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  • Staedtler Lumocolor 318 Permanent Marker - Review

    Markers have come a long way since New Yorker Sidney Rosenthal's invention in the 50's. With a wide range now available for use on just about anything in the home, office or studio, from something as simple as labelling a few CD's to art & graphic work there's a marker for everyone.

    The Staedtler Lumocolor 318 Permanent Marker is available in a choice of 8 colours including bright yellow, orange & violet along with a black & brown which are lightfast so no need to worry about your favourite sketch fading if left by the window. Should you need a marker for outdoor use the black ink is also weatherproof.


    The Lumocolor has been around for over 60 years & some of its benefits include

    • Suited for use with overhead projectors
    • Smudge-proof
    • Waterproof
    • Quick drying – well suited to left handers
    • Low odour ink which is xylene free
    • Airplane safe
    • Dry safe ink (marker can be left uncapped for days without drying out)

    These markers can easily be refilled by inserting the tip of the marker in the top of a Lumocolor refill station bottle, they will attract ink to a maximum level making it impossible to overfill. Once refilled Staedler say the marker will last for 3 to 4 hours but I've not been able to test this.

    This Lumocolor 318 has a fine tip that writes around a 0.6mm line, I found it comfortable to hold & whilst my use was confined to writing I can confirm it lived up to the smudge-proof & waterproof claims. Other reviewers that have undertaken more artistic pursuits say the marker works well for handmade animation on celluloid & they are transparent enough to project the colour brightly as opposed to opaque alternatives that block light & appear black.


  • Staedtler Graphite 762 Mechanical Pencil - Review

    The way I see it the choice between mechanical or wooden pencil is purely personal. Some may argue that the former is more eco friendly due to its re-usability factor, but its ultimate resting place will be landfill. With regards to the wooden type what about the sacrifice that trees make to their production?

    Staedtler Graphite 762 Mechanical Pencil

    From one of the oldest pencil companies around is the Staedtler Graphite 762 Mechanical Pencil, as this is not something you can try before you buy here is a list of its features

    • Rubbery grip section – for non slip writing experience
    • PVC & Latex free refillable eraser – stored underneath the cap for safe keeping
    • Push button lead advance – conveniently positioned on the side for ease of use
    • Approximately 15cm long
    • Supplied with B grade 0.5mm lead
    • Available with blue, green or red barrels

    I found the lightweight plastic barrel comfortable to hold & the soft grip section kept my fingers securely in place despite it being a particularly hot & sticky day. The fine 0.5mm lead did allow me to pare down my large writing, so would lend itself nicely to use in small spaces or the nooks & crannies of those pocket diaries, should the need arise. I didn't find the clip particularly sturdy but nevertheless it is fit for purpose. The eraser was excellent removing text in one fell swoop.

    There will always be a place for pens & pencils no matter how many computerised systems are invented. There will still be a need for draughtsman (known as drafters in the US) working alongside CAD systems & I can't see a machine competing with the likes of Monet or Van Gogh, not in my lifetime anyway.

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  • Staedtler Triplus Ball Pen (431M) - Review

    Triangular shaped pens are not something that I tend to associate with ergonomic designs. Writing instruments with this label usually fall into 2 categories. A large range are aimed at the younger market for children just learning to write & as they grow helping them achieve the correct grip & posture in order to hone their penmanship skills & avoid future discomfort.

    I am familiar with ergonomic pens aimed at prolific writers & those that suffer from arthritis other health issues or grip problems. These come in a variety of different shapes & sizes, the Staedtler Triplus Ball Pen (431M) is part of a range that includes pens, pencils, highlighters & fineliners, they all have a characteristic triangular barrel.

    In relation to pens & pencils my understanding of “ergonomic” is that the design should fit nicely in the hand & have a good grip limiting fatigue & stress on the joints. This is a market that has grown as people have become more aware of health issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury & the like. Writing strain is a common problem caused by excessive pressure on the fingers, often associated with the hands slipping along the barrel causing us to grip harder initially leading to cramp & often more serious symptoms.

    The medium tip on these pens writes a 0.45mm line, they are available individually or in packs of 10 with a choice of black, blue, red & green ink, they can also be refilled.

    I found the Staedtler Triplus ball pen relatively comfortable to hold although I missed having a defined grip section, thinking about that it may be psychological as the triangular rubberised barrel did stop my fingers slipping. This pen proved to be a smooth writer but wouldn't be my first choice if I wanted to take notes in a hurry as I struggled to take the cap off! On a more positive note the waterproof permanent ink did leave me confident that my signature would remain in place should I need to leave my mark on any important documents, it also has the added bonus of being airplane safe.

    The medium tip on these pens writes a 0.45mm line, they are available individually or in packs of 10 with a choice of black, blue, red & green ink. Should you decide to they can be refilled.

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  • Staedtler Noris Pencil Review

    Staedtler have been making pencils at the Nuremberg factory for nigh on 180 years, history books cite Friedrich Staedtler as being the first craftsman to make pencils from start to finish long before that, way back in 1662.Staedtler-Norris-Pencil-B

    It is no surprise therefore that they are renowned for making high quality wooden cased pencils. The Staedtler Noris 120 has a 2mm diameter lead that is available in 2B, B, HB, H & 2H grades, each is identified with a different colour on the end. This system of letters & numbers refers to varying hardness of the lead, this was it is reported started by English pencil makers in the early 19th century. The grading system is often different in the US it seems, with # being followed by a number.

    The hexagonal iconic yellow & black stripe design of the Noris has been a staple in both school & workplace stock cupboards for as long as I can remember. The gold print along one side proudly displays the company name, country of origin, range & grade. The bar code & other id line up in another panel.

    The Noris pencil’s wood is certified by PEFC as being sourced from forests managed in an ecologically & socially sustainable manner. The lead is light-weight and sharpens well although it didn't break too often in use, which is probably due to Staedtler's special lead formulation that they say makes it “unbelievably break-resistant”

    No matter what you choose a pencil for be it writing, drawing or sketching this reasonably priced pencil is available both individually & in packs of 12.

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  • Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.2 Review

    Before I started this review I wondered how on earth I could do justice to a pen that I associate primarily with arts & crafts or technical drawing.

    Staedtler Pigment liner 0.2

    It appears however that folk do like to write with Staedtler Pigment Liner pens. In my experience some people tend to have a favourite type of pen. I know several that use the same pen day in & day out. Personally I'm more fickle than that & pick up something different each time I write. That said I've been known to put a pen down in favour of something more comfortable.

    The Staedtler Pigment Liner currently in use has a 0.2mm needle tip, this long metal nib would be useful if I had a template or stencil to use. These fineliners are available in a range of different sizes from 0.1 to 0.8mm, all have black ink.

    Many fineliners have dye based ink, this Staedtler has indelible pigment ink which is lightfast as well as being waterproof. The pen itself is pretty lightweight, to hold that is, the barrel is a mid grey with white text. The cap posts neatly on the end when in use & sports a flexible clip.

    Auto pressure equalisation makes this pen airplane safe & should you travel long haul & forget to cap it, if Staedtlers claims are anything to go by you should still be able to sign your name when you check in at the hotel up to 18 hours later.

    In conclusion, when I look at some of the art work that others have produced with these pens, I stand by my initial thoughts & don't think writing does them justice, just my opinion though. Continue reading

  • Staedtler Stick 430F Review

    For a Company with its roots firmly in the 19th century its not surprising that Staedtler are a well known brand. References to Friedrich Staedtler being a craftsman in the art of pencil making go back long before that, with mention of his name in Nuremberg city records 1662.

    Staedtler stick 430F

    Whilst he early days were spent on making pencils, nowadays the company have a product for a whole array of pastimes from marking or writing to drawing, painting & crafting.

    It's a well known fact that ballpoints have been around since the late 1800's, Staedtler started production in 1949, although the first examples were no doubt far removed from today's offerings.

    When I first used the Staedtler Stick 430F I was impressed by the smooth fine line it produced.

    As well as having an ink flow regulator to avert scratching & blobbing, the 430F stick pen has an auto pressure device which guards against annoying leaks when taking flight, on an aeroplane that is as opposed to retreating at speed from an unwanted visitor or task.

    This humble little ballpoint has a fine point & writes a 0.25mm line. They are available in black, blue, red & green. In contrast to the yellow barrel each different ink colour matches the cap, which clip tightly when posted & include a pocket clip.

    Staedtler produce quality products & the 430F stick pen is no exception as well as being great value for money. Continue reading

  • Staedtler Liquid Point 5 - Review

    I love rollerballs. Generally speaking those with liquid ink provide a consistent free flowing line, no surprise that I'm looking forward to reviewing the Staedtler liquid point 5.

    Staedtler Liquid Point 5 Rollerball Pen

    Here's my take on the attributes of the Staedtler Liquid Point 5

    The grey plastic barrel has a neat looking black oval panel on either side, subtly peppered by rows of small dots. One of the panels sports the logo, the other a batch of 6 sections each separated by short silver lines, can't see that these serve any purpose other than visual but hey who am I to question a company with links in record books since 1662? Should you need a reminder of the ink colour when your pen is sat in whatever storage system you use on the desk, a quick glance of the end cap will suffice. The transparent ink feed level section also acts as a grip & is met by a colour coded housing surrounding the needle tip. The cap is a couple of shades darker than the barrel, as well as having a sturdy pocket clip there is a handy insert at the tip to identify the ink colour.

    Quick drying ink

    Free flowing, non smear ink producing smooth lines no matter what speed I write at.

    I noticed when more pressure was exerted this rollerball skipped a little, not too much but it did leave the odd gap in the text.

    When writing Personally I have the habit of pausing for thought mid sentence, this did lead to a couple of unwanted blobs appearing on the page. Hard to say if its an issue with this particular pen, as it tends to be a foible of liquid ink rollerballs due to having a lower viscosity than say that of gel ink

    To conclude, I sampled the blue ink (also available in black, red & green) & found it to be generally smooth & consistent to write with (with exception of the small blobs mentioned previously). The colour was appealing & bright, the 0.25mm line would help should you need to make notes in a small space.

    Staedtler Liquid Point 5 - Written Review

    Staedtler Liquid Point 5 - Written Review

  • Staedtler Triplus Roller Review

    Sitting on my sick bed after a particularly nasty fall, I longed for something to take my mind of the aches & pains. Armed with a Staedtler Triplus Roller I found the ideal distraction in a code
    reader puzzle. As I set to work on the puzzle I found that the roller wrote a smooth line, the black dry safe ink was dark & free flowing.

    Staedtler Tri Plus Fine liner

    The Staedtler Triplus range have triangular shaped barrels. It is claimed that the ergonomic design promotes fatigue free writing. Ergonomic pens aim to reduce discomfort & stress placed on the bones & muscles in the fingers & hands but this pen was not something I found particularly comfortable to write with. Continue reading

  • Staedtler Elance Facette Review

    At the risk of repeating myself (I've mentioned before) that these days I usually reach for a rollerball before any other kind of writing implement. So with that in mind, having a Staedtler Elance Facette to review was a bit of a novelty.  This ballpoint has an attractive metal effect  design its retractable & can be refilled.Staedtler Elance Facette Ballpoint PenGiven the appearance of this pen I was surprised by how light it was to hold, the stylish metallic barrel has been manufactured in a guilloche design (a repetitive pattern with an engraved effect) gave me the impression that it would be hefty.  Instead it felt light & comfortable in my grip.  Continue reading

  • Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen 334 Review

    As I'm not one of those fortunate people blessed with the ability to draw, when I picked up the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner I wondered how I was going to review it. It appears that many people do use these pens for writing & note taking as well as art work so here goes.Staedtler Triplus Fine-LinerThe Staedtler Triplus Fineliner contains dry safe ink, this means that if you get called away from the desk or just forget to replace the cap for any length of time it won't dry out. In fact Staedtler claim that the ISO 554 standard is testament to the fact that it can be left for days without giving up the ghost. As this ink is not permanent you won't have to worry about the children drawing on their clothes as it washes out of most fabrics. Continue reading

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