STMT


The Berol Handwriting Cartridge Pen (New Look) 8

East… West… Everywhere had two blog posts about beginner fountain pens in December. Some of the fountain pens in these blog posts are really affordable and I didn’t expect to find a cheaper fountain pen …but when I recently ordered something from CultPens I was surprised to find an even cheaper fountain pen1: The Berol Handwriting Cartridge Pen (New Look version).

...even got a free OHTO Smile Paperclip with the order

 

Berol, a British company that is now a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid, has its origins in pencil making. In 1856 Daniel Berolzheimer went from Franconia, where Staedtler and Faber-Castell are from, to the USA and founded the Eagle Pencil Company. I don’t want to bore you with details, but in the end Newell Rubbermaid took over. Many readers of pencil blogs will also know that the Berolzheimer family is still part of today’s pencil industry as they own CalCedar. Some will also remember how they managed to upset parts of the pencil community last year, but there is no direct link to Berol or Newell Rubbermaid.

That's the 'wrong' Berolzheim. There are two of them...

What you pay and what you get

I paid £2.45 (~ $4; €3). There is only one nib width available. The pen is made in China. I don’t really find it very good looking, but better looking fountain pens, like the Pelikan Pelikano junior (< £10) or the Kaweco Sport (< £20) are several times more expensive than the Berol Handwriting Cartridge Pen. The Berol comes with a rubber ring and a rubberised grip area to make holding the pen more comfortable. It is very light, some might find it too light, but fairly comfortable to hold.

The grip area (bottom)

Writing

The nib is not very wet, not very dry either. It’s certainly drier than most Pelikan nibs, but they tend to be on the wet side anyway. Ink will dry fast and you won’t see a lot of shading. With it writing fairly dry ink cartridges should last a long time, but light inks might appear too light on the paper. I didn’t have a problem with nib not ‘starting’, even after the pen hasn’t been used for several weeks. Unfortunately I only had the pen on my desk, so I am not sure whether ink will spill if the pen is knocked around in a pencil case.

The nib is very rigid, which is normal for cheap pens. If you try to vary the line width this is not the pen for you.

The nib

Conclusion

This pen offers excellent value for money. For me it’s not really a beauty, but that’s subjective – you might like the looks. If you want a cheap fountain pen that does the job this pen might just be right for you.

 


Price: December 2012

Exchange rates: January 2013

The paper in the pictures is from the RAH STMT X Iceland kit.

  1. at least in the UK – prices in other countries might vary []

Morning Glory Black Grip B 5

This morning, I received Rad and Hungry‘s fourth stationery kit. You might have read about Rad and hungry before. Quite a few blogs reported about Rad and hungry’s idea of a country-themed stationery kit you can subscribe to and some blogs reviewed the kits. The Pen Addict and Pencil Revolution even had a giveaway. Bleistift was one of the many lucky blogs that got the first kit, Colombia, free of charge.  Unfortunately I never wrote a review. The kit arrived while I was in Shanghai and when I was back I was snowed under with work and the kit was snows of yesteryear (OK, I admit, it’s not funny and I shouldn’t mix contemporary and dated idioms 8^/ ), so I never reviewed it. I did however like it so much that I subscribed to these kits.

Nicely wrapped

Back to the parcel I received this morning, it was the fourth kit, Korea-themed. I do like Korea (even though I have never been there) and listen regularly to the German Service of South Korea’s KBS World Radio on short wave. Their programme is very good and introduces Korea and life there from different angles and on different levels. North Korea has a similar service, Voice of Korea – from the Radio TV broadcasting committee of the DPRK in Pyongyang. I really like the music the Voice of Korea plays. The Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble is so plasticy, it’s just great. It sounds very much like the background music from the video game Puzzle Bobble (Bust-a-Move in the USA). I think there is no need to describe what kind of non-music content you can expect to hear from North Korea’s international broadcasting service. Suffice to say that I do not listen to the North regularly – but their music is really nice.

The contents

Oh, that was off topic. Let’s talk about pencils again. The Korean kit was $26 (~ £ 16.20, € 18.70) including shipping1 . One of the pencils in this kit is the Morning Glory Black Grip in B, which I examined a bit closer. The Black Grip is very similar to the Bauhaus 6004. Both have a triangular barrel, both are black wood pencils, both are from Korean companies, both are made in China, but the Black Grip does not come with an eraser. I assume the Black Grip is made by Marco, but I cannot be 100% sure. Other pencils similar to these two include the Rhodia pencil, reviewed at Lung Sketching Scrolls and pencil talk. Rhodia’s pencil is made in China, too. The way the ferrule is clinched in exactly the same way as the Bauhaus 6004 makes me think that this is another pencil manufactured by Marco, but it has a smoother lead than the Black Grip or the 6004. Two other, similar pencils, probably from the same factory are two “non black wood pencils”, the Marco 9001, reviewed at woodclinched, and the pencil’s from Eisen‘s fusion line, which are – in some markets – distributed by Lyra.

Stop the press! Supreme leader sees performance of women’s brass band!

Conclusion: The kit is very nice. Other items included in this kit, except the Black Grip, are more pencils, a note pad and a correction tape as well as some comments from the trip and some paper to test the items on, all wrapped up very nicely. The Morning Glory Black Grip itself is a nice every day pencil, there is no point in comparing it to some top of the line pencils, but it certainly does a good job.

 


Click image for details

Prices and exchange rates: March 2011

I would like to thank Kent for the Bauhaus 6004.

You can find a review of Rad and Hungry’s Colombian kit at Notebook love Pen and Lung Sketching Scrolls.

You can find a review of Rad and Hungry’s French kit at Okami Whatever.

You can see a reception report to KBS World radio in the second picture of the ONLINE All Wood Marone review.

You can find more Korea related blog posts at Bleistift by searching for Korea.

  1. $14 for the kit (the price for a kit as part of a quarterly subscription) and $ 12 for shipping []