Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Pentel Hybrid Technica

I've been away, having a bit of surgery on my noggin, but I'm back with some awesome new pens!

When I opened the envelope from Pentel and saw the Hybrid Technicas looking back up at me, I knew this was going to be good.

I've never owned a Hybrid Technica before, but I had heard a lot of good things about them. They're part of the Pentel Arts line (along with the Metallic Sliccis, and the Sunburst pen) and have acid free, archival ink perfect for doodling or serious art. I received all four available tip sizes - 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, and 0.6mm. They all sport a tungsten carbide roller tip, and the comfortable grip that is common with the Pentel line of pens.

I grabbed a piece of paper and did a few doodles here and there, and I was pretty impressed with the ink flow. The 0.6mm made bold, thick lines that were nicely filled in without any skipping or blotting up of the ink. In contrast, the 0.3mm tip made some sharp, crisp lines that were super thin and great for smaller detail work. (Hey, even doodles have some substance, once in a while!) I didn't see a marked difference between the 0.4mm and the 0.5mm line thickness, but the ink flow was super with both of them as well.

A writing sample:

They feel good in hand, not too heavy or bulky, but not super skinny like the Sliccis. The tip size is clearly marked on the cap top, so you're sure to grab the right size when you're reaching into your pen cup, however I noticed that it wasn't marked anywhere else on the pen. While this isn't problematic for me since I don't have more than one pen uncapped at once, it might pose a problem if you're the type to draw furiously with several pens ready for action at once. I'm pretty sure you'd be able to tell the 0.3 from the 0.6, but the 0.4 and the 0.5 might easily get mistaken for each other.

Of course, I'm not thrilled with the cap, and would love a retractable version of these pens. They're really great pens, even for just every day use. The 0.3mm tip wrote smoothly, which is a bonus if you're into very fine writing pens. Sometimes they can be scratchy when you write, almost like you're clawing the paper and that gets annoying pretty quickly. I didn't have any of those issues with any of these pens, and I'll be keeping them around for anything I might need a good pen for.

I recommend the Pentel Hybrid Technicas to anyone looking for a good workhorse pen that doesn't need it to be super fancy. Or retractable. Ha ha!

Here's a sketch I did using all four pens for different areas, on Doane Paper:

The 0.6mm was great for filling in the dark areas, while the 0.3 really let me get in there with some of the finer details like suture marks and around the teeth. Really pleased with how it turned out. The Hybrid Technicas definitely earned their place in my pen cup.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Review: Pentel Arts Slicci Metallic Gel Pens

Whew! It's been a while since I've had a chance to blog. I'm returning to school, with my trusty EnerGel and Jolt pencil, and boy has it eaten up my time! Right now it's the middle of the hottest summer ever here in Sin City, so crank up the air conditioning and grab a cool drink.

The last of my Big Box O' Pen Love is a handful of the Metallic Ink Sliccis. These pens are sharp, and the colors are just gorgeous. You may have seen Sliccis being used on Grey's Anatomy, but I bet they weren't the metallic ink ones that Pentel sent me!

These pens are part of Pentel's Recycology line. This means they are a minimum of 50% recycled material (save the consumable content and the refills). The Sliccis boast an 87% recycled plastic rate, which is pretty awesome. The tip is a 0.8mm needle tip that makes medium lines - a nice line that isn't too thick and isn't too thin. The acid free gel ink sparkles a bit on the paper, which is pretty cute if you're using these pens to embellish your scrap booking or even to sign a birthday card.

The colors are bright and vibrant, and the ink flowed super well. None of the pens skipped, or needed a few strokes to get going. The lines are filled in well and the sparkle in the ink is a nice touch. Although I usually prefer a much thinner line, I don't think it would do these pens justice to be regulated to super skinny lines, especially because of the sparklies in the gel ink.

The only problem that I personally had with these pens is how skinny they are. Granted, I love tiny things, so I really do love the look of these pens, the sad truth is that they are too small for me to write with comfortably. Granted, I don't have a lot of use for bright colors in my writing right now, so I wouldn't be using them for long periods of time, but they are really skinny pens, which makes them perfect for sliding into a back pocket or into your shirt pocket for a quick go to pen (if you're allowed to write in metallic ink!) because they aren't bulky like regular pens can be. My hands are just too big, despite my love for them.

I'd recommend these pens to anyone looking to jazz up their projects or just put a little splash of color into their writing. The Metallic Slicci comes in eight great colors: Red, Blue, Green, Bronze, Pink, Violet, Gold, and Silver. With that kind of selection, you're sure to find the color that goes with what you need! Check em out, you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pentel EnerGel NV Winners!

Thanks to everyone who commented!! I was surprised so many people came by and took a chance for TWO of these awesome Pentel EnerGel NV pens!

I counted up the comments and plugged them into the Random Number Generator, closed my eyes, and hit the button.

Our first winner is.... (drum roll please....)


She said:

H.D.R., you have won the purple 0.7mm and the black 0.7mm! Congratulations!

And now, our second winner is....


She said:

Mar, in addition to your 0.7mm green pen, you have your choice of 0.7mm in either Red or Blue, as the Purple was already won by H.D.R.

Our next winner is...


She said:

Voluptuary, as the third winner you will receive the 0.5mm Red pen - and once Mar has chosen her second color you will receive either the 0.7mm in either Blue or Red.

And finally, our last winner winner chicken dinner:


She said:

Andrea, you win the Blue and Black 0.5mm needle point pens!

Congratulations to the winners!! I hope you enjoy your new pens as much as I did in reviewing them. Please email me your mailing address at severuslupusATgmailDOTcom and I will send those out to you ASAP!

Thank you to everyone else who participated! Stay tuned, because I have one more review from the Big Box O' Pen Love for the Pentel PEN-Fessionals Team.

Big thanks to Pentel of America for the awesome pens!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Pentel EnerGel NV Plus GIVEAWAY!

It's no secret that I love the Pentel EnerGel pen, so when I saw the capped EnerGels in the Big Box O' Love I was pretty excited. In the box were the 0.7mm medium metal point and the 0.5mm fine needle point. I enjoyed that I could tell the 0.5mm from the 0.7mm with the barrel color - the 0.5 is a metallic blue, and the 0.7mm is a gun metal grey.

Let's start with the 0.7mm metal point.

These pens are pretty slick. The grey barrel makes this pen look professional, and I love the colored tips on the cap. It makes them easy to find in a full pen cup (or easy to avoid the purple pen when you're reaching for the red). While I am a bigger fan of a fine line, the medium tip was easy to write with and made really nice lines across the paper. The ink flowed smoothly without any stuttering, and it dried super fast. The lines were nice and thick without being too wide for my taste. The rubber grip made the pen sit well in my hand, and I enjoyed writing (and doodling) with it. The colors were nice and bright, and popped off the page. Really fun to write with.

Writing Sample:

Now let's look at the 0.5mm Needle Point.

The 0.5mm sport a deep blue barrel, and they also have the colored accents on the tips for easy selection of the colors you want. They also share the comfortable rubber grip that the 0.7mm tips do, and the ink flow is excellent - exactly what you would expect from an EnerGel pen. Although I really prefer a retractable pen (mainly because I tend to lose the cap or leave it off and then I come back to sad, dead pen) the caps did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the pen.

The needle tip made sharp, thin lines that I absolutely love. The ink dried almost instantly, even when I tried to run my finger along the ink as I wrote. (It's more difficult than it sounds - the things I do for you, for pens!) The colors were bright and the black was a really great dark ink on the paper. I found them super nice to write (and doodle) with, even though they aren't retractable. I know it seems like a small thing, but I can't really express my dislike for capped pens. Even pens with really cool caps like these EnerGel NVs. It isn't enough of a downer for me to say I wouldn't buy these pens again, because I totally would.

Writing Sample:

Both of these pens are part of the Recycology Line, and they are 54% recycled materials. I am disappointed that they are not refillable, and that might be the difference between picking up these pens and their retractable cousins, the EnerGel. All in all, I really enjoyed these pens, and I would probably buy them again. I wouldn't leave them in the cup to be stolen, but these pens would be a good pen to carry around to introduce people to Pentel, and I believe they are a good ambassador to the EnerGel line. They're well deserving of the EnerGel name. Two thumbs up.

I want to spread around the pen love! I'll give four lucky commenters TWO of these awesome pens, each! Just leave me a comment and tell me what you'd write with your EnerGel pen, and what colors/tip size you would like. I'll randomly choose four comments, and they'll get their choice in order of being chosen. Comment between now and midnight on Monday, May 31st. I'll choose the winners on Tuesday morning, my first day of returning to college.

In the 0.5mm needle (fine) point, I have Blue, Black, and Red. In 0.7mm metal (medium) point I have Black, Blue, Green, Red, and Purple.

Good luck!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Roly 4 Color Pen WINNER

Drum roll please...

And the winner is....


Congratulations Vonnie! Please email me at severuslupusATgmailDOTcom and I will send out your Roly 4 Color pen!

Thanks to everyone else who participated!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: Pentel Rolly 4 Color Pen and R.S.V.P. RT Retractable PLUS GIVEAWAY

I'll admit, when I saw these ball point pens in the Big Box O' Pen Love, I was a little disappointed. I believe my exact thought was, "Aww man, ball points."

I'm not much of a fan.

I used to be! I used to love ball point pens when they were the only game in town. Stick pens, as my Gramma used to call them, were magic to me. Don't even get me started on how happy I was when I first got my hands on a retractable pen. I felt very grown up, clicking the little button on my pen to make the tip come out. I'm sure I annoyed my teachers to no end with my endless clicking.

Back to the pens at hand. I'll start with the R.S.V.P. RT, the retractable R.S.V.P.

When I saw these pens, I really thought the retractable was a good "upgrade" for the R.S.V.P. Part of the reason I didn't much care for writing with the original capped R.S.V.P. was that the cap made the pen feel bulky in my hand and I always had to leave the cap off (and sometimes lost it).

The RTs have the nice rubber grip and good feel of their stick pen cousins, but unfortunately they also share the globby ink and skippy ink flow as well. It took me a few tries to get the red pen to write, and the blue never really filled in the way I like my pens to.

I was pretty disappointed with these pens. Even though they are 59% recycled plastic (and part of the Recycology Line of Pentel Pens), and I LOVE that, I just didn't like them. I would keep these guys on my desk as an offering to the Pen Stealing Gods, and my good pens in my desk drawer.

Next up, the Roly 4 Color Pen.

When I was a kid, I always wanted one of these pens. I remember trying to think up a reason why I had to have one, because these pens usually came one to a package and we usually bought a package of stick pens that came 10 to a bag. My Mom used one for work, and I would stare at it whenever she would bring it out at home to jot something down. This pen brought back a lot of those memories, and it didn't disappoint.

The Roly is a really sleek looking pen right out of the gate. I received the transparent accent colored barrel version (it comes in Black, Blue, Light Green and Pink). The really awesome thing about this pen (besides the fact that it's a four color pen) is that you can refill each of the colors independently. The latex free grip is consistent with the quality Pentel puts into all of the grips on their pens.

I enjoyed the 0.7mm tip - it wrote in nice, crisp lines with nicely flowing ink. No stops and starts here. The colored inks all popped on the page, and the black was nice and dark. It was very comfortable to write with, even with extended writing.

I would recommend the Roly 4 Color to anyone who is looking for a multi-color pen for color coding tasks (or if you just like to have a cool pen that writes in four colors).

I want to pass on the Roly love, and I'll give it away to one lucky commenter! Leave a comment below and tell me why you'd love a four color pen by Saturday, May 15th at midnight and on Sunday morning I'll randomly choose someone to receive this awesome pen.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Review: Pentel Jolt and Click Mechanical Pencils, and the Pentel Tri-Eraser

I decided to group all of the mechanical pencils into one review, along with the Tri-Eraser.

Let's start with the Jolt Automatic Pencil.

I want to put an exclamation point after the word Jolt! for some reason. I think it's because of Jolt! Cola, but it could also be because I think this pencil is awesome. For starters, it's simply a sharp looking pencil. I love the orange accents, and it comes in a few other colors like blue, green, and pink. The Jolt has a nice latex-free grip, and it feels good in my hand, whether just writing or the massive amount of doodling I did with it.

The big selling point of this pencil (for me, at least) is the "Sliding Sleeve Technology" which allows you to write continuously without having to stop and click for more lead. I wrote with it for an extended period and didn't have to stop and click (or shake, but I'll get to that in a minute) for more lead. I press pretty hard with a pencil, but the Jolt held up fine - not one broken lead.

The other cool thing about this pencil (besides being refillable - both lead and eraser) is that you don't have to click the eraser to make the lead come out. You can shake it. It does take two good, hard shakes for the lead to come out - at least it did for me. A gentle shake did nothing to advance the lead, but two hard ones gave me a nice length to get started.

All in all, I really liked this pencil. I would probably prefer the 0.5mm lead, but the 0.7mm wasn't bad to write with. I would use and recommend it to anyone who was looking for a solid mechanical pencil.

Next up, the Twist-Erase Click Mechanical Pencil

I really wanted to like the Click. The pencils come in a variety of nice colors from orange to purple to black, and they feel nice and solid in your hand as you write. I liked the grip, and they didn't rattle too much while writing like a lot of other mechanical pencils do.

They sport an extra long eraser, which is a great feature for anyone who uses mechanical (or regular) pencils. I've always run out of eraser long before I ran out of lead, and to have a pencil that not only has a long eraser to begin with, but allows me to refill it is pretty awesome.

I received all three available lead sizes (0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 0.9mm) and I was pleased with the crisp lines they all made. I wrote with it for a good amount of time (both writing words and just doodling here and there) and the lead stayed nice and sharp, and my hand didn't cramp up.

So what was the problem? In a word, the Click. These pencils feature a side click to advance the lead. There is no mechanism in the eraser part to advance the lead, you have to use the side click button. I have pretty good sized hands, and the side click made the pencil awkward. Once I turned it a quarter turn and put the button near my thumb, the pencil was fine to use, but it resulted in a lot of stopping and starting as I had to turn the pencil, click to advance the lead, turn the pencil back, and then continue writing. Maybe it's the way I hold my pencil, but I couldn't find a comfortable position to hold the pen and have a finger near and able to operate the side click.

The side click really turned me off for these pencils. I wouldn't buy them, simply because they were too annoying to write with. Your mileage may vary.

And now, last but certainly not least, the Pentel Tri-Eraser.

I loved this eraser from the word Go. No, really. I am a big fan of erasers, and when I saw this one in my Big Box O' Pen Love I just knew I was going to have a good time with it. One word: Awesome. You can really tell that someone put a lot of thought and love into this eraser, because it pretty much blows away every other eraser I've used, hands down.

The Tri-Eraser is triangle shaped, and thus it gives you three sharp points to work with. Sure, you can just set it flat on the paper and go to town, but the three tips give you something other erasers don't - precision. You can get into a tight spot with this eraser and just take out what you don't want, without ruining the rest of your drawing/writing. There's minimal "dust" to wipe away, and it erased even the darkest lines completely, every time.

The triangular shape of the barrel serves two purposes. One, it prevents the eraser from rolling right off the table once you put it down. Anyone who has had to write on an uneven surface and has watched their eraser (or pencil) roll away to oblivion will appreciate that. Second, it gives you a better, more natural grip on the eraser, which makes it easier to use. And it's refillable! What's better than that? If you're not a fan of the black barrel (although I don't know why you wouldn't be), the Tri-Eraser comes in four other colors - green, blue, red, and purple.

The Tri-Eraser gets a big thumbs up from me. I will definitely be putting this bad boy to use in my personal collection.

Back Into the Swing of Things

Sorry for the lack of posts, life sort of exploded for me in April and I've been doing a lot of recovery and healing.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Winners: Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RT

I assigned all of my commenters a number, and then used a random number generator to choose the winners.

In the order in which their numbers came up, the winners are:

Kirsten, who wins the purple pen.

Christine, who wins the blue pen.

Melissa, who wins the red pen (since Kirsten wanted the purple).

Please email me your addresses at severuslupus AT gmail DOT com and I'll get your pens in the mail!! Congrats, ladies!!! And thanks to everyone who commented. There will be more giveaways from the Big Box O' Pen Love.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Review: Pentel Arts Sunburst White Gel Ink Pen

When I saw this pen in my Big Box O' Pen Love I actually tilted my head and asked SM, "What good is white ink?" I mean, most people don't write on colored paper over the age of six or so, and obviously white ink doesn't work well on white paper.

Disclaimer: I tried to write on white paper just to see what would it would look like. The ink was sort of a cream color, but it was readable when you tilted the paper at a slight angle. This made me think it would be a good pen for "secret missions" for a secret agent kiddo.

Also disclaimer: I got excited that we needed to buy some dark colored paper so I could test out the pen.

Once I had some dark colored paper I set to work trying the Sunburst out. It's a capped pen, which I am not normally a fan of. I tend to lose caps, or they throw the pen off balance in my hand and make them uncomfortable to write with. This cap didn't bother me as much, but I still ended up leaving it off while I tested it out. The 0.8mm tip made bold, thick lines, and the ink flowed well as I wrote, even when I was just doodling. I wrote with it on black card stock that had a slight wood grain texture on one side, and smooth on the other. The Sunburst wrote well on both sides, without skipping or gloppy ink. It dried super fast and looked very sharp when I was finished. I was surprised how much I liked it even with a tip that is bigger than I normally write with.

I don't think anyone would be using this pen for serious writing, or use it for more than a few minutes at a time, but the grip makes it comfortable enough for extended use (such as if you were doodling for a long time). I think scrap bookers would really dig this pen, but I found a great use for it as well in my every day life - signing my signature on my photographs that have dark mats, especially since the Sunburst has acid free ink, a must for crafters.

All things considered, I like this pen. It was fun to play with and I think I will get some good use out of it. If White isn't your thing, the Sunburst is also available in these metallic colors: Red, Blue, Green, Bronze, Pink, Violet, Gold, and Silver.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Review: Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX Liquid Gel Pen PLUS GIVEAWAY!!

Part of the awesome that is being a Pen-fessional is that I get a big box of pens to play with and test out. When I saw these beauties smiling up at me from that box, I knew this was going to be a sweet gig.

I've already talked about my love for the original EnerGel, specifically, the 0.5mm needle tip, so you know I was already digging these pens on sight. Pentel sent me four of these, in Black, Purple, Red, and Blue. I immediately grabbed the nearest sheet of paper and set to writing.

The first thing I noticed was how smooth the ink flowed as I wrote. The blue was a little spotty out of the gate, but as I wrote more with it the ink filled in and it ended up being just as nice as the other colors. The pen felt nice in my hand, with the grip (latex-free, a very nice touch) leaving my fingers feeling good even after writing for some time.

The ink dried super fast - and I tested this out by running my left hand over the ink as I wrote. I grew up as the only right handed one in a family of lefties, so I know what it's like to be writing and come away with a hand smeared in ink. My immediate thought was that this would be an awesome pen to gift to my sister or my Mom, both of whom have lived with ink stains on their writing hands for years.

The colored inks were bright on the paper, and really popped when I wrote with them next to the black ink. I especially liked the shade of blue, a nice deep shade. Most blue pens I have come across have a weak, pale shade that always makes me think the pen is running out of ink. The red ink is super sharp and really grabs your attention - totally perfect for making revisions or doodling a couple hearts for your sweetie (which I did, and she loved). I was also impressed with the purple shade. My Mom enjoys writing with purple ink, and sadly some of the ink fell into the same weak lines that blue inks tend to. The EnerGel, however, has a bold purple that stands out and holds its own when written next to the dark solid lines of the black ink.

The black ink was my favorite. I rarely write in any other color, and finding a pen that writes well and has a good, strong ink is always a priority. I even enjoyed the 0.7 metal tip, despite being a die hard needle tip person. The lines are strong without being too thick, perfect for any type of writing you might be doing. The pen is solidly built, and it better be, since it's refillable!

I'm pleased with the EnerGel Deluxe RTX. I'd buy this pen again. In bulk.

And because I am not likely to love on the colored ink pens as much as they deserve, I'll give away the Blue, Purple, and Red pens to three lucky commenters! Just leave a comment on this post before Friday, April 9th, at midnight and tell me which pen color you'd like. That's it! I'll pick three winners randomly Saturday morning, and will email the winners.

Should two (or three!) winners all want the same color, the first number to come up will get their color choice and so on.

Leave me some comments, and get your pen love.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It's official, I'm a PEN-fessional with Pentel.

This is exciting and daunting and so totally awesome that I don't have words at the moment. I am proud to have been chosen, and I'm ready to sit down, pen in hand, and test all of these beautiful writing instruments.

Here we go!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Hello World.

I'm Alicia, and I love pens.

My love for office supplies has been life long. As a child I anxiously awaited the beginning of the school year because I couldn't wait for the trip down the school supply aisle. A new pencil box, a fist full of pens and pencils, a brand new box of crayons, and I was in heaven.

I own a lot of pens, but I have a few serious favorites. I recently acquired a Pentel EnerGel pen and it is quickly becoming my go-to pen. The ink is seriously smooth and it just feels good in my hand. I chose a needle tip because I love the sharp, crisp lines and the smaller the tip the better. My second love is the Pilot G-2 .05. I was given one at my previous job and just fell completely in love with it. Very smooth lines, a nice rubber grip, and I just enjoyed the clear body so I could watch the ink go down.

I prefer roller ball pens to ball point pens, but the honest truth is that I love pens and pencils, markers and hi-lighters. I love to draw and doodle and write and scribble. I'm not much of an artist, but I love the process.