Notes: This little book has been my go-to spot for doodles and notes. It’s small in size, I love the ruling, and it looks cool. The paper tends to feather a tiny bit with fountain pens, but I don’t mind it. The notebook is sturdy and the wire-o-binding has held up to being thrown in a bag and bounced around. I’ve gone through three full Doane Flap Jotters, so I figured I’d give this format a try. The paper inside this book isn’t quite as friendly to fountain pens as that in the Flap Jotter, but it’s not bad. If you’ve been looking to try out Doane Paper, definitely consider this capable little notebook.
The Ti Scribe Fountain / Ballpoint Pen was designed with EDC use in mind. This little pen is meant to live in your pocket and be used as needed. It’s short in length, but not uncomfortable to use when writing. The design and construction are both quality – including features like invisible seams and a fully machined body/cap.
The pen is built around a Bock nib unit, and includes a small international cartridge of black ink. The nib writes buttery smooth and has good ink flow right out of the box. These nibs may look familiar – as Kaweco uses them. There’s some nice scroll work and Bock’s logo stamped into the nib.
This pen is QUITE small. It reminds me a bit of the Kaweco Liliput, but a bit wider. This extra diameter makes for a more comfortable writing experience. The grip section of the pen has grooves machined into it for improved grip and control. I do have a few issues with the pen. It’s just a little bit too short for extended writing periods. I feel like the end of the pen hits an awkward spot in my hand, I wish it was just a bit longer (TiScribe is now offering an extended length version of the pen as a stretch goal). I also wish that the cap posted. Although Kelvin, the designer, stated that threads on the back of the pen are ugly, it’s very easy to misplace this small cap. I think an EDC pen, especially one meant to be used on the go, would benefit from a cap retention system. Speaking of the cap, each cap comes with a titanium pocket clip. The clip is held in place by a single screw. I’ve found that the pen stays put in my pocket and the cap hasn’t fallen off while walking. The shorter length of the pen ensures that it doesn’t jab you in the leg while carrying.
The pen is a bit longer than a Kaweco Sport when capped, and slightly shorter when posted.
Overall, I think that the Scribe makes a good pen for EDC. It’s more substantial than the Kaweco Liliput, but not as comfortable to use as the Sport. I’d definitely say that it’s a happy medium. I’m intrigued by the longer version, as I like the design and feel of the pen. It’s obvious that there was a high level of detail involved in designing and manufacturing the pen.
Pen: Nakaya Neo Standard Medium, Folded Nib Dip Pen Ink:Diamine Asa Blue Paper: Kyokuto F.O.B. COOP B5 Dot Grid
Great everyday color
Notes: Jetpens recently started carrying the small bottles of Diamine Ink. I saw them and immediately got to shopping. These 30ml bottles are ideal for an ink you “like” but don’t “love”. It’s more of a commitment than a sample, but not as much as a full bottle – ideal for trying out an an ink that you think you might like. I’ve been wanting to try Asa Blue as a more affordable alternative to Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki for a while now, so into my shopping cart it went.
The color reminds me much of Kon-Peki, but slightly more subdued and therefore more appropriate for everyday writing. After only a few lines in, I knew that this ink would fast become a favorite. This lovely shade of medium blue is a pleasure to write with and even nicer to look at. I’m a huge fan of Diamine ink – great saturation, flow, color variety, and shading without breaking the bank. I’ve been using this ink for a few weeks now, and I’m hooked. Asa Blue just may beat out Kon-Peki for my number one blue!
Check out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is always an easy task!
Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen
with Architect Grind Review
– Handwritten Review –
Review Ink:Sheaffer Peacock Blue
Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Pad
Description: Probably one of the best pens out there. No, seriously. It is.
Nib:Medium nib, ground to an architect point by Richard Binder
Filling Mechanism: Integrated vacuum plunger
Weight: ~29 grams
Measurements: 5.85″ closed, 6.37″ posted
Color Options:Amber, Smoke (Japan Market Only)
Handwritten Review Scans:
This Pilot Custom 823 with a 0.7mm architect grind was my big purchase of the 2014 Long Island Pen Show. It’s taken me a year to get around to reviewing this. Why? I don’t really know. What I do know is that it’s given me a really long time to get acquainted with the pen and provide you guys with a proper review. I knew going into the show that I wanted an architect grind, but I didn’t know what pen I wanted it on. After seeing and handling the 823 in person, it was an easy choice. I picked up the pen for $288 plus an additional $65 for the grind. The 823 is a classically cigar shaped fountain pen with a vacuum plunger filling system. The ink reservoir inside is huge and you can see the ink sloshing around thanks to the translucent demonstrator body. The main body section is clear, capped with dark brown opaque grip and section, separated by gold bands. It’s a great looking pen that is well outside of what I’d usually choose and I absolutely love it. It was great when I got it and it still remains one of my most-used pens one year later.
Appearance & Packaging:
The Custom 823 is an impressive looking pen with equally impressive packaging. The pen comes nicely displayed in a large gift box with a bottle of Namiki blue ink along side it. I would be quite happy to receive this as a gift – it really is that nice of a presentation. The pen looks really awesome too. What made me pick it out was the huge gold nib. Since I knew it was going to be a custom grind, I wanted something with a nib that I would look forward to using. The gold furnishing compliments the brown and amber resin perfectly. The cap is clear as well, but there’s a cap insert that hides the nib away. I’m on the fence about this detail – it would be nice to see the nib through the cap, but I suppose it makes taking the cap off that much more special. The gold ball-end clip is functional and the looks match the overall look of the pen well. The 823 is not something I would usually pick (all-black-everything, german design, etc.) but I really enjoy the way it looks.
Nib Performance & Filling System:
It’s not too often where both the nib and filling system on a pen are unique and special. First, let’s go through the nib. My Custom 823 started it’s life as a medium nib, but was quickly ground into a 0.7mm Architect/Hebrew Italic/Arabic Italic nib. Wow, so many names for the same thing. Richard Binder ground this nib for me at the Long Island Pen Show in 2013 (sorry, this review has taken over a year to do…) and it’s still one of the most fun to write with and unique pieces in my collection.
The architect grind is a nib grind almost like a stub, but flipped on the side. There’s a broad cross stroke and a narrow down stroke. It has a bit of feedback, but it’s still quite smooth for a fountain pen. I was told by Richard that the mild scratchiness is just the nature of the beast, but it is in no way unpleasant to write with. I think the grind suits my style of handwriting extremely well, it gives it a great look. The nib puts down a nice amount of ink, not too much, and not too little. It’s fun to see the ink level depleting in the clear reservoir. I really love this grind…
Pilot’s Custom 823 comes with an integrated plunger powered vacuum filling system. It’s very similar to TWSBI’s VAC700. To fill the pen, unscrew the tailcap, pull the plunger all the way out, submerge the nib fully, and press the plunger down. Once the internal vacuum seal behind the plunger is broken, the pen sucks ink through the feed and into the pen. It’s fun to use and extremely efficient. The pen holds a ton of ink, I find myself getting bored with the color before I run out of ink!
The pen is pretty large, there’s no getting around that. However, it is very well balanced and has a comfortable amount of heft. The grip section is comfortable and the step down and threads are barely noticeable. The cap posts pretty far down on the pen, making it usable, but it does throw the balance heavily towards the back of the pen. My preference is to write with the cap unposted, as it’s long enough and weighty enough to be comfortable. The fit and finish of the pen are top-notch. I’ve found Pilot to have some of the best quality control out there, especially in terms of fit an finish. You won’t be disappointed in how the pen looks and feels.
Awesome custom nib
Solid feel and build quality
Awesome filling system
None for me!
I love this pen, I really do. I’ve had it for a LONG time now, and it’s still great every time I pick it up. I thought the pen was too far outside of my comfort zone (never thought I would have bought an amber and gold pen) but it’s grown on me a lot. The solid feel, attention to detail, vintage feel, and excellent custom nib result in a pen that will always be in my collection!
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