KWZ Honey Ink Review

I have been enjoying exploring different ink brands lately. For quite some time I had happily used Diamine or Pilot Iroshizuku inks as there were so many colour choices and my experiences with these brands had been so good. However in the past few months I have been exploring alternative options and one of the latest is KWZ.

A love of brown/gold inks

Lately I have been enjoying brown or gold inks. J. Herbins Lie de The was a brown ink that caught my eye through social media and an ink I really love writing with. I found KWZ Honey the same way noticing this colour in Instagram photos and from a few online reviews. All reviews were positive but what I really noticed was the colour and shading of this ink so I had to try it out for myself.

The shading on high quality, fountain pen friendly paper is dreamy. You get some gorgeous light golden tones through to darker brown shades. With a broad nib fountain pen you get to appreciate this aspect of the ink.

Ink Performance

As this was my first experience with KWZ ink I was intrigued to see how it would perform. It’s a wet ink, dry times are pretty good, a little longer on coated papers and it flows really well. I have been KWZ Honey with a broad nib fountain pen which means that I could really get a feel for the shading and flow of this ink. I have found it to be nothing but enjoyable.

Price

KWZ inks are very reasonably priced at £18 for a 60ml bottle. I ordered this direct from KWZ online as there is currently no UK distributors (I believe this will be changing in the very near future). The process was pretty seamless and I found KWZ easy to deal with over email. Once their distribution improves it will be a lot easier but this buying process doesn’t put me off. KWZ also offer a 2ml sample size for each ink which would be perfect if you want to try out several different colours.

One small thing…

There is a distinctive smell when you use this ink. It’s not offensive but I can’t help but notice it when I write and I can’t quite describe what it is. I believe this smell is completely normal but the scent is distinctive and a little strange.

Overall thoughts

Coming into Autumn this ink colour is an ideal choice. As the shading qualities are high it’s so much nicer using this in a broad nib fountain pen. Normally I tend to write with a fine or extra fine nibs which can mean I miss out on some of inks best features, and KWZ’s Honey definitely deserves to be used in a wider nib fountain pen to fully appreciate everything it has to offer.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series: Week 3 Review

TWSBI 580 RB with a broad nib 

TWSBI 580 RB with a broad nib 

This week I have been using the TWSBI 580 RB with a broad nib partnered with KWZ Honey ink. The TWSBI 580 RB is a standard fountain pen in my line-up. I always have this inked up, but normally it has an extra-fine nib. I recently swapped this out for a broad nib to play around with the pen and my inks a little more.

A week with the TWSBI 580 RB

I could easily use this fountain pen for long periods of time. I really like the design of the RB with the red and blue plastic sections. The clear barrel has always been a nice feature and I really enjoy seeing the ink slowly deplete. I like the fact that this pen holds a large amount of ink and the piston filling mechanism is something a little different. All of these small features combined makes this a personal favourite fountain pen of mine and I think I have had it inked ever since I bought it.

The TWSBI nibs are solid. They write really well and are sturdy working well in all scenarios. Using the new broad nib changed my experience of this pen completely. Broad nibs are not usually my first choice but actually its been nice to have a different nib on a fountain pen, rather than yet another extra-fine or fine. Paired with the KWZ Honey it was gorgeous.

However, having a broad nib and using this for all tasks does present some challenges. It can be difficult when using this pen and nib combination in different notebooks. A pocket notebook is not the best place for a broad nib fountain pen. You tear through paper quickly because your words take up more space on the page and you generally need more room. On the flip side the benefit has been writing in larger notebooks. I have really enjoyed using this in my A5 Clairefontaine notebook for my morning pages. The broad nib is less bothersome in a larger book and it has allowed me to appreciate my new ink a lot more. Playing with this fountain pen and having a really nice ink with some lovely shading has made this combination really enjoyable.

My Travelers Notebook with my TWSBI 580

My Travelers Notebook with my TWSBI 580

This weeks ink choice

I have enjoyed trying out a new brand of ink. It’s been a lovely ink to use especially in a broad nib making it a lovely change. I had high expectations for this ink brand due to the online buzz surrounding it and I have been a little disappointed. I don’t think this feeling will linger and over time I expect I will grow to love this ink more and more. It has great shading, it’s in the range of fountain pen ink colours that I really like using and writes really well.

Overall thoughts

I thought I would enjoy this fountain pen choice and I have done. I am not sure how practical a broad nib is on a day to day basis, but I have enough fountain pens that do fit into this category. Therefore I will be sticking with a broad nib on my TWSBI for some time and trying out some different inks.

In terms of the ink I do like it and I can see why it has had some good reviews online. It is the ideal ink for this time of year, but it doesn’t blow my socks off. Check back in the week to see a full blown review of KWZ Honey ink.

On to Week 4

On to Week 4

Week 4

I have debated what pen to turn to next and what will be the right choice for the next week. Part of me thinks this may be because I am not sure about the remaining inks and pens. But after some consideration I thought I should move away from a fountain pen and use the Karas Kustoms Retrakt and the black Pilot G2 refill. I want to see how I feel about a gel ink pen for a full week. Black is the most obvious choice and works in a whole range of different scenarios. To upgrade this and make it feel a little bit more special I decided to go for the machined aluminium pen. The Karas Kustoms Retrakt is a pen I have been in two minds about for some time. I really like the design and look of this pen but I find the barrel a little too fat. I could also do with an improved sight line on the pen which has bothered me and stops me using this pen more. But that's my thoughts today, at the end of this week I will write up a full review of how I have found this gel pen.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series: Week 2 Review

The gorgeous Blackwing 211, natural finish with a brown eraser

The gorgeous Blackwing 211, natural finish with a brown eraser

Two weeks into my pen/pencil experiment and this week has been devoted to the Blackwing 211. I felt it was important to include some pencils in my mini series to really find out how much I enjoy using pencils.

The Blackwing 211 is one of my favourite Blackwing pencils. It has the firmest of the graphite cores borrowing from the Blackwing 602. I prefer a hard graphite core as I use pencils predominately for writing, not sketching. I have found using the 211 for a full week a mixed bag of feelings.

What works.

There is no doubt a pencil is probably one of the easiest writing implements to take on the move. It’s light, you’re not too concerned about damage, concerns about snapping the graphite can be solved with a pencil cap. They’re perfect for writing on the move, there is no fountain pen cap to unscrew, or a lid to keep track of. You just pull out the pencil and write. Easy.

I have really enjoyed admiring this pencil during the week. It’s such a simple classic design with a great natural colour palette. This isn’t your standard pencil, this is a special pencil.

What I haven’t enjoyed.

I have missed using a fountain pen this week. I found by day 4 I was wondering whether I should abandon the task at hand and just pull out a fountain pen to write my morning pages.

I have noticed that when I write with a pencil my handwriting looks pretty rubbish. There seems to be less places to hide with a pencil and the good and bad points of your handwriting are laid bare.

Sharpening has been a bit of a pain too. You just start finding your stride with what you’re writing down on the page and suddenly your pencil is blunt and you need to sharpen it. When sitting at my desk this hasn’t been so bad as my classroom friendly sharpener is to hand, but on the move it’s a bit more irritating. I had forgotten how good the classroom friendly sharpener is in comparison to the KUM long point sharpener. The long point you get varies dramatically between the two and the classroom friendly sharpener really gives you a smooth finish and the perfect long point.

Overall thoughts

After completing this week, with a pencil I really like, it’s probably safe to say I couldn’t use only a pencil all the time. I feel like my notes look more mundane and my weekly diary spread a little dull. I miss the fountain pen experience and the wide variety of inks that brighten up my pages. I guess I cannot really consider myself a pencil girl.

Week 3

For the coming week I will be using the TWSBI 580 RB with a broad nib and KWZ Honey ink. The broad nib is new on this fountain pen and not something I have used before. I have only ever used a broad nib on a Kaweco Skyline Sport and this wasn’t the best experience. I thought the trusty TWSBI nib would be more reliable and I am excited to see how I get on with a broad nib fountain pen for a full week.

The KWZ Honey ink is also new. This ink colour has been getting some praise online so I was keen to try it myself. The brown/gold colour inks are beautiful and coming into Autumn I think this ink colour could be perfect. I am really excited about this week and think it could possibly be a winner.

To read through this mini series from the beginning you can see the first post explaining what the mini series is about and my first week with the Kaweco AL Sport and J.Herbin Bleu Nuit.

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil Mini Series - Week 1 Review

I have successfully completed my first week in this mini series exploring if I can use 1 pen or pencil for a full week. Before starting out on this endeavour I had a few questions in mind to focus my reflection on each different writing implement.

Week 1 - Kaweco AL Sport and J. Herbin Bleu Nuit.

The Kaweco AL Sport is always a pen I have inked up. Kaweco fountain pens are a staple in my writing toolkit with the AL Sport being one of my preferred choices due to the aluminium barrel.

After successfully using this fountain pen for a week my opinions have not altered in any way, I enjoy it just as much as I did before. The fine nib that I have on this pen works well for most writing tasks, from journaling through to simple note taking. The size and durability of the Kaweco AL Sport mean its ideal for throwing in my bag and using on the move. On most occasions I did this without a pen case and had no concerns and about the pen getting damaged in any way.

Morning Pages in my Startbay Notebook

Morning Pages in my Startbay Notebook

In terms of the ink partnership, J. Herbs Bleu Nuit was a new ink choice for me. After enjoying J. Herbins Lie de The I bought a pack of the Bleu Nuit cartridges specifically to use in this fountain pen. The colour combination works well due to the cool blue tones of this ink and the dark grey barrel on the Kaweco AL Sport. Being a blue ink this also meant it was suitable for most tasks.

During this week I haven’t had a requirement to fill out any official forms or send any post. As a result I have not encountered any problems with the choice of ink. I have mainly used my fountain pen in notebooks of my choosing that are fountain pen friendly. I think for tasks other than this the ink choice would have let this option down. For example addressing an envelope with this ink would involve the risk of it getting wet and the address running off the envelope. Similarly I could not fill in or sign many official forms with this pen. Therefore whilst the pen option would be fine, I am not sure as the only ink I could settle on Bleu Nuit for practicality purposes.

Daily reflections in my Travelers Notebook weekly refill

Daily reflections in my Travelers Notebook weekly refill

Finally, I am surprised that I haven’t used more ink this week. I have only used a little over half an ink cartridge. With my morning pages routine, journaling and general note taking I would have suspected I would have consumed more ink. I guess I don’t write as much as I thought, which then leads me to believe I shouldn’t have so many fountain pens inked up at once as the ink will tend to sit in the pen and potentially clog the feed.

Final thoughts on Week 1

The Kaweco AL Sport was always going to be a nice easy introduction into this exercise. I know I enjoy using this fountain pen and if I really had to only have one fountain pen to use I could settle on this one. The size of the pen makes it an ideal travel companion and I have always found the Kaweco nibs write well. J. Herbins Bleu Nuit whilst a lovely ink would not be a practical ink for a variety of different uses. However I have discovered another ink colour that I enjoy using and it really does go very well with my Kaweco AL Sport.

Onto week 2 and the Blackwing 211

Onto week 2 and the Blackwing 211

Week 2 - Blackwing 211 pencil

In my original post outlining this mini series I had settled on the Blackwing 24 as one of my pencils of choice. However after going back through some old posts I realised I have already used this pencil for a full week and written about it on the blog. Therefore I have made an adjustment to this pencil swapping it for the Blackwing 211.

I really enjoy Blackwing pencils and struggled to pick one for this experiment therefore swapping the 24 for the 211 wasn't a hard decision. Generally I prefer using pencils with a harder graphite therefore the 211 fits this bill. Pencils rarely top my choice of writing utensils so I am intrigued to see how I get on during the week and how much I wear the pencil down.

In case you missed it you can find out why I am running this exercise here in the introductory post.