Welcome To My Thoughts On Pens And Pencils

I will respect your right to disagree with what I have to say about Pens and Pencils as long as you respect the fact that I am an Old Geezer.




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If you need detailed instructions on how to clear a lead jam from a mechanical pencil then click this link, "All Jammed Up?" or the link in the pages header.



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The Old Geezer
Please Excuse My Absence

I have not blogged since July of 2015 due to the fact that my Lovely Wife was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer. A new case of breast cancer which has metastasized and gone to her bones, mainly her back. She had a mastectomy of her left breast which showed the type of cancer that was in her bones. She has been taking an oral med. every day and she has a port under her skin to receive a liquid med. She has gone through one round of radiation treatments to stop some pain in her back. That gave her GERD and the med for that was nasty tasting. The bone cancer has caused the vertebra in her lower back to pinch her left sciatic nerve causing her pain, numbness and foot drag. She also has skin cancer that has only been partly addressed.

I have been busy taking care of her as the treatments have left her weak and sickly. She can not drive so I have to drive her to her appointments and treatments. I also have to do all the cooking and most of what cleaning we do. So I do not have a lot of time for blogging. However the installment of the review of the Schaeffer Ultrafine 0.3mm pencil marks what I hope will be a new review every month. However some of my future reviews may seem familiar as they may be a review of a pencil or pen that I have reviewed before just in another size due to my limited collection of writing instruments and the economic state of our nation.

I am grateful to George Fox for wanting me to do a review of another one of his pencils. I think that as a reader of my humble blog, may fine of interest as the Schaeffer Ultra Fine is a very unusual pencil.

So please excuse my absence and as a reader of my humble blog I hope that you enjoy the review of this unique pencil.

Coming Soon...

Thank you,

The Old Geezer.




Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Staples OptiFlow Liquid Rollerball Pens

After returning some pens to Staples the other day I ran across these house brand liquid rollerball pens. I figured that since they were a buck less than what I'd just returned and there were two more pens in the pack I figured that I couldn't do any worse than what I returned. The package read that they were 0.5mm rollerball pens and that the ink was acid free. So I thought that I'd take a chance on them. I opted for the six pack with the four colored inks, 2 black, 2 blue, a red, and a green.

Once home I couldn't wait to put them through a small test, the standard test that I derived from a test I found on Ruby's blog, Toying With Light. She graciously allowed me to use it in it's modified form. The test consists of writing a short sentence followed by a short line followed by a dot. For the dot the point of the pen is held on the paper for 10 seconds then removed. Then I look to see how many pages that the ink bled through. The line is used as a waterproof test. A single drop of water is placed on each line without smearing it and left to dry. The paper is from a standard Ampad 5x7 note pad.

The pens produce a 0.5mm line, which is as expected, so there were no surprises there. The package claims that the pens are smooth writing. I found them to be a bit on the scratchy side for a 0.5mm point, and a liquid ink pen at that. The scratchiness is no worse that some smaller tipped pens but I really did expect a little smoother writing experience. The package claims that the ink is fade-resistant, it's a good thing that it didn't claim that it is waterproof because it isn't. The water-on-the-line test shows that every color faded to some degree, the blue and green colors almost disappearing completely. All colors bleed through the paper, the black through 2 more sheets, the rest through 3 more. Why the black held up better that the others I don't know. Finally the spot test reveals that the ink is not bleed proof, probably being a dye ink instead of a pigment ink. All colors bleed through 2 additional sheets.

The pens are 137mm long, capped and 147mm with the cap on the back of the pen (writing mode) and 11.7mm in diameter. That makes them a fat little pen. The grip is smooth plastic but still it offers a good grip. They are also an attractive pen being clear, silver black and the ink color. The cap snaps on with a distinct "click" and it takes some effort to push the cap onto the pen. Hopefully that means a tight seal so the ink won't dry up. The point protector inside the cap is spring loaded, probably adding to the caps resistance to closure . Removing the end cap reveals that the ink supply only takes up about 1/2 the space available. I guess they want you to buy more pens sooner.

Despite it's slight scratchiness the OptiFlow writes nicely. The ink flows smoothly and fully without skipping and without blobbing at the loops. The fatness of the pen body is very comfortable to hold, a pleasing departure from the tendency of today to make pens as skinny as possible. While not archival quality the OptiFlow is a good pen to write with for everyday use. I would hazard a guess that one could write for a long time comfortably with the Staples OptiFlow. At $7.00 for 6 pens, either all black or in four colors, the OptiFlow liquid rollerballs are a worthy entry into the world of rollerball pens.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I use the OptiFlow all the time, it's a great pen. I have found it a little smudgy, but left alone it writes beautifully.

I also use it for inking on illustrations I do. It might be kind of sacrilegious to use a Staples house brand for art, but I love them.

tina said...

I just googled optiflow spring cap. That brought me here. I really like these pens, just got them. But, the spring in the cap makes the cap not fit well on the pen when you are using in (on the top of the pen?) If I remove the spring will the cap still work on the point side?

Fresh Promotions said...
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jaime said...

I love this pen! But my office just changed over to Office Max from Staples..and now I have to find a new comparable pen. Do you have any suggestions? I'm desperate.

The Old Geezer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Old Geezer said...
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The Old Geezer said...

Jamie you can try the following: Pilot V-Ball, Bic 537R, Uniball Vision Micro, Uniball Vision Exact Micro, Uniball Signo 207, Staedtler Liquid point 5 and Point 7. Hope this helps. Cheers