
Cover Type Softcover
Cover Material Cardstock, Plastic
Cover Color Silver, Light Brown, Clear, Black, White, Dark Blue, Blue
Paper Color Ivory
Paper Decoration Blank
Line Spacing6 mm, 7 mm
Lines per Page29
Number of Pages 80
Weight (g/sq/m)70
Perforated Edge? Yes
Refillable? No
Paper Size A5, B5
Paper Size 25.2 cm x 18.8 cm, 9.9 inches x 7.4 inches
Paper Depth1.3 cm cm
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