That special day involving a fat man and a few billion chimneys (and a lad named Jesus I hear) is less than a month away, and I’ll bet you’re stuck for gift ideas. Even if you’re not, take a look at my Christmas gift guide to grab some last minute stocking stuffers, or something special for your significant other.
Please note that the prices here are general guides and apply mostly to Australia, but I’ll try to list stuff that’s available all over the world too!
CHEAPIE (Under $10)
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink Pens ($3.30USD, JetPens): In a world filled with pens both brilliant and terrible, it’s hard to sift through the crud to find true gems. The Hi Tec C is one of those gems. Well constructed, smooth writing, and available in a dizzying array of tip sizes and colours, this is a favourite of pen-users the world over!
Palomino Blackwing 602 ($4.95AUD, NoteMaker): Whether they’re true to the, now extinct, original or not, these are some of the best pencils going round. If I reach for a pencil, I reach for my Blackwing almost every time.
Uni Kuru Toga Mechanical Pencil ($7.50USD, JetPens): I said I reach for my Blackwing almost every time. The rest of the time I reach for my Kuru Toga. This pencil separates itself from the pack with solid construction and a mechanism that rotates the lead as you write, so you’ll never have a sharp edge and writing is always smooth.
Pilot Varsity ($3.00USD, JetPens): For such a cheap fountain pen, these really do pack a punch. Smooth nibs, quality construction, and great ink colours make the Varsity a cheap intro to fountain pens! (see my review here)
Rhodia Bloc Pad #13 ($5.95AUD, NoteMaker): I cannot recommend this cheap notepad enough, as it’s Rhodia (my favourite) and is so perfect for so many things. Fountain pen users, you owe it to yourself and your pens to use Rhodia! See my Rhodia Notepad post here!
One reader, Gordon, has let me know that many cheaper pens such as the Varsity can be purchased cheaply in Australia from www.JustWrite.com.au Thanks Gordon!
Pen trays courtesy of Charlotte! See how to make them here.
Now that I’ve gotten right into pen restoration and photography, it seems only natural to take some great pictures of pens and then give you the opportunity to have those pens! I have spent the past few weeks busily restoring a heap of old pens: polishing them up; straightening, smoothing, polishing, even grinding nibs; and restoring filling systems, from snorkels to sac fillers.
There are a mixture of prices from $15 to $200, so there’s something for everyone!
Although most people think the best fountain pens can be found in the $100+ range, there’s a price bracket way, way below that often, but shouldn’t, get ignored. Disposable fountain pens aren’t exactly common, but a few brands sell them because some people simply don’t want to fork out anything over $5.00 for a writing instrument, but enjoy using a fountain pen. Now the term “disposable” is loosely used, as many of these pens can be refilled one way or another. That word simply refers to how inexpensive they are.
The main contenders today can all be found at JetPens, a site you all should know about (and perhaps love!), and are available for under $5.00 each. I’m here to show you which one is best, from the view of a fountain pen enthusiast, but also from the view of a ballpoint user looking for a cheap entry point into fountain pens. I’ll compare each of them with each other, more expensive pens, and the common rollerballs and ballpoint pens you often see on people’s desks. Let’s go!
A couple of times a year our favourite Australian stationery online store, Notemaker, has an a warehouse sale. This is serious stuff. We’re talking tables and tables of paper, diaries, accessories, cards, organisers, pencil cases, bags, all at ridiculously cheap prices.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email saying it was on again. I called Jonathan straight away and we prepared to drop everything to get there on the first day. We’ve been to the past three warehouse sales where we’ve spent a lot of money each time. Every sale we’ve come home with boxes of stuff! Once we even went back for more the following day…
These O-Check Notebooks come in a range of ruling styles. Jonathan got six of them, because at six for $10, you can’t resist!!