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  • Summer 2015 Pen Giveaways

    You know what everybody loves?

    FREE STUFF!

    There, didn't your pulse speed up just the tiniest bit? It should because there are freebies in the offing from some of your favorite pen makers.

    Here are some of the pen giveaways currently running:

    UK Only

    Stabilo contestStabilo is looking for the Young Journalist of the Year in the UK. Impress the judges with your writing and you could win your own column at First News and £1000 worth of Stabilo goodies to share with your class. Continue reading

  • Stabilo Worker Colourful Rollerball Review

    When I read that Stabilo had a pen that could improve my writing skills I took note. Despite spending many hours hitting the keyboard I still frequently end up with a pen in hand. The longer I write for the more untidy the text gets, with that in mind I put the Stabilo Worker Colourful Rollerball to the test.

    Stabilo Worker Colourful Rollerball Review

    I chose to use a green worker, this was in colour only as this Stabilo doesn't appear to have any green credentials on the environmental front. It was also noted that although I've seen the earlier (original) orange model referred to as being ergonomic I couldn't find a mention of the same for this updated edition. Maybe I didn't look hard enough as I happened to have an orange version close by & on inspection couldn't see any difference.

    This rollerball has a completely non slip barrel, a bit like a full length grip that means it is very comfortable to work with. The medium ball writes a 0.5mm line & partnered with Stabilo's progressive liquid ink technology this worker delivers a smooth writing experience all day long.

    The cap on these rollerballs is short & stubby with a wider than average sturdy yet stylish metal pocket clip that has pride of place. The colourful barrels have a number of white accents in the form of 3 circles, nib housing, end cap along with a central panel housing the branding.

    These pens are available with red, green, black & blue barrels, all have matching ink. The tag line promising that one “brightens up a dull day” is apt, this green worker has earned a space on my desk for sure.

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  • Stabilo pointVisco Gel Rollerball Review

    It seems that just lately I've seen a fair few pens with hexagonal shaped barrels land on my desk. The most recent being a Stabilo pointVisco so here goes with a review.

    Stabilo pointVisco gel rollerball

    The Stabilo pointVisco Gel Rollerball is a little different as the shaping is confined to the bottom half of the pen. The fruity two tone tangerine orange barrel has a comfy rubber grip section with 3 hexagonal type shaped panels outlined in white just below it. One section is partly covered by the pocket clip, with the branding & product details stamped in black on either side.

    As I start to write I notice the ink oozing from the fine 0.5 tip is smooth & quick drying. Not sure what I make of the claim that it's formulated so that you can write faster, just how fast is fast? I had visions of a row of people sitting in a line overlooked by a mad professor type standing with a stopwatch.

    The pointVisco is available in 10 striking colours, all have orange barrels with the grip section, pocket clip & end caps denoting the shade of the ink. The cap posted well but on a negative note I didn't find the clip suited to my thick writing pad.

    That said the Stabilo pointVisco has clearly impressed having won the iF product design award. iF has been hosting design awards since 1953, dishing out gongs to some 35,000 products & Stabilo have had a fair amount of success.

    I found the orange pointVisco easy to write with, the colour was bright & lively & the ink didn't smudge thanks to its quick drying properties.

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  • Stabilo “S move” Be Wild Rollerball Pen Review

    Stabilo are a leading manufacturer of writing instruments, working with agency partners around the world. They started to focus on making themselves the brand of choice for the young in 2004 & the “S move” Be Wild is part of a collection of limited edition rollerballs, ballpoints, pencils & highlighters with bright animal print designs aimed at “trend & fashion conscious girls”.

    Stabilo "S move" Be Wild Rollerball Yellow Olive

    The Stabilo “S move” Be Wild Rollerball has a chunky barrel that tapers towards the tip providing a resting place for the fingers. These pens are available in 3 different patterns. The yellow & olive print has a removable yellow cap & tassel, the barrel is a mix of plain olive & animal print in both colours. Maybe I've been reading too many good old elf & safety rules but whilst the cap may not be a problem for 8 or 9 year olds that might not follow for younger siblings wanting to get in on the act & join in the fun of writing.

    If the reviews are anything to go by children seem to like these ergonomically shaped rollerballs, they generally give the thumbs up to the removable accessories, although one youngster found the tassel annoying as it touches your hand when writing.

    I didn't find the S move particularly comfortable to write with, I agree with one reviewer that the tassel was a bit annoying & also missed a defined grip section, having said that my fingers didn't slip, the tapered section saw to that. The performance was fine, the 0.5mm tip produced a smooth line of text & the blue ink, which is non erasable by the way, was a nice sharp colour.

    The Stabilo Be Wild range is available until the end of the year, my only thought is that the ”S move” may have been more practical with a retractable tip.

    Continue reading

  • Stabilo Tropikana Be Wild Ballpoint Pen Review

    On a dull grey day in the UK I can't help but think of sunnier climes. Not being in a position to jump on the nearest Jet the closest I come is looking at a Stabilo Tropikana Be Wild pen on my desk. Oh well, may as well focus on the here & now write a review.

    Stabilo Tropicana Be Wild Ballpoint

    The Tropikana is a ballpoint writing a 0.4mm line, available in 6 lively colours it's part of a limited edition with stylish animal prints. The pen I am checking out has pink ink & whilst the pink & cream coloured pattern on the barrel is attractive, it's hard to see where the animal comes in to it. Maybe it's just this ballpoint that has an identity crisis as the rollerball & highlighters are a little more credible, but that's just my opinion.

    The barrel is split into two sections, one has the “animal” print the other is plain pink & home to the push button that engages the nib & a special mechanism to retract it, which is placed on the side.

    A durable plastic sleeve covers all but the button, this is stamped with a swan, the companies logo for almost 140 years. Writing with the Tropikana was as expected, it didn't have the flow of a rollerball but the pink ink somehow made up for that & there were no issues with smudging or snail trails.

    The grip was a little disappointing, whilst it has a series of small dots, these didn't stop my fingers slipping as well as say a rubberised grip. The pocket clip on the other hand is strong & wider than average.

    Stabilo cite their creativity as as a good reason to choose their products, I can't argue with that but I didn't find myself wild about this design.

    Stabilo Tropicana Be Wild Ballpoint Written Review Stabilo Tropicana Be Wild Ballpoint Written Review

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  • Stabilo Worker Rollerball Pen - Medium Review

    I've written before that I like my pens to be pleasant to look at. It's just as well that pens have come a long way since the early ballpoints or biros as many of us still refer to, regardless of the brand. Today we can find a whole array of pens in a range of colours & sizes to choose between.

    Stabilo Worker Medium

    Rollerballs made an appearance in 1963 & have liquid or gel ink. This Stabilo Worker Medium has a 0.5 tip & has what its makers call progressive liquid ink technology.

    Appearance

    With its colourful bright orange body there is nothing grey about this worker, it will surely stand out from the crowd. Although traditionalist may not consider it be ideal in every business environment, some feeling it better suited to a design studio than accountants office for instance.

    The barrel of the pen is made of a rubberised material, whilst this makes it comfortable to hold it can attract dirt. My desk had the remains of a vigorous attempt to erase pencil marks from a page of my notebook, the worker picked them up, whilst it saved me a cleaning job it didn't do much for the pen. There is a small raised dot at the centre of the barrel, this ensures that the pen won't roll around, even if its being used on an uneven surface.

    Performance

    The dark black liquid ink glides across the page, it is not particularly quick drying, so lefties beware. My research highlighted a lot of comments regarding the tip size, although liquid ink pens do apparently produce a wider line than say a ballpoint, many think the text is more the size you'd expect from 0.7mm tip. The heavy duty tip is described as indestructible, I don't know about that but it certainly felt strong with no sign of bending, even under heavy a duty scribbling session.

    Stabilo's target group are “professionals with high requirements” as mentioned I did find this pen comfortable, my grip was relaxed enabling long spells of writing without getting tired hands so I'd probably agree with that. These rollerballs are available with black, blue, green & red ink, but it was disappointing to find they are not refillable & a retractable version would be nice.

      Continue reading

  • Stabilo EASYoriginal Pen Review

    Whilst I am far removed from the target group of the Stabilo EASYoriginal pen, as it's some time since I reviewed an ergonomically designed pen I decided to see how it fared.

    Stabilo EASYoriginal

    As part of the STABILO EASYergonomics range this pen is designed for children aged 6 and over who are setting out on the writing ladder. The lightweight feel along with the shape should ensure little muscles don't tire easily, lending itself to the theory that the user can concentrate for longer & make writing more fun. Continue reading

  • Stabilo Com4 Gel Rollerball Pen – Review

    Stabilo produce a range of ergonomically designed pens. Many of these pens are aimed at the younger user & claim to promote “better, trouble-free writing and drawing”. In contrast the Stabilo Com4 gel Rollerball has a target market of the professional user, the frequent writer looking for high standards of design & comfort.

    Stabilo Com4gel

    At a very basic level an ergonomically designed pen should alleviate fatigue & the need to exert unnecessary pressure whilst writing. In severe cases using the wrong pen can lead to conditions like RSI (repetitive strain injury) presenting themselves.

    The Com4gel Rollerball is a retractable pen with a 0.5mm medium tip. The positive push button mechanism is neatly integrated with a sturdy pocket clip. A quick twist of this section & the pen is simple to refill. Moving down the barrel, which incidentally is available in 4 different colours matching the ink, the next section has 3 triangular indented panels divided by 3 black segments that culminate at the nose.

    I used this pen for about half an hour & must confess that I didn't find it that comfy in grip. This contradicts my review of the Com4 ball, which I find a little odd, maybe I'm just fickle. Using the Com4 Gel roller seemed to make me scribble, I found I was conscious of the text going on the page in order to make it legible, rather than thinking about what I had to say. This goes against Stabilo's claims of providing a relaxed position to enable fluid rapid writing.

    In my experience reviewing pens I've learned that an opinion can often change half way down the page, this wasn't the case here, my first impression was also my last. Maybe another day will bring a different perspective, just like the ballpoint version. Continue reading

  • Stabilo Sensor Fineliner Pen- Review

    When I set out to review the Stabilo Sensor I wondered what to expect from this offering from one of Europe's market leaders. Would it stand out from the crowd?

    Stabilo Sensor Fineliner

    The Stabilo Sensor Fineliner has a fine 0.3mm tip which makes using a ruler with this pen simple, ideal if you want to ensure a straight line is achieved even on plain paper or need to use stencils. My writing certainly stayed on track this way.

    I found the writing experience a little springy, but guess that is to be expected as the cushioned (sensor) tip adjusts to individual writing pressures & is said to be able to withstand more pressure than other pens without the risk of bending or worse still breaking. The patented micro cushioned tip is encased in metal & also alleged to give a more relaxed feel when writing, something I can't say was particularly noticeable, but that could be because my thoughts were with the “spring factor” The indented grip section was surprisingly comfortable, as my preference usually lies with a more cushioned feel.

    I'd say the appearance of this Stabilo is quite contemporary. The barrel is a 3 tone mix of matt aluminium, black & silver coloured plastic whilst the cap is black & houses a sturdy clip. Available in Blue, Black, Red & Green the colours won't necessarily stand out in a crowd but the Sensor is reasonably priced & should I decide to take up stencilling this particular fineliner would get a look in.

    Stabilo Sensor Fineliner - Written Review

    Stabilo Sensor Fineliner - Written Review

     

  • Stabilo-Write-4-all Review

    I sometimes wonder what makes people tick, for instance I recently heard of a girl that wanted a more original keepsake than a guest book from her wedding & opted for a set of wishing rocks instead.

    Stabilo Write-4-all

     

    If leaving your autograph on a polished stone is something that rocks your boat you will need something to write with. The Stabilo Write-4-all will leave its mark on almost any surface. An all-purpose permanent marker with a sturdy plastic tip & alcohol based ink that's apparently frost resistant, waterproof, lightfast & an all important factor for rock signing its quick drying.

    With a target market from tradespeople like bricklayers & joiners to those wanting to label a few CD's, I can imagine you'd find the Write-4-all behind the ears of construction workers just as often as the gardener or office worker.

    This marker is available in 3 tip sizes medium (1.0mm), fine (0.7mm) & superfine (0.4mm) with a choice of black, blue, green & red ink.

    Now for the performance, I tried a fine tip & was pleasantly surprised as the 0.7mm line it produced was as clear & smooth as anything I'd expect from a favourite rollerball. I can also vouch for its waterproof, quick drying properties as my signature is now permanently etched on a favourite pebble that I use as a paper weight. I must admit to being disappointed that a good wash in hot soapy water as soon as I'd written didn't restore it to its former glory.

    The next time I need to mark a box for the freezer or the label on a DVD I'll reach for a Write-4-all, just need to make a mental note that it's definitely permanent!

     

     

    Stabilo Write-4-all Written Review

    Stabilo Write-4-all Written Review

     

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