In my previous post I wrote about my pen I use for my malden and I mentioned that I also use a pencil. This is a review of that pencil.
It’s made by the same company, Zebra, as my mini pen. I also got it from Amazon. It was slightly more expensive than the pen at £3.60, but as it is a mechanical pencil it does have the option to refill it. And indeed the end of the pencil is unscrewable. I couldn’t see an option to do this with the pen, you might be able too but I am really prone to breaking things, so I didn’t want to risk it.
The pencil itself is 10cm tall and it is much thinner than the pen. It is ok to write with but it is slightly more difficult to write with and it is not as nice to write with as the pen. I would have preferred the pencil to have been a little more thicker.
The problem with the stiff clip on the pen is not present in the pencil, which is great I would be happier to clip this to the pen loop, except it when you do so the end of the pen pops out of the end of the malden. So like the pen I store it in the zipped compartment. They both fit in there great and it doesn’t add and bulk to the malden. It does not come with a rubber like some mechanical pencils do, but to be honest if it did, it would only really be a token rubber – I imagine any more than two attempts to rub something out would cause the rubber to disintegrate or break.
I use the pencil more than the pen as my malden has a word of the day written into the diary sections – I write these in pencil so I use it every day. The pen more infrequently. I don’t think this set is the probably the best solution for pens in the malden. Ideally I would like the pen loop to be a bit bigger so I could just use a Bic pen, but they work well enough and I am happy to keep using them without feeling the need to rush or even look for a replacement.
If you own a Mini Filofax you will know they are small, very small. It’s just over 12cm in height, which makes it smaller than a passport. Whilst that is great for carrying – I love that I can fit it into my pocket – most pens won’t fit in the pen loop. One pen that would be absolutely perfect is the mini version of the BIC Four Way Pens, which I reviewed here. The mini is the right height for the Mini planner – it’s just too fit to fit in the pen loop, and you can’t clip it onto the pen loop and carry it that way which is a same. My Faber-Castell pen measures at 14cm, can too big and too chunky for the pen loop.
So I was looking for some alternatives for a mini pen and came across the Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint pen, it’s a bit of a mouthful but the size is tiny. When it is fully extended and the position you would use to write with it measures at just over 10.5cm. It’s a nice weight and it’s a slim line pen but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to write with – that being said I have slender hands with quite long fingers. Larger hands may not like it as much. It cost £3.03 from Amazon. Considering the Filofax pens cost £10, I thought this was quite reasonable. Saying that, I don’t think there is the option to refill this pen and given it’s size I imagine the ink within it may give it a limited lifespan – yet it is very rare for me to use a pen until it runs out. The ink itself is black, it’s a good and it feels very smooth and effortless to write with. I don’t feel a resistance or a scratchiness on the paper as I write. It’s a very comfortable pen to write with – but as my mini is only used for quick notes I have not really used this pen for extended writing.
I do have a couple of grips with this pen, the first is that it is an extendible pen meaning to close the pen you compact it. When you close the pen it loses 2cm in height, which is fine but I think it looks a bit silly sat within a malden mini when it is closed. I would have liked it to be more of a twist or a click pen.
The next grip I have with it is the clip. It’s a very strong firm one which is great…but I felt a bit uncomfortable clipping it onto my malden pen loop because I felt it would just cause too much wear and tear every time I took it off. When it is within the pen loop, it is too thin to be able to fit in there securely without the use of the clip. To get around this problem, after nearly losing it a couple of time, I now store it in the zipped compartment on the left hand side of the malden. I also have a pencil from the same company which gets stored within this zipped compartment and together they cover my needs for writing in my malden.