Field Notes “Pitch Black” Review


If you’ve spent any amount of time in the stationery community, or the everyday carry community for that matter, you will eventually hear about Field Notes notebooks. Why, you may ask? Because they’re some of the best pocket notebooks on the market. And, they’re some of my favorite notebooks to carry with me to school.

After using these notebooks over a period of six weeks, I must say I am very impressed. The quality of their notebooks are top-notch, better than any other pocket notebook I’ve carried. I prefer the “Pitch Black” style, as there is an extra layer of card stock on the cover, (You could call it a “two-ply” cover) making it more durable in the pocket. The rounded edges make slipping the notebook in and out of your pocket easy.

The style of the notebook is very appealing. It has a very modern, minimalist look that I find suits this style of notebook. Because this is the “Pitch Black” version of the notebook, it has a Pitch Black logo on the back, which adds a nice touch that makes these notebooks different from the rest.

Overall, Field Notes notebooks are some of the best memo books for everyday carry. If you take lots of notes during the day, or you just need a way of storing ideas that come to you while you’re out and about, the Field Notes “Pitch Black” memo book, or any notebook in the Field Notes line, is the perfect notebook for you.

Lamy Safari

Ah, the Lamy Safari. A classic in the fountain pen realm. Any member of the fountain pen community will have heard of this pen at some point. For many beginner fountain pen users, the Lamy Safari is the first pen they ever use. After using this pen for quite some time, I feel every person into fountain pens should own it. The quality is outstanding, it is a really reliable writer, and it doesn’t break the bank. What more could you ask for?

Some will be turned off by the Safari’s looks. It has a large cap, a giant, and I mean giant, clip, and an unusual looking body. However, this design works surprisingly well. The clip, because of its large size, holds on tight, whether it be a shirt pocket, jeans pocket, or the pocket of a notebook.

The cap is a snap-on cap, which does feel a little loose at first. I was surprised to find it holds on tight, so there is no worry about it falling off and ruining your shirt, or-shutters-your nib.

The Safari also has a very comfortable trip-grip style grip section. The grip section makes writing sessions easier for me, as I don’t have to worry about the pen accidentally rotating and not being put to the paper properly. Unfortunately, this can be a deal-breaker for some, as you have to hold the Safari in a specific manner in order to write with if comfortably.

The body of the pen is quite light without the cap, as the pen is made out of ABS plastic. Again, some people may be turned off by this. However, the plastic is extremely durable, and takes quite a beating. You don’t have to be careful with this pen like you would with a TWSBI. I have never heard of a Safari cracking because of being dropped.

Finally, this brings us to the nib. The nibs are all manufactured by Lamy in-house in Germany. This is rare, as many pen companies tend to purchase their nibs from a separate company, suck as Bock or Jowo, brand them, and put them on their pens. Kaweco and TWSBI are both companies that do this. While there is nothing wrong with this, as the nib quality is outstanding from both companies, it is interesting to see a company that manufactures their own nibs with an intricate assembly line like Lamy’s.

The nib on my specific Safari is completely black, though you can purchase them without any finish. The nibs are swappable, so you can purchase a Lamy italic nib if you feel so inclined. I personally prefer a fine nib. The pen writes smoothly, though there is a little scratchiness that I quite like. Something about it makes that writing more satisfying. It puts out a steady flow of ink that is not too wet or too dry, which is perfect for everyday writing. The only issues I’ve had with the nib is that it skips once in a blue moon and there is quite a bit of drag when writing on cheap notebook paper, as that is the staple crop of school classrooms.

Overall, the Lamy Safari is an excellent pen. For only $30, the Safari is one of the best affordable fountain pens on the market. I am really pleased with how it has served me, especially in school. And trust me, my school is a pretty risky place to bring a fountain pen. I think anyone in the fountain pen community should own one. Which pen would you rather have at school, on the bus, or in the subway? A Visconti, an eye-catching, expensive, fine work of art as much as it is a pen, or an average-looking fountain pen that is extremely affordable as well as durable? I’ll let you decide.

TWSBI GO Fountain Pen


TWSBI’s newest pen, the TWSBI Go, is perhaps the greatest affordable fountain pen I’ve ever used. For the $18 price tag and the excellent nib quality, you get an amazing fountain pen for the money. Get yourself one. Now. But I’m getting ahead of myself.20180825_112010362332961.jpg

The first thing you will notice about this pen is the spring filling system. TWSBI even made sure you take notice of, since the whole body of the pen is translucent. All you have to do in order to fill your pen is to press down the spring and release. This has to be the easiest to fill pen in my collection. In addition to a great filling mechanism, the GO has a rather large ink capacity of 1.61 ml. That’s quite a bit of ink.


One of the other interesting design elements implemented into the TWSBI GO is a small loop for a lanyard rather than a clip. This makes the pen easier to slip in and out of a pen roll. If you are looking for a reliable fountain pen you can attach to a lanyard, the TWSBI GO is an excellent choice.


The nib on the TWSBI GO is the same nib on the TWSBI Eco as well as the TWSBI Classic. Therefore, you are getting an excellent TWSBI nib for a amazing price. The nib writes smoothly, though there is a bit of feedback. It puts out a consistent line and is on the wetter side.

All in all this is a win for TWSBI. The GO is fun to use, and great for everyday use. The amount of genius put into this pen really shows, from the filling mechanism to the shape of the body. I highly recommend you get this pen soon, because (Bad pun incoming) it is sure to “Go” quickly.

(The Office of Ben deeply apologizes for this pun. In all seriousness, you should really pick up this pen. For further opinions on it, I recommend you listen to episode 322 of the Pen Addict Podcast. You can listen right here.)