Fountain Pen Guide Series, Session 3: How to Maintain Your Pens

Fountain Pen Guide Session 3 Maintaining Your Pens Cover Photo

Welcome to the third entry in my fountain pen guide. In this session, I’ll be guiding you through how to take a pen that’s writing poorly and fix it up, making it write like new! Don’t worry if you’re an absolute beginner, I’ll explain everything as clearly as possible, with step by step guides to help you along. Remember that as with all these guides, any unusual word will be highlighted in red and defined at the bottom of this page!

Do note that this is not the be all and end all of maintenance guides, and I can’t cover every possible scenario. Also note that this is not a restoration guide. That may be for a different day. You can use some of these techniques to get older, dried-up pens up and running, however.


DISCLAIMER: I will not hold any responsibility for pens possibly broken or ruined by you or anyone else after following these instructions. These instructions are very general, and your pen may have more wrong with it than you thought initially. Again I recommend you keep calm when attempting these steps, as any excessive force exerted on your pen can possibly ruin it! If you are afraid of breaking your pen, please send it to a knowledgeable service person that is able to fix your pen for you! Please make sure you diagnose your problem properly before attempting to do some permanent changes. Continue reading

Preventing Hand Fatigue During Long Writing Sessions

Hand Pain

Oh poo, I’ve gone and vice gripped my pen and broken my thumb

Exams. We all hate them, but we all have to do them. One thing that comes up regularly during long, fast-paced writing sessions is hand fatigue. About 20 minutes into an exam, people tend to get an awful pain in their hand muscles that leads to messy writing and regularly taking breaks, something you can’t afford in a timed setting.

Recently a reader, Chris, emailed me about this very topic and asked for help on finding a great pen for those long exams. My response? Focus on your grip first.

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How to Buy A Pen That Will Last Forever

Fountain Pen Buying Guide

For all the buying guides out there on the internet, few talk about fountain pens specifically. Maybe it’s because there aren’t enough fountain pen blogs (like this one) or maybe it’s because not many people actually know how to buy a great pen. Nonetheless, allow me to add to this small list by offering my own guide to buying a fantastic pen that you’ll love using, and love taking everywhere with you.

Many people have a whole lot of pens, myself included, yet there are a select few in my collection that I would consider the best; the pens that, if I had to give up all my other pens, I would choose to keep. I imagine you’d like to be in the same situation, having a pen that writes when you want it, looks fantastic in your hand or your pocket, and that would make you think twice before handing it over to someone else to use.

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Pentorium Christmas Gift Guide 2013

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)

Cheap Gifts

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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
Thanks Gordon! 

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How To Put The Enjoyment Into Your Everyday Mundane Tasks (On the Cheap!)

For the past year I have been on a course of self-improvement in the way I do things. Whilst people will preach that you should eat healthy, exercise more, sleep earlier, and stay in school, those things are a given.

What if you could just make everything you do something to look forward to. That’s what I have been attempting to do. Let me explain.

Self improvement is a continuous process – we are always trying to achieve more than we already are. Well, most of us. I’m kind of on the fence. Not quite productive and amazing in every facet of life, but I like to think I am in some! I bet a lot of other people are in the same boat. However no matter what you’re good at, there are many things you aren’t good at, and consequently don’t enjoy.

What I discovered recently is that I was taking a lot of those things and attempting to get good at them, or at least make them fun!

Enough Philosophical Crap…

OK, onto the point of this post. I will give you three examples of things I previously disliked, or didn’t do all that often, and how I’m working to make them enjoyable, regular parts of my life.

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VIDEO: Introduction to Rhodia

If you don’t know already, I’m crazy about Rhodia. They’re simply the best when it comes to notepads, notebooks, paper, whatever. You’d be doing your work a disservice by not recording it on quality paper, and Rhodia has a price/quality ratio that is hard to beat!

In this video, I go through the different types of products that make up the Rhodia line. Keep your eyes peeled for future videos where I go into each product in depth, but for now also check out my post on Rhodia Bloc Pads.

TWSBI VAC 700: Unboxing, First Impressions, and Writing Test! (Video)

TWSBI Vac 700 Capped Body Photo

Hey everyone! I came home to find a box sitting on the bench; it was my new TWSBI VAC 700 fountain pen. What better way to show you my first look at the pen, than to literally show you!

I unbox the pen, ink it, write with it, and smooth out the nib, even showing you how to open the flow. Wait for the end to see a writing test up close!

This pen is a new favourite! Expect a full written and video review very soon.

Click here to view on YouTube

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Hit “Continue Reading” to see high-res photos of the pen!

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