Nock Co. Fodderstack Mini

31 07 2017

Let me introduce you to my new security blanket, the Fodderstack Mini:

Some people like baby humans, I like baby office supplies

This is the littlest member of the Nock family, designed to hold a Kaweco Liliput (or similar small writing implements) and business / tiny note cards. All the same wonderful materials as I’ve touched on before, in an itty bitty body. Since this is a Nock case, one must immediately load it up with more than the designated amount of goods.

One Kaweco Liliput, one Zebra Minna, several DotDash notecards, a credit card, a debit card, and my ID. It’s a good start

Just looking at the design of it, my main concerns were things falling out, and rain falling in, since the top is left open for ease of access. ​I did not have any rain available on my latest motorcycle trip (gosh, darn), and did not feel like creating artificial weather conditions, so that test will remain for another day. ​

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yeah thanks GIF Maker, get a better logo font

You actually have to put some effort in to get something to start coming out of the case. It held onto everything wonderfully when it fell out of my motorcycle jacket pocket, and because it was so brightly colored we spotted it right away rather than it getting left at some outlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I will need more of these

The DotDash notecards are an excellent balance of the characteristics wanted for EDC. I love the unobtrusive dot and dash grid. Though the lines of writing are not tight and crisp like I like, there’s no bleedthrough up there, not even with the Copic or the Sharpie markers. The dry time is quick (about 3 to 4 seconds), which is great for making quick notes with fountain pens especially, and you can see all the sparkles in the Emerald of Chivor ink. Sure I wish there were more shading and crisp lines of fountain pen ink, but I don’t think I’d trade away something like the drying time to get it.

Made in the USA and all that jazz

Because it’s so small, the Fodderstack Mini is easy to grab and throw in a pocket, or carry in my hand; any time I am going somewhere away from a home base of stationery goods this provides a quick way for me to be reassured that I have some good paper and pens with me if needed. That’s why it’s become my stationery security blanket—someone wants a quick word at work? I don’t need to bring a notebook? Au contraire, silly other people, pens and paper are as essential as shirts and shoes. I grab the little Fodderstack and I am instantly prepared.

 

Being a limited release, the Fodderstack Mini isn’t available on the Nock Co. website right now. But hopefully there will be more batches, if not as a regular product then as a special goodie to acquire at pen shows.

Thanks Brad for my lil buddy!

(Brad provided this case at no charge for reviewing purposes–opinions entirely my own)





Ohto Capstick Cap-Knock Needle Point Ballpoint Pen – 0.5 mm – Red Cap / Black Body

14 02 2014
In honor of it being that holiday with the color red (also, pink, chocolates, maybe heart-shaped objects are involved)

In honor of it being that holiday with the color red (also, pink, chocolates, maybe heart-shaped objects are involved)

I’ve had this pen almost three years now! Wow. I don’t even remember what might have specifically motivated me to get it, aside from my general love of compact pens.

It comes in other lipstickesque colors like black cap red body, black cap pink body, and pink body black cap.

It comes in other lipstickesque colors like black cap red body, black cap pink body, and pink body black cap.

The look is a svelte combination of a six-sided wooden pencil and a slim chapstick, made of metal.

How they made this baby is beyond the scope of this blog

How they made this baby is beyond the scope of this blog

The metal body has a matte-like surface that has held up well and provides a decent grip. It’s about as comfortable as a standard wooden pencil is, but the concern for a little pen like this is more durability and utility than comfort. You want something you can throw in your pocket or bag and not worry about—and in that, the Capstick has excelled. Three years of abuse and only one little dent.

And a few nicks, nothing too atrocious

And a few nicks, nothing too atrocious

The cap snaps securely to close and into place to deploy the tip. It’s a clever mechanism.

This is where the magic happens

This is where the magic happens

Even if it somehow managed to lose its cap, the Capstick isn’t going to mark up the inside of your bag or pocket—the tip isn’t deployed unless the cap is posted. It’s a neat feature, unless you do lose the cap—then you can’t use the pen (which is ultimately why I decided against making this a motorcycling pen…I could see a fumbling of gloves, and a cap dropping off the side of a mountain, never to be seen again).

It LOOKS totally awesome, and if only that was what mattered in writing utensils...

It LOOKS totally awesome, and if only that was what mattered in writing utensils…

The 0.5mm needlepoint ballpoint is…meh. Sometimes it will write well for quite a while, lines slim and crisp for a ballpoint, but then the flow goes off, gets thin:

It also feels off when the writing gets thin

It also feels off when the writing gets thin

I might just be particularly nitpicky, because the ink never cuts out entirely, but I can’t help feeling that a needlepoint gel 0.5mm refill would have been a better-performing option for this pen than the ballpoint.

Complete with sparkly logo "for pouch" ..give one to the kangaroo in your life today

Complete with sparkly logo “for pouch” ..give one to the kangaroo in your life today

The Capstick is more about compact convenience and style than a stellar writing performance. Or maybe this is just what happens to the refill being this old. The construction is solid—I may see if any other refills can be hacked into this body.

Ohto Capstick Cap-Knock Needle Point Ballpoint Pen – 0.5 mm – Red Cap / Black Body at JetPens





Zebra Minna Mini Ballpoint Pen with Japanese Print – 0.7 mm – Wine Red Cap

29 06 2013
I have mixed emotions about this pen

I have mixed emotions about this pen

This is a story about a pen so small that I actually lost the first one I bought (you’re welcome, cleaning people in random motel in Asheville), but so adorable that I bought another one anyway (but not so cost-effective that that was necessarily a good idea).

The American penny was just too big. Like taking pictures of the coin more than the pen.

The American penny was just too big. Like taking pictures of the coin more than the pen.

I originally owned the silver one, but it was too much of an indignity to buy the exact same thing again, so I went with the “wine red” cap on repurchase (though I can’t say that the wine I drink ever looks this particular shade of red. I guess “fruit punch red” just doesn’t have the same classy ring to it). This pen is small. Your mind will not comprehend how small it is unless you’re holding it. You see it here, next to the 1 euro-cent, or on JetPens, next to an American quarter, and you THINK you have an idea of how small it is. You’re wrong. It’s smaller than that. You could probably swallow this pen whole and not even manage to choke on it (it’ll probably get stuck somewhere past your stomach though, so, maybe don’t do that).

You also may not realize how small one of these 1 euro cent coins is. I believe the mathematical size is referred to as "unbelievably adorable" sized.

You also may not realize how small one of these 1 euro cent coins is. I believe the mathematical size is referred to as “unbelievably adorable” sized.

It’s a lovely pen to look at. Slim, minimal, elegant, and well made (at its price, it had BETTER be well made). The metal cap is smooth, with a pearlescent sort of sparkle-sheen to it, and posts perfectly. The little Japanese print provides just the right amount of accent. It’s held up well so far, being tossed in at the bottom of a bag, which makes me hopeful for its potential as an everyday carry.

I think it is a universal requirement of standard ballpoints to have some crusty ink crud visible when I take its picture

I think it is a universal requirement of standard ballpoints to have some crusty ink crud visible when I take its picture

It writes. Not a particularly enjoyable experience for me, writing for the duration of the writing sample; I found the lovely silver accents around the print to be a bit of a pain in the base of my thumb, and the writing felt a bit cramped with such a small and slender barrel. But it does what I would need it to do, which would be write in a moment of necessity. The smaller your hands, the more you would probably like writing with this pen. The refill itself, a Zebra 4C-0.7 ballpoint pen refill, is nothing spectacular.

IT'S LIKE THEY'RE SWIMMING IN WATER BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES

IT’S LIKE THEY’RE SWIMMING IN WATER BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES

At time of writing, this wee little pen is only a dollar seventy-five shy of a full ten dollars, which seems like an awful lot of money to drop on something so little that isn’t a fountain pen. Spending absurd amounts of money on fountain pens is somehow more psychologically justifiable. It’s a pretty little pen, but if I lose it again, I probably won’t be buying a third.

Zebra Minna Mini Ballpoint Pen with Japanese Print – 0.7mm – Wine Red Cap at JetPens





Stipula Passaporto Crystal Clear Eyedropper Fountain Pen

23 02 2013
Possibly M nib? Not entirely sure. Delicious Pendleton mix ink though.

Possibly M nib? Not entirely sure. Delicious Pendleton mix BlaKWa ink though.

The Stipula Passaporto was just a distant, expensive dream until I stumbled upon it half-priced at the DC Pen Show (at Speerbob’s booth) and couldn’t resist.

It's a bit like a cigar, except you can write with it and it probably won't give you cancer and OKAY IT IS NOTHING LIKE A CIGAR

It’s a bit like a cigar, except you can write with it and it probably won’t give you cancer and OKAY IT IS NOTHING LIKE A CIGAR

The design of the pen combines several of my most favorite things: compact, clear body, fountain pen, made in Italy. The only thing that could make it better is if it could dispense espresso through my skin into my blood stream while I write.

Remember when I would be awake in the daytime and have natural daylight for these pictures? THOSE SURE WERE THE DAYS

Remember when I would be awake in the daytime and have natural daylight for these pictures? THOSE SURE WERE THE DAYS

The body is a sturdy sort of resin something or other, and seems to hold up well in spite of making numerous unprotected trips in my pocket. It can be filled with standard short cartridges, or as an eyedropper pen with bottled ink. It even comes with its own glass eyedropper. The cap screws on to close, and presses onto the back to post. When closed, the pen is Fort Knox secure. This is not a pen that will unscrew in your pocket. The cap, when posted firmly, is pretty secure (though can be knocked loose), and makes the pen long enough for comfortable long-term writing. And my, is it ever comfy! I LOVE the thicker body barrel for writing.

Chance of humidity: always percent

Chance of humidity: always percent

Now, for a few negatives. This first one drives me crazy—condensation in the cap. Or ink in the cap. Or worse, BOTH. It happens often, and especially when I carry this pen in my jeans pocket. The pen is secure, so I’m not worried about this stuff getting out, it’s just annoying that it’s there at all.

Sure it writes wonderfully NOW...

Sure it writes wonderfully NOW…

The second BIG big negative is that I could not get a steady writing flow going right out of the box. It was crazy frustrating, and I tried everything I could think to do (besides take it back, because I would admit no defeat). At last beaten, I took the pen back to the ballroom, and escorted it (and some cash) over to Pendleton Brown to see if he could do something for it. And he did! It writes wonderfully now, a nice tactile smooth with an ink flow that never fails. And he hooked me up with some of his Waterman BlakWa ink mix, which I am currently in love with.

Little leaf keeps pen | From rolling down the table | Some but not all times

Little leaf keeps pen | From rolling down the table | Some but not all times

You might think, with these two major problems looming over it, that I might not like this pen. But fountain pens are funny things. Maybe it’s their offbeat nature. Maybe it’s a psychological attachment fueled by all the dough you fork over for pens like these. Who knows. But in spite of its problems, I love this little pen. I’m glad I got it, and I enjoy using it.

Unfortunately, I don’t see any clear versions of the Passaporto fountain pen at Speerbob’s, and none of the other colors are for the price I got mine at. If you’re looking for this pen at an unbeatable price, you might have to make the trek to a fountain pen supershow to get a good deal. Or scour the internet. Best of luck in your quest.