Friday, August 18, 2023

Celebrating a Decade, Paper and Digital Turns 10!

The story of the blog started 10 years ago, when I decided to share with the world my passion for pens and pencils, a journey not just to celebrate their charm and allure but to immerse myself in the world of analog tools in a time overrun by digital. I started the blog with a few ideas and with the hopes that it will be mildly interesting for others with similar interest as mine. 

Besides pens and pencils I do have other hobbies, like erasers for example 😊. Once in a while my other hobbies peak in the posts of the blog, but I try keeping them to a minimum as I don't want to divert too much from the main topic.

I haven't started the blog with a goal. Perhaps this was not the most productive way, and certainly not the best way to reach more readers. But by doing things at my own speed and without too many sacrifices has helped me to keep the passion vivid and made me share my experiences for this long.

Even though I didn't start the journey with much hope the results in the first years were even less than expected. There were one or two hundred visits per month in the first three or four years, and this in good months. I asume a part of those numbers were not real readers but some bots doing bot things. After the first grueling years I started seeing some traction, which I guess made me a bit more prolific in posting more regularly in that period. Now after 10 years I roughly get 10k visits per month (in the more recent months, less at the beginning of the year). In the end I try not too focus too much on this metrics. Even though they are a good way to judge the success and analize what people are drawn too, which can help focus more attention on particular subjects I find it too "job" like to analyze, plan, forecast, etc. Also from my observation the randomness factor sometimes is too big. Wild spikes in traffic due to bots, google algorithms or cosmic rays.

A lot of inspiration for starting the blog came from two blogs that I was reading regularly Dave's Mechanical Pencil and Bleistift. In case you don't know them (slim chance) check them out.

And I would sum up the 10 years with a few numbers

Blog Posts so far: 168
Blog Post on average per month: 1.4
Top 3 most prolific years (when it comes to writing): 2018, 2019, 2020
Top 3 average most prolific months: April, July, December
Total words so far: 66.497 words
Total pictures posted: 716 pictures
Total videos posted: 2 videos
Longest blog post: 2442 words
Most pictures in a post: 55 pictures
Average blog post length: 396 words
Average number of photos per post: 4 pictures
Total read time for the entire blog (225 words / min average): 4 hours 55 minutes 32 seconds
Longest blog post read time: 10 minutes 51 seconds
Average blog post read time: 3 minutes 58 seconds

If I would start again what would I do differently? Probably not much. I guess a little more strictness in posting regularly and increasing the content quality would be a good idea. 

Because this is not a resolution I am not going to make promises that will be abandoned sooner rather than later. What can I say is that I will keep doing it as long as it is fun.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Factis OV 12 eraser review


Trying out another eraser from Factis. This Factis OV 12 is a large oval shape eraser that looks simple and elegant at the same time. The eraser comes with no wrap. The branding and the bar code is written directly on the eraser with a thin black font while the model is a punchy red font. Also a Made in Spain is written just below the model name.

The shape and size sits very comfortably in the hand. And like the other Factis erasers I have tested it is made out of a soft compound. The size of the eraser is about 6.5 cm in length and around 2.5 cm.

But what really counts about an eraser it how well it erases. So I will test the OV 12 against a standard HB lead (rotring). I will test how well it does against standard pressure pencil marks and high pressure pencil marks, one pass of the eraser versus multiple passes.

As you can see the eraser leaves a fair bit of eraser dust behind. It was expected from the fact it is a soft eraser.

Cleaning the dust off the page and I am left with a pretty good result from the Factis eraser. Even in the case of a single pass the pencil marks are almost entirely gone.

I have tested how it fairs against a standard wooden pencil lead. Using multiple strokes the lead is almost completely gone. You can still see some marks just below "test" but it is minor.
In conclusion I can say that this 0.75 $ eraser does a good job. If you are not bothered with the eraser dust you will be pleased with this budget eraser, that is a good performer..

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Most popular office pencil


I went through the pen holders on my colleagues desks, and found that the most popular pencil is ... Rotring Tikky 3. Four out of seven people in the office use the Rotring Tikky. Affordable, reliable and available in a multitude of colors, this Rotring is the perfect companion in the office.

Starting with my 0.7 mm Light Blue pencil. The color was introduced by Rotring in 2017 (code 2007252 for 0.7 mm and 2007253 for 0.5 mm pencil). It is a pale, almost pastel blue color. To my eyes, it looks a lot like baby blue.

The second pencil is the Rotring Tikky 3 Blue 0.5 mm (code 1904701 for 0.5 mm and 1904508 for 0.7 mm). This shade of blue is much darker and more saturated and vibrant looking. A classic royal blue never gets old.

Third pencil in the lineup is the Tikky 3 Red 0.5 mm (code 1904699 for 0.5 mm and 1904507 for 0.7 mm)

The last one in the bunch is the updated Red 0.7 mm. The updated color was introduced in 2017 (code for the updated version remain the same as for the previous red, 1904699 for 0.5 mm and 1904507 for 0.7 mm). Comparing the updated red to the old red, the new color is a bit brighter and more vibrant. Also, the color of the rubber grip has changed to a darker gray.

The love for 0.5 and 0.7 mm lead is equal, 2 of the pencils being 0.5 mm and the other 2 0.7 mm. The same thing can be said about the colors, half of the pencils being blue and half being red.

Comparing the shades to each other.

All the colors look very nice. It is hard to pick a winner. Both blues are interesting in their own way, and both reds look very nice.

Do you have a favorite color? It doesn't have to be one of these.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Fountain pen nib sizes, #8 Nib vs #5 Nib

When I reviewed the Jinhao X159 I kept saying how big is a number 8 nib compared to a standard fountain pen nib. Here are a few sample shots comparing the Jinhao X159 with #8 nib and the Jinhao 922 with #5 more standard nib.

Even though the design of the two fountain pens is quite similar, the classic cigar shape, due to the size difference, the feel of the two is quite different.
On the left is the Jinaho X159 and on the right is the Jinhao 992. 

Both nibs are size F, and both write well. The X159 with dual tone nib is dwarfing the 992. The number 8 nib is taller and a lot wider than the number 5.

To accommodate the large nib, the grip section has to be a lot thicker.

Also, the feed is massive