Where does different writing instruments fit in?

June 04, 2018

I use pens and I use pencils.

This is a very interesting question. In general I use a pencil if I’m just going to write down a few sentences. And then I go for a fountain pen if I am going to write a few pages. And I go for a very specific fountain pen if I’m going to write a lot (my Lamy 2000).

I also prefer a pencil when I’m going to write on the train or somewhere I don’t have a flat surface.

Pencils are fun, but you have to sharpen them way too often for them to be something I can write page up and down with. Kind of the same reason I preferred my Lamy 2000 while studying. Because it had enough ink to last me a full day. Something my Pilot Metropolitan never had.

On the pens I like

May 28, 2018

Different people like different writing instruments. Some like smooth pens, while others like pens with a little bit more resistance.

I like smooth nibs. The less the friction the better it is.

I do in general also prefer broader nibs. I think they look better on the page. And I just gravitate against writing instruments that feels good to be, and look good one the page. In other words, the more ink on the page the better. Some people like a lot of ink on the page, while others don’t.

When it comes down to ink capacity I have some very strong opinions. I think pens with larger ink capacity always are more useful than those with a lower one. This is because if you write a lot with pens, you either need to have a piston filler, refill them all the time or have a lot of them. Back when I was a full time student, I loved my Lamy 2000. I filled it in the morning and I never — not once — ran out of ink during a single day. The story is another with the Pilot Metropolitan. That one never lasted more than a couple of hours.

If I’m just writing a few lines here or there then I often use my Falcon or VP. But I always go for either my Lamy 2000 or ink up one of my TWSBI Eco’s if I’m going to write a lot. Or if I need a lot of ink capacity away from home and don’t want to bring a bottle of ink.

Finding out what I enjoy to use

May 21, 2018

The Ink Smudge from day one have been about finding the stuff I enjoy to use. I have not always succeeded at that, but that have been the goal.

I’m not a collector, I just want to have some good inks, some good notebooks and some good pens and pencils that works for me. And just use it.

It all started with Moleskine and Pilot G2’s. Then I got into the Retro 51, and then the Pilot Metropolitan and Lamy Safari. And then I started to use Leuchtturm1917 and expensive fountain pens.

But at the end of the day the only thing I care about is finding what works the best for me.

Fountain pens works the best for me, if it is long form. And pencils works the best for shorter stuff. Leuchtturm1917 is the thing I like the best for larger notebook, and’s pocket sized notebooks are awesome. Pilot Iroshizuku inks are the thing that works the best for me. And I guess I just started my journey into pencils, but I really feel like after five years I have landed on where I want to be with fountain pens.

Fountain pens and pencils

May 14, 2018

What makes fountain pens and pencils interesting is that both are very much a “high maintenance” writing instrument.

The fountain pen is messy and the pen is clean.

I’m not saying that one is better than the other, because they are not.

Fountain pens are a mess, because they sometimes are leaking, you need to make sure they don’t dry up. You also have to clean them to make sure that they work properly. But the great thing about a fountain pen is that you can write for a very long time without having to do anything about them.

Pencils on the other hand requires you to sharpen them, either when you write all the way into the wood, or when the point becomes too sharp for your taste. But they don’t leak, and they always work, as long as you keep them sharp.

I kind of enjoy both. But sometimes I wish I could just use a regular Bic like a normal person.

What makes both pens and fountain pens interesting though is that both are very personal. And you have to weigh up the different pros and cons the different choices have to figure out what’s the best for you. Parts of it is how you like the writing experience to be, while other parts of it is about how you like your handwriting or drawings to look.

Neither is perfect, but I enjoy them both.

Ink Review: Diamine Saphire Blue

May 07, 2018

I got this ink from Tudos for the purpose of reviewing it, free of charge.

I just inked all of my pens in rotation up with this ink. And it behaves like the other two Diamine inks I have used in the past. It dries a little bit slower than Iroshizuku inks, but not too bad. And the flow is a little bit slower than Iroshizuku. But not that bad in the scheme of things.

This ink has a lovely light blue colour. It kind of reminds me of the standard blue colour you get with all Pilot fountain opens. But better than that in all ways. Because like everyone who reads this site knows: I can’t stand that colour. It looks

If lighter colours are your thing I would recommend this ink. It is not something I would buy, because I do in general prefer darker colours.

The Diamine inks are great, they have some very interesting colours, and is a great option if you are willing to sacrifice a little bit on inflow and dry time for great colours.

Clairefontane Flying Spirit Notebook Review.

April 30, 2018

I received the Clairefontane Flying Sprit Notebook free of charge from for the purpose of this review..

This notebook is amazing. There are no other way to put it. When I look at a Rhodia Webnotebook I see the best designed version of the A4 softcover notebook that Moleskine popularised. This on the other hand is the perfect design for the soft cover version; you know the kind you can buy in a three pack.

The design is very understated, and you don’t think much about it straight away. Before you start to realise how perfect everything is. Even the stitches on the back are beautiful.

Let’s move over to the paper. The paper is very similar to Rhodia(same parent company), but my impression is that it is a little bit smother. There are smaller differences between this and Rhodia, like there are minor differences between Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia, but they are very minor. And I would put them in the same ball park.

This book came with a lined layout, and I like it a lot. The lines are broader than I’m used to from Travelers Notebook refills and Leuchtturm1917; they remind me a lot about the layout I used in school. The kind you usually find in most wire bound notebooks.

The Flying Spirit is a fantastic notebook, that I would recommend to anyone that like notebooks like the Moleskine Volant. It is in many ways a much better version of that. With better paper and higher quality production standards. I’m not going to get another one of these, because I prefer a hardcover notebook, because it is a little bit easier to write on them for example when I take the train to work, and don’t always have access to a good table. %

To keep or not to keep?

April 23, 2018

I guess this comes as a response to recent discussions on The Pen Addict podcast about keeping journals or not. My collection of notebooks is growing. And it grows some every year. The big question is: what should I do about them?

One option is to just keep them and let future generations deal with it. Not unlike how my parents and grand parents generations dealt with climate change.

Another option is to throw it all out.

And the third is to throw out some of it.

A lot of it is just notebook after notebook after notebook of tasks. While other parts are notes I have taken while reading or studying. And some of it is journaling.

Here is the thing: I’m probably the worst judge to what’s interesting. And I’m not one of those who care what happens after I’m dead and buried.

Kum Automatic Long Point Pencil Sharpener.

April 16, 2018

I ordered a Kum Automatic long point pencil sharpener with Blackwing branding at the same time as I ordered my first box of Blackwings. It cost about $7.50 at JetPens. It has two holes, numbered, you use the first one to shape the wood, it will stop shaving off wood when you’re done and then you use the second hole to sharpen the tip.

I got this one because it was not too expensive, and I hoped that the blackwing branding on it was a sign of quality. It works great. I don’t have any complaints about it, it sharpens my pencils every single time. Without any issues. The only think I wish was different is more space for shavings.

I’m probably going to get a couple more of them. This is the sharpener you want if you want a long point sharpener and only care about the utility of it.

Palomino Blackwing.

April 09, 2018

I bought my first box of pencils not too long ago. And I think this is the first time I have paid for a pencil. Why? I’m not sure to either of the why questions. I have never bought a pencil because I didn’t know it was more to them than the crappy plastic thing I got at school, that us boys always tried to bend into weird shapes. And I’m not sure why I bought a box of them now. I guess it was because a lot of people I respect enjoy using them.

My biggest surprise about pencils is how similar to fountain pens they are. Everyone have their own taste. And you have a lot of the same problems: both are very fiddly. Also: there are compromises. For example a softer pencil is smoother, but you need to sharpen them more often. Not unlike how broader fountain pens are more smooth(until you move into stubs), but they require more ink and take longer to dry.

I have enjoyed the Blackwings a lot. And I use them a lot. They are great to write with for example on the train and other places where I don’t want to think about ink smudging. They also look fantastic. Which was kind of the reason I went with the regular blackwings. But I will probably check out the 602 the next time. Because I think I will prefer a pencil that doesn’t require as much sharpening. But who knows? This is new to me.

Using a Iroshizuku bottle as a inkwell.

April 02, 2018

I wrote about an idea I had not too long ago. The idea was to take empty Pilot Iroshizuku bottles, clean them and then use them as a inkwell or a ink bottle for other inks. Because not every bottle of ink is the same. Some of them are just a bottle, with a flat bottom. And that can make it a struggle to fill your pens, even though there are a lot of ink left. Especially with pens like the Vanishing Point.

I started doing this a few weeks ago and it works like a charm.

This got me to think about looking for something even better. But it works for now.