Looking for simple ways to reduce your environmental footprint? They don’t get much easier than this: buying recycled ink pens from the Pilot BeGreeN line. [Read more…]
Sure, this is the computer age, but we all still use pens for just about every day for everything from taking customer orders to jotting down the grocery list. That can be painful sometimes for people with arthritis or repetitive stress injuries and those in professions that require a lot of writing by hand. Using ergonomic pens can help ease the discomfort. [Read more…]
The World’s First Self-Sharpening Pencil
The trouble with using a mechanical pencil is that the tip of the lead changes shape as you write, thickening from a fine point to a chisel edge. Words lose their crisp shape and lines get thicker, which is particularly problematic for engineers and others that need uniform lines. The Kuru Toga by Uni-ball is the first mechanical pencil to offer a solution.
The Kuru Toga is designed to rotate the pencil’s lead by about 9 degrees each time it is pressed to paper. This wears the edges off the “chisel” as they try to form and instead rounds the lead into a cone shape, always presenting a sharpened writing point.
The way it works is that the .5mm lead is held by a toothed two-piece clutch. When the lead is pressed against the paper, the top portion of the clutch disengages from the lower piece and is pushed up. When the lead is lifted from the paper, the clutch twists and re-engages the lower piece. As the clutch twists, the lead rotates.
You can see a brief cartoon of how the pencil works at the Uni/Mitsubishi Pencil website. It’s in Japanese, but you’ll still get the idea.
Reviewers have been uniformly positive about the Kuru Toga since it’s release last year. OfficeSupplyGeek wrote that the pencil produced “the finest line I’ve ever experienced when writing with a pencil.”
The always-brilliant Dave’s Mechanical Pencils blog shows some examples of writing done with the Kuru Toga that illustrate just how well it keeps its fine point, in most cases.
One problem with the pencil seems to be the need to press down firmly and frequently lift the pencil off the paper when writing. For some users with a light touch who tend to write in uninterrupted lines, the lead may not rotate frequently enough, still resulting in chisel tips.
Still, the Kuru Toga is an improvement over traditional mechanical pencils, and it would be worth your while to give it a try. You may find that it’s the best £5 you ever spent on a pencil.
A Good Cause: The Pentel/Breast Cancer Campaign Partnership
Pentel is up to something good involving breast cancer research, and we want to take a minute to tell you about it.
Did you know that female breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the UK? As many as 44,000 women learn they have breast cancer each year, and more than 12,000 die from the disease, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics.
While the mortality rate has fallen over the last 15 years, the rate at which women are being diagnosed continues to rise. That’s why researchers in the UK are trying to learn why certain treatments work, why others fail, and what they can do to increase the survivability.
What’s this got to do with you? Well, dear pen wielder, you can satisfy your craving for stylish, useful writing instruments and contribute to the cause at the same time.
Pentel offers a range of specially designed pink pens that benefit the Breast Cancer Campaign, an organization that funds breast cancer research across the UK. Every time you buy one of these pens, a little of that money goes to help scientists gain a better understanding of the cellular and genetic underpinnings of breast cancer and the possible cures.
Pentel’s initial goal for Breast Cancer Campaign was £250,000 but so far the company has raised £312,000 – and Pentel isn’t done! The company is now aiming to hit £350,000 by the end of 2009.
So, check out these pens and see if maybe there’s one you like.
Pink Line Style ballpoint: Low viscosity ink for smooth writing with a .8mm tip. You can choose pink or the limited-edition violet model. Available with pink or black ink. For every one sold, 20p is donated to Breast Cancer Campaign.
StarGrip ballpoint: Comfortable rubber grip, .7mm tip, and a translucent pink barrel, so you can keep an eye on your pen ink level. Comes with black ink. Costs less than a pound, and 10p from each one goes to breast cancer research.
Mini RSVP ballpoint: Compact enough to slip easily into your purse, a pocket or a fold of your planner, and also has an eyelet so that you can clip it anywhere you want. Rubber grip makes it comfortable to use. For each one of these, 10p is donated.
Rollerball and Mini ballpoint set: The Rollerball lets you make a statement about your support for breast cancer research by writing it in pink ink. The Mini comes with black ink and is perfect for attaching to your keychain so you always have a pen handy. Buy the set and Breast Cancer Campaign gets 25p.
Mini Micro Correct: Everyone makes little errors. The Micro Correct helps you erase them neatly with its fine metal tip for precision correction. Of course, the limited-edition Breast Cancer Campaign models have pink barrels. Each one earns 25p for the campaign.
In the right hands, fountain pens produce some beautiful lettering, so it stands to reason that giving your child a fountain pen might be the right way to neaten the little one’s Ps and Qs.
And it very well might. Then again, you might end up spending money on an expensive pen for naught.