Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pentel Libretto Pen and Pencil Set

Pentel generously sent me this handsome pen and pencil set known as the Libretto. The pen is a .7 mm and uses the popular LR7 refill, known for high-contrast, consistent, quick-drying lines. The mechanical pencil is a .5 mm size and has a retractable tip, making it safe for pocket carry. 

As far as design, the pen and pencil are all metal; they feel well balanced without being too substantial. A small star pattern circles the band around the barrel and a small Pentel logo is just above the band. Other than that, it's all low key.

Curiously enough, the clip on the pencil has a bit more spring to it than the pen, but both are easily to remove from a pocket without snagging. 

I mentioned that the pen uses the LR7 refill, which can also be found in the EnerGel line of pens. If you've tried EnerGels, than you probably agree that the ink has some of the best all around properties available. 

The pencil comes loaded with Pentel Super Hi-Polymer leads - they are resistant to breaking and perform well. 

In the ergonomics department, the pencil allows for a bit more variety in finger placement, at least in terms of writing closer to the point, which I tend to do as I write rather small.

The pen has a proper grip (rather than just holding onto the barrel) and it not too squishy and doesn't seem to attract too much dust, as some grips tend to do, but having a cap certainly helps. Speaking of the cap, it clicks firmly on both sides of the pen, which I love.

The Pentel Libretto Pen and Pencil can be purchased directly from Pentel and currently retails for $39.95. Given the build construction, quality, and overall lack of any real flaws, I think the price is well worth it.

If you're looking for a classy writing instrument gift for the Holidays, the Libretto set would be a fine choice.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sanjay Needs Recommendations!

Sanjay reached out to me with a request for some recommendations for pen and highlighter advice. I will provide him with some of my own, but I wanted to pose the question to visitors of the site to get a more well-rounded set of suggestions:

"My entire family are pen freaks. I am currently in Medical School and need some pen, highlighter and marker advice.

Currently in school my got pen is the Black Pilot G2 0.38MM for daily note taking and I use the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3MM to add color to key pieces of information in my notes. I also like to use a standard sharpie yellow highlighter as I review my material. I am looking for a pen line that offers me the options of colors so I would not have to use the Triplus anymore and the rights as fine or finer then the G2 0.38MM but also has some coolness to it. 

I have tried the Jetstream 0.7MM but i still dont get the satisfaction I get with writing with the G2. 

Any options or just a top 10 recommendation of pens would be great. 

Do you have any recommendations on highlighters also nothing that will smear?"

Monday, December 10, 2012

DP Leatherworks Utility Notebook Cover Update

Last year, I received the DP Leatherworks Utility Notebook cover for Christmas, and I had meant to provide an update at some point down the road to show how well it has held up. Well, just under a year later, and I'm happy to report that it is in very good shape. 

Sure, it has been weathered a bit by fingernails, hitting my belt being removed my back pocket, and other general wear and tear, but it is just as soft and supple, and now it has a little more character to distinguish it as my own.

The big gash down the front is from my fingernail. All of the scuffs at the top are from trying to retrieve the notebook with my man pincers. I wouldn't say I have claws or anything, but I will acknowledge that it's easy for me to open an orange. 

The back has less character - just some general wear from sitting on it in my back pocket. I did notice that sitting on the cover ended up pulled on the staples of the notebook a bit much, so I recommend wearing this in a front shirt pocket or carrying this in your bag, unless you burn through a notebook fast enough for it to not be an issue. I average two months per refill, but it doane of Field Notes, so it's at that point that the binding starts to wear thin. Your mileage may vary. 

The inside, however, is pretty much good as new. I don't see any reason why this would get really worn out unless you are using it outside, in the field, or in extreme climates, otherwise it is nearly the way it was when I acquired it - good stuff.