Staying Sharp

We have kids and over the years we have picked up a collection of pencil sharpeners. Small, cute, plastic, branded, colorful and – mostly – useless. A few are functional in a pinch but none were really up to the task of repeated, regular and demanding use. So I wanted something that I could rely on, that was portable (not that I am traveling much) and would handle a range of pencil types.

Usually these things can be hit or miss, but I am really pleased that my first swing resulted in a home run with the Kutsuwa Stad T’Gaal Pencil Sharpener from Jetpens. And I could not be more pleased with what I received. And that is after having been a little disappointed at first touch.

The Stad T’Gaas is a very light weight plastic device, and as such I was worried that this would be a pretty light weight performer. But I could not have been more wrong. This is a solid little highly capable sharpener.

The real payoff is that it can handle different cone diameters including a very fine point for graphite pencils and a flatter cone for art pencils. And it can do them all well. the internal blade is sharp and does it’s work quickly with minimal application of pressure. It does not catch or bite like make of the other plastic sharpeners in my house, and after multiple trial pencils holds its sharpness well.

The photo is lousy but you can see settings 1 3 and 5

It has 5 conical settings and an enclosed shavings compartment. The device also seals shut when not in use. The compartment for shavings is quite small, but then again there is no need to shave 10 pencils without emptying is there?

This is not a compact product, and those on the move may want something a little smaller but overall I am thrilled with the purchase and am eager to try some more of Kutsuwa’s office products.

I purchased this item from Jetpens with my own funds and was not provided anything for this review.

Tomoe Vs. Tomoe

I have been casually interested in paper and pens and notebooks for decades. However, since getting more involved in the community, it is clear that there is a major disruption in the force – namely the change to the most beloved fountain pen paper – Tomoe River paper. For those of you who are not uber geeks and who rightly have other much more important things to worry about (state of the world, democracy, freedom, environment, etc), the company that makes Tomoe River paper recently made some changes to their machinery and, well, Tomoe paper has changed. Some may not care. Others may not even notice the difference, but for those who make their living drawing or painting and/or have developed a close personal or professional relationship with this medium, it matters.

I am a casual user, so for me this issue is more of an academic one. It won’t affect my life in a real way, regardless. But then again, maybe that makes me one of the few objective people out there? Don’t know, but that is what I will tell myself.

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Kobe Ink #53 Kitano Pearl Silver – Ink Review

I am not sure how often I will do ink reviews. There are so many really good, dedicated web sites and blogs to ink reviews (Mountain of Ink is one of my favorites, and is just as advertised). I have purchased a few inks to fill my small but growing pen collection, and from time to time will share the inks I like and use regularly.

Today, I’ll share the Kobe Ink #53 Kitano Pearl Silver. I purchased this ink after seeing a review on Fountain Pen Love. I enjoy the blog and when someone I read and respect talks about a favorite ink, I take notice. I have a lot of colored inks and “needed” a grey so when FPL noted their all time preferred grey was the Kobe Ink #53, I took the plunge. Kobe Ink, for those like me who are still learning about such things, are imported from the Nagasawa Department Store in Kobe, and are made by Sailor ink in Japan. They make some really lovely products and I like the flow and feel of the inks I have tried.

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