What is a Pocket Size Review?

There are as many styles of stationery review out there as there are stationery reviewers. And every style has its own value and unique insights; I’ll probably continue to read every new Lamy 2000 review I come across and take away something new every single time. Some reviews subject a pen, a paper, or an ink to a series of controlled variable tests, and record how the subject performs. This is super valuable when you’re comparing pens and other items. Some ink reviews present gorgeous swabs and swatches and chromatography. Even if these aren’t the exact colors that you’re going to see coming by out of your pen, they still show you the range of potential waiting to be unlocked in that little glass or plastic bottle. 

Our pocket size reviews are the answer to a different, more impatient question. The question of “what does this look like if I just grab it and use it with whatever I have laying around?”  Pocket size reviews feature pens from our current rotations, inked with whatever we’ve chosen for personal use, and tested on whatever paper we have on hand, generally whatever pocket notebook is currently residing in our pockets.

As the archive of pocket size reviews grows over time, we expect pens and inks to be revisited. If you look back you’ll be able to see the same pen with a different nib grind, or the same notebook on page two versus page forty-two. You’ll see what we see when we write with some of our favorite pens, and hopefully you’ll see them in a new way that piques an interest you may not have had before.

Pocket size reviews post regularly to the Penquisition Instagram feed. We will try to keep the new ones posted below as well.

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#pocketsizereview My new @opus88writing Koloro Demonstrator in Red just arrived from @endlesspens, and I couldn’t wait to ink it up. I chose @colorverse.ink Black Hole, to see if I could get some sheen out of this juicy nib (more on that in a moment), and I couldn’t help but stop and wonder if @neildegrassetyson inks his pens with Colorverse (or if he doesn’t think the depictions on their packaging are accurate enough 😆) Speaking of juicy nibs, this pen just screams for a black@nib, with the beautiful black clip and finials, so I swapped in a Shadow Steel @franklinchristoph Broad SIG nib, ground by @thenibdoctor. I’m normally a fan of narrower stubs and italics, but I have to admit that this nib is super fun to write with. I’m still using my @fieldnotesbrand Utility Ledger here (although it’s curling up as I get towards the end) but I’ve dressed it up with a Franklin-Christoph canvas cover (picked that up at #bwips2019 after @pengeek13 showed me how well his leather cover had worn over the years.) This is not a paper to get sheen on, because it is nice and absorbent, so I’ll have to play around on some other paper-stock to see if I can make this ink reveal it’s secrets to me. #opus88 #kolorodemonstrator #redpen #fieldnuts #fieldnotes #signib #starstuff #colorverse #eyedropper #redandblack #neildegrassetyson #methiminanelevatoronceandhewassupernice #penquisition

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#pocketsizereview There’s a lot more I could say about @franklinchristoph, and they definitely warrant a full blog post, but I want to give them a quick shout out here as well. I had to reach out to their customer service regarding my Model 31 pen pictured here (sorry, it’s a pen show prototype colorway, not available for sale on the web,) and they were so awesome to deal with that I was almost disappointed once everything was resolved, since I had no excuse to chat with them anymore. That is a sign of excellent customer service befitting an excellent pen. Speaking of this pen, it is almost the inverse of the @pointspens exclusive Model 31 colorway, if you are looking for something close. My friend @pengeek13 won one of those recently and took a picture of our two pens side by side. The nib I have here is a Shadow Steel M nib with an awesome SIG grind from @thenibdoctor. Getting to sit with Dr. Matteson and test out my pen to ensure it was writing how I liked was an absolute highlight of my @baltimorewashingtonpenshow 2019 experience. If you are planning to buy an F-C pen and you are also planning to attend a pen show that they will be at, I can’t recommend highly enough engaging in the full pen show customization experience. Even if you are just interested in a stock colorway, not a prototype, it is well worth it. I chose F-C Urushi Red to ink the pen with when I got it, and I’m still writing on my @fieldnotesbrand Utility Ledger. #franklinchristoph #franklinchristoph31 #model31 #urushired #bwips2019 #fieldnuts #fieldnotes #shadowsteel #signib #fountainpen #franklinchristophprototype #penquisition

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I wrote up this whole #pocketsizereview yesterday, but then Instagram ate it during the outage, so excuse any omissions as I attempt to remember all that I said. First, let’s welcome these Pocket Size Reviews to their new home on the Penquisition account. These reviews were always conceived of as a Penquisition project, so now that the account is up and running the transition made sense. And what better time to make that move than #stapleday? We are hitting the staples in my @fieldnotesbrand Utility Ledger today, a nice set of strong, black-coated staples, but from the inside here we can see the silver tips sticking out from the coating. Our pen today is the @crosspens X, a capless gel rollerball and seeming defendant of the old Cross Ion. Unlike the Ion, however, the larger X takes a full sized Cross Selectip refill. I’ve used the stock black refill that came with the pen here, but I think it would look much better with a silver or gray. Sadly, the color selection of the Selectip gel refills seems to be lacking. This particular gunmetal colorway is a collaboration with @libertyutd. Liberty United is a social enterprise from @peterthum that makes jewelry and other items out of seized illegal handguns. Additionally, a portion of their proceeds go towards programs for children effected by gun violence. The pen has a disc of metal from the destroyed handgun adorning it’s finial, and the serial number of the gun is imprinted along the clip. Thum has a similar social enterprise, @fonderie47, which focuses on removal of AK-47s and other assault weapons from Africa. Cross and Fonderie 47 have previously collaborated on versions of the Cross Peerless in a capped rollerball and fountain pen, which are absolutely gorgeous and also far more expensive. The Liberty United line lacks a fountain pen but it’s also a little more affordable, and for me working in Baltimore City and living in Baltimore County, it hits a little closer to home. This pen was purchased from @crazyalansemporium at this year’s @baltimorewashingtonpenshow. #crossx #crosspens #fieldnotes #fieldnuts #libertyunited #fonderie47 #socialenterprise #selectip #bwips2019 #penquisition

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