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Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen with Architect Grind Review

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen
with Architect Grind Review

– Handwritten Review –

  • Review Ink:Sheaffer Peacock Blue
  • Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18 Pad

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 5Specs:

  • 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:

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 6 - Version 2Intro/About:

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.

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 1Appearance & 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.

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 4Nib 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.

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 8The 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 Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 16Pilot’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!

Feel:

Sailor Pro Gear Versus Pilot 823-6The 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. Sailor Pro Gear Versus Pilot 823-7

Pros:

  • Handsome presentation
  • Awesome custom nib
  • Solid feel and build quality
  • Awesome filling system

Cons:

  • None for me!

Pilot Custom 823 Fountain Pen Review with Hebrew Arabic Italic Grind by Richard Binder 3Conclusion:

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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J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor – Ink Review + Video

J. Herbin 1670
Emerald of Chivor
Fountain Pen Ink Review

PenLamy 2000 Stainless Steel – Broad, Folded Nib Dip Pen
Ink: J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor
Paper: Kyokuto F.O.B. COOP – Dot Grid – B5

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor Review-11Notes:
So, I’ve found my new favorite ink…this one. J. Herbin’s Emerald of Chivor is an awesome shade of teal with the signature 1670 gold flakes. In addition to the gold, there’s an incredible red sheen seen around the edges of each letter and where the ink pools – resulting in an ink with intense depth. The ink flows well, if anything a bit on the wet side in my Lamy 2000’s broad nib. There’s so much depth to this interesting ink and I absolutely love it. Even my friends who have seen it (who couldn’t care less about fountain pens and ink) commented on how cool it looked. I think the ink looks best in a broad nib, and even better in a folded nib dip pen. On top of the gold flakes, the red sheen, and the high saturation, the ink has a nice degree of shading. J. Herbin really hit it out of the park with this intensely complex ink!

Be on the lookout for Emerald of Chivor in stores later this summer!

Check out this video I produced for J. Herbin for the new ink:

All photos are uploaded in hi-res, click to enlarge!

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Pros:

  • OMG GOLD FLAKE
  • Red Sheen
  • Awesome color
  • Great shading

Cons:

  • None!

 

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Disclaimer: I received this bottle of ink pre-release for purposes of product photography and video production. I was not compensated for this post – all opinions are my own.

Field Notes “Workshop Companion” – Summer 2015 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Summer 2015 Colors Edition
“Workshop Companion”

Field Notes Workshop Companion-11Specs From Field Notes:

“This 27th limited COLORS edition is a set of six books, boxed in a sturdy 60-pt custom slipcase with a sheet of crack-and-peel decals. Each of the books focuses on one DIY discipline — Wood Working, Automotive, Gardening, Painting, Plumbing, and Electrical — each containing tips, reference materials and the usual Field Notes wise-cracking.

Field Notes Workshop Companion-4The six covers are color-coded to compliment six tones of 100-lb cover stock from the French Paper Company’s terrific new “Kraft-Tone” paper, their first new grade in five years. The 70-lb text Kraft-Tone “Standard White Kraft” body pages feature our dot-grid, and are bound with tough brass staples. Anyone fixing a switch, planting a bush, or painting a door jamb will find these books make a nice addition to their workbench, junk drawer or toolbox.Field Notes Workshop Companion-2

Notes:

This is going to be like my coverage on the other COLORS editions by Field Notes – more of an overview than a full review. If you’re unaware, Field Notes puts out a quarterly limited edition, usually themed, with some cool details involved. This set of 6 books is packaged in a cardboard slip cover and they’re themed to help you get work done. Each book represents a sect of handiwork, from electrical to plumbing. The covers are heavy 100 lb. stock that feels like it will stand up to being tossed in a toolbox or back pocket.

Field Notes Workshop Companion-10I particularly like the brass staples. They’re subtle, but I think that’s why I like them. The 70 lb. paper inside is quite toothy, but does a decent job holding up to fountain pen ink. I’ve been more into pencils lately, and the toothy paper feels great with some nice graphite. There’s a bit of feathering and some minor bleed through, but Field Notes haven’t ever been the greatest for fountain pens. Gel ink, ballpoint pens and even some markers work well with the paper, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

I’m a fan of the edition, and as with all COLORS editions, these are limited. Head over to FIELD NOTES to grab a pack (or two, like I did…) before they’re gone forever!

Field Notes Workshop Companion-12Gallery:

 

Field Notes “Two Rivers” – Spring 2015 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Spring 2015 Colors Edition
“Two Rivers”

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook ReviewSpecs From Field Notes:

“French Paper supplied four cover stocks for these books: Pop-Tone 100#C “Lemon Drop” and “Sno Cone,” Speckletone 100#C “True White,” and Dur-O-Tone 80#C “Packing Brown Wrap.” We hand-set several designs using Hamilton’s collection of vintage type and ornaments. Hamilton then printed our designs in two random colors on a 1961 Heidelberg GT 13″×18″ windmill press. Randomizing the designs, papers, and colors resulted in thousands of variations. Further variations were introduced thanks to the nature of wood type, letterpress printing, and the music playing in the print shop during the 200+ hours on press.

Back in Chicago, our logo and specifications were added with a hit of “Broadside Blue-Black” ink. Then the books were bound with 48 pages of Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T featuring our “Double Knee Duck Canvas” graph grid. Three copper staples hold ’em together. As always, they’re all-U.S.A.-made, with a lot of love from the shores of Lake Michigan.”

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook Review

Notes:

This is less of a formal review and more of a “GO GET THESE BEFORE THEY’RE GONE!”. Field Notes are some of my favorite notebooks in terms of design, especially the COLORS editions. This one is no exception. I’m a sucker for all things screen printed, and these being a mix of wood block and letterpress immediately grabbed my attention. The books are all unique, in that they are all a random assembly of designs and text. Even cooler is that each one is hand-set, making the creation of the covers less of a set-and-forget and more of a hands-on process.

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook Review I can definitely appreciate that. The subtle details like the dark blue inked “FIELD NOTES” logo on the front and the copper staples really stand out. I ordered three 3-packs and each book is different from the next. As far as performance, the Finch Opaque Smooth 50#T paper works well enough. I decided to use a book for doodling with my Lamy broad nib, and there’s a fair amount of bleed and feathering. The paper works great with ballpoint, gel, finer rollerballs and finer fountain pen nibs.

Field Notes Two Rivers Colors Edition Pocket Notebook ReviewThe graph inside is pretty standard, the 4.5mm spacing nicely compliments the size of the book. I’ve been using one to keep track of what episodes of the X-Files I’ve watched, rating them as I go. The graph definitely proves helpful for making a checklist. The cool factor on this limited edition is through the roof, go pick some up before they’re gone forever!

Check out more info, an awesome video, and pick up a 3-pack from FIELD NOTES here!

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J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche – Ink Review

J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche
Fountain Pen Ink Review

PenPilot Vanishing Point, Medium Nib
Ink: J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche
Paper: Kyokuto F.O.B. COOP – Dot Grid – B5

Notes:

When I saw that J. Herbin now offers small sample size bottles, I had to jump at it! Thanks to JetPens for sending over the bottle for review! As vibrant and nice as the color is, the performance of the ink is rather poor. The wet flow writes nicely, but results in some pretty bad feathering and bleed through. I haven’t had this issue with other J. Herbin inks, making this atypical. There are plenty of other blues out there, lots very similar. Unfortunately, I’d recommend passing on this one. If you like what you see and you absolutely have to have it, it does work well on Rhodia paper.

JetPens BannerCheck out JetPens for tons of awesome Japanese pens and stationery. Free shipping on orders over $25, and hitting that is always an easy task!

Pros:

  • Nice vibrant shade
  • Generous flow
  • Nice light to dark blue shading

Cons:

  • Only performs well on Rhodia paper
  • Lots of feather and bleed

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