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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My Obsession
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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, July 8, 2009

Pilot Plumix And Penmanship

Pair Plus 4 I first read about the Pilot Plumix while reading an article on “unposted”. I was intrigued to say the least. I used to do calligraphy some years back but I set it aside and have yet to pick it back up. So I appreciate elegant writing and I knew the minute that I saw the nib on the Plumix just what it was supposed to do. It has a broad faced medium wide nib very similar to a calligraphy nib but unlike a calligraphy nib the nib on the Plumix is designed to be pushed! A true calligraphy nib can not be pushed, only pulled, or else it chatters and spits ink! I knew that the Plumix was designed for the average person to use in their daily writing and I knew how to use it! At the time Target was about the only place the Plumix could be found, (it is now carried by JetPens), so as soon as I could I headed out to my local Target store and picked up one in Turquoise Blue.

The Plumix comes carded with PPlum Nib onea single Pilot Blue ink cartridge. But there are no instructions on how to use the pen! If you are not familiar with broad tipped calligraphy pens then the Plumix may be a strange beast to you! The body of the pen is also different than other fountain pens. Made entirely of plastic the Plumix has 3 body sections, the cap, the grip or midsection and the tail or upper body. The cap is bullet shaped, has 2 wings to aid the user in removing the cap, which screws on. The grip is ergonomically made, the bottom being rounded and the 2 sides slop upward and are curved inward. Thus the grip offers only one way to hold the pen, the correct way. The upper body screws onto the grip and meets the grip at a specific point. The belly of the body slops downward to start then back up then tapers to a blunt end. It sort of looks like a guppy! All in all I find the shape pleasing to the eye as well as to the hand. The pens are two tone with the cap and body being of one color while the grip another. Currently the Plumix is offered in Transparent Black, Turquoise Blue and Purple, with a clear grip.

Some stats…The Plumix weighs 10.6 grams with a full ink cartridge. It is 150.8 mm long capped, 151.1 mm long posted and 144.1 mm long unposted. It is 12.1 mm in diameter at the joint between body and grip. The balance point, from the nib, is 71.4 mm posted and 61.9 mm unposted. The pen is top heavy either way but it has a better balance posted. The nib is 1 mm wide.

To use the Plumix first unscrew the body from the grip and insert the ink cartridge into the grip. The cartridge has to be manually forced onto the feeding tube. Squeezing the ink cartridge a little helps aid in getting the ink through the baffles and to the nib. Reattach the body and remove the cap. I like to post, you may not. Next grip the pen as you would any other pen but using the grips shape as a guide. Tilt the paper as you would normally, as we were taught in school. When the pen nib is touching the paper it should be at a 30 to 45 degree angle to the long side of the paper. When a stroke is made for an upper case “T” it should be a very thin stroke and be at the prescribed angle. The downward stroke should be normally slanted but bold. Subsequent letters should have this thin/thick appearance. Simple, hey!? By adding a little flair you can make your handwriting come alive!

Plumix The Penmanship is a horse of a different color compared to the Plumix. While superficially the 2 pens may look very similar they are really 2 different pens. The only thing that they share in common is the fact that the caps are interchangeable as are the nibs and baffles. The grip is shaped the same only the upper body of the Penmanship does not have a belly like a guppy instead it tapers normally like any other pen. The threads on the grip are different on the Penmanship so the bodies are not interchangeable. The shape of the cap on the Penmanship is blunter and the wings are rectangular, not angular fins as on the Plumix. They are also much thicker. The Penmanship comes in two colors only, Clear and Black with red wings on the cap! Now who’s idea were the red wings?… Any way the nib on the Penmanship is an Extra Fine writing nib! This wonderful nib produces a line only 0.3 mm wide!

PPen Nib two Penmanship

Some stats… The Penmanship weighs 10.1 grams with a full cartridge. It is 148.3 mm long, capped, 150.3 mm long posted and 146.9 mm long unposted. It is 11.8 mm in diameter at the joint between the grip and body. The balance point, from the nib, is 71.4 mm posted and 61.9 mm unposted. This makes the Penmanship top heavy but the better balance is with the pen posted. The nib is an EF that measures 0.432 mm wide!

This is the first EF nibbed fountain pen I’ve ever owned! In fact up until a few months ago I had only one fountain pen, a soft plastic Black and Turquoise Niji. This pen was made some 30 plus years ago, at least that’s as long as I’ve had it. It seems to have a fine nib though it’s not marked with it’s width. Then a few months a go a nice young lady by the name of Nasferatuia gave me a Pilot Petit 1 and a Pilot Varsirty disposable fountain pen. Then a short while later Nrepose over at unposted did an review of the pilot Plumix where he also mentioned the pilot Penmanship. Shortly thereafter I went to my local Target and bought a Turquoise Blue Pilot Plumix. The next thing you know I have all 3 Plumix! Then I find myself ordering fountain pens and ink from JetPens and fountain pens from J.Stationary and buying fountain pens from Staples! I have gone from owing one fountain pen and an old bottle of Black ink to now owning 17 fountain pens and 6 bottles of ink! Oh, when will the madness end!?

Back to sanity! I am torn between the 2 pens. I like the calligraphic nature of the Plumix with it’s interplay of thin and thick lines. The calligraphic hand looks so elegant! But I also like the very thinness of the Penmanship. I like the ability to write small and the Penmanship allows me to do just that! Both pens feel good in my hand. I like the ergonomically shaped grips. They leave no question as to where I should put my fingers and how to grip the pens. Both pens write first time every time but this may be in part to the Noodler’s ink that I’m using in all my pens. The Plumix is certainly the smoothest writing of the 2 pens but the sound of the Penmanship’s nib as it moves across the paper puts me in mind of a scribe toiling away late into the night in order to finish some manuscript. But if I write light, as neither pen requires a heavy hand, the Penmanship can barely be heard despite it’s needle like nib. And none but the finest nibbed gel pens and rollerballs can compare to the thinness of the Penmanship’s nib!

It’s a good thing that we live in a world where we have choices yet don’t have to choose! If I had to pick one pen over the other I would be in a mental dilemma of mammoth proportions! I can now understand the fondness fountain pen users have for their pens! For me it’s like rediscovering a fondness that you didn’t know that you had lost, or ever had in the first place, like the awaking of a buried desire, a very pleasant desire, that now has bloomed into a full blown obsession!!!… No, wait, I was already obsessed with pens! Fountain pens are only an extension of that obsession!… Oh, when will the madness end!?

Sorry for that little outburst!… So if you are in the mood to try something different then I suggest that you pick up a Pilot Plumix and get ready to produce some elegant writing. Or if you like things thin then pick up a Pilot Penmanship and tell the fat pens to step aside! Or, if you are like me (Heaven forbid!) then why not just pick up both! Both are available from our friends at JetPens!… Oh, when will the madness end!?

08/03/2009 Update: There has been some confusion among others as to the "M" designation on the Plumix nib and the "Fine" designation on the package. The confusion is, is it a "fine" nib or a "Medium" nib. Well while looking at some Platinum pens I ran across a nib chart. That's where I saw the "M" designation defined and suddenly all was clear! The Plumix pen nib is a "Music" nib! The original use for such a nib was to write sheet music! It is not, as I has assumed, a calligraphy-type nib used to write with, at least not originally. But a music nib lends itself to the writer as a pen that will produce an elegant hand, much like a calligraphic pen. Only a "Music" nib can be pushed when tuned correctly, a calligraphy nib can not. The "Fine" designation is probably correct for a calligraphy nib in that the width of the Plumix nib is 1 mm.


Nrepose said...

That short lesson on how to write with the Plumix was very helpful. I really enjoyed the review and thanks for the link ; ) Nr

Sam said...

Great review! I'm awaiting a Plumix at the moment, so now I know what to expect. :)

Gentian said...

I like your writing with the plumix! Very nice. I love how fine the Penmanship is as well! It was finer than I even expected.

It's okay I bought a purple and black plumix the first time I found them at Target. :P I tried to hold back but it was too difficult.

The Old Geezer said...


I'm glad that you found it helpful! I'm also glad that you enjoyed it and you are very welcome.


Once you get it and use it you'll like it. Just stick to it if it just doesn't come natural.


Thanks! I have such lousy penmanship normally but I find that the Plumix is helping me develop a better hand as it forces me to slow down, which improves my hand!

Yes, the Penmanship is very fine and I like that a lot! Despite it's EF nib it writes very clean and if you write lightly it doesn't sound very scratchy.

When I first went to buy a Plumix I was torn between the Turquoise Blue and the Black! Actually I wanted all 3 but I had to justify the additional purchases to my lovely wife first! But now I have all three colors... Only if I buy a different color of Noodler's, I'll... I'll... I'll just have to buy MORE!

Okami said...

Very nice review. Thanks for the detailed information.

The Old Geezer said...


You're welcome! And thanks for the kudos!

Blake Sauner said...

Glad I took the time to read this review and the corresponding links! Now I'm going to have to breathe into a paper bag to contain my anticipation of my own Penmanship's arrival.

Nifty blog, chock full of info and insight, just like good blog spots should be!

thanks for checking out my little spot on the web.

The Old Geezer said...

Blake, Thanks for the Kudos! I'm glad that you liked the post and my blog.

You're welcome. Lots of potential there!

I think that you'll like the Penmanship!

Good writing!

Anonymous said...

I forgot how wonderful it was to write with a fountain pen! I bought the Plumix when I saw it in Target, just for the heck of it. WOW, I love it. Now if I could just find ink cartriges. The pkg. says go to www.namiki.com but none of their cartridges match the cartridge # given on the package. Anyway, I love love love this pen

LaKisha said...

Oh my gosh, so I went to Target yesterday(10-28-09). Saw this pen and bought it because it was my favorite color purple. I have never used a fountain pen in my life. I appreciate step by step how to use it because I was lost. I am printing the blog for future reference. Thanks immensely,now I can have fun with my new pen

Teresa said...

I love my Plumix and I found that mine accepts the Pilot Mixable Colour cartridges that are made for the Pilot Parallel Pen which is a broad nib calligraphy pen. The cool thing is that the box of cartridges comes in 12 different colors. I'm in heaven.


Anonymous said...

Writing with a fountain pen is a passion. I found the Plumix and gently but firmly tried to insert the cartridge...it only burst and I have been unable to find additional cartridges. Are they available at Target or can I use a converter. So far though the pen I obtain the most joy from using has been my Waterman Harley Davidson Pen I found for under 15 dollars on the internet. Thank you for a very entertaining blog...E.C.

itsrichard said...

I've got a Plumix on order but am concerned about what cartridges to use...can someone advise?

Mochan said...

I have also gone into the pen madness myself. Do you have a Pilot Cavalier? The Fine point of the Cavalier is pretty fine -- I'd like it compared to the Penmanship EF.

I only have the Cavalier at the moment and plan to get a Penmanship as well, but I'd like to do my homework before I get one. The Cavalier is one of my favorite "extra fine" pens!

Hisham said...

I have been using these for some years on and off. It was marketed in the far east as calligraphy pen that was came packed in plastic cigarshape tube. Now I only have the F nib. Used to to have the M too but that was lost long ago - been moving about too much. So I believe mine is a Plumix in a Penmanship body (black body/transparent midsection). It came with Pilot proprietary converter and I am using Lamy Blue ink. Runs a little dry but I do like it becauce its not too fussy about the paper it writes on.
Recently I tranplanted the F calligraphy nib onto my recently acquired Pilot MR (equivalent Pilot Metropolitan I believe) using black Pilot cartridge ink and I went ..'wow'.... Plumix is good.... Plumix F nib on Pilot Metro is wayyy better.

Anonymous said...

I hand address envelopes for a company (they were told that hand addressed envelopes stand a greater chance of being opened) as a means of making a little side money. I have several fountain pens in my arsenal and I switch around as my whimsy takes me. However, the Plumix (I have the Crystal Blue) is far and away my favorite. It sits perfectly in my fingers. Glides smoothly across the paper, first time, every time. And the lettering is really quite beautiful - sort of a reserved type of calligraphy. The fellows I do this work for rave about how pretty it looks (I don't know if it actually helps get the addressee to open the envelope but here's hoping). And I think the pen itself is really very pretty, too. I guess you could say that I'm a fan. Oh, and I simply LOVE the color of the blue ink that they have.

If you're thinking about getting yourself a fountain pen, definitely, absolutely, positively try one of these. They are SO affordable, how can you possibly go wrong?