Economical Links for 2018.03.02


I haven’t been feeling well the past few days, so I’m behind in both my reading and my writing. Most of Europe turned into an icebox this week — snow fell in Rome! — and over two feet (61cm) of the white stuff fell in this part of Bulgaria.

Fortunately, the Bulgarians administer rakia (aka homemade rocket fuel) as a cure-all and a restorative, so I’ve been staying very warm indeed!

Anyway, here are some links to the like-minded…

Makrolon and a black Schmidt nib for $11.
Faber-Castell WritINK Fountain Pen Review (via Gourmet Pens)
Faber-Castell nibs are highly regarded, so this might be an inexpensive way to get your mitts on one.
Maruman 3Feet Notepad – A7 (via The Passionate Penman)
A cute little notepad with fountain pen-friendly paper.
A warning about pens in ultrasonic cleaners (via David Nishimura at Vintage Pen News)
Something to be aware of if you use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean your pens and pen parts.
Kokuyo Harinacs Stapleless Staplers (via Bleistift)
Cool and clever. I want one.


Economical Links for 2018.02.23


Here are some links to the like-minded:

Pilot Petits: Mini but Mighty (via Fountain Pen Follies)
I found one of these in my Christmas stocking but haven’t had a chance to try it yet.
PenBBS – a review of a beautiful and inexpensive acrylic fountain pen (via Write eXperience)
I’m seeing more Chinese pens enter the market in the $30 price range — could this be a sign of an upwards price correction, or are these just “premium” offerings?
My Old Faithful! Diamine Majestic Blue (via Fountain PenArchy)
READ THE TASTING NOTES. (Also: pics or it didn’t happen!)
Ink Price Evolution (Japan 2005-2018) (via Crónicas Estilográficas)
This makes me glad I never got into Sailor inks.

Economical Links for 2018.02.16


Here are some links to the like-minded, plus an announcement at the end that I’m pretty darn excited about.

Zebra V-301 Fountain Pen Review (via A Better Desk)
Not bad for a pen that costs three bucks.
The Wing Sung 3008 – An Economical Masterpiece (via The Indian Marmalade Company)
I think the Wing Sung 618 and 698 are better pens, but the 3008 is an interesting (and even cheaper!) option. Like the Zebra above, it’s priced around three bucks.
Diplomat Magnum SoftTouch Fountain Pen Review (via Pen Addict)
I didn’t know Diplomat made pens at this price level until now, so now I’m sharing that knowledge with you.
Fountain Pen Revolution Darjeeling | Fountain Pen Review (via The Pen Habit)
Ink Review: Monteverde California Teal (via The Well-Appointed Desk)
Ink Review: Monteverde Rose Noir (via The Well-Appointed Desk)
A pair of reviews from The Well-Appointed Desk. I’ve liked all the Monteverde Inks I’ve tried so far, and I think they’re reasonably priced.
Beaufort Obsidian Black (via 7heDaniel)
Beaufort is a Scottish maker of pen refills (think Parker-style rollerballs) but they’ve released a new line of fountain pen ink. Obsidian Black is a black ink with some interesting properties.

And now, a short announcement on the occasion of this blog’s one year anniversary:

I’m starting a newsletter called Penster’s Dispatch. If you like this blog and want to read more of it, consider signing up. There’ll be no ads or marketing BS, just a more intimate venue where I’ll write more commentary about inexpensive pens, plus some other musings that don’t quite fit on this blog.

(Confidential to those of you who’ve ever emailed me asking about my travels, motorcycles, or bourbon preferences: you really ought to sign up.)

I’ve been intrigued by the concept of “slow blogging” for a long time, and as someone who’s always needed a kick in the ass to write something, I hope this will get me started on all the writing I haven’t been doing.

As always, thank you for stopping by.

Economical Links for 2018.02.09


Here are some links to the like-minded…

The Ultimate Guidebook for Chinese Pens (via Frank Underwater)
Exactly what it says on the tin. Frank knocks it out of the park with this comprehensive guide to Chinese pen manufacturers. A must read if you are interested in Chinese pens!
Initial Impressions: Wing Sung 618 and Wing Sung 698 Piston Fillers (via The Gentleman Stationer)
The Gentleman Stationer finally dips a toe into the seedy underbelly economically sensible part of the fountain pen pool. Come on in, the water’s fine! 😛
Fountain Pen Revolution Himalaya | Fountain Pen Review (via Pen Habit)
Swirly plastic pens from India, with modern “flex”.
Buying a New Pen: Some Decision-Making Tools (via Writing For Pain and Pleasure)
Some great tips here, especially if you’re thinking about buying a pen that costs more than a latté.
Renovating A Brass Delike Alpha (via The Indian Marmalade Company)
I’m not a fan of this Kaweco Sport clone, but I do love the DIY ethos shown here in hacking one.
Maruman Reccer Memo Pad Review (via The Pen Addict)
This looks like a nice pocket notebook with excellent paper.
Berlin Notebook assaulted! (via Fountain Pen Inks & Bleach)
I’ve heard good things about these inexpensive, but fountain pen-friendly pocket notebooks, and it looks like they can handle almost anything you throw at them.
Krishna The Earth (via Wondernaut)
A non-IG ink with IG-like properties. Curious stuff!