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!