Pilot G2

1 Week, 1 Pen/Pencil: Week 4 Review

My Start Bay Navigator in Chic Tan and the Karas Kustoms Retrakt

My Start Bay Navigator in Chic Tan and the Karas Kustoms Retrakt

This week I have been using the Karas Kustoms Retrakt paired with the Pilot G2 black gel refill. Before starting out on this week I presumed I would enjoy using the Pilot G2 refill but maybe struggle a little bit with the Retrakt pen itself. This assumption was pretty spot on but I have also encountered a few barriers to the 1 pen challenge.

This week's failures

There have been a few occasions this week where I have been forced to deviate from the Karas Kustoms Retrakt and Pilot G2. First up was a passport application I needed to get filled out and sent. These forms have very specific requirements and you need to use a black ballpoint pen to fill out the forms. This meant that the gel ink pen was not useable in this situation. Secondly I had to send some post this week and I needed to use a Sharpie pen to fill out the shipping information on the box.

These deviations were forced and highlights that 1 pen cannot work in all scenarios. There are times when specific tools are needed to get the job done.

Things I didn't like this week.

I want to get the negative points out of the way first. This week marked the start of my final module with the Open University which has meant that the amount of time I spend writing has increased. Using the Retrakt for long periods of time has been quite strenuous. This pen is heavy, being made from aluminium, and when writing for long stretches of time I found that my wrist began to ache, a lot! I have found it quite uncomfortable in a way I don't think I would have with a fountain pen and definitely not with a pencil.

Poor sight line on the G2 tip

Poor sight line on the G2 tip

In keeping with this theme, the Retrakt grip section is something I cannot persuade myself to like. I find the it too chunky and the sight line to the pen tip poor. This has only been a slight irritation when I have been writing for long periods of time with this pen. For shorter note taking tasks this is less of an issue.

The Pilot G2 refill

The Pilot G2 refill

There are some good points

The Pilot G2 refill is strong. The black line is crisp and dark giving a brilliantly fine line on the page. It flows well and is really smooth to write with. I have particularly enjoyed using this in my Midori Weekly Refill (019) for recording a snippet of the day's events.

The Retrakt is a nice looking, smart pen. It's not one I use regularly simply because it gets bumped mainly by fountain pens. But actually it's a nice pen and it has it’s place as part of my writing toolkit, but as a standalone pen to use day in and day out, I am not sure the Retrakt barrel would work for me.

Overall thoughts.

This pairing is really strong and I have enjoyed using both of them together. I couldn't use the Retrakt and the Pilot G2 as my only pen choice but actually what this exercise has made me realise is it has its place as part of my writing toolkit. As a result I will be carrying this pen around with me a lot more, rather than leaving it outcast on my desk.

Week 5

Moving into next week I will be using the Lamy Safari and Lamy Dark Lilac ink. I really love this ink colour and the Safari is one of those entry level pens people recommend because it is very reasonably priced. It does have its downsides like the mounded grip section, so using only this pen for a full week could be interesting.

Check back next week to see how I've held up.

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

My writing implements of choice

My writing implements of choice

Lately I have been wondering how I would feel if I could only using one writing implement for a prolonged period of time, say a week. Would I like them as much as I think I do if I could only use them exclusively? I have numerous fountain pens inked up at a given time and what I have found is that I don’t use any of them enough. I rotate through the different pens and inks but don’t fully appreciate what I am using because it doesn’t get used enough. Similarly with the pencils that I have to hand, they rarely get a proper look in as the fountain pen usually wins.

With this in mind I have decided to spend dedicated time with one writing implement. I will use one pen or pencil for a week. This should give me enough time to use the pen or pencil in different notebooks and scenarios allowing me figure out how much I really like them and how practical they are.

I have chosen a selection of writing implements that I believe I enjoy using from a range of fountain pens, pencils and gel ink pens.

The final list includes:

  • Kaweco AL Sport F nib with J. Herbin Bleu Nuit
  • Staedtler Mars Lumograph F grade pencil
  • Lamy Safari EF nib with Lamy Dark Lilac ink
  • Karas Customs Retrakt with Pilot G2 refill in black
  • TWSBI 580RB B nib with KWZ Honey ink
  • Blackwing 24 pencil
  • Tactile Turn Gist F nib with Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai ink

Each week after I have finished using the writing implement I will share my thoughts here on the blog. I will generally be looking at how I have found using that one writing implement for the week and what I have liked and disliked about it. Using one writing tool for a week long period will I’m sure throw up lots of issues and honestly I don’t think I am a one pen kinda girl.

This mini experiment will help me to decide how I feel about each of the different writing tools selected. But overall this experiment is supposed to be a little bit of fun.

So first up…the Kaweco AL Sport with a fine nib and J. Herbin’s Bleu Nuit.