Thursday, April 21, 2022

Bast everyday ink, Koh I Noor Black Ink

The Koh I Noor brand is mostly known for the mechanical and especially the clutch pencils it offers. Today, instead of a pencil, I am testing the black fountain pen ink. The review for the blue ink, you can read it here.

This is the cheapest or better said the most economical / affordable ink on the market, because cheap will make you wonder if this ink is any good, or will it ruin my precious fountain pen etc. The ink works fine and will not clog your pen, but be careful as Koh-I-Noor has in it's offering pigment inks as well. 

The ink is addressed to students and comes in a basic plastic bottle of 50 grams. Produced in the Czech Republic, the bottle comes as is, no cardboard box.

The bottle has a basic design, nothing special. You can tell right away, just from looking at the package, that this is a no fuss ink. It cost about half what the Pelikan 4001 60 ml costs. Probably a lot of the savings are done by replacing the more expensive and better looking glass ink well with a plastic container. Also, it is offered in a bigger container compared to the more standard 30 ml ink bottles, thus making it a good every day for most students. 

But is it worth using this ink if you are not a student anymore? Does it perform well?

The ink performs well on every day paper, without fathering or showing throw the thinner paper, while still having a nice saturated black look. The ink is not very wet and dries rather quickly. Thus, it can be used even with broader nibs on cheap paper. For the testing purpose I used the Faber Castell Loom with Fine nib.

The ink is not water-resistant and washes out rather easily. I've placed a water droplet on the paper and waited for it to dry. The text smudged a bit, but it is still in a decent shape.
I keep talking and comparing with the price of the Pelikan, because the Pelikan is a well known and used ink, that has a lot of reputation behind its name, and it is an affordable ink as well.

I did a quick comparison with the Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, and it holds its ground well. I would say that the difference between the inks is minimal and nobody will know if you are using one or the other, probably not even you.

It is a hair wetter than the Pelinkan which dries almost instantly. So if you like the Pelikan but you or your pen would like it to have a bit of wetness, try the Koh I Noor.

My conclusion
If you want an everyday ink, to use on all kinds of paper, it is a perfect contender with its availability (for me at least, it can be bought at every stationery shop), for the good performance it has and of course I can't ignore the great price it is available at. I would go so far to say that it is the best ink you can use as a daily workhorse.

On the other hand, if you are interested in a more refined experience when using your awesome fountain pens, probably you will get more joy using a higher end ink, that comes in a nicer refined glass bottle.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Faber Castell Poly Matic mechanical pencil

After a long intermission, in which I had a more busy schedule and a lot of procrastination and excuses, I read the book Atomic Habits and I started reading The Power of Habit. Now I am trying to apply the principles from the books to my life. Apparently when setting better daily habits I forgot about adding the blog as a daily or weekly activity :) Now I am back and want to share with you my opinions on the recently acquired Faber Castell Poly Matic, mechanical pencil. 

I saw this pencil available in local stores only recently and at first look I liked it a lot. The design is very nice and modern. This is a general writing mechanical pencil, t is not intended for drafting. The Poly Matic had an automatic lead advancement as well as a traditional push to advance system, and it has a retractable tip. The automatic lead advancement works ok. The push isn't that satisfying, even if it works perfectly, but there is no click to it.

I bought the 0.7 mm version. The Poly Matic pencil comes with 0.5 mm lead, and it can be bought as a ball pen. It has a plastic body that is the star of the show. The body is a very smooth and satin like plastic that is a joy to the fingers. It is quite chunky at the back and slims down to a perfect fit around the grip area. For extra comfort, it has some circular grooves in the grip section for extra comfort. Even though it has a triangular shape, it is very subtle and pleasant in hand. I have the black or better said dark gray color which looks impressive. The finish is mate and gives it a premium look. The pencil of course comes in other colors, some of them quite bold.

The only shiny parts on the pencil are the tip of the pencil, the clip and a small ring that delimits the pencil from the eraser.

The clip of the pencil is curvy, shiny and very strong.

To refill the pencil, you have to pull out the eraser unit, and this is how you get access. The Eraser unit is  quite big, and to extend the eraser you have to rotate it. The erasers protrude one or  two mm even when it is retracted all the way.

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