There are a lot of technical pens out there, and I’ve only looked at a few. Today I’m going to try and remedy that a little bit by doing a review of the Zig Millennium technical pen, specifically the black 005 version.
The pen body is a bit odd. The bottom is a small, rounded piece of plastic. The barrel is silver and covered in writing. All necessary information is printed in several languages. The cap is nothing really special either: the top is flat with the tip size on what looks like a black plastic cutaway; the clip is simple, with a rounded end similar to a Pilot Precise or Uni-ball Vision. Interestingly enough, it says to keep the pen horizontal, but gives one a pocket clip. It’s the section of the pen that’s strange: it’s very small and nubby, it rounds off quite quickly and the ridges used to keep the cap in place are quite noticeable. It terminates rather abruptly into a metal end that leads to the tip. I’m not sure if one is supposed to hold the slightly uncomfortable section when writing or move back on the pen and place the fingers over the written portions of the pen, which I can feel the ink is raised up on, and will likely rub off quickly.
On to the tip. It produces a very thin line, around the same width, but perhaps a bit wider than other brands of the same size, though that may just be the paper being used. The ink is archival quality (haven’t tested) and waterproof (have tested, is quite!) though that is to be expected from a pigmented ink. The black is quite black, and a cool black, which is nice, as many blacks tend to be warm. Writing is smooth and there are no skips or bumps with a good tip, though it will wear out after some time.
Overall it’s a good little pen, and quite comparable to the other technical pens in terms of both quality and price. I can’t speak for whether or not the rest of the line is wider than its counterparts from other brands, but that might be something to consider when purchasing. Otherwise, I’d say it’s almost entirely an æsthetic and comfort choice for the user.
So, are markers art supplies? By markers, I of course mean dry-erase. Is the whiteboard the canvas of the classroom? I don’t know, but I would count dry-erase markers as art supplies so I’ll talk about them briefly.
I’m going to focus on the pen-type variety of the EXPO marker. They are small, pen-size. They fit in the hand nicely and don’t slip despite the glossy finish.The cap holds well, but it has no clip so it won’t stay in one’s pocket.
The ink of this particular one is black, it goes on smooth, dries fast and is nice and bold. It stays well and looks nice and sharp. It obviously doesn’t have much line variation but the point is fine enough that one can achieve most of what they would want to. When one is done the ink comes of easily with an eraser. The smell has also been reduced (though not eliminated) and the ink is thankfully non-toxic.
There’s a reason EXPO has become synonymous with dry-erase markers, they are simply one of the best, and for dry-erase needs one usually can’t go wrong with EXPO. As long as its large. (they also work just like a regular marker on paper.)
Do you ever want to stop drafting and just draw? Did you ever want to be bold with your marks? Did you ever want to be part of a marketing campaign doing those things? Yep, I’m talking about sharpies, black, fine point ones to be exact. Everyone knows what a sharpie or other brand of permanent marker is, so I’ll be brief.
Sharpies are slick and fat, and unlike some other slick utensils do at times slip out of ones’ hand. They do bulge up the pockets they are stuck in, but most markers do. The body and cap are made out a surprisingly durable plastic, with a nearly useless clip attached. They are all clearly marked and it takes some time to wear off said markings.
But on to the marker itself. “Fine point” is a bit of an exaggeration, while it is fine for a marker the tip of a sharpie is by no means “fine”. It makes a mark, I mean it really makes a mark. These things make a mark that will bleed through any type of paper and some types of cardboard (with the exception of thick water color paper). The writing is smooth and satisfying, but the point is felt and wears easily. They mark on almost anything and once a mark is made it is nearly impossible to remove, it is one of the best permanent markers in existence.
So if you want to be bold and never have that boldness forgotten or destroyed (with the exception of catastrophic flooding) The sharpie is for you.
Markers are fun. They’re not the type of thing one thinks of as a serious art supply, though. When one says markers, one most often thinks of the Crayola variety. But I have here a set of 18 Pentel color pen – fine point markers. I wonder how they compare?
First thing, the pentel is is not to be used at all like a Crayola marker. It is thin, like a pen, and obviously can’t be pressed. They don’t fill very well, so coloring is not and option. But that is not really what one would be doing with these. They make a very fine line, almost like a ballpoint pen, but thicker. It is suited to detail work. They are good for mixed media or a sketch style. Blending is an option and a good one with these pens, in my opinion. They are not particularly suitable for larger images, however, because of their small size. They may even work better as just regular pens (even for writing) than as a marker.
The body of the pen is slick but holdable. The side is marked with gold lettering that indicates what they pen is, but it is hard to read and rubs off easily. The lids do not snap into place but they do fit snugly enough to not dry out after extensive periods of time. I have had them for long enough to confirm this. The case fits all of them and keeps them organized with ridges. The top folds over and Velcro’s shut preventing the markers from falling out.
These pens are very nice but not exactly like the markers. They are more like colored pens but with felt tips. While they have a very limited application range they are very nice and quite usable. They are however, quite expensive little things, especially for how quickly they can be used, I would only recommend getting them if you do have a known use for them.