Pens

Uniball Jetstream 0.5 Review

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The Uniball Jetstream is usually the pen that is recommended to people when starting to look for a pen that’s ‘a little bit nicer’. There is good reason for this but in today’s post I thought I would dig into this pen a little more and give my thoughts.

Benefits of the Jetstream.

The Jetstream is an entry level pen, one that you could use everyday but you won’t cry if you lose or misplace it. The Jetstream is a rollerball with its big selling point being an ‘ultra-quick-drying hybrid gel ink’. To add to this the ink is waterproof and fade-proof. Essentially in this one entry level pen you’re getting a lot more than a standard pen which makes it incredibly versatile and a great recommendation to a budding pen addict.

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The Pen itself.

I bought my Jetstream from an actual shop, shocking I know, so I think I have the Sport version. It’s a lovely pastel purple colour with white accents. There is a clip, which I never use, and a nice soft grip section. Sometimes these can be overly padded and get in the way but the Jetstreams grip section is comfortable making it easy to use for long periods of writing time.

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Writing with the Jetstream.

I am not an everyday user of the Jetstream despite it’s many benefits. There are so many pens to use that the Jetstream rarely gets a look in. Mine has a 0.5mm refill which gives a very thin line, which looks much thinner than the 0.5 advertised. The ink is smooth and works really well on your nicer paper, such as the MD Paper in my writing sample below, but also standard printer paper.

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Overall thoughts.

I am a fan of Uniball pens as a whole. They always write well and feel good to use, the ink is smooth and dark and rarely skips or gives any glooping issues. The Jetstream is no different. It’s a great pen to have in your arsenal and despite my sporadic use it always works first time.

Sometimes it’s not about the expensive or finding the new thing to enjoy stationery or writing tools. Using the simple can be refreshing and enjoyable.

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Karas Pen Co: Reaktor Galaxie Review

The four different Galaxie designs

The four different Galaxie designs

Karas Pen Company sent me their latest pen releases to review here on the blog. Today we will be looking at their Galaxie range of pens, all thoughts of which are my own.

Karas Pen Co will be launching a new line of machined pens this summer called the Reaktor line which includes the Starliner fountain pen and the Galaxie ballpoint/rollerball pen. There is a lot to say about both so I am splitting out my reviews, with today’s focusing on the Galaxie range of pens.

What is the Reaktor Galaxie?

The concept, design and naming of the Reaktor line is influenced by Mid-century America, specifically space, and the themes that influenced almost all aspects of their culture. As with other Karas pens the design behind the pens are well considered and really add to the identity of the pen you’re using. It’s also interesting that there are quite a few stationery brands that have launched products with a space theme in recent months, so there is something of a trend here too.

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The Reaktor Galaxie pen comes in two sizes, a small pocket pen and an XL full length pen. They take two different refills, the pocket shipping with the Schmidt MegaLine P950 in medium, or the Parker style refill, and the XL with the Pilot G2. The difference in the refill compatibility needs to be considered when choosing the right pen for you, although its worth mentioning that Anna’s Epic Refill Guide should also be referenced to investigate what refill hacks can be performed. For the purposes of this review I am judging these pens based on how they arrive, straight out of the box.

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Galaxie Design.

The pens arrive in a small plastic container which I have been told is very close to the final packaging design. The colour of the packaging corresponds to the colour choice of your pen. I really like the packaging, it’s slim and lightweight, good for international customers, but it also keeps the pen secure.

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The pen design is typical of what you may know and expect from Karas Pen Co. There are four different options to choose from, full black, a tumbled aluminium finish and then two polished aluminium pens, one with a red anodised grip section, the second with a blue anodised grip section.

There are a few subtle differences between the two different sizes. The pocket Galaxie is clipless and the XL has the traditional Karas bolted on clip which regardless of the colour choice you go for is consistent across all pens.

Both sizes of the Galaxie have a distinctive cap design which looks like a cog, but actually takes inspiration from the hose fixtures found on space suits. This is also where the inspiration of the colour scheme comes from. The Galaxie pen is a click rather than screw cap meaning its very simple to flick off the cap.

The cog, or more rightly hose, design on the pen cap

The cog, or more rightly hose, design on the pen cap

Using the Galaxie.

I have been using these pens for some time now. I have a number of them on my desk which I have been using to write work notes, jot down quick additions to my planner. Initially I was drawn to the smaller version of the pen because of the size and it worked well with my pocket notebook use. Unposted the pen is too short and not particularly comfortable to use. When posted the length is much better and the weighting works well too. Usually I don’t post my pens, but this one needs it. The one issue I’ve found is that the cap did come lose I guess from the movement when I was writing and I had to nudge it back in place quite a lot.

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The Schmidt refill is not my favourite. It’s quite gloopy and I had quite a few false starts. As I mentioned the refills can be swapped out and I would definitely recommend this on the pocket Galaxie. With the XL the popular Pilot G2 works as you would expect.

In terms of colour choices I think the black anodised finish on these pens looks great. The colour options feel very American with the blue and red grip sections. I was surprised by the tumbled aluminium finish Galaxie, it looks a lot better in the flesh than I expected.

Overall thoughts.

I like the Galaxie pen and it’s nice to have another machined pen option for your refills. Personally I like the XL version a lot more, the size is more comfortable to use and there is a little more flexibility with the refill options. The smaller pocket Galaxie however is a great pocket pen choice. The bonus to all of this is the price point. The smaller version is $40 and the XL is $45. That’s great value for a machined pen and I am not sure there are many options in the market at these prices. There is a nice notebook which is available now with a really nice Reaktor logo on the cover.

Everything that makes up the Reaktor line of pens: Galaxie pen, packaging, notebooks and stickers 

Everything that makes up the Reaktor line of pens: Galaxie pen, packaging, notebooks and stickers 

I’d like to thank Karas Pen Company for sending me their latest pens to review here on the blog.

Baron Fig Mysterium Review

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Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition Squire, Mysterium, to test and review here on the blog. All the thoughts and opinions shared here are my own.

The latest limited edition Baron Fig Squire is theMysterium, a vibrant and bright orange pen, always a popular choice.

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The Mysterium comes with a short story written by Harry Marks which can be found here. I was half expecting to receive a physical copy of this story with my pen but unfortunately not, this lives online only. The pen and story focuses on a space theme and what lies beyond our planet. The Mysterium sees a return to the aluminium pen body after a few trials with other materials and does so in style with a bright orange body and a geometric logo etched in white on one side.

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The orange body does present some small issues. If you really examine this up closely you can see some of the machined lines on the body. The Clicky Posthighlighted this in his post, so head over there for the full details, but the colour makes this all a little more visible. To be clear you really have to look closely at the pen.

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I have also found that with the lightweight body the refill does skip a little. This could definitely be a dodgy refill and nothing to do with the pen, however I noticed a similar issue with The Insightful Spectre limited edition that didn’t arise with the brass Key limited edition.

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Despite these small things I really like this limited edition. The colour is great and the Squire continues to be one of my go to rollerball pens and the pen I use the most when on the move. Honestly I am a little surprised that this limited edition is still available, I thought this would sell out super quick like the Experiment. So as it’s available I suggest you head on over and grab one of these pens while you can.

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Thanks for the guys at Baron Fig for sending me the Mysterium Squire to review here on The Finer Point.

Baron Fig Lock and Key Limited Edition

Baron Fig sent me their latest limited edition, Lock and Key, to review here on the blog. All thoughts on these products are my own.

This is the second double limited edition Baron Fig have released and this time they bought out the big guns! The difference between this edition and their first double limited edition release, the School Set is you can buy both parts separately, presumably due to the high cost of the Squire pen. Both parts of this limited edition are the Lock - the Confidant notebook and the Key - the Squire pen.

The Lock.

The Lock is packaged in the usual Baron Fig box. I really appreciate these boxes and often used them to store my unused / used Vanguard Baron Fig notebooks. It’s almost a way of keeping them orderly. Anyway… the box is the same emerald green colour as the Lock notebook but with includes lovely gold detailing.

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Inside the box is a try-fold leaflet with a poem laying out the intention of this limited edition notebook and inside the maze or riddle that you’re supposed to be solving. The gold foiling on this leaflet is really impressive especially on such bright white paper. It really glows.

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As I mentioned the Confidant is an emerald green colour which has a maze pattern embossed on the front and back. The colour is really nice, it looks almost regal and definitely classy.

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The theme continues on the inside cover and title page with the white and gold maze pattern.

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The paper inside is the normal and ever popular dot grid (I’m dreaming of a limited edition Confidant ruled notebook).

Beautiful gold ribbon page marker

Beautiful gold ribbon page marker

To finish it off there is a gold bookmark to compliment the theme throughout.

I have used several of Baron Fig Confidant notebooks, a couple of which have been limited editions and the Lock continues an impressive Confidant limited edition design series. The Lock is the second time Baron Fig have gone for a full embossed cover and I really liked it, it works so nicely with the linen covers giving a second layer of texture.

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The Key.

The second aspect to this limited edition is the Squire, or the Key. The idea here is that with both parts you can solve the riddle, and there may be prizes from Baron Fig if you get it right.

The packaging for the Squire comes in the usual tube but this one comes with an alphabet and symbols relating to each letter, hence the name the Key. Paired with the Lock Confidant notebook in theory you should be able to solve the problem Baron Fig have handed us. I am hopeless at this kind of thing and therefore got nowhere in solving the riddle, useless I know.

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Rather than other limited edition Squire pens, the key isn’t just a paint job. This time Baron Fig have really changed things up giving us a brass Squire. They could have just gone with a gold coloured aluminium pen to keep in with the theme, keep their costs down and perhaps make it appeal to a broader auidence, but they didn’t and chose to try something different.

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There is no doubt that this limited edition Squire looks good. The gold colour works well and the edition etching of the key is hidden, unless you’re looking you’re not going to see this.

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I really liked my first experience with the Squire, The Insightful Spectre. It’s a pen that is perfect for using on the move, there are no caps to use, it’s small and takes a refill I have really grown to like. The Key is different though because it’s made from brass which instantly changes up the weighting on this pen. It’s not horrendous but if you own a Squire already, there is a huge difference.

Aesthetically the Key is the same as other Squire pens, the same twist mechanism, the same refill, the same tapering design, the same size. I have quite liked all of these features in my Insightful Spectre and the smallish size again was a bonus for me. With the Key I think I will enjoy using this but not for long periods of time as I think I’d tire very quickly due to the doubling of the weight. There does appear to be a glitch with my Squire where the twist mechanism seems to unscrew the pen and not just pull in the refill which has been a little irritating in the use I’ve had so far.

The Key and The Insightful Spectre 

The Key and The Insightful Spectre 

Overall thoughts.

I think this is a cracking limited edition release from Baron Fig. The Lock Confidant definitely ticks a lot of boxes and I really like the colour scheme of this release. The Key Squire is really very nice and considering it’s only $10 more than a Squire pen its great value for money. Baron Figs Squire pens rarely last long so if a shortish brass pen is your bag then I would snap one of these up while you can.

I like that Baron Fig are making exciting releases and finding ways of linking up their product range. It sort of forces you to consider more of their product range rather than singular products. While doing this the limited editions aren’t too far removed from what the base of the original product is about. It’s a difficult thing to get right, but so far Baron Fig are doing it well.

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