We get a fair number of people coming to the blog asking if pencil lead is harmful? And wanting to know if you can really get lead poisoning from a pencil. so we thought we’d address it briefly.
The Latest News From the Wonderful World of Pens, Pencils and Stationery & also Anything Interesting that Grabbed our Attention.
This is the place to find out what the latest news is from the wonderful world of pens pencils and stationery. It’s also where we will include anything interesting that grabs our attention such as did you know that the head of Mi6 signs documents with the letter C in green ink and is associated with what is fondly known as the loony brigade. Or how far will a ballpoint pen write? and which ones write the furthest. You would be amazed to find out the crazy things people do with sharpies.
There is also the answer to questions such as can I get ink poisoning from a pen? or lead poisoning from a pencil? Speaking of poison do you know where the phrase the poison pen comes from? We all know that the Brits are a little bit quirky, but do you know why they call a ball pen a biro? Or have you seen the hilarious Bic Crystal pen reviews on Amazon? Which are rivaled in hilarity by the spoof ads for Bic’s complete and utter marketing disaster the Bic for Her range of pens?
Other things that may be of interest that you can find in this category are what you write and the way you write it. Have you ever wondered about what your handwriting says about you? or when you are writing your signature does neatness count? With tablets and smartphones taking over the world is handwriting now obsolete?
Regular readers know that we’re big fans of Sharpies – I even carry a Sharpie mini on my keychain – so it was with some disappointment that we recently came across a blog post explaining how transient that supposedly permanent ink can be. Although after carrying out some more research we found that regular Sharpies are indeed notorious for fading but not all Sharpies fade easily. They have brought out an extreme fade-resistant marker and also their oil-based paint markers are very resilient, making them ideal for surfaces such as wood and ceramic mugs.
The American headquarters of the Pilot Pen company is located in a middle-sized city in the far northeast corner of Florida, called Jacksonville.
While it’s becoming more modern – it has its own NFL franchise now – Jacksonville is still very much a mix of old Deep South and Navy port town. Not exactly the kind of place you expect to find runway models and fashion shows.
But, apparently, Jacksonville hosts its very own Fashion Week, an event designed to “establish Jacksonville as (a) fashion destination in the Southeast and ultimately, by discovering talent, be a major contributor to the industry itself,” according to the JFW site.
Pilot is one of the event’s sponsors. And, at this week’s show, Pilot plans to debut a dress by designer Bobby Kelley that is made of nearly 500 red FriXion erasable pens. (There’s probably a joke about an erasable dress in there somewhere.) [Read more…]
Each year, Lamy releases a special limited edition Safari in a unique color…and that time has come again.
The 2012 Lamy Safari is an apple green fountain pen so bright you might just want to take a bite. [Read more…]
When your favourite inexpensive pen runs out of ink, do you toss it and go buy another one? I know I do this sometimes without even thinking, especially since more pens are so easy to come by around here.
But the reality is, that’s just like throwing away money.
(Not to mention, you can’t really recycle pens at this point.)
The beauty of refillable pens is that they are, well, refillable. Once you buy the pen, you never have to replace it unless something breaks. When it inevitably runs out of ink, you just pop in a new ink fill and go right back to writing, drawing, doodling, etc.
Think at how much money you save by refilling, instead of replacing.
We’ll use the Pilot G2 0.7 mm as an example.
It costs £1.48 from online, US$2.74 from Amazon (at 2 for US$5.49), and US$1.40 from Jet Pens.
Let’s say you are an extremely industrious writer, and you go through one G2 per month. In the UK, you could spend up to about £18 a year replacing your G2. In the US, as much as US$33.
They are £1.15 at online, US$.65 at Amazon (at 2 for US$1.29), and US$.83 at Jet Pens (at 2 for US$1.65). Twelve refills per year would cost you about £14 in the UK, and up to US$8 in the US.
UK savings = £4 a year. US savings = US$25 a year.
And it’s not as if refills aren’t readily available. online retailors sell about 80 different types of refills, or a total of 248 when you take into account the individual colors. Zebra, Pentel, Uniball and Pilot are the top sellers, as you can probably imagine.
Pilot alone offers 23 different refills in an array of colors, including 15 color choices just for the G2.
Admittedly, figuring out which refill goes with which pen is slightly more complicated than just buying a new pen. But, retailers do their best to make it easy.
At most good online stores, all ink pen refills are grouped together by brand and ink type. Staples has an online refill finder. And Tom, over at Goldspot Pens, has even created a special site called, appropriately enough, RefillFinder.com for some of the higher-end pens.
It can’t get much simpler than that.
Oh, and we haven’t even talked about the less tangible benefits, such as being able to put a refill from one type of pen into the barrel of another in order to match the best-writing fill with the most comfortable barrel.
For example, I recently put an extremely smooth Pentel Vicuna refill into a very comfy Foray Onpoint to make what I consider a nearly perfect ballpoint pen (well, as close to perfect as a ballpoint can get).
(UPDATE: Speaking of Tom and Goldspot, he tweeted a link to a blog post that is directly related to this post: Using a Monteverde refill to improve a Lamy ballpoint.)
Plus, we all get attached to certain pens, even the inexpensive ones, that we use them so often, they eventually they begin to conform to our hands. Think about that one pen you reach for all the time, and how it seems to nestle right into your hand, as if made for you.
I have multiple Pentel EnerGels in my collection, but there is one retractable that is like that. I’ve used it so much, I can pick it out of a handful of matching pens just by touch. That one will get refilled over and over because it is never going in the trash.
The bottom line is, there are lots of good reasons to refill your favourite pens instead of replacing them.
And look at it this way…if you take a couple of extra minutes to buy refills instead of replacements when your pens run dry, you will eventually save enough money to buy yourself a nice, expensive new pen.
OK, now it’s your turn. Tell us what pens you keep refilling.