Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Zebra Z-Grip

I first saw these at my local Staples, and I was surprised at the fact that they had identical pens and pencils! So I bought a pack......

These looked like pretty good intruments. The grips had these nice bulges in three sections. After opening the package of 3 pens and 3 pencils, (not pictured here) I noticed the nice colors. The pens and pencils were both bright and cheerfully made! (Even the black one) 

Additionally, the cap at the end of the pen was very smooth, as it allowed for fast clicks, and it made a clicking noise. On the pencil, the cap was a cover to the eraser hidden underneath. Een on the pencil, the back cap was nice.

As stated on the package, the grip of the pen/pencils were rather soft indeed. The bumps near the front of the grip gave a nice texture to writing.

One problem with the pencil version was that the lead sometimes jammed in the tip. This was an easy fix, but it was rather troublesome. To fix this, I took an x-acto knife, and jammed it a little bit into the tip of the lead mechanism. This made the hole for lead a little bit bigger, resulting in no more jams. 

With the pen version, I felt rather cheated when i noticed that all of the colorful pens wrote in black ink. I felt rather annoyed at myself.

Rating (PEN): 7/10

Pros: Colorful grips, nice click mechanism, soft grip, cheap

Cons: All came in black ink

Rating (PENCIL): 6.5/10

Pros: Colorful grip, nice click mechanism, soft grip, cheap

Cons: Lead jammed occasionally

Review: Pilot Airblanc

I first saw this on JetPens, and was always fascinated for three reasons. 

1. It used .3mm lead
2. It had an "air cushioned grip"
3. It was appealing to the eye

My friend Aaron bought me this pencil for my birthday. At first sight, it was a really beautiful pencil. The vibrant colours and nice grip design blew me away. When I first started writing with this, I notice that the click mechanism was a little bit too strong, as the lead snapped easily. (It was .3 mm, but anyways...) The grip worked as promised! On the description, it was noted that there were small indentations in the grip, to promote air flow. This kept the grip cool at all times. Another feature which amazed me was the metal tip of the pencil. On most $3.00 pencils, the tip is not made from metal, and when it was, the metal was not real, it was a shiny plastic. This pencil was a surprise because the tip was cold to the touch, and very solid. Even when the lead snapped, the lead inside the pencil stayed in one piece. 

Rating: 8/10

Pros: Nice grip, cheap, good design, metal tip

Cons: Impossible to get in the U.S.

It's such a nice pencil! Get one at JetPens.
-Aaron and Anand

Review: Sharpie Accent Highlighter

Highlighters are useful anywhere. They can be used to mark sections in books, but they have many more uses. This particular highlighter has the use of being thrown in the trash within five seconds of purchase.

You are wondering why I loathe these things so much, and I will tell you. At first, I noticed many kids in school using them. To see if they were any good, I scrounged some up at home. Proud to own one, I took it to class on the day that we were highlighting a science article. After uncapping my bright yellow highlighter, I proceeded to make a line on the paper, to see that it had smudged the ink. Stopping right away, I noticed the ink flowing through all five pages of text. My science assignment was ruined. Coming home that day, I tested it out and found a few things.

Even though they look rather nice, and they come in nice colors, the ink is not as vibrant. The bright yellow one appears as a pastel color, and the serene blue is an ugly gray-blue. Putting that to side, I tested out the ink, after my traumatic experience in science. It was just as bad as before unfortunately. The Ink flowed right through the paper, and it smudged any highlights. The "smudgeguard" emblem on the package doesn't mean anything.

Rating: 3/10

Pros: Aesthetically pleasing, rather balanced

Cons: Ink sucks, doesn't write as the color on the tube, smudges


Review: Pentel Sharp P205

Pentel Sharp P205
The Pentel Sharp is an old pencil. It's been around for quite a long time, and my dad has owned one of these pencils for over 30 years now. It is still in pristine condition.

With that "history" in mind, the Pentel Sharp is a very nice pencil. I own a Pentel Sharp P205, which writes with .5mm lead. It has a nice black paint job. The tip is a heavy metal type, and it is a very small tip. The eraser is small also. The pencil is nice and skinny. You could slip in it a pocket, but be warned, the tip is very sharp!

I love how this pencil writes. For a .5mm pencil, the lines it creates are very nice and fine, something I adore. The finger grips that come with this pencil are pretty good; they provide a solid gripping surface for your fingers, although it's not all too comfortable.

The  aethstetics of this pencil make it seem like a classy, nerd-type pencil. The clip and eraser cap help pull off that look.

Pros: Nice looking, writes very well, good weight, useful parts for penspinning (ie tip), durable
Cons: Sub-Par Grip, Expensive
Overall: 8/10. This pencil will last a very long time when treated right. A great investment!

Pen Sites Section

We decided to make a link page, that has links to many good sites for pens. If any of you guys have any suggestions for new sites, leave a comment or send an email to

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Dr. Grip LTD

Dr. Grip LTD
The Dr. Grip LTD is a very nice mechanical pencil. It's the typical American look. Classic colours, nice weight and feel; it's a great thing to have in your office. I've never been so fond about American Dr. Grips though. They always seem so ordinarily coloured, especially compared to Japanese Dr. Grips. But, they are still fine writing utensils which earn a spot in my elustrious pencil bag. The mechanism inside allows us to both use a shaker mechanism and the normal push-click system. I find the shaker system very useful and unique. When I'm writing fast or I really need to pee, I can just quickly shake my pencil, and in two shakes the lead will advance, so I can keep writing. The grip on the Dr. Grip LTD is a shorter, harder grip. Although I still enjoy this grip, it could definetely use some cushion and some length.

Pros: Crafted very well, shaker mechanism, nice grip, heavy body, ergonomic design.
Cons: Pricey, small eraser, nothing compared to a Japanese Dr. Grip (say, the G-Spec)
Overall: 7.5/10. It's a good pencil. Go get one.

Review: Pentel R.S.V.P.

This is probably the most versatile pen in the whole world. About 1/3 of the penspinning world incorporates these, and there are so many different types of them. What am I describing? The RSVP, of course.

From the first testing, I knew that it was a great pen. The colors were different, and I noticed that there were many different types, such as the Sunburst, and the Colors, etc. The ink was very smooth and the golf grip gave me a very firm feeling on the pen. I love how to ink flows, and how it is very balanced. The main thing that bought me was the ink tube length! It's like 7 inches! That is about 7 weeks of happiness and joy for me. How about you? :)

Rating: 8/10

Pros: Penspinning, vibrant, tons of ink, nice grip, balanced

Cons: Rather expensive, light