Just a very quick post showing you my new pen roll. I’ll call it BUBM pen roll, just because there’s a BUBM BUBM stands for Be Unique Be Myself, with it being an imperative I would have gone for Be Unique Be Yourself. logo on the roll. My pen roll was advertised as a “Cable Organizer Roll Up Bag Storage Case for Tool Batteries Pen Earphone”.
I bought it for £3.59 (~$5.15; €4.55) from eBay, including postage. The same item was being sold for a lower price by other sellers, but these cheaper ones would have come directly from China and would have taken a long time, this one was already in the UK.
Material-wise it reminds me very much of Nock products. I compared it to the Nock pen case I have. The Nock product does look more sophisticated, but I can’t say I am surprised ..and for the price I paid the BUBM pen roll is extremely good value for money and quite well made.
If you use it for pens it will usually be big enough, but very long unsharpened pencils, like the TiTi Kyung In T-Prime in the photo above, are a bit longer than the 17cm of the case.
I noticed that some of my pens and pencil slid out of the pen case when the roll wasn’t stored horizontally in my backpack – only wider pens and those with a rougher surface (unpainted pencils) stayed where they were. The surface of painted pencils doesn’t seem to have enough friction and pencils are rather slim, so they won’t be held in place – unless you put a lot of them in one slot – so if this was a dedicated pen roll it would make sense to have narrower slots, but as this is more of an all purpose pen roll the wider slots make more sense.
Well, let’s go a bit off topic then and look at other uses for this pen roll.
Off topic: Swiss army knives
Here’s an example where I used the pen roll for Swiss knives. I’ll go even more off topic by giving a short explanation of each of the knives.
The first knife from the left is an Elinox. Elinox was Victorinox’s economy line and this is the last knife my father used at work. I don’t know what happened to the ones he had before, maybe they were too ‘used up’ and he got rid of them. This one’s blade is pretty ground down from sharpening it with the tools in his joinery. As a kid I was so used to Elinox knives that I thought the Elinox logo is the ‘normal’ logo for Swiss army knives. When I first saw a Victorinox I thought they must have recently changed the logo. I also thought only the real posh knives come with tooth picks and tweezers, because Elinox knives didn’t have those.
The second knife form the left is a Swiss Cheese Knife from Victorinox. I got it a few years ago when Switzerland Cheese Marketing AG sent them out for free if you bought Swiss Cheese and sent them the bar codes, plus postage. Luckily this promotion was open world wide, so I could send them bar codes from cheese i bought here in the UK, I just had to send them together with the postage in Swiss Franks.
The third knife from the left is a normal Vicorinox Spartan. Maybe my father’s Sunday knife, but I should date it to be sure.
The fourth knife from the left is Wenger‘s equivalent of the Spartan, I think it’s called Hunter. My wife got it many years ago, but she already had a similar one so I got it.
The last knife is a Swiza. This is the D04 version. which has a screw driver instead of a cork screw. Swiza only started selling knives similar to the well known Swiss army knives a few months ago.
A quick note on the link Victorinox – Wenger- Swiza: Victorinox and Wenger make/made Swiss army knives, but Swiza, originally a clock manufacturer, is fairly new to the world of knives. Their knives have not (yet) been used by the army, so Swiss folding knives might be a better term to describe Swiza’s knives. Like Wenger they are from the Canton of Jura.
A few years ago Victorinox bought Wenger. In the last few months two things happened: Victorinox started selling Wenger knives under their own Victorinox name (Delémont Collection) and a former Wenger CEO has started to make knives again, now under the Swiza brand.
To be honest: the Swiza knives look better on pictures than in reality. They aren’t bad knives at all, but what makes them interesting is probably the fact that they are new. For use in the UK they are not great as they have locking blades which means they are “illegal to carry in public without good reason”.
Please let me know if you liked the off topic part of this post and whether you’d like more or less off topic, i.e. not stationery related, bits like this in the future
Just arrived this morning: The Nock Co. Hightower Pen Case in Forest Green/Yellow with Union Jack tag and a Nock Co. Dot Dash Notebook.
I backed The Pen Addict‘s Kickstarter in January and got the pen case today Funnily enough it was addressed to MEMM, instead of my first name / surname, but I assume I must have messed this up in my Kickstarter settings.. I paid $45 (~£29; €40) I have since stopped buying expensive stationery (>£10) for more than one reason. I might even sell some of my more expensive stationery, but I still have some stuff coming in I ordered in the … Continue reading.
I have since stopped buying expensive stationery (>£10) for more than one reason. I might even sell some of my more expensive stationery, but I still have some stuff coming in I ordered in the past, plus there is still a lot of expensive stationery I bought recently that I want to write about.
I found another one of the previously mentioned recycled pencils. This time in the souvenir shop of Martin Mere, a wetland nature reserve. The price was the same as what I paid at the Lancashire Science Festival: 50p (~ 78¢; 63c). Suffice to say that this one isn’t any better than the ones previously shown in this blog. As Kevin wrote in a comment, these pencils are not only not eco, but even anti-eco as they are pretty unusable when it comes to writing with them. A scorched piece of wood writes better than this pencil… This didn’t stop this pencil and the company behind it receiving several awards for it. Oh, well, at least their other, newer products look exciting, like their Saponite pencil holder.
I also bought another recycled item I have previously seen in different shops for quite a while now This pencil case must have been available in Sainsbury’s, maybe also in other supermarkets, for at least five years now.: a pencil case made from recycled car tyres. That’s definitely a better use for those old tyres than the horrible pencil made from recycled car tyres shown in another blog post. This pencil case is flexible, only smells a little bit like tyres and is nice to hold, even though it feels a bit wet and oily. I hope the material doesn’t get porous over time, but we’ll see. The case was £4.99 (~ $7.76; €6.33). You can get these slightly cheaper online – in some places these cases cost £4 each or less.
Over the past few weeks I have written posts about two different pencil cases: the Sonnenleder pencil case Berit and the Eberhard Faber Lederetui. Both are made from leather and price-wise both are somewhere in the middle (Berit: €36 / $45 / £29, Lederetui: €15 / $19 / £12). Today I want show what pencil cases are available at the more extreme ends of the price scale.
I have seen the expensive one I want to present today, the Prisme pencil case from Delvaux, in the posh Royal Galleries of Saint-Hubert in Brussels …on a recent trip to Belgium. Delvaux was founded in 1829 in Brussels and describes itself as ‘the oldest fine leather luxury goods company in the world’. This pencil case is available in two colours and will set you back € 140 (~$177, ~£115) …but you will own a pencil case with (the following is taken from their web site) a triangular profile that is pale Basane leather lined and has a double pen holder in leather stitched to the base. Furthermore the brass accessories have a a brushed palladium or brushed gilded finish.
In case you wonder… I did not buy one 🙂
On the other end of the spectrum we have cheap pencil cases, pre-filled with pencils, for children. On my last trip to Germany I saw that most of them sell for about €3 (~$3.80, ~£2.50). If you pay a bit less than €3 you can get a no name pencil case filled with ruler, eraser and lots of no name pencils. If you spent a few cents more you can get a much better one, like this 50 piece pencil case (article number 406-0) from Rheita, which I bought for less than €3.50. It includes colour pencils, rulers, an eraser, paper clips, a sharpener and ink cartridges (in Bavarian schools, possibly even in all German schools, children have to use fountain pens).
Compared to other German stationery companies Rheita, or Rheita-Krautkrämer, is one of the young’uns. Rheita’s history started in 1948, when the brothers Oswald and Fridolin Krautkrämer established “Rheingold-Tafel”, a company with more than 100 employees, manufacturing school writing slates made from slate and wood. The headquarters were near the river Rhein, hence the name. The company was later renamed Rhein-Tafel, which became RHEI-TA.
Prices: Delvaux – April 2010, Rheita – August 2010
Exchanges rates: August 2010